DVD Review: Parasite Dolls (2002 - 2003).

Posted by Retrokaiser On Tuesday, October 14, 2014 0 comments

"Parasite Dolls" is an animated science fiction action show set right in the heart of the AD Police universe where shows such as "Bubblegum Crisis (1987 - 1991)" and "AD Police (1990)" take place. This show is about a secret squad that the AD Police have that's sole purpose is to take out androids named "Boomers" that have gone rogue. In this squad we have a guy named Buzz whom is afraid of using guns due to something that has happened to him during a case in his past, his partner named Rod whom is an android/boomer himself, the young gun named Reiko whom has a bit of an itchy trigger finger, master computer hacker named Bill whom can crack his way into anything, and lastly we have Angel whom is a beautiful spy that goes deep undercover to help the squad score some information about the criminals they are pursuing. In this mini-series we will see our squad take on three different cases set over a seven to eight year period that covers everything from violence, sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll all in this futuristic noir style of detective tales in the same vein as "Blade Runner (1982)" or "Psycho-Pass (2012 -2013)" if you are a younger anime fan (I'm the one to talk as I'm pretty young myself). (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

The story in this series has a bit of a weird vibe as one minute it's a slower paced show and the next minute it's bat-s**t insane and fast paced. I did enjoy this show when it was a slower paced sci-fi show as it had some decent drama, some very clever writing, and had a very nice atmosphere. The insane part of the show did feel a bit weird as it was very sudden and over the top, I was mixed on it as some of it was well done but there were a lot of insane parts that just felt plain silly. One thing that I should mention about the story is that you would appreciate it more if you got into anime during a certain age as people who have gotten into anime during the past eight years will find this show to be too dated and slow for them. This show is also much darker than any of the other shows of the "AD Police" universe to where it can feel a bit odd being part of that universe.

The action in this show was pretty good with some exciting things going on and it was also pretty brutal to where some of it may shock you. This show also had more nudity and sex than what I was expecting although it won't put you off the show or anything. This isn't a show where they did the nudity and sex for the sake of it as they use it in a way to where it makes sense with what's going on in the show.  Characters in this show were pretty decent for the most part but they defiantly have some flaws like how we are suddenly introduced to them like that we should know who they are despite them being newly introduced characters to the "AD Police" universe, some more character development would've been nice too. There are some scenes where the characters can get a bit annoying but that seems to be a problem with the directing of the show as the director doesn't seem to know what to do with the characters at some points.

Art-work in this show varies as each episode has it's own art-style. The first part uses a standard science fiction noir style to where you'll get a lot of dark looking imagery mixed in with a lot of neon lights. I liked the look of the first part as while dark and gritty it also looked crisp and clean and it leaves a very good atmosphere. "Part Two" uses a mixture of the style found in the first part but it also adds a lot more psychedelic imagery that gives the show a very trippy and uneasy atmosphere that also works well with this series. "Part Three" uses very hit or miss imagery as it uses a mixture of the style from the second part plus it adds on a style that makes this show look like that it's always set in either sunrise or sunset. The reason why this is "hit or miss" is due to the artists using a lot of "lens flare" as along with the weird writing it makes this part feeling very pretentious.

There's also some 3D computer models used in this series and it looked a little weird as it hasn't aged too well but thank goodness it wasn't used very much. Characters were designed really well and I enjoyed how you could easily spot the difference between man and machine by just simply looking at the models. Backgrounds in this show were really good looking as they had some solid designs that had a lot of detailing. Animation was pretty good for the most part but there were some parts that were animated in a way to where the show looked creepy.

I was mixed on the English dub of this series as while the voices did work well with the characters I did find the directing of the voices to be a bit weird at times as it made the characters sound annoying during certain scenes. The dialogue also sounds a little weird at times due to some of the characters using "Australian" and "English" phrases to where it sounded unnatural and forced. When the voice directing was good I found myself really enjoying it as it did really sound good. The bad directing doesn't also effect the voices but also some of the sound effects as there were some sound effects used at very unnecessary times and it did get very laughable. I really enjoyed the pop-electronic and techno tunes found in this series as not only did I find them to sound good but the sound also made me feel very nostalgic due to the warm retro vibes of the techno. The reason why I emphasized on the "I" part of that prior sentence was due to that this soundtrack isn't every bodies cup of tea as some people are bound to find the sound a little too ancient for them.

There are some decent special features found on this release with the first being a music video to a song titled "Get On The Beat". I can't say that I am surprised that a music video was released with this series as every other release set in the "A.D. Police" world had a music video included as well. The music video itself was interesting to say the least as like the show, this video would only appeal to people who have gotten into anime during a certain era. The music video is made up of images found in the series and futuristic (at the time that is) computer images. The editing of the clips were done to sync up with the beats of the music and it matched up well but the video as a whole was a trippy experience and I have no idea if I liked it or disliked it. The music itself was an electronic-pop song and it was pretty decent as the cool rave sound made me feel very calm and relaxed despite all of the violent imagery going on during the video.

Also found in the special features section is a feature titled "Exclusive Promo Shown at Anime Fair 2002". The title states it all and as a promo it did a decent job at promoting the series and leaves you very curious as to what this series might be about. The thing I didn't like about the promotional video was that it did drag on for a little too long and the answer to why that is, is due to this trailer having some long panning shots of the main characters and those shots could've easily been shortened down. That's not the only promotional video you get as also included is the "Original Japanese Promo". This promo takes a much more cinematic approach to it as it looks like something you'd see playing in the theaters before a film starts. I surprisingly really enjoyed this promotional video but I did find it a bit weird that the voice over for this promotional video was in English while the voice acting for the characters were all in Japanese and it was a little clashing. 

Lastly you get a little video package showing off some of the production sketches of the main characters of this series. The art was fun to look at as it was nice to see these characters in this form. Special features as a whole were pretty decent but only expect to give the music video a few viewings as most features you only need to watch once and you are done with them.

Overall as while this show did have some problems but I did end up enjoying it. I am going to give this show a "yes" rating but I'm also feeling a little weird about it as (to repeat myself) this show would only appeal to those who got into anime during a certain time period. If you also happen to own the original release of this DVD from around ten years back then this isn't a release for you as it contains the same episodes and special features (except for the obvious stuff like trailers of other products as the old release was done by "Madman"). So in the end I'm going to recommend this for those who were looking forward to this show but haven't been able to find a copy of this to watch. Decent series but defiantly a product of its time.

Title: Parasite Dolls
Animation Studio: Anime International Company
Genre: Animation/Anime, Action, Sci-Fi, Drama
Running Time: 95 Minutes (3 Episodes)
Distributor: Siren Visual 
Rating: MA15+ (Medium level violence)
Price: $24.95
Recommended: Yes


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