WFAC - Waterloo Festival For Animated Cinema 2004 - October 27 - 30, 2004


2001 - Japan - 78 mins
Japanese language dialogue with English subtitles
Rated R (Restricted) - MATURE SITUATIONS
© 2004, ArtsMagic


Motonaga Keitarou


Konaka Chiaki


Prostitute robot dolls roam empty streets, in their daily search for clients. But those whom they were built to service have ceased to exist: humanity has wiped itself out. In a world of action without purpose, cleaners, guards and whores all respond to their programmed tasks until they in turn become defunct.

Malice@Doll is one such prostitute, now in need of repair. In her search for renewal, she becomes aware that her world is being modified, leaving her increasingly open to attack by her former robotic guardians, and in a state of increasing isolation and alienation.

Attacked by a strange biological creature, she is mysteriously transformed into a human being. Overcome with joy and wonder, Malice seeks to transfer this gift through a loving kiss. But, with every gift there comes a curse...


Malice@Doll is not a film that would make most people stand up and take notice, because most people are either uncomfortable or too comfortable with even a skirting pass at sexual situations in animation. Here, however, is a film that is much more than initially meets the eye.

For the anime-knowledgeable audience with a keen eye and a keener memory, the first hint is the author and scriptwriter of the film. Discounting his huge body of Digimon stories, Konaka Chiaki also wrote all of the following: serial experiments lain (1998), The Big O (1999), Hellsing (2002), RahXephon (2002), Texhnolyze (2003), and the new Astro Boy (2003). The atmosphere of mystery and the well-crafted flow of those works are also plentifully present in Malice@Doll, with one artistic difference: Malice@Doll is wholly done in 3D CG models, albeit at a technological level more akin to Reboot than its contemporary, Final Fantasy: the Spirits Within (2001). The world of the robots is perhaps no different than ours, except exaggerated into sharp relief: hopeless, directionless, dark - and in it is a Pinocchio who discovers that the gift of humanity has a terrible price of its own. While imperfect and dense in spots, this film deserves a review.

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