there is MUCH more to Gekidol than what the title alludes to. Reading the description for Gekidol reveals just a hint of mystery and sadness as it takes place 5 years after several cities are wiped from the face of Earth. But the promise of following young Seira as she chases her dream of becoming an actress would have you believe it will mostly be about overcoming stage fright and learning to embrace an uncertain future. Yet the drama in the troupe’s personal life is what leaves you anxious to see more. Gekidol is best appreciated, as it probably was intended, by not knowing what to expect. If you still need convincing, however, continue reading to see what you’re missing!
The Characters’ Unique and Cutesy Traits are Born from Trauma
Similar to how the characters in Fruits Basket had their seemingly funny quirks that were actually a desperate attempt to find love or avoid pain, several of our aspiring actors hide their trauma behind certain odd tendencies.
Kaoru would be wise to constantly think of profits to keep her theater from going under but her tendency to oversleep also earns her some teasing from her fellow members. However, her situation is much direr than she lets on due to having no parents to support her and working many shifts to cover her and Alice in Theater’s expenses. Airi is quick to pop off about certain subjects but it goes much deeper than a bad attitude. She’s facing the harsh consequences of her risqué entertainment work as a child without proper guidance from adults and her savior in the theater world abandoning her even in the present.
Seria’s powerful yet limited ability to perfectly copy another actor earns her praise and criticism as being forced to read lines she hasn’t seen performed makes her faint. Her compulsion to copy comes from her deep insecurities as the constantly disappointing twin who desperately sought to copy her sister to earn her parent’s praise. Even Seira’s talking to her stuffed animals is far more disturbing than is revealed before episode 4.
A little hinted girl love in idol anime is nothing new or surprising, nor is holding hands or calling a meeting a date. Light fluff and little laughs between cute girls are a staple. Only it’s much more serious in Gekidol. We could see Airi’s supposed crush on Seira never being expanded on or just used for comedy when they accidentally fall into a kiss. But when Airi steels herself and kisses Seira again and holds it, we know she means it! And given Airi’s unresolved feelings towards Izumi’s betrayal and her seeming disgust with Seira’s closeness with Doll, we could very well be moving into yandere territory.
The Threat from 5 Years Ago Still Lingers
5 years past the initial disappearance of cities all over the world, it seems the worst of it is just auroras that cause bad reception sometimes. While people are still suffering the loss of family and friends, they’ve adjusted. New routes that bypass huge chasms are used and auroras are complained about as if they were just bad weather. But by the end of episode 4, it becomes clear that there is a new danger about to shake the world, and very much so the members of Alice in Theater.
While all these things are going on, yes, Gekidoll is still about acting and idols and the specific challenges and joys that come from them. It’s still delightful and cute and motivating in the ways other anime about acting and performing have been. But there is a deeper intrigue that gives almost Madoka Magica vibes where we just aren’t sure where the story is going or what dangers are lurking on the horizon. All we can see is we can’t wait to see how it all plays out! Let us know in the comments if you’ve got a renewed interest in theater thanks to Gekidols.