Mecha anime are mostly very cool. After all, it’s difficult to make giant robots look lame. Gyakuten Sekai no Denchi Shoujo (Rumble Garanndoll) is set in post-apocalyptic Japan, wherein a dictator now rules and bans everything otaku-related. Hosomichi Kudo, unfortunately, gets forcibly dragged into this huge war after accidentally piloting a cute, chibi mecha. After somehow escaping alive, Hosomichi, alongside the chibi mecha, gets transported to the resistance’s headquarters. Four episodes and two battery girls in, here are our thoughts on Rumble Garanndoll.
Interesting New Mechanic
While needing more than one person to pilot a mecha isn’t new, a mecha that requires a battery girl and runs on said battery girl’s passion is something we’ve never heard or seen before. The battery girl is just a normal girl with an insane amount of passion towards something otaku-related. If the battery girl’s passion gets too low, then the Garandoll, Arahabaki’s cute mech, is nothing more than a clump of metal. In fact, even the Garandoll’s appearance is affected by the battery girl. For the anime otaku Rin, the Garandoll takes the form of a shark. Meanwhile, the idol Yuki’s Garandoll takes the form of a rabbit. Needless to say, the attacks of these two forms are completely different despite technically being the same mecha.
A Set of Weird Characters
Given that the battery girl needs a scary amount of passion in order to fuel the Garandoll, it’s no surprise that they can be quite weird. However, most of Rumble Garanndoll’s characters seem to have a few screws loose. In fact, the arguably normal ones can be counted on one hand. Members of Arahabaki are especially on the weird side. Most of them are even wearing those inexplicable bird masks. Balzac Yamada, one of Arahabaki’s leading figures, is perhaps one of the biggest weirdos in the anime. He’s a very free-spirited character that has no qualms about showing his strange antiques to just about anybody. Given that Arahabaki ought to represent what remains of otaku culture, it is somewhat logical if viewed from a certain perspective—a satirical, extremist perspective.
Don’t Take It Too Seriously
Rumble Garanndoll obviously doesn’t take itself too seriously, so we should do the same. The fact that the world is being led by a tyrant may seem quite dark, but that stops at face value. The anime’s plot is nowhere near complex enough to make the viewers think. It’s all about the cuteness of the battery girls, the mecha, and fighting for the sake of being otaku. Even the show’s conflicts and problems are quite shallow. A good example is Yuki’s passion running out just because her audience has stopped cheering for her. For a professional, that surely doesn’t reflect on her character. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, though. The occasional cool action scenes, lit OP and ED, cute mech and battery girls, and comedy make it a brainless, enjoyable watch.
Unlike the towering robots in most mecha anime, Rumble Garanndoll features a shape-shifting chibi mecha. Interestingly, it’s also powered by a cute battery girl’s passion for something otaku-related. Since it’s supposed to represent otaku culture, it also makes us consider if we actually act like these characters. We’ll leave that for you to decide. Nevertheless, those over-the-top gestures make Rumble Garanndoll entertaining to watch.