Million Doll revolves around Suuko, an idol-loving hikikomori (shut-in) who has one ability: To make any idol popular through the power of blogging. She puts her sights on the Fukuoka idol Itorio and tries to make her sell more, but she is impeded by the charismatic idol Ryuu-san and the underground idol Mariko.
So... Nobody wrote a review for Million Doll yet? That's a huge responsibility for me, hahaha. I'm sorry, but this time I'm a bit disappointed and I don't know how to explain that well, but anyway, here we go.
I do not usually make reviews about anime that I didn't identify myself, but I made an exception this time, because... Ohhh, gosh... Such a boredom... But I struggled to keep up watching the series so far because I do not like to criticize without having access to it's entire content and, for real, Million Doll had potential to be an "all cute anime", but it's just...
Meeeh. If you know what I mean.
The story is about a hikikomori idol otaku, Sumire, who runs a star-making blog after having bad relations with assholes colleagues at school and kinda isolating herself from society. And she finds out that raising popularity of beginners pop-stars was really a nice hobby, so she keep doing that for a long time. Then, it starts a rivalry between her and Ryuu, which is another otaku idol but completely futile and manipulative. Sumire is trying to raise a group of singing girls and Ryuu is trying to raise a single female singer. The anime also shows the side of those singers, like their insecurities and their efforts for success.
And when you see it... The story is... Just that. Nothing else. It could be a really intense and exciting thing, but seems a bit childish for me, I don't know for sure how to classify it. There's no really big ups and downs... Just it.
Besides, the art is cool, but at the same time, they made it so bright it hurt my eyes! Why their hair have to shine so bright, man? And wow, the mix of 2D with 3D doesn't... fit. Also, the traits sometimes seem crooked and the faces of the characters look kinda... deformed! Creepy...
I don't feel like I wasted my time completely watching it just because each episode lasts less than five minutes. Perhaps this is just one more reason for the lack of development of the story, but since almost nothing was well developed, I can't do anything but complain... Even the characters had not a decent personality development!
Finally, the work is not as original nor innovative. The development of the story and characters wasn't sufficient to make me create affinity with the story. So, low connection with the audience. The art refinement was below the average. And... I'm sorry, I'm really sorry, but... Their voices are... SOO annoying...
I feel sorry for the staff that worked on that, but, really... I can't like this anime.
But when I saw that their episodes are four minutes long, I feel that the story will not as great as I expect that it will be. And after eleven episodes (I expected twelve but never mind), the anime is just... horrible. If only the episodes get longer, if only there's more character development, if only this kind of idol scene get expanded, I would have enjoyed it. But nah, a lot is lacking. I wouldn't mind continuing cheering for the idol members that are in this anime, that is if they would continue the project.
I don't even know if there is a second season, but I doubt so anyway. The art looks poor, especially on how bad the 3D animation is. The songs the idol sang are okay, but honestly I don't feel that great.
So don't watch this unless you have some time to kill, instead there's idol anime like Idolmaster or Love Live. Longer episodes, better development.
So first, let me address a couple inaccuracies in MAL's summary of the anime. One, Ryuu is not an idol, but rather another otaku. Two, it makes it sound like Suuko has magical powers (at least that's how I read it), but she's just a particularly popular blogger.
Anyway, if you're here, chances are you got here because this has the voices of two Love Live! seiyuu, Kusuda Aina (Nozomi) in the lead role as Suuko, and Aya Uchida (Kotori) in a minor role as one of Suuko's favorite idols, Hinami, who has already made it big. With the exception of a line here and there,
Kussun is literally unrecognisable as Suuko compared to either Nozomi or her natural voice, which gives me even more respect for her talent - but it does come as a bit of a disappointment since I was hoping to hear Nozomi running the idol world. Ucchi, on the other hand, sounds exactly like Kotori, and we even get to hear her sing a tiny bit!
In terms of the anime itself - many of the criticisms leveled at it are valid: the art is perfectly fine, but not great, and there isn't much character development. Character development is rough when you have about 40 minutes of material, all told, but it does seem like something more could have been done with it. It's implied at one point that Suuko has been bullied at school for being socially awkward, but then the moment doesn't go anywhere.
But I think a lot of people dislike the anime because it's not what they were expecting. Sure, it's technically an idol anime, but unlike Love Live! or iM@S, it's not about the idols themselves, actually. Instead, it's about idol fan culture, implicitly critiquing fans like Ryuu who aren't actually interested in the music, but rather in what being an idol fan can do for their egos, by garnering attention from the idols. It also shows the would-be rivals pondering whether or not they really want fame despite its drawbacks. It's still an interesting concept imo, just not the same sort of story most idol anime tell.
Unfortunately, there just doesn't seem to be much spark in the anime, as if the people involved (from the writers to animators to seiyuu) knew what they wanted to do, but didn't really have their hearts in it. Moreover, it doesn't end, but rather halts suddenly, leaving the one and only problem/conflict of the show unresolved. I assume it was meant to lead into a sequel series, but at this point, I think it's pretty definite one isn't coming, so we just get no resolution for the plot.
It's a mildly cute, mildly interesting way to pass just under an hour, but not one I think I'll come back to.