First Look: Frame Arms Girl

Model Kit (?) Adaptation by Zexcs
Streaming on The Anime Network

Premise

Ao is a bored high school girl who gets a mysterious package in the mail. In the package is a prototype “frame arms girl” – basically gunpla, but the robots are cute girls with no pants. She is hired to test the new model by battling with other frame arms girls.

Jel’s verdict: Frame Arms Girl Build Fighters

I can’t really say Frame Arms Girl was good, but I also can’t deny its affection for plastic model building is quite charming. Taking the premise literally a la Gundam Build Fighters was a smart move. Scenes involving choosing nippers and crawling around on the floor looking for dropped parts are a good way to instantly endear yourself with the target audience. I particularly loved how that reality mixes with the fact that the frame arms girls themselves are mini sentient super robots that enter some extra dimensional space to battle. The best example is seeing main girl Gourai’s gun range effected by Ao’s shoddy nipper work. Of course there’s no way a smoothbore cannon can fire straight when there’s extra bits of plastic hanging on the side, that would just be ridiculous.

This being anime though, the show still finds weird and troubling ways to ruin things. For starters, the Frame Arms Girls all lack pants in a way that is unflatteringly reminiscent of the Strike Witches franchise. The anime itself thankfully doesn’t dwell on this too much, but there was at least one uncomfortable bit where Gourai is aroused by being plugged into her charging station and minutes later explains she is programmed to have the mental comprehension of a 10 year old. Yikes. It’s also a bit disappointing that the girls are entirely rendered in CG. Outside of battle they look fine, but the fighting itself is pretty rough. Unfortunately, fights were probably Frame Arms Girl’s best shot at long term appeal – as I’m not sure nipper jokes alone can carry a 12-episode series. With that and its other shortcomings, I don’t think this show is going to be very good. I was at least mildly entertained by this episode, though, and that’s already more than I expected.

Iro’s verdict: Watch Gundam Build Fighters Instead

I suppose this was mildly charming, but the entire thing of making the totally-not-gunpla into scantily clad girls is all kinds of weird and unpleasant, particularly when the show goes out of its way to state that the Frame Arms Girls have the minds of 10-year-olds. If she’s supposed to be 10, why does the camera leer on her ass? Why is there a shot of her being turned on by the charging station? Why any of this??? The CGI isn’t even good! If you’re a plamo enthusiast, you can do better.

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