Given that I have little prior exposure to anime with an idol theme, I was unclear of what to expect going into Technoroid Overmind. I’ll be honest—after twelve episodes, I still don’t really understand what I watched.
By any standard, Technoroid Overmind is not unsatisfactory. The ingredients are all in place for something fantastic, but the show can’t seem to decide what it wants to accomplish in the admittedly limited time frame of just twelve episodes.
The major draw and decent enough characters. Color-coded character designs are intriguing in Cobalt, Neon, Kei, and Chrom. It’s an unusual artistic choice to have all of the character highlights a bright color that isn’t directly related to a light source. The side story episodes concentrating on each character have just enough distinctive texture to make them interesting despite the fact that their personalities fit into expected categories and you can probably tell what they are like from the moment they are introduced.
What startled me the most were the idol parts. First, there are completely choreographed dance numbers with cel-shaded animation replacing CG frames. These days, this is the standard, and I’ve seen effects like this employed in other productions (like One Piece’s Film Red, in which Uta played a significant idol role). Although I don’t know enough about this field to say whether Technoroid Overmind’s services are above average or ordinary, everything appears solid. The songs were catchy bops while they were playing, but after the music stopped, I can’t recall them. Perhaps that’s all that can be said at the end of the day.
The idol group element was virtually an afterthought, which surprised me. The Climb Stages and Babel are established quite early on in the program, and I expected that would be the focus of much of it because the idea of four intelligent androids navigating the competitive world of pop music seemed like an intriguing one. The idol music part seemed to be an afterthought, which confused me. The main subject of each episode would change, and the music scenes were an afterthought. The switch might be quite abrupt at times, and more than once I had some tonal whiplash.
Okay, fine, the show isn’t actually about idol music. what is it about then? I’m not certain I can respond to it either. At first, I assumed it was trying to be a slice-of-life story with characters joking around and having fun in absurd circumstances. This viewpoint is supported by the original premise that the androids don’t understand what rent is or how to pay for it. However, it soon seemed as though each episode would focus more on in-depth character development and original ideas.
Ah, okay, so we’ll do a bunch of character studies, right? Wrong. The second half of the episode introduces various high-concept sci-fi components and deeper story themes. Transfer of consciousness and reborn personas. To compensate for poor interpersonal responses, people build dolls that resemble humans. Machines continue the dead’s will. prejudice and discrimination against new groups.
This is a lot of material for a twelve-episode series to cover. There are some excellent individual components and episodes in Technoroid Overmind. The moment where Chrom was teaching how to take care of the older, heavier cat was my favorite. He gains knowledge about how living things function, the reasons why we care for such creatures even if their lifespans are brief, and finally offers the most heartfelt homage in a way that made me feel a little emotional.
Sadly, the amount of other stuff going on in the series overshadows these moments. Too much is attempting to fit into an inadequate container. The show ends in four minutes, so I think we need to have a choreographed dancing number, but it’s hard to focus on any one part when it feels like such a grab bag of thoughts, concepts, and feelings. Oh, you mean this show is about an idol band?
The structure of many of the tokusatsu programs I like actually reminded me of this, with the exception that idol dance numbers were used in place of rubber suit combat. There will be a fight/dance scene immediately before the end credits, regardless of how bizarre or irrelevant everything else may seem to be in the episode. The entire season arc is shortened to only twelve episodes, as opposed to the usual 25–50 episodes. It makes sense why it feels disconnected when you consider that this is a tie-in to a mobile game and other media, which means we are probably not getting the full picture of what’s happening.
A clear example is the aspect of climate change, which was stated right away but never properly examined. I suppose that sea level rising simply makes greater idol groups possible. The television series Technoroid Overmind isn’t horrible, although it tries to cover a lot of difficult territory rapidly. The limits imposed by the brief duration and the dispersed style of the content combine for a strange experience that never disappoints the audience but never settles on one issue for long enough to completely satisfy. This is true despite fascinating moments and a strong baseline of quality.