Frame Arms Girl is a plastic model kit line produced by Kotobukiya. This is a review of the 12 episode anime adaptation of said model kit line. The anime was directed by Keiichiro Kawaguchi at studio Zexcs, with scripts written by Deko Akao. The music was produced by Keigo Hoashi and Kakeru Ishihama.
The Frame Arms Girl anime aired as part of the spring 2017 season of anime, and is available to be watched on the Anime Network, as long as you are subscribed there. The plot of Frame Arms Girl begins with schoolgirl Ao Gennai receiving a Frame Arms Girl named Gourai. Unlike their real-world counterparts, the Frame Arms Girls that appear in the anime are sentient, and Gourai comes equipped with an “Artificial Self”. The AS is an advanced AI that gives her a personality, which allows her to develop, learn about and experience emotions.
Gourai isn’t the only Frame Arms Girl to show up, and soon enough Ao finds her hands full looking after a group of them.
Without a doubt, Frame Arms Girl is pretty much just an advert for Kotobukiya’s line of plastic model kits. However, it’s a damn fun advert, and one that is quite effective as well.
There is plenty of charm in this anime. For a start, it’s fairly easy to relate to the main human protagonist, Ao Gennai. She can be quite lazy, and is extremely eager to take on the job of getting her Frame Arms Girls to gather battle data. After all, she gets paid for exerting very little effort. Another neat point about Ao is her clothes differ from episode to episode – her school uniform is her only recurring outfit.
Besides Ao, there is one other human character of any importance: Bukiko Kotobuki. The mascot girl of Kotobuki Godhands, her knowledge is second-to-none when it comes to plastic model kits.
Of course, you then have the actual Frame Arms Girls as well. Gourai is the first one that Ao receives, but more start turning up over the course of the first few episodes. They are a fun bunch of characters, each with their own unique personalities.
Gourai may just be the most impressive of the lot of them, as her character develops over the course of the season. Seeing how her interactions with Ao and the others shapes her personality is quite satisfying to watch.
Alongside the tsundere Stylet and energetic Baselard, you also have the Materia sisters. Whilst the other Frame Arms Girls are fun in their own ways, the Materia Twins’ “yuri twincest sadist troll” personalities might rub certain people the wrong way.
The Materia sisters aren’t the only characters who bring the yuri, though.
Stylet is quite often involved in the yuri – the scene shown above is just one examples. The Materia Twins’ also display it with each other, but there are times when they’ll turn their attention to the others – Stylet is a favourite, and not even Ao is immune to it.
The anime even manages to throw in an bath scene, which is pretty much nothing but pure yuri.
Frame Arms Girl uses a combination of CG and hand-drawn animation. The Frame Arms Girls are all CG animation, whilst the humans who appear are more traditionally animated. It manages to work quite well. Having the Frame Arms Girls animated in CG makes it stand out even more on the odd occasion where they get the 2D animation treatment – if anything, it gives those particular scenes more impact.
Frame Arms Girl mixes slice-of-life elements with battle scenes, and it’s a combination that works quite well. It probably helps that the characters’ various personalities make it fun to see them interacting with each other, and the way Ao cares for the Frame Arms Girls (and money) is rather sweet.
The battle scenes are quite fun to watch as well. At first it seems like they will settle into a formula, but the arrival of a certain character changes that.
The soundtrack is quite nice, as well. There’s some sillier sounding songs for the humorous slice-of-life segments, and more intense pieces for the battles.
There’s a lot fanservice present in this anime, though that is also the case with the original Frame Arms Girl plastic model kits as well. They either have skirts that are far too short or just nothing to cover up their underwear in their default outfits. You then get things such as the aforementioned bath scene, which means that even the human characters add to the fanservice as well.
It may be an advert for the Frame Arms Girl model kits, but the anime series is a whole lot of fun. Ao is easy to relate to, and the Frame Arms Girls themselves have great interactions with one another. Whether they’re battling or just causing trouble for Ao, they are just enjoyable to watch.