Episodes 13 and 14 of Robotics;Notes finally start moving the plot forward at more than the snail pace it had been moved at up until now. Episode 13, while being apparently a rather calm one, with the exception of the ending scene, had a whole lot of things going on.
Until You Love At Least One Thing
A two-week break and back I am at covering yet another show that finally resumed airing. Just as it happened with Psycho-Pass, this 12th episode of Robotics;Notes was anything but what I expected.
I’m Nae Tennouji. Nice to meet you!
Nice to meet you too, former insane child who has a completely different personality in this world. Basically, all that cliffhanger stuff was just about JAXA Space Co-operation rushing to get the Robotics Club on their side to develop the giant robot that Aki talked about at the Robo One interview she gave. However, it didn’t take much to get them onboard…just a simple flashy pose and a bit of talk of justice and heroes of rightousness. At least, that’s what it appeared at first, but when the condition was to ditch the current robot that Aki’s sister started building, she actually turned JAXA down. I suppose such an act can appear favourable and stuff.
Elsewhere, Kai is still haunted by the Kagome-Kagome phone call from last week, and in investigating it with Sister Centipede, she reveals that a flag is needed before the next report will appear, even though it’s very close to them. To trigger the flag, a very simple set of instructions need to be completed…but they’re pretty strange requirements in the first place. Get SSS rank on a game and put it online, complete a racecourse in 30 seconds and push buttons. Letting his curiosity get the better of him, Kai ends up trapped in the beat up building near the radar dome in his attempt to set the flags to read the second report, whilst the typhoon batters the island. Complaining and whining all the time, Kai ends up climbing back up to the dome in the middle of the typhoon, where an accident with the wind and rotten metal bars causes his to require one of his time slowdown sequences.
Passing out on top of the tower, it’s not until Aki ends up coming to find him thanks to Airi’s help that he gets off the tower, and ends up taking a long time in bed to recover…whilst explaining Airi to Aki, setting the final flag and obtaining the second Kimijima Kou report. I really loved the chemistry and feelings between Aki and Kai, and they just helped to create yet another great episode of Robotics;Notes. However, the more I sit and think about it, the more I reach something undeniable: this show is too slow to blog. It’s delivering killer build-up and slowly creating it’s world with immense style, but not enough is happening to rave about it weekly.
Thanks You Very Much
For a while the last episode of Gunvarrel never airing has been an urban legend. However, Frau, genius programmer reveals that she’s the child of the director, and that she knows why it didn’t air…a large amount of the staff died beforehand. A pretty interesting tale, but it appears to be unrelated for now…as does most this episode, sadly. It’s all useful build-up and helps the characters to come alive just that little bit better…but for now, it’s just build-up. Really enjoyable build-up, but still just build up.
It’s So Sad when a Dream Ends
The episode starts off with Jun, the girl from last time, joining the Robotics Club…because, as Aki proudly said, “I begged on my knees!”
What role does Airi play? How was she friends with Misaki? Who’s Kimijima Kou? The mytery thickens as Kou stumbles down the stairs and finds a hidden room, with details on the murder of Kou and which is responsible for the broadcast of the strange noise.
As Frau also joins the club with her anti-social nature and totally perverted nature, the fact that she’s doing something is rather remarkable, considering she’s essentially a female otaku who’s also a NEET. The Robo-One controls get added into place on Magical Subaru’s professional robot, and everything looks as well and dandy until his father turns up at the club and goes as far as to punch Subaru in the face over robots…what a bad father. As the episode ends with Aki having another attack from Elephant Mouse syndrome, anyone’s guess is as good as mine as to what they plan to do next week.
Tanegashi Accel Impact!
Together, Let’s Build a Giant Robot of Justice!
Can I call you Big Brother?
Funny story, I flat out forgot that I was watching this. Anyway, after configuring the robot to work in the same way as the video game that Kai enjoys playing, he manages to do really well at the Robo One, despite Aki screaming the names of all his attacks out loud. I don’t know if real life would be more epic if I got to shout “Alex Uppercut!” or “Alex Punch!” all the time, but it’s often better to try new moves which don’t have a name. And so, Aki and Kai win the first round of Robo One with ease, as Aki’s sister watches with what can only be called complete disinterest.
Thankfully, we don’t have to watch every single fight as Kai thrashes everyone in his way thanks to the video game controls. However, the final fight is against someone/something that can only be called utterly cringeworthy. The final fight in the Robo-One has some really interest graphics and a wonderfully animated robot fight, but Kai appears to be suffering from something as he gets dizzy spells and occasionally seems to be out of action. Did he slow time or something? At any rate, he pulled out an interesting timestoppie thing and managed to dodge the attack, but took the Pleiades Robot down at the same time. All would be lost for the club, but the winner, Mister Pleiades is actually Hidaka, the guy who’s been avoiding Aki and refusing to join the Robotics club all this time. After a bit of manipulation on Kai’s part, the club gets to last longer, and even gains an extra member.
club established, member gained and Robo-One completed, it seems like a lot’s already happened by Episode 4. As the episode progresses, Kai meets that strange blond girl called Frau, and she reveals that she’s the one who gave him the programs, making her the creator of Gunvarrel, and Aki and Subaru are in the club warehouse bickering over plans and upgrading the robot. It seems to be a good all-rounder episode as Kai and Frau “make friends” with each other, and…well, it was generally a well paced episode, like every other episode so far. However, the big thing is revealed at the end of the episode, that Aki isn’t the only one to suffer from Elephant-Mouse syndrome. Where she goes forward, he almost goes backward, slowing time down to an inhuman point where he can almost stop time. Caused by mass fainting on a ferry trip with school, it’s unknown just what is going on between the two of them… however, the episode ends with Kai running into some odd phenomenal activity or something, called the Sister Centipede.
The PokeCom (sound Pokemon) froze because of the nearby JAXA base emitting an odd signal, and that’s the occult thing that Kai spotted in Episode 4. On top of that, when hunting for the strange girl, a lot of strange things about the island start appearing, and even the world that it takes place in. Whales, frogs and worms seem to be dying quickly, last winter was as hot as summer in Russia, the American west coast is covered in snow and some of the Nazca Lines were washed away by rain. Truly weird goings on…just like the ferry incident.
That said, episode 5 was pretty creepy, especially when Kai went hunting for the “ghost”. It’s odd how locations have nothing there, but appear to be protected by a “password”. Airi, or Sister Centipede, has followed Kai around, trying to make contact with him because he was randomly selected, because she, a computer program, has this odd obsession of stalking him. I’m not going to go all science lol on you in this huge post, but the scientific explanation behind things which Airi, or Sister Centipede, showed Kai actually made a huge amount of sense, and the talk of Solar Flares and aura’s in the sky are also nicely established and fit really well. As the shop owner has an interesting reaction to hearing Kou; the writer of the paper painting NASA as this huge evil company, the episode ends at the worst possible place. Damnit!
After watching these episodes back to back, I want to make a comparison with Steins;Gate. Many people have told me that i’m wrong to expect Steins level of epic from this show, but the pacing and the characters are growing at the same rate as they did in the VN. Whilst I haven’t read Robotics;Notes VN, if it’s got the same pacing, it looks to me like it’s coming down to differences in pacing. Aki, Kai, Frau and Subaru are all well established characters for this point in time, and I have to say that it’s not as fast paced as Steins has been, it’s got the same feeling of epicness and awesomeness as the Elephant-Mouse syndrome and the other sci-fi elements come into play. I’m hardly ever wrong about these things, and I don’t expect to be wrong about Robotics. In the end, it’ll become absolutely amazing.
Because of Dreams, Hopes and Passion
Without enough money to make a huge robot, and with their budget in danger, the duo ends up trying to revive the club’s mascot robot, and needing to repair the worn out battery, the duo…goes to the local scrap exchange to see if they can obtain it, yet failing.
It’s mostly a little sub-quest on how the duo works together with their own, uh, “strengths” to get the shifty Doc character to hand over the parts for Tanegashi Machine-San Advance, and when it’s fixed, the duo spend a day in an empty school corridor trying to get the robot to work how they want it to.
However, the end of the episode was really fascinating, especially the part about the Elephant-Mouse Syndrome. 5 minutes of time accelerated would probably completely take people out. Whilst nothing much actually happened, the way that they’d introduced the characters and handled the story is really well done, and it’s providing a solidly enjoyable experience so far, with a few hints at just what’s going to come in the future.