Robotics;Notes – 02

[HorribleSubs] Robotics;Notes - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.50_[2012.10.19_20.04.36] [HorribleSubs] Robotics;Notes - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.27_[2012.10.19_20.06.12] [HorribleSubs] Robotics;Notes - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.01_[2012.10.19_20.21.11]

I think Robotics;Notes is going to be an interesting test for its audience.

[HorribleSubs] Robotics;Notes - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.51_[2012.10.19_20.01.20]I like this series a lot so far, but even I would be the first to admit that it’s extremely laid-back in terms of pacing and mood.  In a funny way this episode put me in mind of one of my favorite series, Zettai Shounen – not nearly as great, but offering a similar sleepy take on small-town life with hints of something magical and terrible lurking just underneath the surface.  The effect is as if we’re looking in on the lives of the characters at random moments, rather than merely being shown the critical events as they happen.That sort of thing isn’t for everybody but it works pretty well for me as long as the atmosphere created is inviting, and so far this one is.

[HorribleSubs] Robotics;Notes - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_01.20_[2012.10.19_20.01.49]For a long time Kaito and Akiho were staying safely within their well-defined roles as blasé boy and genki girl, but as this second episode progressed we began to see the hints of what lies underneath.  Some of that came in the form of Kaito’s interaction with storekeeper Irie (Honda Takako), with whom he has a standing deal – eat an entire passion fruit bun (a truly disgusting notion) and he can ask her for any info he desires.  In this case it’s for dirt on the local robotics parts dealer (since 2001), “Doc” Fujita (Fukuda Nobuaki) from whom Akiho needs parts to get the club’s ancient hobby robot Tanegashi Machine-san working again in time for the Robo One.  The gist of it is that for all his diffidence, Kaito seems to see it as his responsibility to look after Akiho – for reasons that will become clearer later in the episode.

[HorribleSubs] Robotics;Notes - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_04.33_[2012.10.19_20.05.19]Doc is a pretty standard character, too, right down to the moniker – a grizzled old curmudgeon with a genius for design who enjoys the stimulation he gets from bickering with Akiho about pricing.  While classmate and robot expert Subaru-kun seems insulted that the club would try and compete in Robo One after only a couple weeks of practice Doc seems eager to help.  It’s becoming increasingly clear that Akiho’s sister Misaki is going to be a major force in the series, be it on-screen or off – Irie mentions that Kaito is “there for both Aki and Misa” and he says himself that he might be a replacement for her.  Apart from the fact that she started the Robotics Club eight years earlier and that she was a genius at fighting robots we don’t know much about her but I’d wager my best pair of shoes she’s intimately connected to the conspiracy that’s sure to be at the heart of this series, given who the creators are.

[HorribleSubs] Robotics;Notes - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_04.40_[2012.10.19_20.05.26]Possibly the most interesting and certainly the oddest part of the episode is Akiho’s bout of “Elephant and Mouse Syndrome” – an oddly named fictional condition where she perceives five minutes of time as one second.  I have no clue what’s behind this condition, which I assume has the name it does because elephants being much more long-lived perceive time differently than mice (see “Charlotte’s Web” for another example), which ominously suggests that as the mouse, Akiho may indeed be aging at a faster than normal rate.  Again, it’s surely connected to the whole Gunvarrel related conspiracy, but for now it gives us another glimpse inside Kaito’s head and the role Akiho plays as the one thing he can be bothered about, when she’s in real trouble anyway.  I suspect we’re going to have to show a lot of patience before the meat of the plot really kicks in – that’s fine with me as I like the characters and setting, and love the look of the series.  I certainly don’t think everyone will agree with me, though, and while I don’t think R;N is guilty of false advertising I do think there’s a bit of false perception about what the show was going to be, and it’s going to shed some viewers who find the going too slow.  That’s a shame, but I’m more than happy to stick it out.

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[HorribleSubs] Robotics;Notes - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.41_[2012.10.19_20.19.52] [HorribleSubs] Robotics;Notes - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.27_[2012.10.19_20.21.37] [HorribleSubs] Robotics;Notes - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.32_[2012.10.19_20.23.42]


  1. A

    There was also this terribly dull introduction to Doc's granddaughter. Probably the only real complaint I had with the series so far.

  2. V

    Wow I didn't think there were many who actually loved Zettai Shounen as much as I did. Its one of those series you just have to find yourself and watch by yourself because I have no clue how I would even recommend that series.

    But I'd definitely not compare R;N with Zettai Shounen because the lead is not quite likable yet.Its not so much as the slow pacing as the protag is dragging down the mood. So far Aki is leading the show with her exuberant attitude and in contrast to that Kai is doing is best to keep up with her while blending in the background.

    The guy is good but his bored voice puts me to sleep. This VA did a similar role in BokuTomo as Kodaka where he'd constantly frown or facepalm. For the time being he's just there screwing around with his mini iPad.

  3. L

    That's one scary passion-fruit bun!! O_O

    Still can't really rate this show, but I'll continue watching.

    I'm liking the whole augmented reality thing we're seeing in this show. We get it in Psycho-Pass as well, but the difference between the two is that what's on showcase here on R;N is bit more in-line with what's currently available (Android & iOS augmented reality apps, for example), so maybe it's easier to relate to.

  4. H

    Hmm, I would think it the other way around with Akiho's lifespan. Basically, she slows down, and the world around her seems to move extremely quickly. If this were to have any effect on aging, I'd think it would be that she would age more slowly than others, rather than more quickly. However, I'd think that as far as body processes go, they don't really change, so there's probably no effect on lifespan. And it's certainly more believable than those shutdowns that Kei Kusanagi had in Onegai Teacher (for a similar effect). Akiho's seems more like a 'waking sleep', which might tie into it happening when she's fatigued.

    I don't find the pace of the show problematic at all. It's enjoyable to watch, and things are happening.

  5. B

    I enjoyed this second episode more than the first. Maybe because the main character introductions are done, but it clicked for me in a way the first episode didn't.

  6. T

    Well, as for that laid-back mood part: Steins;Gate had one hell of a hook for the first episode, but after that? It went straight into geeky rom-com (pseudo-?)harem land.

    So I'm gonna be optimistic for now. Actually, I wish more shows put their low-key parts in the beginning rather than the halfway point. I do love a good crescendo.

  7. K

    If R;N is going slow with the plot, then its going to have to rely on the characters to keep the show interesting. So far, I find both Aki and Kai to be pretty likeable. Neither of them are very interesting by themselves, but when they're interacting with each other, it's quite refreshing and interesting.

    I'm really liking R;N thus far. Character build-up gives the plot more impact when it finally comes rolling around the corner.

  8. J

    Well, I'll be negative with this one. I find the main duo dull, and the show as a whole way too genki. It's not that I like depressing stuff, but I like my plot being more than this. Characters are child's cartoon food, and narrative fails at revealing new stuff about their personas in an interesting way. Honestly, it's like going back to 2011's Real Steel hollywood movie.
    And I've already said this, but Kaito, Geesus…If I had to be with a guy like that, even for just two weeks, as much as Akiho has had to be with him every day…Man, I'd punch him straight in the face l:1

  9. L

    Elephant and Mouse Syndrome? Really? Sounds too much like the main character Onegai Sensei.

  10. G

    I really like the second episode, even more than the first. The character dynamic is great and the overall atmosphere is engaging. Rather than dragging it out, I feel that the show is just pacing itself steadily, pulling you into the story little by little. The kind of set up may not work for everyone, but I'm more than willing to wait it out.

  11. I think this series is actually pretty subtle, and I like that about it. Maybe that's an optimistic take and there's really just not that much there, but I don't think so. Whatever it is, it's mostly working for me thus far.

  12. A

    Aki is a lot like the Karuta Chihaya right now – chasing after an ideal (or perhaps the person associated with that ideal) full steam ahead with blinders on everything around her.

    I am worried that Aki's road will be a lot harder though.

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