Robotics;Notes – 10

[WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_04.20_[2012.12.15_09.49.23] [WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_13.30_[2012.12.15_09.59.58] [WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_20.50_[2012.12.15_10.08.06]

NoitaminA is in good hands this season.

This is something of a throwback season in that we’re seeing some of the titanic studios of the last decade show us why they achieved that status in the first place, after struggling some over the last couple of years.  BONES has had a resurgent year generally with E7: AO, and in Zetsuen no Tempest they’ve conceived a grandly dramatic work that would have felt wrong in the hands of any other studio.  As for Production I.G., they’re delivering two NoitaminA shows that are as entertaining as they are different from each other – though they’re each smart, character-driven shows, and it’s impressive that the studio can maintain such stellar production values for both.  As a studio that not long ago seemed to be at the very top of the quality ladder in TV anime, that’s a great thing to see.

Indeed, I was really struck by just how beautiful this episode was.  Like everything else about Robotics;Notes the visuals aren’t especially flashy, but the skyscapes, the robot designs, the derelict airfields, and even the character designs – a sort of idealized image of the promise and purity of youth – all of them are just right.  This is the I.G. I love, the studio that cares enough to get the details right and has the firepower to make it happen.  I know that Robotics;Notes is always going to be overshadowed by the far more dramatic and edgy Psycho-Pass and by its titanically popular predecessor Steins;Gate, but it shouldn’t be – this is a show with incredibly accurate emotional radar that really speaks to the experience of being young and having big dreams that often don’t mesh with reality.

I certainly don’t fully understand the nature of magnetic monopoles, but I know enough to know none has ever been found in real space/time – and that the black-hats at SERN are currently searching for them using the large hadron collider.  And that if their existence is ever confirmed it could only be explained under either superstring theory or some sort of Grand Unified Theory.  As to what possible connection they have to the sun going nova – it might be all mumbo-jumbo, though there has been some talk of the sun being a monopole itself – but in the end it doesn’t much matter, because I think the point of all this is to tie the Robotics Club with the same conspiracy umbrella that runs through S;G and Chaos;Head, and bringing CERN into the equation is a fine way to do it. 

One thing’s for sure – when that “monopole” dropped from the sky and landed next to Kaito, R;N took a big leap towards a S;G vibe.  I still have no idea how Sister Centipede made a monopole rain down or, more importantly, why, but it’s a good bet that there’s going to be a substantial interest in it as soon as word gets out.  But what’s a monopole when there’s a giant robot to consider, and the upcoming meeting with JAXA soon commands center stage.  All of the kids in the club managed to have some fine moments this week, individually and collectively, as the story returned to the collision of Aki’s dream (actually her sister’s dream, it seems to me) with reality.  Watching the character interaction remains the best part of R;N because it’s so effortlessly natural.  I love the way Kai calls Kona “Frau-kun”, which somehow fits perfectly suits their relationship, and it’s increasingly enjoyable watching the efforts of Subaru to maintain his distant reserve wax and wane with each spike of “virgin master race” adolescent neurosis. 

Ultimately there’s a theme here that’s almost reminiscent of Chuunibyou, as we have Aki’s childish dream being measured against the demands of reality.  As Subaru makes quite clear GunPro-1 simply isn’t a viable design, yet it’s the product of a lifetime of devotion – the future clearly leads in a different direction, but is it right to simply consign the dreams of youth to the dustbin and move on?  GunPro-2 will rise from the ashes of GunPro-1’s spectacular failure, but I suspect the sad-eyed giant will find a path to relevance before things are all said and done.  As the episode ends we’re left to ponder why Irie has chosen to communicate with Airi against after all this time, and what “Could you just disappear?” implies.  For my part, I still don’t trust the ever-smiling Nae and Ken’ichiro – it may be JAXA’s face we’re seeing, but I think someone else is behind this puzzling interest in funding a school club’s robot project.

[WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_05.42_[2012.12.15_09.51.04] [WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_06.11_[2012.12.15_09.51.32] [WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_06.36_[2012.12.15_09.51.57]
[WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_07.13_[2012.12.15_09.52.34] [WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_09.01_[2012.12.15_09.54.22] [WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_09.18_[2012.12.15_09.54.40]
[WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_09.43_[2012.12.15_09.55.04] [WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_10.34_[2012.12.15_09.57.02] [WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_11.05_[2012.12.15_09.57.34]
[WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_11.15_[2012.12.15_09.57.43] [WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_13.19_[2012.12.15_09.59.47] [WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_14.33_[2012.12.15_10.01.01]
[WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_15.05_[2012.12.15_10.02.21] [WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_15.52_[2012.12.15_10.03.08] [WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_16.38_[2012.12.15_10.03.54]
[WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_17.03_[2012.12.15_10.04.20] [WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_18.25_[2012.12.15_10.05.41] [WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_18.48_[2012.12.15_10.06.04]
[WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_20.10_[2012.12.15_10.07.26] [WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_20.30_[2012.12.15_10.07.46] [WhyNot] Robotics;Notes - 10 [5326762F].mkv_snapshot_21.15_[2012.12.15_11.09.05]


  1. A

    Irie is one of the characters that I want to know more about but so far have very little knowledge of — man, the ending is one hell of a cliffhanger, isn't it?

    I don't know why, but I can't trust Airi yet — she looks too moe and "unreal" to me (well, I know that she's not real…), but maybe I am wrong…


  2. K

    I'm guessing this monopole business is gonna be the answer to the power problem on the robots. Figuring out how to make it into energy to power them?

  3. That's certainly possible, Karma – it makes a lot of sense. But just why and how SisCen did what she did remains a very interesting question.

  4. j

    I got the impression that she had just been waiting for the monopole.

  5. A

    I feel as if Irie is somehow involved with whatever Aki's sister is working on or what happened to make her who she is today. It's as if both of them are trying to conceal a dark past. Why is it that the once cheery girl who loved robots has now become such a downer of a woman who does not respond to her sister but responds to Irie? not to mention that sister centipede is most like kimijima's proxy to accomplish whatever goal he had in mind.. we cant be certain that his intentions were actually pure regardless of his concerned ominous warnings; and if im right and his intentions are actually impure, then Irie's comment about Airi disappearing would make a lot more sense and that just leads me to believe that it could be possible that Irie and Aki's sister were involved with the death of kimijima and whatever conspiracy surrounded him; and now that Airi is still around even after his death, it is a bother to Irie and possibly Aki's sister.

  6. W

    Well, R;R still sucks. We can agree to disagree, Enzo.

    At least I give this show props for not resorting crying-hissy fits+fakery teenage angst like Chuunibyou and Sakurasou. Good gosh, these two shows fucking piss me off their BS forced sentimentality, especially the former with the most recent garbage episode. And folks just gobble it up. No wonder they keep pumping these out season after season. What is the world turning into? I find a new found respect for Tonari, despite of being a Shojo romantic comedy, never resorts to that cheap shit.

  7. A

    @Wally: I like that "agree to disagree" statement of yours. I still like Robotics;Notes and do read deeper into the story while patiently waiting for the twist to come. I do agree with you on Tonari — and I actually like it a lot.


  8. A

    But what don't you like about Robotics Notes? Just curious.

  9. L

    Frau is awesome!! She gets the best lines.

  10. t

    The little details are awesome too – like how everyone has a completely personalised tablet. They're little pieces of characterisation that don't have to say anything!

  11. B

    I really hope all this robot and Expo stuff connect to the mystery plot down the road, because right now all I really want is a return to that. As soon as the show cut away from the monopole stuff and transitioned to the next day I felt that the episode got a lot duller. I want to learn more about the sun's imminent explosion. I want to learn more about Kimijima's lost reports. I want to learn more about Airi/SisCen. This robot stuff seems so pedestrian by comparison that I can only hope it ties in sooner rather than later so that we can incorporate some of this stuff in a bigger way again soon.

    I do like the characters in the show though. Subaru is a boss for being relentless in pointing out the obvious physical flaws of a design. Enzo asked if it's right to consign the dreams of youth to the dustbin and move on, and the answer to that question is an unqualified YES if those dreams are not physically possible to achieve. I'd feel pretty stupid, for example, telling a high school kid who's still 4'6" that he should totally keep shooting for his dream of playing in the NBA. Some things are possible and others aren't, and Aki needs to learn that and stop wasting money and time (and not just her own, but that of everyone she dragoons into helping her) on a robot that isn't going to work.

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