Friday, 7 February 2014


Finally! Sneak peek at Ep 1-4!

For those of you who don’t know, Robotics;Notes forms part of 5pb’s (short for The Five powered & basics) range of ‘;’ titles dealing with different aspects of human perception. The first in the series is Chaos;Head, which deals with perception related to the psychological state of mind while the second installment Steins;Gate features how time is perceived and it’s relation to different individuals. Robotics;Notes continues the trend by examining perception as an illness. Confused yet?

While Chaos;Head was dark and creepy and Steins;Gate was riddled with tearjerkers, dark ideas and generally edgier, Robotics;Notes takes on a lighter and softer approach. Instead of a murder mystery or a time machine, it asks the question: Can we build a giant robot?

The year is 2019, 10 years after Rintarou Okabe saved the world from SERN and put us on the Steins Gate worldline. Kaito Yashio (Clifford Chapin) and Akiho Senomiya (Lindsay Seidel) are the sole members of the Robotics Club at Central Tanegashima High School in Kyushu, Japan. Aki’s only dream in the world is to finish the life-size replica of Gunvarrel, the giant robot the club started building 8 years ago. While gathering new members to help them finish this huge project (see what I did there), Kaito stumbles upon secret reports that might reveal a conspiracy of epic proportions. Unaware of what he is actually dealing with, Kaito little by little starts discovering clues laid by the mysterious Ko Kimijima.

I have only had the pleasure of viewing the first four episodes and to my surprise; I found them quite enjoyable and fun to sit through. I was very skeptical at first though. Not only because Steins;Gate set the bar so high, it would be nearly impossible to surpass it, but ‘building a giant robot’? That sounds kinda lame in my opinion. Instead, Robotics;Notes feel like the right mix of humor, character development and mystery. Though it seems to rely more on humor at this point.

The main character – Kaito – I am sorry to say is really annoying. He is a lazy bum who spends all day playing video games on his…it looks like an iPad instead of helping Aki. There are a few moments where he shows (without Aki knowing) how prepared he is to help her achieve her dream. Thankfully, Aki gets most of the screen time and I must confess, I am easily irritated by ‘goody-goody team work ra ra spirit optimism’ type people. You know what I’m talking about. We all have someone annoying like that in our lives. However, instead of disliking Aki, I instantly fell in love with her spirit. She is determined, full of energy and a little bit manipulating when she needs to gather funds for the club (building giant robots don’t come cheap you know).

As mentioned, this series also deals with human perception on some level. We are shown that Kaito and Aki were aboard the cruise ship Anemone several years ago where everybody mysteriously fell unconscious. Afterwards, the duo began to experience Elephant—Mouse Syndrome. While Kaito experience spasms where he perceives a few seconds over a few seconds, Aki has it much worse, experiencing a few minutes in a few seconds. During one of these attacks, she becomes comatose and unable to do anything. The syndrome obviously doesn’t actually exist, but the idea behind it is fascinating. Human perception as a sort of illness is a stroke of genius!

Also mentioned, I only had a peak at the first four episodes, so I only understand the plot maybe 10%. Things don’t really pick up in 5pb’s series’ until about halfway, but when they do – shit has a tendency to strike the fan in every episode, which for me more than makes up for things. It’s an unusual formula, but setting things up in the first half and sucking you into these character’s hopes and dreams, only to see them ruined in the second part works well. I’m expecting the same to happen here as with Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate.

Rating the first four episodes: 8/10 – ENJOYABLE AND INTERESTING!

No comments:

Post a Comment