Recap: Kai delves deeper into the secrets of Kou Kimijima, but is only left with more questions. To Akiho’s jubilation, two new members of the GUN-BUILD1 team finally join up, solidifying our band of five. While Jun’s fantasies make the first half, Subaru’s family problems finally rear their head in the second act.
It’s almost like we’re watching two shows here now. Kai is off on his publicly accredited aerospace organization espionage while the GUN-BUILD1 team actually gets together finally. I suppose this is a common theme for nitro+ at least when taking Steins;Gate into account. At the very least the time-travel shenanigans dealt directly with both sides of the story, be it changing causality for hot chicks or discovering the secrets of SERN. Here, sure Kai is the common denominator, but it basically just makes it feel like it’s no business of the main plot.
Speaking of Akiho and her fire to build the best and shiniest robot to ever grace this good earth, things are finally looking up for her at the very least. Jun’s addition to the show has been a real bright spot for me. While she for all appearances doesn’t have the skills that the others have (In fact, that seems to be hinted at quite a bit with her, and might become a problem later) but she makes up for it with absolutely hilarious scenes. Her fantasies were just fantastic and I love how realistically clunky her karate was. Obviously we can see why she never won. It just makes it even funnier when that, of all things, is what gets through to the dirty old uncle. I saw from the OP that she would be cute but she’s really outdone herself here.
I was also relieved to find that I liked Frau a lot. While she’s an introvert like Subaru, she has this great mix of obstinancy and obscenity that makes her stand out as a character. Once again I gotta give props to Funi’s translating department for giving her words that extra something. I imagine her main role is going to be software development for GUNVARREL’s controls. I know my predictions haven’t borne much fruit lately, but I’d have to say her development’s definitely going to be through coming out of her shell. At the moment I love her banter, it’s basically just too ridiculous to hate.
As is true for all anime plots that don’t have inexplicably confusing sequel titles, there is no story without conflict, and boy does it rain down on the team. The relationship between Subaru and his father has been a gathering storm the last few episodes, and only now is it coming in to strike. Man, I knew this would be a case of old fashioned father against new hobbies, but I didn’t expect him to be this much of a dick. By the year 2020 I hope we can start to live in a world where all parents respect the dreams of their children, especially those who actually have proficient skill in their interests. With Subaru dispirited, things look grim for Akiho’s own dream, but I’m sure with her plucky can’t-lose mentality they’ll find some way to rectify this family matter.
Gee’s Thoughts: It’s quite something how Robotics;Notes can both move quickly and seem to do nothing at all simultaneously, as it did in this episode. While (once again) the focus was on the slowly growing club, we also get some big developments like the addition of two new members, some more reveals about the conspiracy going on in the background, and learn some big things about Subaru that firmly place him ahead of Kaito in my hierarchy of characters in the cast. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still an unlikable jerk sometimes, but I can see where he’s coming from now.
Also, the more I see of Frau Kojiro, the more I like. It may just be due to the fact that as a regular visitor to a certain image board, I can’t help but laugh, because all the things she’s said are things I’ve heard multiple times. She might be another introverted character in a cast filled with them, but she brings enough hilarity and absurdity to the mix that I really don’t mind. I still find it immensely odd that Akiho is probably the only explicitly enthusiastic member of the cast. Usually casts are a little more balanced than that, but I guess that just makes Akiho’s passion and enthusiasm all the more special in the show.
In addition, we discover the reason Subaru is so adamant about hiding his passion for robots. Turns out his dad is a real jackass, and banned Subaru from pursuing his passion, instead forcing him to become a fisherman instead. Look, I know parents usually just want the best for their kids, but punching your son and breaking his robot? Seriously not cool. And the heartbroken look at Akiho’s face was just too much for me. I too know what it’s like to have your dreams shattered, and it really is a cruel and terrible thing.
Obviously, this being an anime, Subaru will probably return to the club thanks to the power of friendship or something, but with all these different parallel tangents, it’ll be interesting to see if our robotics club ever even starts working on that giant robot in their garage.