Recap: Frau has Kai live up to his end of the bargain catching cheaters, which results in his most assholeish behavior yet. After Subaru settles things with his almost equally horrible father, and Akiho finally gets the parts she needs through her sponsorship, things are starting to look up again for Team GUN-BUILD1. Unfortunately, such good feelings are short-lived.
Warning, Marlin kinda blew a gasket here, if you’re sensitive to foul language for some reason you’re gonna wanna read this with discretion.
My lord, Kai is the most shiteating douchebag motherfucker that has ever graced the title of protagonist. His behavior in the past as been bad, but this episode takes it into a whole new level that I did not realize could be possible. First we see him just let Subaru go and take his robot away, not even trying to prevent him from destroying his dream. His only excuse? “It’s out of our hands.” Fuck no its not out of your hands, the robot was in your hanger, you’ve been hangin’ around with this guy long enough that if you don’t at least somewhat consider him a friend you must have something seriously wrong with you, and I honestly think Kai does. I’m guessing that one flashback was supposed to at least be a weak excuse to show that Kai got his dreams crushed early by Akiho’s sister falling into despair, but no. That does not cut it. It especially doesn’t forgive him from his worst offense to date. Talking to Frau, it’s brought up how he has a condition that slows down time. Being painful for him, he doesn’t like that Frau makes light of it. In order to show she’s sorry and in an attempt to open up to him, Frau tells something about her own past. What does our intrepid hero say about that? “Let’s just pretend I never heard it. I don’t wanna get involved.” No paraphrasing there, that is exactly what he says. Admittedly that was somewhat heavy stuff but jesus christ that is not the proper way to react in that situation.
Thankfully, as always, Akiho saves the episode. Trying to get Jun more used to robots she lends her the entire GUNVARREL series, which honestly looks pretty sweet. I’m glad to see Production I.G. spending money where it should. Later, when it seems as if the spark of Subaru’s will had all but been put out, Aki is the one going to his house and giving him the inspiration to not give up. It was also fun watching her manage buying the robot parts, with Doc’s flashbacks showing us that hot blooded spirit is all part of the Senomiya bloodline. I’ve also started taking a liking to the sleazy owner of Space Candy. How he possibly thinks the expense for these giant robot parts will be made up with gained customers is something I can’t really imagine, but he did have one of the more sensible ideas to date. Since Jun is the smallest of the group, you’d think it would make the most sense to have her pilot it to save space. Unless even GUNVARREL is going to be piloted like he’s playing KILL-BALLAD I’m not even sure why it has to be Kai doing it in the first place.
It was nice to see the redemption of Subaru. Given that small piece of hope from the broken part Aki left behind, he’s evolved from an understandable jerk to a hilarious tsundere. You see, this is how you make a jerkish character. Give him a fake sense of haughtiness backed by a tragic storyline and he becomes relatable, likeable even. The same could even be said of Frau this episode, who I really loved and definitely gained a lot of sympathy after that whole Kai business I spent far to large a paragraph ranting over. It seems like Robotics;Notes has decided to win me over to every main character except the protagonist himself, and it’s absolutely mind-boggling.
The final scene this week is what I imagine will be our shot Mayuri moment, where shit gets serious and funtimes with advanced technology somewhat slides to the backchannel. Now all my other R;N predictions have been wrong, but if I know my anime cliches, one of them is that they never change their hairstyle, and that lady sure does look like a certain tube television store heiress doesn’t she? Now that shit’s getting real I do have to wonder how the flow of the show will go from now on, it does seem a little early for a 24 episode series for the full force of our conspiracy to be crashing down on us so soon.
Gee’s Thoughts: In this episode, Kai continues to be a jerk. What a twist! Though seriously, it’s like he spent this episode upping the jerkness to the highest levels. Like seriously, if we’re supposed to empathize or root for him, Robotics;Notes did a terrible job. Luckily in the meantime, the rest of the cast is starting to pick up the slack, which is a welcome sight. We learn a little more about everyone this time, and it works out for the better. Kai might continue to be an apathetic jackass, but at least Akiho’s enthusiasm seems to finally be taking them somewhere.
In the meantime, we learn more about the conspiracy playing out the background as well, though personally I’m not that interested in the conspiracy stuff and would rather watch an anime about a hot blooded young girl and her dreams to build a giant robot. I hope this doesn’t end up taking a backseat to the conspiracy stuff, though considering it’s in the same universe as the other two in the “word-semicolon-word” series, I suppose this will be inevitable. Still, the characters are great enough that they stand on their own, regardless of where the plot takes them.