Robotics;Notes Episode 22 and Final Impressions

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Recap: The gang goes to fight Misa, and it’s as underwhelming as it is stupid.

There just seem to be so many things wrong with this episode. I get that Misa and Kou are supposed to think this thing looks like Gunvarrel, but then what’s preventing the team from thinking it looks like Gunvarrel? Are we just supposed to imply they can selectively change people’s perspectives, or are they getting data on things like the arm exploding by its own merits? Plus, how could a piece of metal that large in size be blown up without any shrapnel casualties?

I’m also confused by the control room break-in. I get that Nae has apparently been turned into Proto-Suzuha, so I can understand her being able to take out those guys. Still, how were they not detected by any security cameras getting into there? I know they’d know the layout of the building, but I would hope something as sensitive as a space center covers all its angles in its security.

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At the very least, this episode obviously received a fair bit of polish. Every scene is incredibly fluid, and every image looked pretty sharp. This does, however, highlight even further how stilted and slow Gunvarrel looks, and how I don’t even understand why Kou wasn’t able to figure out that it wasn’t much of a threat. Even when I find a positive, I can think of ways to bring it back around.

I was absolutely dumbfounded with the climax, having Misa regain her consciousness conveniently enough to have a final showdown with Kai. I know power of love breaking brain control is one of the biggest super robot cliches, look at G Gundam or Gurren Lagann, but this is supposed to be a real world. They never even explain how Misa is able to fight the brain jacking, let alone how the brain jacking is even supposed to work, it all just culminates in a large amount of frustration.

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Final Impressions

Oh Robotics;Notes. To this day I still can’t tell if i have legitimate grievances against you or if I’m simply unfairly judging you against your clearly superior brother Steins;Gate. This show started out with so much promise. Sure, its viewpoint character  Kaito was an unrepentant jackass who by all accounts cares about nothing, but he was matched in his cynicism by the wonderfully hammy optimism of our genki girl Akiho. Every character we met started to bring more and more charm to the show.

Jun was relatively useless, but always was entertaining, from her overactive imagination to her adorable levels of shyness. Frau was an unrepentant pervert and even until the end of the show she could always be relied on to light up a scene with a totally inappropriate outburst or a quick double entendre. Even stuck up Subaru gained respect from me through his blunt honesty and hilarious tsundere act. Unfortunately, Robotics;Notes apparently forgot that these characters were the strongest part of its story. As the world-saving plot came to the forefront, our characters were relegated to the sidelines. No longer would they have long scenes so that they could play off each other as they had so well in the first half.

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When the world-plot did come to fruition, it hardly seemed worth the sacrifice. Plauged with strange inconsistencies and ridiculous circumstances, it took away from any suspense we could have had. Remember when the only way Kaito could save Tokyo was to play a video game? Why even put in the game if you planned on having it cheat at the end anyway? I suppose having Kimijima Kou as the final villain was an okay twist, but the way it comes about just suddenly makes his powers seem like a deus ex machina. Why can Kou hack into the systems of kill drones and peoples minds, but can’t see through the AR smokescreen that our team literally put together a couple hours ago?

In the end, I think I’ve answered my question. While I am judging this show poorly in comparison to Steins;Gate, it is not an unfair comparison. Robotics;Notes is a poor show, with poor writing. The only thing that would link this to its predecessor is well drawn characters and science fiction. In Steins;Gate, I once heard the object was to write a story that seemed like 99% science, 1% fiction. In Robotics;Notes, we clearly are getting a higher percentage than that, and that really is what hurt it in the long run. You either have to embrace the surreality of your science, or try to rationalize the best you can. You can’t try for both. If Nitro+ and 5pb wish to make another science fiction tale, I will gladly see what they have to come up with next. I simply just hope that they remember what means.

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