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Visual Novel: Robotics;Notes
Some Assembly Required

"As for science, it may be negative. However, do not forget the thing that there is a scientific side in all the one. The important one is true. Of me the ruler my fate, and me also the commander of my soul."

The year is 2019. The setting is Tanegashima high school.

Robotics;Notes follows Kaito Yashio, an avid fan of Fighting Games who is ranked fifth in the online game Kill-Ballad. Along with Akiho Senomiya, he is a member of his school's robotics club. The club's purpose is to complete a working copy of the Humongous Mecha Gunvarrel, the titular character of a wildly popular Show Within a Show anime, started by Akiho's sister, Misaki. However, keeping the robotics club afloat is not easy. Kaito and Akiho are the only members and Akiho makes extraordinary budget demands to the school. Thus, the vice-principal offers them a condition: they must win the Robo-One tournament to obtain the desired budget.

Amidst their efforts to create a working Humongous Mecha for an upcoming expo, Kaito comes across Subaru Hidaka, a younger high school student who has his own fascination in mecha, Frau Kojiro, the Hikikomori genius programmer of Kill Ballad, Junna Daikoku, the granddaughter of the local robotic parts shop who's ironically nervous around robots, Nae Tennoji the young engineer of JAXA who provides funds for the club, and a human-like AI named Airi, who leads him to the mysterious Kimijima Reports that detail how and why a world-altering disaster may be on its way...

The Sequel to Steins;Gate, the game was released on the PS3 and Xbox360 on 2012. In typical visual novel fashion, the story features branching paths and Multiple Endings depending on the player's choices. Steins;Gate's Phone Trigger system is replaced by the Pokecon Trigger, which activates Kaito's tablet computer, allowing the player to utilize its applications.

An animated adaptation by Production I.G began airing on Fuji Tv's Noitamina slot on October 2012, which can be seen on Hulu. Five manga have also been produced.

This visual novel provides examples of:

  • Alternate Reality Game: In-universe. The things that Kaito has to do in order to unlock the Reports, and the Reports' contents, are very much like a real-life ARG.
  • Adult Fear: There are a few.
    • Mizuka's death was pretty tragic, especially when you watch Kaito desperately doing everything in his power to try and save her.
    • Akiho and Misa. An older sibling has cut off ties from their family with no explanation and ignores any and all attempts at contact, and the last conversation they had with the younger was them calling her plain and saying she'd never accomplish anything. Then it's revealed the Virtual Ghost of an Mad Scientist she killed to save them is not only possessing her, but threatening the lives of everyone Misa cares about unless she cooperates with him
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Elephant Mouse Syndrome
  • Anime of the Game
  • Augmented Reality: GunPro-2 uses AR to overlay an image of Gunvarrel over the robot.
  • Author Existence Failure: An in-universe example when Frau reveals that the reason why the final episode of Gunvarrel was never aired was because the entire production crew was murdered (It was revealed in episode #14, that it was actually self-defense, the other crew-members were brainwashed and tried to kill her). However, this information was kept secret from the public.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The fatal flaw of building Gun Pro-1.
  • Based on a Great Big Lie: Based on the Committee of 300 conspiracy that a secret organization controls all the world's politics, economy and owns a secret military. The Committee is also known by other names such as the "Hidden Hand" or "The Olympians."
  • Big Bad: The Committee of 300 and Kou Kimijima
  • Big Damn Hero:
  • Blackmail: How Kaito makes Subaru Hidaka (aka Mr. Pleiades) joining their club and stops it from being disbanded.
  • Bland-Name Product: ShareVideo and Twipo. Also PhoneDroid Pad for iPad. @channel for 2channel.
  • Boring, but Practical: Subaru's argument on why aesthetics have to be sacrificed in order to build a funtional giant robot.
  • Brain Uploading: Kimijima Kou did this.
  • Buxom Is Better: Irei.
  • Cat Girl: Need an augmented reality version of this trope? There's an app for that!
  • Calling Your Attacks
    (while in the tournament)
    Kaito: Could you please not shout out the attack names, Aki-chan?
    Akiho: Eh?! Special moves are meant to be yelled out!
  • Captain Ersatz: By far, Gunvarrel looks like a love letter to every Humongous Mecha show ever made, but it practically is Gundam. Yoshiyuki Tomino would be proud.
  • The Cavalry: Everyone, even the school's uptight principal comes to the club's aid in episode 20.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Similar to Steins;Gate, shit hits the fan midway through the series, starting at around episode 14 and hitting in full force in episode 16.
  • Char Clone: Mr. Pleiades.
  • Conspicuous CG: The Anime was animated by Production I.G after all. But special mention goes to the door of Akiho's room opening and closing in episode 5.
    • The replica Gunvarrel in episode 21, it becomes hand-drawn the following episode.
  • Continuity Nod: Several Steins;Gate and Chaos;Head characters reappear, such as Nae and Daru ending up working for JAXA.
    • In the first episode, a mysterious girl appears and says, "Whose eyes are those?"
    • Episode 19 has lots of them and they're plot relevant ! Such as the NoAH machine
    • According to the introduction, this takes place in the 1.048596% divergence.
    • In one of the spinoff mangas, Frau is apparently online friends with Kurisu.
    • Kai is also able to become online friends with DaSH , KuriGohanandKamehameha and Neidhardt. All which are the online handles of previous characters in the series.
    • Frau likes to say "What erogame is this?" Which was Takumi's catchphrase in Chaos;Head.
  • Cool Old Guy: Doc, Junna's grandfather. He sells the club parts for their robots and plays loud heavy metal at his store.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Most of the main characters have one.
    • Kaito and Akiho were involved in a mysterious event where they mysteriously fainted, and were then afflicted with debilitating medical conditions that can affect their perception of time. These have been dubbed as "Elephant-Mouse Syndrome": Kaito perceives several seconds as a few minutes, while Akiho perceives five minutes as a few seconds.
    • Subaru has an abusive father who forbids him from getting involved with robotics and tries to force him to become a fisherman like him.
    • Frau lives with the stigma of being the daughter of an accused murderer. Her mother allegedly killed the entire production crew of the Gunvarrel anime and then disappeared (It was revealed in episode #14, that it was actually self-defense, the other crew-members were brainwashed and tried to kill her).
    • Jun was traumatized when one of the robots her grandfather built fell on top of her, resulting in her fear of robots and the belief that her grandfather hates her.
    • Airi used to be a real girl who was afflicted with a terminal illness, and began to lose hope that she would ever be cured. She is then put into stasis to preserve her body until a cure could be found.
  • Dead All Along: The top three Kill Ballad players have been dead for at least six months.
  • Defictionalization: In-Universe as well.
    • Akiho is determined enough to perform this for Gunvarrel.
    • The "Grand Obelisk", the elevator from the Gainax Ending of Gunvarrel, ends up near the location where the Robotics competition is held. It apparently is very hard to tell whether or not it is real or not, considering the size of the damn thing.
  • Distant Finale: In the epilogue, it's implied that Kaito becomes an astronaut and Akiho manages to build a working replica of Gunvarrel years after the events of the series.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: "Hidden hand", if taken in context, may sound familiar to the "invisible hand".
  • Due to the Dead: Kai, Aki and Mitchie mourn Irei's death. Mitchie also performs a Libation for the Dead.
    • Misaki also pays her respects to Irei, even while being Kimijima's Meat Puppet.
  • Eat That: You can purchase information from Irei Store by clearing a challenge: eating a nikuman (a Japanese dough bun) with an unusual, typically infernally bad taste.
  • Engrish: Gunvarell, most likely (or intentionally) a corruption of "gunbarrel", the name for the in-series mecha animé and robot.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Akiho and her older sister, Misaki.
  • Foreshadowing/Brick Joke:
    • Episode 4
    Akiho: "So If I also defeat you (at Kill Ballad), I'll be your superior?"
    Kaito: "I guess, but I doubt you could ever win, even in a hundred games..."
    • Episode 6
    Kaito (to Junna): "The wind's strong around here. I would suggest sleeping on the runway, but this time of the season that could be fatal, so be careful."
    • Episode 7
    Misaki (young): ''You need to grow up to be a man with the "right stuff"!
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In-Universe It Makes Sense in Context, and then she smirks on The Stinger.
    Geji-nee: Why I said "kiss my forehead" just now is unknown. Because it may be a bug, it's under investigation.
  • Gainax Ending: The supposed "ending" to Gunvarrel that was leaked online.
  • Good Old Robot: Tanegamachine-san. It is later upgraded for the Robo-One tournament as Tanegamachine-san Advance.
  • Government Conspiracy: Committee of 300, some kinda in-universe version of real-world conspiracy theories floating around on the net.
  • Gratuitous English: "Too expensive!" though it's only heavily accented. Also Aira's password "hidden hand".
  • Human Popsicle: The real Airi is a girl with a terminal, incurable disease. Kimijima Kou put her into suspended animation until the world finds a cure for her condition.
  • Humble Goal: Akiho just wants to finish a Humongous Mecha project started by her sister before graduating.
  • Humongous Mecha: The purpose of the robotics club is to build one based on a worldwide famous anime.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: The final battle is an even balance of this and Mecha vs Mecha fighting.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: With some help from Frau Koujiro, Aki and Kai were able to program their hobby robot to be controlled via video game controls from Kill Ballad for a tournament. This control system was later used to pilot the Robotics Club's giant robot for the final battle.
  • Imagine Spot: Junna has one of Subaru modeling for a naked photoshoot, which he quickly destroys.
  • Interrupted Suicide: When Kaito wants to talk to Frau Kojirou and she isn't answering her intercom, he takes a big stone to smash the glass front door and to break into her apartment, to find her in her bathtub, holding a knife in her hand, thankfully before she can do the deed.
  • Just Before the End: The characters point out how the Earth is currently experiencing abnormal weather, such as scorching hot winters in Russia and snowstorms in the American West Coast. Solar flares are also messing with electronics worldwide. Kimijima claims that this is because the Sun is about to explode but it is later revealed claims of such were just elaborate, fake propaganda used by Kimijima to distract public attention from his goals.
  • Lap Pillow: Akiho and Kaito in Episode 8.
  • Lethal Chef: Invoked with Irei's special nikuman. An abomination of spicy dough with passionfruit and cheese filling. See Eat That.
    Kaito: "It is truly one of the Devil's own inventions, from the pits of Hell itself".
  • Like Brother and Sister: Kaito and Akiho.
    • Until episode #21, were Kaito confesses his love to her and she reciprocates with a kiss.
  • Loophole Abuse: Even though Kaito and Akiho lose the hobby robot tournament and their bet with the vice principal, they point out that the winner, Subaru, is also a student in their school and blackmail him into saying he's part of the robotics club, so they still technically won.
    • Subaru uses this against Kai as well; when Kai uses his usual dodge of demanding that someone beat him in Kill-Ballad before he does anything, Subaru simply continues challenging him to consecutive fights until he won, since there's no limit to the number of rounds specified.
  • Medium Blending: The anime uses three types of animation throughout: there's the standard anime style, the video game 3D style for Kill Ballad, and the 80s Anime style with touches of modernization for segments that have Gunvarrel. The blending comes in when the anime is able to render both game and the anime at the same time, which is rather tough to pull off but is performed spectacularly.
  • Meido: One of the Pokecon's applications allows Kaito to see Akiho dressed in such a costume with cat ears.
  • Mythology Gag: When asked if it's possible to hack the Iru-O system, Kona says that's it's just as hard as hacking SERN's database to steal classified information.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In Episode 17 Kai downloads the 7th Kimijima Kou file, which is an executable that distributes the other 6 Kimijima Kou files to everyone using the IROU system.
  • No, Except Yes: You are led to believe that the killer of the entire staff of Gunvarrel was actually crazy enough to begin with but the others involved were not. It turns out later on that the creators were ones who were actually crazy because they were brainwashed and the person who killed them involuntarily got free of said brainwashing, but this came after the revelation that Gunvarrel was supposed to make everyone crazy.
  • Now or Never Kiss: Kai asks for one from Aki before he pilots the Super Gun Pro-1 into a potentially Suicide Mission.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Averted with Kai who easily sees through it. Akiho on the other hand...
  • Powered Armour: Irei, the owner of the Irei Shop, has a non-military variant: She uses an exoskeleton (it's not a full one, just for her legs) to move her legs (most likely connected to her nerves, since she doesn't seem to operate any controls while she walks) after an unspecified accident. Click here for an illustration. Later, she's killed by someone hacking it and making her walk off a cliff.
    • Misaki is later seen wearing a full body version of the exoskeleton, which gives her insane strength and agility, as well as the ability to interface directly with electronics.
  • Real Robot: The hobby robots are pretty much fine tuned versions of the toy robots available now. Gunvarrel, being from a Show Within a Show , Is pure super robot- however the replica built by the club has a different design in order to actually be able to stand without falling apart.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Again, Kai and Aki.
  • Sequel Hook: Kou claimed, that the copy possessing Misaki is only one of many and that he'll be back.
  • Shared Universe: Robotics;Notes shares setting with its two predecessors: Steins;Gate and Chaos;Head.
    • Episode 8 shows the return of Nae Tennoji from Steins;Gate
    • Episode 9 shows that Kai is possibly online friends with NEIDHART aka Takumi.
      • He is also seen browsing posts made by DaSH and KuriGohanandKamehameha, who are Daru and Kurisu, respectively.
    • According to Frau Kojirou in episode 11, hacking into IROU is as impossible as hacking into SERN and stealing their files... Really? Say that to Okabe!
    • In episode 13, five of the nineteen images included Mayans, Nuclear Explosions, and the Shibuya 107 Building.
    • In episode 14, if you look closely enough, a poster of Seira can be seen in the background of Maguyan's room.
    • Episode 19 has multiple references to Steins;Gate and Chaos;Head, such as Nae's codename being "S_Braun", SERN providing black hole warheads to the Committee of 300, and the Committee having improved upon the Noah illusion technology.
  • Shout-Out: The very first moments of the first episode are this to its predecessor.
  • Show Within a Show: The Gunvarrel anime, a standard Super Robot show about a boy called Dotou Genki and the Humongous Mecha he pilots, Gunvarrel.
  • Smooch of Victory: Frau gives one to Kai.
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening makes it clear who joins the Robotics Club.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: An in-universe one occurs when the final episode of the Gunvarrel anime is leaked. All the robots sacrifice themselves to power a giant cannon that fires into the sun, causing a solar storm that not only kills the main villain, but all of humanity as well. One of the protagonists sacrifices herself to save her partner, who is left to wander the ruined Earth alone. Akiho reacts poorly to this ending.
    • In an example pertaining towards the series itself; one could count episode 16 as having such.
  • Square/Cube Law: Discussed in-universe as the reason why building Gun Pro-1 is so impractical, and why building Gun Pro-2 will be even harder from scratch.
  • The Good Guys Always Win: Kaito's final line to Kimijima.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Episode 18 between Kai and Aki
  • Third Is 3D: Which is unusual for the visual novel genre. The majority of the game's dialogue is performed by 3D models instead of 2D portraits.
  • Title Drop: In "Thank You Berry Much"
  • Too Dumb to Live: Yeah Subaru, stand next to the giant robot when there's a powerful wind blowing!
  • True Companions: The Robot Club members are gradually becoming this as of Episode 14.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Thousands of Robots in Tokyo go berserk after someone hacks them. Totally unexpected!
  • Twenty Minutes into the Future
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: In-Universe, as the wildly popular Gunvarrel anime (the Humongous Mecha anime that Akiho wants to build) has had no official ending for several years, even though it had a running of 155 episodes. It's ended up being wildly rumored that the anime itself had an ending, but the general fanbase was sad to see it end on such a Cliffhanger.
  • Virtual Ghost: Kimijima Kou's "ghost" can be seen with these smartphones in the series.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: When Frao Kohirou realizes, that someone has taken over her Twitter account published a fake confession of her taking over robots and leaking the last Gunvarrel episode.
  • Wetware Body: Airi and Misaki are controlled by Kimijima's Virtual Ghost
  • Wham Episode: Episode 13 — A solar flare fries Tokyo, Frau's online account is hacked and claims to be the one making robots attack people in the already devastated city. Then Kaito finds her in the bathtub with a knife in her hand.
    • Episode 16 — Irei is killed when her exoskeleton is hacked and forces her to walk off a cliff.
    • Episode 17 — Kimijima Report No. 7 turns out to be a trap that distributes the other six reports to every computer on Earth, guaranteeing a worldwide panic.
    • Episode 19 — Senomiya Misaki moves to carry out Kimijima Kou's plan by shooting SERN-built black hole bombs into orbit and fiddling with the magnetic field of the earth, killing 5 billion people in the process. Sawada Toshiyuki tries to prevent this. Kimijima Kou uploads himself into the IROU network.
    • Episode 21 — Kaito confesses to Akiho, Akiho kisses him. Subaru and Frau Kojirou are jealous.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out the final fate of Frau's motherin the anime adaptation.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Frau Kojirou and Jun.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The Kimijima Reports are actually lies written by Kimijima to manipulate readers into carrying out his true plans. He's not trying to prevent a catastrophic solar flare, he's trying to cause one.
    • Crazy-Prepared: According to Episode 20, he planned the entire setup, scenario, and endgame that has occurred in every other episode. Everything was all according to plan.

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alternative title(s): Robotics Notes
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