Reviews: Robotics Notes

Robotics:Notes Anime Review: Uplifting, if flawed(Spoilers)

Tonally speaking, Robotics:Notes seems to be the most different of the series(Steins:Gate and Chaos:Head). Rather than a more fantastic science fiction story, the main plot is slightly more grounded; Basically "what if we realistically tried to create the giant robots of our dreams?" Instead of Tokyo, our setting is the island of Tanegashima near the JAXA station.

I find most of the characters fairly likable. For relatively tread archetypes(Jerk with a Heart of Gold, Genki Girl, Otaku Surrogate), the series manages to keep them entertaining and bearable. Though Kaito initially was grating with his obsession with Kill Ballad, the series quickly showed how much he cares about Akiho. While I wouldn't say the characters were well rounded, I was definitely happy to see multiple sides to their characters. Akiho's insecurity and Kaito's gradual Hot-Blooded concern. Frau, though clearly a pandering character is pretty entertaining. This is a series that seems to rely on empathy with the character's emotions, and by the end I did feel that passion(helped by the epic theme). You want to see the characters succeed because of the odds against them.

Unfortunately, the complaints that there are too many plot threads rings true. Like the other S Ci Adv installments, there's a conspiracy that Kaitou uncovers. The pacing of the mystery was interesting, even creepy at times. But after all is said and done with the twist, I really stopped caring about the final villain of the piece. We get a few hints of his personality but in the end he ends up just being a visible presence to fight. One thing I found anvilicious was the near constant emphasis on surpassing the sister. In this manner, it made the two leads somewhat satellites in terms of motivation. The revelation that Misaki was mind-controlled did seem like somewhat of a copout as well as it does reduce the presence of a characters motivation.

In the end, it's somewhat of a tough act to follow to Steins:Gate if I'm gauging public perception. While I think the very premise of "school students building a giant robot" could be interesting, the convention of conspiracy that appeared in Steins Gate and Chaos Head seemed to make a tough fit. I assume that in the medium of visual novel, it was handled much better. For me, it's the characters interactions and emotions that make me enjoy the series.