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Manga / Kurogane Communication

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Originally serialized in Dengeki Daioh from 1997 to 1999, Kurogane Communication is a manga written by Hideo Kato and illustrated by Tomomasa Takuma. It was adapted into a 24-episode anime that aired on WOWOW from 1998 to 1999. Both the anime and manga have seen an English release, though it took over ten years for the latter to get picked up.

Thirteen-year-old Haruka is the last survivor of a war that destroyed human civilization thirty years ago. Well, the last human survivor, that is. After waking up from coldsleep, she was adopted by a "family" of robot survivors: domestic robot Spike, pint-sized gun nut Trigger, combat gynoid Angela, floating supercomputer Cleric, and scary-looking but fatherly Reeves. Haruka's robot family scavenge food, water and batteries from the ruins while defending their charge from the ever-present combat machines left over from the war.

You'd think all this would get to a little girl after awhile, but after a year in her new life Haruka is remarkably cheerful. Still, she sometimes wishes she had a human friend around to keep her company...

Well, she's about to get her wish. But it'll come with problems of its own.

Kurogane Communication provides examples of:

  • Big Eater: Trigger appears to be the robot equivalent in the first episode.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: Haruka treats the post-apocalyptic world like it's summer vacation.
  • Durable Deathtrap: The war machine factories have been pumping out new units for the last three decades.
  • Expy: With predominantly purple and black clothes and a thick mechanical visor, Angela bears a striking resemblance to Motoko Kusanagi.
  • Kill All Humans: Honi's goal. He's willing to go as far as rebuilding a warship to attack the human colony on Mars.
  • Literal Genie: Kanato's dying mother told Honi to protect her son, the last human. Honi interpreted this to mean "kill any other humans you find."
  • Lost Aesop: The anime's message up to the ending is that robots are family/just as worthy of caring as humans. Spike angsts about Kanato for a while, but then seems to decide that this new human is more important than Haruka's old family. Then at the end they send Haruka and Kanato off to be together with other humans instead of mere robots.
  • Magic Pants: Haruka's wardrobe survived the Apocalypse and the hurried evacuation from her old home. Angela's visor gets broken in one episode, but in the next one it's back as if nothing happened.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Spike always seems to walk in on Haruka when she's showering or changing. He's just human enough to make it awkward for both parties involved.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: 30 years after a nuclear war, Haruka's apartment building has not only working electricity and plumbing, but an underground command center. Possibly justified, as the robots seem to have rebuilt only the rooms Haruka uses. Angela's room, for example, looks exactly like you'd expect after 30 years of disuse.