Robotics;Notes - Part One (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Limited Edition)
Robotics;Notes - Part Two (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Let's make that robot as real as possible and have a mystery that could kill billions of people. From the same people who came up with Steins;Gate, the time travel anime of near infinite childhood friend dying, comes Robotics; Notes, a semi-realistic take on the future of robotics and possible destruction of the surplus population.
Kaito Yashio and his friend Akiho Senomiya are all that's left of Central Tanegashima High's Robot Club. They want to-or really Akiho, whose much more energetic and the chair of the club- wants to finish building a functioning robot based on the popular robot GunBuild-1 based on the mysterious never finished "Gunvarrel" anime. Akiho wants to finish GunBuild-1 for her sister who now works for a powerful robotics company in Tokyo. Her sister started making it before she entered High School. Akiho is stuck with Kaito who won't do anything unless beaten in a video game, Kill-Ballad based on the Gunvarrel anime. What starts off as cute club activity of teamwork and hardship raises to a mystery that involves thinning out the human population with solar flares.
This two part series now fully charged for the US takes it time for the Central Tanegashima High's Robot Club to build members, build robots and build the mystery of what's going on. Our main hero, or good-for-nothing gamer Kaito Yashio stumbles around his mystery that has to be solved through a series of AR and real world adventures, unlocking a virtual girl Iru-O with an extra personality going by Gezi. While the realization that a murder may have occurred to stop evidence of a secret organization trying to cover up a planned mass murder on a global does cross his mind he still has to deal with the eccentricities of his club.
The clubs other members include Subaru Hidaka, resident nerdy genuis who knows how to win his robot fights. Frau Koujiro, the creator of Kill-Ballad who seeks help on finding those cheating on it and why her Mom was killed making Gunvarrel. Rounding it out the timid Junna Daitoku who knows karate. The rest of the cast includes Akiho's sister, Misaki Senomiya whose nearly so cold she might be a robot herself.
Whoever translate for Frau should get some award for all the naughty leet speak and dirty online talk they had to translate to make sense for the dubbed audience. The things she says are always dirty and should never be uttered in public.
Featuring technology so nice it should exist now the anime has a great sense of keeping the show centered in as much reality as possible. Everyone has a phonecom. A computer/phone table screen that can be used for a variety of reasons from gaming to catching AR data by holding it up and seeing the world filtered. One filter we catch early on augments Akiho into a cat outfit for Kaito. You have tech that can help those who are disabled with HUG systems and they're are robots maids, but there hardly seen throughout the series
Robots aren't that amazing, they're just a little more advanced to day and shown throughout the series give no impression of being impressive. The Robot Club comes to the decision that their own robot can never be as amazing as the one in the popular Gunvarrel anime and thus makes it AR friendly. Everyone's phonecom shows a striking GunBuild-1 then the real bare skeleton robot.
Robot designs are realistic, but per usual the heart of the series are the characters. Robot Club is very dysfunctional, nearly falling apart all the time, you suffer with Akiho and laugh at the general malaise and lack of enthusiasm from the group. Side characters like Mizuka Irei add to the flavor, a flavor Kaito could do without as she forces him to eat disgusting steam buns for information in the quests for his mysteries.
One more twist is the elephant-mouse syndrome from a bizarre "accident" that causes the perpsective of Akiho to move forward in time and slow down time for Kaito.
Akiho Subaru when he fights robot on his own. These homages are all over the series and any fan of older robot animes will laugh upon them entering their view.
Fun and games only last so long. The series does get darker towards the end. Not everything is a light-hearted AR quest or story of connecting with family again.
The clubs foibles and wins are only part of what brings you in. Staying to find out what the large mystery is and watching Kaito uncover it keeps you coming back.
One of the best animes to come out in the US for 2014. Follow the Robot Club and discover the shocking mystery in the background of their adventures
Funimation made good use of packing and extras with character cards coming with the part one with bios of each character on them. They could have gone with some AR cards though for the phone, it would have been more in the way of the series.
*Boob-sizes for the adult women in this show are hilarious, they are one of the only non-realistic parts of the show. Character designers for this are still catering towards a male audience.