Oh wow. This episode was…not good, was it?
After some thinking about it and reading other people’s thoughts on what happened in the latest Robotics;Notes episode, I decided to talk about my position regarding what R;N has turned into. I talked about it a bit regarding my monthly summary, but the problem is that by the time Episode 19 came, I had long since stopped caring about the show so all the shit coming down didn’t affect me one bit aside from seeing some nicely directed action. If I had been able to pay more attention when I initially did that summary, I would have realized that Episode 19 was possibly one of the biggest shark-jumping moments that Robotics;Notes could have ever done. The way everything just happened really felt like somebody realized that they had dragged things out for way too long and decided to cram in every single revelation into one episode with no regard for pacing whatsoever. And whilst I haven’t paid too much attention to the show’s hinting of events to come, I’m pretty sure that some of the revelations were pulled out of the creator’s ass with no prior foreshadowing whatsoever (oh hi there Chaos;Head). It actually made this week’s Sasami-san look sensical by comparison.
Let me summarize what I understand of the situation. Aki’s sister causes a bunch of mechs to go berserk despite only existing as a hologram, Frau’s house gets invaded because she’s been looking into SERN, Kimijima Kou is an asshole, and a whole lot of explosions occur to hide the fact that the mystery has not been the least engaging whatsoever because the conspiracy stuff was mostly window-dressing the same way friendship themes are used in Haganai. If I’m wrong, feel free to correct me, but everyone I’ve come into contact with seems to agree that yes, this is what happened. Oh, and did I mention that the show takes itself 100% seriously even though one of the plot lines involves the world being destroyed by fucking sunbeams or whatever it was? Not even a wink to the audience? Hello, Towa No Quon vibes.
Oh by the way, because APR didn’t approve of the comment I sent them, this is what I thought regarding the Robotics;Notes episode in general.
This week’s Robotics;Notes will truly be remembered by most people as the episode that changed our view on the show forever. For months, we sat through episode upon episode of buildup, waiting for that obligatory semicolon payoff that always seemed like it would come, only to be snatched away from us at the last minute. We patiently told ourselves “don’t worry, this is all building up to something” as we remembered Steins;Gate and how good that turned out (Chaos;Head does not exist). But then this episode came and made me realize something important regarding Robotics;Notes: the show is terrible. To call Episode 19 a huge clusterfuck of nonsensical events (most of them not even foreshadowed properly) with stupid villains, mismanaged character development, poor pacing, and a world-destroying plot so stupid that even Mojo Jojo from Powerpuff Girls would think twice about using it would be an insult to those kinds of clusterfucks that I find entertaining. You suck Robotics;Notes. You really, really suck!
Now, I know what you’re going to say. Don’t you like plot-holed, inconsistent messes? Do I need to remind you of an anime called K? Well here’s the thing. Aside from the fact that that anime actually did wink at the audience a few times, none of the plotholes and shit people accuse K of not explaining were relevant to what happened in that anime. The stuff with the other kings? The origin of all the characters? Not the least bit important. It was just a story about a kid who was hunted by rival gangs due to murdering a certain member. There was literally nothing more to it other than a few attempts at spicing it up here and there. Robotics;Notes’ plot on the other hand is…um…actually I don’t know what the main plot is.
Initially, it was about a group of students trying to build a robot because the main girl wanted to make her sister proud. Wasn’t really sold on that plot thread since that kind of thing depends entirely on finding the characters entertaining, which I didn’t (Yes, that includes Frau. Don’t like Frau). But whatever, I could forgive that and just dismiss the show as not my thing if that was the entire point of what was going on. Thing is, Robotics;Notes pulled the same stupid stunt Rideback did and refused to make the story simple. It wanted to involve conspiracies and military and secrets that rarely gel well with the kind of slice-of-life R;N started as because it usually ends up muddled, confusing, and ultimately boring. Okay, it’s not the exact same because R;N used the cool stuff as window dressing whilst Rideback used the slice-of-life as window dressing, but that doesn’t change the fact that the combination just didn’t work out well for either of them because they cancelled out the strengths of both slice-of-life and conspiracy shit whilst emphasizing all the flaws. So basically, the main plot is group builds a robot whilst world is about to be destroyed by weird natural causes hinted in reports and somehow other robots are invol…you see the problem I’m having? And I can’t leave anything out of that statement because unlike K, those extra story additions and “holes” are too ingrained into the main story.
If you’re having trouble understanding my messy attempt to understand this clusterfuck, what I’m basically saying is that R;N has become a mess, but it’s not the kind of mess that I enjoy. It’s too much of a blender of different elements that are too engrained into the main plot for me to ignore and I don’t think the show can recover from here. The only good thing about what happened regarding this episode in my totally biased, “incorrect to everyone but me” opinion is that I stopped caring about the show long ago so I didn’t get mad at what happened. I didn’t laugh either. I was just stone cold apathetic throughout the entire thing, which is pretty bad in its own way.
- I’m probably going to replace Type-Moon with this anime on my “Anime That Suck” list once it’s over.
- I honestly think Chaos;Head is better than R;N. At least that anime was fun and pretended to have a plot for its first half.