Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 12, 2012 to Mar 22, 2013
23 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.481 (scored by 24469 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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Synopsis2019, Divergence Ratio 1.048596. The near future, where a device popularly called the PokeCom, packaged with PhoneDroid OS, spreads, bringing the Augmented Reality world close to existence.
Central Tanegashima High School's Robot Research Club is in danger of losing its club status. Kaito Yashio, one of only two members, is only obsessed with robot fighting games, showing no interest in the Robo Club even in this situation. The reckless, useless club head, Akiho Senomiya, aims to complete a giant robot, struggling hard to avoid losing the club's status.
Then, one day, Kaito discovers the A.R. annotation that becomes the Kimijima Report. Written in that report is the indictment of someone named Kou Kimijima's conspiracy involving the world.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Robotics;Notes
Alternative setting: ChäoS;HEAd, Steins;Gate
Characters & Voice Actors
my main impression: whoever came up with the original concept as well as the script writers for this anime need a really good editor, who can wrangle their ideas into something that actually hangs together structurally and makes sense. because there were plenty of ideas here, quite possibly too many, and the result is a hodgepodge of giant plot holes held together by spit and enthusiasm.
i can't remember the last time i watched an anime that was so meticulously produced, so overall pretty, so well animated and orchestrated, and found it such an unholy mess on the inside, which ultimately left me unfulfilled.
story: there are two main stories here; one consists of a high school's robotics club trying to put together a giant robot, the other is pretty much at the other end of the spectrum: saving the world from mysterious villainy. the first part is decently executed (love the battle bots!), but it soon takes a back seat to the second one, which is sadly not executed well at all. i liked the twist, which i did not see coming, but i didn't like the hurried exposition explaining it all. the pacing of this story is all over the map; IMO 22 episodes are enough time to handle it much better.
animation/art: production IG, need i say more? it's beautiful. so much detail, and characters even change their clothes and hair styles several times! backgrounds showcase tanegashima (an island off the south coast of kyuushuu), where japan's actual space facilities are located -- i want to go!. smooth animation, good cinematography. i have no complaints here; it is a joy to watch.
sound: my reviews tend to lack good notes on sound because, while i know good music when i hear it, i don't have a knowledgeable vocabulary to convey its nuances. i like the BGM here, i also like the OP and ED songs (i'm becoming a fan of itou kanako; a strong, non-cutesy female voice). the voice talent is decent -- shinichiro miki is wasted as sawada, morikawa toshiyuki does a fair but kinda bland job voicing kimijima (for which he probably should not be blamed), and nazuka kaori steals the show with her interpretation of fraukoujiro.
characters: great visual design, sub-par personalities.
1. senomiya akiho, super-enthusiastic president of the robotics club with a serious inferiority complex about her older sister misaki who first had the idea of building a giant robot for the famous anime "gunvarrel" 9 years ago.
2. yashio kaito, whose sole interest at the start is playing a giant-robot battle game, at which he excels. otherwise he doesn't seem to care about anything, doesn't want to do anything, and basically just lays around, only moving when aki drags him around.
3. daitoku junna, a moe blob with a fear of robots (she has reason).
4. hidaka subaru, megane guy with delusions of bishounen/liberace grandeur, heavily into robots, serious to a fault
5. fraukoujiro / furugoori kano, shut-in, geek, gamer, genius programmer, fujoshi, equal-opportunity lecher
6. yukifune airi, AI interface
that doesn't sound so bad, you say? well, it's not bad bad, but it's just... there isn't enough character development here. we get a bare bones skeleton for most of them, and while we might find out a secret or two, we don't really get to know these people, and they feel almost generic (except that their character design is very good). except furugoori, who is quite a unique character, albeit bordering on caricature.
aki and kaito both drive the show; everybody else feels like an extra. aki bulldozes ahead on the robot-building side, while kaito investigates the odd occurrences that start with an alleged ghost. he becomes a little more interesting as time goes on, but i had a hard time warming up to him because he is just not innately curious (unlike me, *wry grin*), and keeps dragging his feet, almost lackadaisically stumbling across serious secrets, and showing little intellectual curiosity. he frustrated me a lot until fairly late in the anime when he grows a pair. his saving grace all along is that he does care about those he considers his friends, and he will act to help them, often quietly behind the scenes. i am happy to say what little romance this anime involves is actually well done, no typical stupidity involved.
i can't talk about the villain(s) without spoilering, but that's probably my biggest disappointment -- we get no good villain. there is no proper motivation for the villainous intent, and frankly, most fights between good and evil just bore me; i prefer conflict between good-yet-flawed characters, dilemmas that make me think. don't get that here. oh, and i could have done without the parrot ex machina intervention at the convenient moment; i actually laughed -- not what i should feel moved to do in a life-or-death situation
so where the heck did the monopoles come from? is that ever explained and i just missed it?
in short, i enjoyed watching it, but the pay-off didn't materialize, and the 7 is primarily there because the production is so good, and i average all values to get my overall score. i don't think that i would recommend it to my friends. read more
I was really looking forward to an anime adaptation of Robotics;Notes, the third visual novel written by Hayashi Naotaka-shi for the collaboration of 5pb. and Nitroplus, because previous two series came from it were really neat with ChäoS;HEAd being a rather promising start and Steins;Gate being just stellar. So no wonder I have a lot of things to tell now.
Robotics;Notes begins with our protagonists, Yashio Kaito and Senomiya Akiho, the only members of school’s robotics club, trying to save the said club from shutting down. And that’s a huge step down from Steins;Gate in terms of a story. I mean, Steins;Gate had university students as main characters who invent and mess up with crazy gadgets, and all Robotics;Notes has to offer is yet another clichéd story about saving a school club. Ouch. But to be fair, one can still pull out a good plot from that, and Robotics;Notes has an interesting start despite me being biased against its premise.
The plot of the series starts off with Yashio and Senomiya entering some sort of Japanese Robot Wars tournament. It’s a great hook for the series and it made me change my initial opinion of the show. I’m pretty sure that the idea of crushing and smashing enemy robots with your own one is appealing to every geek, who is interested in technology. We are all children when it comes to this. If you liked playing around with screwdrivers and other instruments, disassembling stuff and building simple mechanisms when you were small, then you understand the overall feeling that Robotics;Notes is trying to show you — the technology is awesome, and through it you can make miracles come true like a bloody mage.
The first half of Robotics;Notes serves mainly as an introduction of the characters, just like in Steins;Gate.
Yashio is a good male protagonist to me. He has a lazy attitude but essentially is a nice and caring fellow who just doesn’t want to show it off. Sometimes he lacks character because of that but I think that’s fine in general.
Senomiya Akiho is a cheerful, merry girl. She is really important for this story because she is the key to the mood Robotics;Notes is trying to pull you in. Senomiya absolutely loves robots and never stops talking about how classy they are. Actually, it’s a double-edged sword, because, depending on a viewer, she can either be irritating or having a certain appeal to her.
Of all other characters I want to mention Furugōri Kona, resident computer fairy. I mentioned in my Steins;Gate review that I liked how Hashida Itaru was a pretty nice depiction of a geek. Furugōri is exact opposite, a walking stereotype: a shut-in, a fujoshi and speaks in slang full of memes. The thing is, she is probably my favourite character here, maybe because of her over-the-top behaviour and facial expressions or maybe because she has a certain drama to herself. Nevertheless, I think Furugōri’s antics are the funniest part of the series.
So, yeah… Enough praising here. You’ve probably seen my rating and are now wondering why it is so low after all I said. Well, both Steins;Gate and Robotics;Notes have a good first half, but while Steins;Gate in its second half becomes one of the best anime series I’ve ever seen, Robotics;Notes follows the wrong way and starts to fall apart.
The plot becomes bloody nonsensical. A lot of threads are left forgotten and unresolved, and I think that I should put part of the blame for this on the blokes who wrote script for the series because it feels like they did a bad job in condensing several routes of the visual novel into one big story. But there are things I can’t see any excuse for. Some events of the past that the characters constantly mentioned in a vague way are never fully explained. What a tease. Other big events happened during the course of the series just don’t get enough attention in my eyes. Major things going in Tokyo? Yep, it looks totally important because all description I get is about thirty seconds of footage and a couple of posts in bland name Twitter. The world is in turmoil? Casually mentioned in the news and that’s it. I just can’t sense the scale they want me to feel. It’s like spending all day wasting time in your house, watching the telly and so on, and then some fellow suddenly shows up and tells you that boom, you saved the world by doing nothing. That is wonderful but just doesn’t feel like a major accomplishment, does it?
Most of the characters lost their appeal to me in the second half because they just stopped being relevant to the main plot. It’s just like they are written in for the sake of one single scene or for the pure purpose of exposition. The antagonist is also meh because he lacks any motivation or traits that could have made him a memorable villain. Just what is he going to do after he succeeds? Why is his plan so overly complex and relying heavily on rather small and obscure details? I guess I’ll never know.
And another thing. As I mentioned before, what defined Robotics;Notes and made it likeable to me in the first place is the sense of awe it gave to technology and constructing stuff. I loved that message, but then the creators completely screwed it up with inconsistency and technobabble. Sure, there is a lot of technobabble in ChäoS;HEAd and in Steins;Gate, but at least it is believable to some extent. And here we have magnetic monopoles — red glowing thingies that just fall from the sky for unexplained reason. There is a friendly neighbourhood PhD in physics, whom I went to the same school with. When I told her about this concept, well… I’ll never forget those cold eyes of a person with murderous intent so strong it can make you die of fear. No, seriously, you cannot write a love letter to science with plot devices like monopoles that come out from bloody nowhere. It sort of undermines the whole message that technology can make miracles in good hands and save the world in hopeless situations because it turns out that to create technology you need a really miraculous event to happen first. Ridiculous.
Robotics;Notes is major disappointment for me. Akin to ChäoS;HEAd and Steins;Gate, it was rather promising in the beginning, with Robot Wars, urban legends and augmented reality quest bits, but unlike those two, its story had too much build-up leading out to literally nothing, so it just collapsed by its own weight. read more
Both shows feature a few teenagers who are interested in mecha and the setting is in the not-too-distant future. The teens spend a lot of their time in a garage and discuss the robots. Also, in both of the series, there is a bit of politics/conspiracies mixed in. Although the vibe of both series are a bit unlike each other - some of the character's personalities in both series are similar to each other. For example, both the RN and RB main female characters are persistent and are focused on reaching their goals and have a bond with their robot/RideBack.
In both series, there is a similar feeling and involves a female protagonist who is interested in technology that are appealing to the world that they reside in. Although their interests are different, the main female protagonist is determined to make their dreams a reality.
Both series also takes place at a school setting where there is a club formed for the series' interests.
Both series has some science fiction themes as well as comedy, drama, and some emotional moments in later episodes.
Opening Theme#1: "Junjou Spectra (純情スペクトラ)" by Zwei (eps 1-11)
#2: "Houkyou no Messiah (咆筺のメシア)" by HARUKI (eps 12-22)
Ending Theme#1: "Umikaze no Brave (海風のブレイブ)" by fumika (eps 1-11)
#2: "Topology (トポロジー)" by Kanako Ito (eps 12-22)
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Related ClubsRobotics;Notes FC, MAL Synchtube Theater, Mobile Geeks, For god sake stop scoring shows when no episodes are out!, Anime America Club, Robotics;Notes, noitaminA, The Mad Scientists, Frau Koujiro (Furugoori, Kona) Fanclub, 5pb Fan Club, Future Gadget Lab , Icha Icha Research Club, Currently Airing Anime, Sol's Worst Anime
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