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.
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.
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.
I want to note this is my first review. I was 11 episodes within the series when I had written this review. Please keep in mind I was hyped from some important climatic events. Seeing this series with only two reviews at the time (poor and shrewd); I decided to step up. This is also spoiler free until noted.
Story & Plot:
Robotics;Notes has slice of life related elements while maintaining a hint of supernatural. As the story progresses, the story unfolds of how Earth will face it's doom and our little high school club may be the only ones that can actually do anything about it.
It compares to Steins;Gate, which had a slow paced story with major impact during later episodes. Everything slowly unravels for a sickeningly twisted plot of how everyone and everything is connected.
The show features a very diverse set of characters. Our main heroin female is spunky and full of dreams and our protagonist is a laid back gamer. As our two main characters set off to save their club from disbandment it begins to introduce the set cast and how everyone plays a dire role. From the quirky moe internet junky to our shy, full of impact karate impressionist, the Robotics Club is balanced in every which way. Robotics;Notes leads on to a huge set of character based comedy where the more you like the character the funnier their actions are.
Artwork & Animation:
The shadings for the environment look stunning as an overall piece while the mecha blend perfectly into each scene. Unlike most CGI looking clockworks we're deceived by today, Robotics;Note doesn't leave anything for imagination in this category (all in good retrospect). Character design comes at a stand point of an acceptable, but typical anime character. However character detail shines unprecedented.
Music & Opening/Ending
Robotics;Notes background music always fits perfectly as something unique for what's happening at that point. Whether they're discussing something serious or posing the lighter side in semantics, the music is latent enough to pull you into the story.
As for the opening, it's uplifting. It features the cast starting a new day alongside the Robotics Club. The ending focuses on a cute patsy character that might make a good selling point. The music itself is an upbeat tune following the character taking on the world.
Robotics;Notes stands out for me simply based off story progression. Even though we begin with this slice of life "can we build it story?" it evolves into "what's going on and is this true?" To better understand, if you've seen shows like Mawaru Penguindrum or Durarara!! you're stuck in a world where nothing makes sense until you're nearly done with the series. When they reveal certain aspects of the series' universe you just want to see what happens next, and how they pull through. Robotics;Notes delivers to keep you interested in the same manner.
To be Expected (my rendition of harmless spoilers):
- Priority Numero Uno! There aren't any large breasted females; it's not unorthodox in character design.
- There are mecha fight scenes.
- Various character based comedy.
- Light physical powers, persay.
- Unraveling the future of Earth fighting against an evil company.
- Next generation technology.
Okay, so Robotics;Notes. I admit it. I am a big fan of Nitrosplus and their works. Hell, remember Steins;Gate? That scientific thriller was one hell of a ride. When I heard that they were going to do another anime adaptation of the science fiction genre, I was very excited. No, I was ecstatic. However, after completing this series, it left me nothing of what I originally had hoped for. Don't get me wrong. I don't like comparing other works from the same company much especially since neither has close resemblance. However, the experience that came out of this series was worlds apart.
Now, regarding technology...
of technology can do wonders. In today's world, technology has provided us with so many new innovations for our common lives. In fact, without technology, our lives would not be the same as many of us know as of today. Perhaps one of the most interesting technology we may be curious about is the idea of robotics. Yes, robots! It's a mechanical unit with artificial intelligence that is programmed by a computer system that can make our lives much easier. It is automatic. It is useful. It is futuristic. Who knows? In maybe about ten, twenty, or thirty years, our world may never ever be the same again. If there's one change though, robots might be a word that would come to most people's minds. Evolution is inevitable and technology evolves every day.
In the world of Robotics;Notes, robots has become a fascinating phenomenon. By its tagline, “What would happen if you really tried to make a giant robot?”
Robotics;Notes is an anime series with production handled by Production I.G that began airing on noitaminA (Animation written backwords) during the Fall of 2012. The series is based off of a Japanese visual novel developed by 5pb who are known for their previous science fiction works such as Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate. The series takes place in 2019 on a southern island known as Tanegashima in Japan. In a futuristic world, technology has evolved and people have become interested in robots. One such group of people known as the Robot Research Club is keen on unlocking its secrets, exploring the ideas of robotics, and make the most of it.
Now, the series is a standalone anime. It is NOT a prequel or sequel of any of Nitroplus' other works. Despite being in the mainstream and having highly successful ratings, Steins;Gate and Robotics;Notes has little similarity beyond one or the other with the exception of a cameo character and some references.
The majority of the series takes place at Chuuoutanegashima High School. (how the hell do you even pronounce that?) It is here where the Robot Research Club do their daily activities. Unfortunately though, the club does seem to suffer a bit of...uh, population in terms of membership. As a matter of fact, its status is weak and it's up to its two members (Akiho Senomiya and Kaito Yashio) to save it.
For the first half of the series, Robotics;Notes gives off a slice-of-life feeling where the atmosphere is very lighthearted, casual, and occasionally can cause some snoozing reactions. Luckily, we have Akiho and Kaito to maybe wipe out some of those boredom. For one thing, I found these two protagonists very likeable to watch especially in regards to their interactions and dialogues. Their personalities doesn't seem to match well though. On the surface, Akiho seems to be a very enthusiastic girl who wants to explores ideas (namely robotics for the club). Her goal is to make a giant robot for the world to see and hoping that dream will become a reality. She also seems to be a big fan of GUNVARREL, and surprise surprise, that's about robotics as well. On the other hand, there's Kaito. Unlike Akiho, he only seems to be interested in spending his days playing games, namely the fighting game Kill-Ballad. He is unenthusiastic but continues to stand by Akiho's side for a specific reason.
The club only has two members from the beginning. It's hard to make the most of it for the duo especially if they want to convince others to join their club. For that, they must earn other students' respect, support, and rights. Perhaps the best way to accomplish this task is to make a name for themselves at school. And hey, what better way to do it than making a giant robot?!
The way these two start off from the beginning is a bit frustrating to watch. Their lack of progress puts Akiho on stress especially with their club in danger of being closed. Trust me though, I want them to succeed. But that's a lot easier said than done because not only does the club seems to lack members, but also funding as well. There does seem to be opportunities presented that could help with that but one must win the rights for it.
Speaking of opportunities, by the first few episodes, viewers might be turned off with its themes and the presentation. In fact, this series can even be labeled as slice-of-life at many occasions by the way it seems to progress its episodes. It's no surprise though as Nitroplus' other works tend to follow a similar trending; shows starts off slow, gets intense, and concludes with a definite finish.
Luckily, that intensity and progression gets under way later on. Like an invention, the series progresses itself through its themes such as actual robot combat and later on, even conspiracy from the government. It also gets more emotional as well especially regarding Subaru (another student at the school) and his father. Furthermore, there is a lot of mysteries developing seemingly behind the scenes. For one thing, Kaito seems to have discovered something out of this world in the form of a young girl trapped in his game tablet. It opens up a strange boundary towards the mystery field as viewers may want to know who she is, what's she's there for, and why she is there in the first place.
Unfortunately, the series itself does drag quite a bit. Even I found it boring at many circumstances. Robotics;Notes just seems to drag itself way too slow with its slice-of-life feeling. As a matter of fact, each episode seems off balance. The “let's build a robot to make our names known to the world” genre has becomes stale after so many episodes. Furthermore, the mechanics behind the construction of the robot is almost nonexistent or mentioned very briefly in one of the beginning episodes. The series' all so likeable duo also becomes a bit repetitive to watch as there seems to be little to no development between Akiko and Kaito. As a matter of fact, the duo continues live on their daily lives as if there's almost nothing going on and about. Their relationship remains intact but we want to see more than that. We want to seem the two succeed and accomplish what their goal – building that robot of their dreams and showing it to the world to make a name of themselves. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen or at least far too slow in progress. Well, I guess the ending of this little duo was cute. But marvelous? Hell no. Finally, I would say that although R;N makes a way of seemingly foreshadowing events, it is stale. At the very least, it didn't give me that thriller like feeling.
However, the theme of robots and technology remains intact. To add to this package, there is also a very peculiar girl who speaks and acts like a otaku of the modern days. Her name is Frau (real name is Kona Furugōri) and she's one girl with a genius mind. Behind that head of hers though lies a somewhat tragic past especially related to her parents. Furthermore, her character develops a bit and becomes one of the pivotal moments during the latter half of the series after an unprecedented event. With the help of her new friend, she finds hope in this world of technology.
Speaking of hope, there seems to be more of that later on for the Robotics Club as well!
The club recruits some new members and gets their interests through. In fact, even Kaito becomes interested in some of the phenomenon going around especially regarding one of the mysterious factors he discovers on his game tablet as mentioned earlier. Because the series has 5bp and Nitroplus involved, expect some correlations. In fact, a cameo from its highly successful anime series Steins;Gate makes their debut later on as well as various references. It's science all over again! Duhuhu
In terms of visuals, Robotics;Notes only maintains an average stance of artwork. The school has its posture that looks like an average looking school rather than some viewers may originally expected; a possibly advanced academy with super technology. No, it's just a normal school with normal people. Ichirou Tatsuta handles the art direction who is known for his work in other titles such as Ghost Hound, Shiki, and Usagi Drop. The characters themselves also look mostly normal and to themselves (with a little peculiarity added to Frau). Chikashi Kubota (Anohana, Shinsekai Yori, Corpse Princess) is responsible for the characters' animation designs. He gives most of the series' characters a soft touch of lightheartedness rather than making them stand out too much. Most of them gives off that natural look with some technical attributes here and there such as Airi. Ah, that cute little thing..
The soundtrack and music of the series stands slightly above mediocre. The OP song, Junjou Spectra by Zwei, for the first half is very catchy with its montage of characters as well as some of the technology dealing with robotics. The second OP song drops the ball a bit but still gives off that technical outlook. The overall OST of the series is lighthearted with some emotional melodies played during some of the more melancholic scenes. It's hard to take it serious at many variances because the series feels like a slice of life with everything moving slowly. The soundtrack has that slow feeling as well. It's boring.
Overall, enjoying Robotics Notes for me was hard. The series starts off slow and has that slice of life feeling. That feeling follows throughout the series despite some of the intertwined arcs presented such as conspiracy, robot building, and the mysterious girl in the game tablet. The duo of Kaito and Aki are fun to watch at first but it might be hard to take it too well after so their ever-so-slow development. In fact, there is hardly much at all despite them being the main stars of the show. Their personality collides often and makes it seem strange to watch them interact at times. Luckily, robots exist in the show that gives the title its meaning. Technology plays roles too especially with the mind of a young genius girl. There is also minimal fan service that gives the series a more innocent outlook on the futuristic world as opposed to a dark dystopian setting five or ten years from our time. Ultimately though, R;N stands only barely at a '6' for me. If it wasn't for a certain cool 2D girl with her cool pixel hair style, I probably would of snoozed through this. Duhuhuhu...
Now I do have to wonder though, what would you do if you had a giant robot?
A short warning: This is kind of long and I'm a bit of a potty-mouth (I tried to take the cursing out, but some might still be in there). Also, please leave some feedback, especially if you don't like the review. All criticism is appreciated.
The setting is basically this: The Robotics Club at Central Tanegashima High School want to build a huge mecha, and the series follows its members in their struggles with funding and other stuff. Pretty basic. Obviously there's more under the surface than the characters just going at it with spanners, including a mystery slowly being revealed about a conspiracy that would
severely endanger a sweeping majority of the people on Earth. It's pretty far-fetched and we're never given a proper explanation why the plan is in motion any way. The series is very episodic and each episode usually focuses on one of the side characters and how Kaito fits in and helps them.
To begin with some negativity, my main gripe with the series, is that it feels so very standard. Generic is another word I could use, but it feels too negative. Robotics;Notes takes what you find in most series nowadays: A cast of rather quirky characters that compliment each-other's quirk/weirdness and go with it. It embraces the stereotypic tropes usually associated with anime and doesn't shy away from using them.
A positive to be found is that the animation is of very good quality. It's not Makoto Shinkai level of quality, but not much out there is. I'm far from an artist myself, so that's about all I'll say about it. One of the few good things with the series.
As far as the voice acting, it's mostly solid. Fukuda Nobuaki stands out as "Doc" in an emotional episode at about the middle of the series. Most others are good, but not outstanding. Part of the soundtrack stand out, but others are pretty run-of-the-mill pieces. Sound department ends up being a little above average, all things considered.
To the characters:
Akiho (the female protagonist) is super energetic and ambitious, while Kaito (male protagonist) is when the series begins depicted as a sloth and generally disinterested in doing anything but playing Kill-Ballad (an on-line fighting game with mechas) which he apparently is one of the top people in the world at. As the series goes forward, Kaito's character is all over the place. Junna is what I like to put in the category of "moe-blob. Basically, she's a throwaway character that's in the series to be cute and once or twice pop into the main plot-line for an episode or two. Contrasting her is Subaru, ambitious and helpful dude, who was told by his father to stop building, and competing with, robots. Then there's Kona, the epitome of stereotypic nerds in Japanese culture; She's a shut-in; almost entirely communicates in memes; is incredibly perverted and is generally pictured as a bit of a nut-case. That said, she does have a back-story that ties into the main story which is intriguing for the peculiarly short time it's given to develop. There's also the obligatory crazy director guy who's completely obsessed with boobs, and has a parrot that's trained (or is just damaged for being around him too long) to chant along in his craving for beholding boobs, as well as the oddball teacher who seems to be the most stupid and unreliable person on earth, but ends up being a person you should count on. You know you've seen these character types before if you've watched more than a couple anime.
A big problem the series has initially, is the fact that it takes a long time to get going. It starts with an in medias res scene, with the group starting up a big mecha and getting it started. After that we're showed the lives and struggles of Akiho and Kaito in their strife to get the robot working. They get some more members shortly, but the two are unquestionably the main characters. So, basically, the first episodes are for introducing the characters and the basic plot, which is usually fine. The problem is that the main characters aren't really that interesting, and neither is the main story to begin with. Viewers who stick around will have a passable series to watch, but there's not a whole lot keeping you in attached to the show or its characters. Let's see why:
The characters, with focus on the main characters:
Kaito - the series main protagonist, mind you- is an extremely bland and terribly boring character. He rarely shows interest in doing anything at all and seems to be sticking around "just because". In the beginning, coming off as eternally sceptical and non-committal, though at times showing intense caring and emotion, Kaito is a character that's all over the place, everything at once. It's not that he breaks out of his usual behaviour once or twice, it's that he doesn't have a starting point. Which is something you can say about the series as well.
Akiho - sharing main protagonist duties with Kaito - is a very energetic character who strongly believes in herself and her vision of building the robot her sister started building years previously. I can see her being a character that splits the audience, like a Haruhi. Infectious and happy-go-lucky personality that can alienate some viewers and enamour others.
The most glaring problem with the side-characters is that they're used mainly as plot devices. Characters pop in and out of relevance when it's convenient to the story, and few are consistent throughout the series. So, even when there are scenes that are supposed to evoke emotional responses, we as viewers haven't been given enough to care about the characters and their fates. Every scene should get some sort of reaction or give you something as a viewer. Tons of scenes and some episodes could and should have been cut out to give the viewer more information and background.
The story, which takes the back seat to introducing the characters. The mecha launching stuff in the opening moments of the show is a set-up for other things to happen in the second half of the series and the main story takes a few episodes to even enter the series. The story is told very episodically, in fragments between the episode-long character arcs, where you get more information about the characters and at times ending that characters arc entirely. Like seriously, what ever happened to Subaru's dad going at him for still being into robots? Did he just chill out after Subaru picked one apart in front of him? It was never very clear in the series, or at least not given enough time to appreciate what the arc ultimately did for the character (nothing at all).
It does pick up a considerable amount later, with some emotional episodes and big events and twists. The middle part of the series is easily its best. Though, with the characters being horribly, infuriatingly uneven, it's hard to fully enjoy the series. Also, some scenes are so ridiculously improbable and out of the blue that any seriousness it's trying to get across gets lost.
Now, I've been ragging on it a lot, but honestly, Robotics;Notes is an enjoyable show at times. It's passable as a watch, but if I were to decide on it being good or bad, I have to go with bad. With the story presented, the show has the potential to be a great show, but there are like six episodes dedicated to the story when the disappointing endgame rolls in, filled with deus ex machinas.
To summarise: The series does a poor job at getting the attention and sympathies of it's viewers to begin with and the pacing is way off from where it should be to tell a story that you, as a viewer, should become invested in. Main characters aren't able to carry the show on their own, and as a result the show is pretty flat in the end. It's almost fun how much we're meant to take for granted without any explanation at all. As such, it fails in doing what any series striving to be considered a serious work should do: Make the viewer care. It certainly has some sweet feel-good moments, but they hardly weigh up the series' shortcomings. It's a good try, but in the end it fails more than it succeeds. It falls short of the line between good and bad, and as such, I won't recommend this series to anyone. Maybe I would recommend an aspiring storyteller to watch it, just to know what pits in writing and storytelling to avoid, and that's certainly not something you would want written on the back of the DVD-case.
I went into watching this having already watched Steins;Gate. An anime which I thought was excellent. So I was expecting to have an interesting story with strong and engaging characters at the very least. And despite a few people making their complaints about Robotics;Notes I found it to have all these factors.
The basic story whilst a little far fetched is indeed interesting. A School Club attempting to build a giant Mecha. Saying it like that it even sounds downright cheesy. But this plays to Robotics;Notes' strengths I felt. Whilst the story is a little out there, 5pb has done a wonderful job of making
it seem perfectly pheasable. I also went in expecting it to be a little more light in comparison to Steins;Gate. Whilst it was a little less heavy at the beginning as you continue after the first three or four episodes it starts to get a lot darker and downright creepy at points. Whenever "Kagome Kagome" started playing I got chills down my spine. From a story standpoint I'm willing to say it stands on par with Steins;Gate. Whilst not as compelling as Time Travel, the more you watch it the more you'll come to love it.
The characters are also well defined and are strong. They also suffer a little from the whole "clichè" thingy a tad. But I found them to be completely compelling and diverse at the same time somehow. It's something that's hard to explain. Just watch.
Robotics;Notes will not appeal to everybody. But I'll go out on a limb here and say that if you enjoyed Steins;Gate you're going to enjoy this. From what I've seen so far it hasn't yet reached the lofty heights of S;G but its a worthy successor and well worth a watch even if you haven't seen Steins;Gate or Chaos;Head.
Definitely worth a look at the very least!
EDIT: After completing the series I must say that I was quite disappointed, and I would like to rescind some of my comments comparing it to S;G.
Robotics notes is surprisingly good anime, my expectations were pretty low but it actually end up being better than Steins;Gate, going beyond its epicness, especially in terms of characters. Also, the animation is pretty cool.
- no one ever
The anime is about some guy and some girl who both have some weirdass diseases which are exactly opposite from each others. Elephants, mice and such, literally and apparently but no one honestly knows. There is also some dead sister who is alive, she is also the evilest thing ever except she is actually a good one, at this point I also assume that she is no one's
sister. Someone could say the series is constantly trolling viewers with such a witty writing. Someone could say cat pictures are epic. Who knows.
Then there is some random amount of female characters who have nothing to do with anything but all good series need a harem and one of the girls is voiced by Rie Kugumiya so it's okay. The lads in this series aren't strapping, they are either princes of bishonen or otherwise pretty boys. It's similar to this ginga bishonen thingy from Star Driver, all that galactic prettiness. I assume not everyone knows about it so here is the sum up,
Listen, bishonen is never straight but this time it was pretty fucking gay.
- that one guy from the internet
I would talk about their personalities, but wearing glasses randomly and awkwardly for a comedic purposes doesn't really... it's probably some Japanese thing, supposedly hilarious but it's funny only at 4 am when you haven't slept for a week.
We have fighting tournaments with robots, school club and other original things like mortal peril and such. It's okay, only all anime ever resolves around clubs but who cares, how can you even do a series without a fucking manly badass club? Exactly, totally fucking impossible. We need school and we need clubs. It's a message from Japan, go to school and study because you can't do shit without school, you can't even write a fucking robot fight without school. It's hard, anime and clubs are constantly criticized for cliches, it's hard, no one understand, it's hard, no one wants to understand.
The only genre tagged is sci fi and that's about all there is to tell because by far nothing much has happened. But lets not judge yet, I mean only 11 episodes are out!!11!! It's not like that amount epicness can bloom with just an 11 episodes, no no, we just have to wait and see. Was S;G so good from the start? No it was not, don't be stupid people, hold your wannabe elitism and stop being haters. You are not professional critics so do not criticize this. It's okay to praise the shit out of this at this point already, though.
R;N is an anime where pacing is not even a word and depth is just another synonym for penetration.
- some pseudo-funny guy from an e-pen gathering
I don't hate this, it is just so very bland and not worth of caring about.
Robotics;Notes is the 2012 anime adaptation addition to the Science Adventure series, which so far consists of three different series which are all connected by alternative settings: Chaos;Head, Steins;Gate and lastly Robotics;Notes.
Made originally by 5pb while the previous series C;H and S;G were a collaboration of both 5pb and Nitroplus, the anime showed much promise to be an engrossing Sci-fi tale about ipad-like devices named Poke-Coms, mecha and robots all in a near future school setting.
To tell you the truth, for some time after the Visual Novel was announced it was one of top highly anticipated visual novels, and when the anime announcement came before
the visual novel was even out I was ecstatic. I thought just like the case of Steins;Gate, that we will need to wait a couple of years after the visual novel was out to get the anime adaptation, and in the case of Chaos;Head the anime adaptation came a few months after the visual novel was out. In the case of Robotics;Notes, it was the same, only that the anime was announced before the visual novel was released.
So, hearing the news about the Robotics;Notes adaptation made me really happy inside. I anticipated the series greatly and hyped in massively in my mind, mainly because of the highly successful and critical acclaimed previous series in the Science Adventure franchise, Steins;Gate. I was certain that after the mistake that was the Chaos;Head anime adaptation we'll get another great adaptation. Steins;Gate was made by White Fox, an unknown studio at the time that quickly gained popularity from the few anime it released. Robotics;Notes however, is made by Production I.G, A respectable studio who is responsible for many good anime adaptations. Chaos;Head was made by Madhouse Studios, another respectable studio, but, butchered the anime adaptation of C;H to bits for some reason. So unlike the case of Chaos;Head, and like the case of Steins;Gate, I was certain we'll get another great anime adaptation, Robotics;Notes.
Q:Was I disappointed?
Q:Was the studio responsible for my disappointment?
Q:So... what is responsible for my disappointment?
A:Clearly. The source material.
In the next paragraphs I'll explain exactly what disappointed me about Robotics;Notes.
The story of Robotics;Notes in the beginning was slow, yet showed much promise. Characters were introduced slowly one by one, and it seemed we have a winning adaptation again, just like Steins;Gate.
That is what was the problem.
Robotics;Notes tries to be just like Steins;Gate, but fails in the process.
Sub paragraph-Gameplay of the science adventure series:
The visual novel of Chaos;Head came before Steins;Gate, and had the delusional trigger system, which the main character in it, Takumi, triggered delusions in it that can affect the ending the reader can get.
The visual novel of Steins;Gate came out a few years prior to Robotics;Notes. This Science Adventure visual novel had the phone trigger system, which the story changed significantly according to some important text messages the reader chooses to send, something like a choice system like in most visual novels, only much cooler.
Robotics;Notes developers boasted: 'Those who enjoyed our previous visual novels in the franchise will not be disappointed'. The developers clearly tried making another Steins;Gate, so instead of cell phones, we got Poke-Coms, and with them the reader triggered everything with the Poke-com Trigger, which like Steins;Gate and Chaos;Head, affects the story significantly and decides what ending you'll get.
So making a system much more similar to Steins;Gate and less to Chaos;Head, is what I call riding the success of their previous series, which was critically acclaimed.
But... it wasn't.. Steins;Gate.
Much like Steins;Gate, the story of Robotics;Notes revolves about conspiracies and in the end about saving the world, but instead of time travel and world line shifting, we get robots to aid out heroes.
The story starts when the MC, Yashio Kaito and main heroine, Senomiya Akiho try to reform a dead robotics club by recruiting more members. Each episode in the beginning introduces characters one by one, Hidaka Subaru, Furugoori Kona, The Karate girl I can't let myself bother remembering her name etc. The story starts so slow... that it feels like nothing happened.
Let me break in down for you guys:
First episodes: Nothing happened.
Middle episodes: Nothing happened while the writers tried miserably to write some happenings in the story but failed.
Last episodes: Still nothing happened, while the writers tried to write some happenings in the story, but again, failed.
Robots, grandpas, monopoles, conspiracies, Mr. Pleiades, Robo-One, Death of a minor character, 'The isn't the gunvarrel I know', Furugoori scenes, conspiraces, AI's and much more etc etc, sounds like a story with major happenings?
The thing is, they feel so minor like the story stayed stuck in episode 1.
While one character in the series like to say 'IMPACTO', that is exactly what the story of Robotics;Notes lacked.
No Impact. Nothing. When I watched the series I asked myself, 'When will the story start'? Well... it simply didn't even feel like it started.
Similarities to Steins;Gate-Story:
Conspiracies, the committee of 300, sudden romance in the end, sci fi, devices with communication ability , saving the world, death of a character, circle of friends, tsunderes (Kurisu and Subaru, the male tsundere of the series), a female Daru Furugoori, few character makes minor appearances like a grown up nae and even a certain super hacker etc.
Riding on the success of a successful series like Steins;Gate doesn't make Robotics;Notes successful too. On the other hand, it makes it much inferior.
I'll give the story a 6, the lowest score I give to anything, because for me it was the weakest point of Robotics;Notes. The writing was mediocre, simple as that.
Animation looked fine, but it had QUALITY FACES EVERYWHERE. While the art in the beginning of the series was solid, then the QUALITY kicked in. Many faces were drawn awkwardly, even cheaply. While it was also the case with the Steins;Gate anime adaptation, Steins;Gate had scenes with massive detail in them. Robotics;Notes had none.
The theme songs were extremely catchy. Some are rockish, some are poppish. Unlike previous Science Adventure series, the opening wasn't sung by Itou Kanako, But by Zwei and Haruki. However, the second ending was sung by her.
The voice acting was on par of every other professional anime, but because of the faulty story, it didn't reach to its true potential.
Yashio Kaito - the main character. No Okabe by anime means, not even Takumi. He's just a normalfag who likes fighting games, that's all.
Senomiya Akiho - 2genki4me, though her blushing scenes made my nutbladder go wild.
Hidaka Subaru - The tsundere of the series. Yes, he's a male. A male tsundere. He also has his alternative persona, Mr. Pleiades.
Furugoori Kona - Daru? Yes, only female. That's all.
Airi - A-I that is voiced by Kugyuu. She's in most of the series, just.. useless. Later she developed more, but in the end, she was still useless.
Karate Girl - What was her name again? Ju-- I can't remember. I watched 22 episodes and I can't even remember.
Other characters: useless most of time.
While I found the story to be the weakest, at the beginning the anime was somewhat enjoyable, hence an addition of 0.5 to the final score.
Most of the time though, I didn't really enjoy myself. Polarizing to Steins;Gate, because the beginning of Steins;Gate was much less enjoyable from the latter episodes where shit got realer than fuck and the anime was awesome.
My rating scale goes like this - 10 the highest score, 6 the lowest. If I give an anime a 7, it means I was severely disappointed by it. By any means, this is no Steins;Gate, even if it tries hard to even reach its toes. In the end, Steins;Gate was extremely memorable for me, While Robotics;Notes was the opposite, extremely forgettable.
Recommendation value: low.
Verdict: Time killer, that's all. Not even a good one.
Next reviews by me:
2.Main Steins;Gate series, while I watched and rewatched it many times and even read the visual novel, watched the dub, read many of the manga adaptations and listened to the drama CD's, I just delay this review. I'm guessing I'll be done with it in 2036, if I'll be alive by then.
3.Maybe... Just maybe I'll write more reviews outside the science adventure series. But I'm still not sure.
Robotics;Notes review by DeadEnd2013 reached its dead end. Hope you enjoyed reading.
Robotics;Notes, the latest work of Naotaka Hayashi who is also the writer for Steins;Gate and Chaos;Head. If you didn't know that just by seeing the colon in each of the titles then the four lines of pointless philosophy he puts under the titles is bound to tip you off. As someone who has read both his first two works and watched the animes, I can say I have a fairly good grasp of his writing style. Don't worry about any fanboyish interfering with this review. As you can tell, I don't have a high opinion of him.
Robotics;Notes is about robots...or that what it's
supposed to be about. Wouldn't be the first of this guys works to have false advertising. The first half of the show involves Aki gathering the members of the robotics club and slice of life antics. This is a common thing in this mans works. A section of the story which is held up mostly by the characters and slice of life. It's slow and sadly unlike Steins;Gate the characters are not interesting enough to carry the show. So our only incentive to watch on deals with the mystery of Kimijima Reports. Unfortunately his mystery is slow moving and the significance of these reports only becomes apparent in the second half of the series.
Speaking of which, the second half could be considered the crash and burn point. If you pay attention you begin to notice that the story in it's efforts to become more dramatic has instead become sillier. Plot holes rear their heads and you come to the conclusion that despite the impression of the first episodes, this show isn't going for something remotely realistic. We enter into a series of character arcs which are not related to the main plot and anything that takes place here is forgotten and discarded. However when the final episodes come and our main plot returns. This is the point were the writers main weakness comes up and exposes itself. You see the writer has a problem with jumping the shark. He can create a setting with the potential to be something great but he also has the talent of reducing it to garbage if left unchecked. With Chaos;Head he turned an intriguing murder mystery into a shounen battle anime. With Steins;Gate he polluted it with developments which created plot holes. The result wasn't garbage but he was getting close by the end. (You people better be thankful to White fox for adapting the visual novel cleverly into anime and removing the flaws in the original materiel. For example, in the visual novel black holes can not only compress matter, but also data.) But Robotics;Notes takes the cake. I am sure I am not alone in saying that the revelations in those episodes were stupid beyond belief. And my friends if your sense of disbelief isn't shot to shreds, placed in a trashcan and set on fire by this point then a mind numbingly bad deus ex machina involving a parrot is sure to finish the job. In the end we are left with a barrel of plot holes, story developments which make no sense, characters we have long since stopped caring about and a ending which in one of the characters terms, lacks IMPACT0!
Animation is to the degrees I have come to expect from Production IG lately. While not visually stunning they still are above the standards of decent animation. Sound is fairly decent with two openings of J-pop. The second one I am actually fond of. The BGM manages to highlight scenes and do it's job. Not outstanding but I can't complain.
The characters of Robotic;Notes consist of a optimistic mecha anime fan main heroine called Aki, the gamer Kai who's currently only interested in playing a robot fighting game called Kill Ballad, an overly eccentric computer genius called Frau, a virtual weather girl program called Airi, galactic bishounen wannabe straight man glasses guy and some girl who's only traits are karate and being cute...apparently. I would like to give more info on those last two but that's all I got. Many of these grow tiresome after their one note gimmick loses amusement. The saving grace is Frau. Frau is a depiction of the girl genius which isn't common and her lack of social etiquette and quirkiness make her rather lovable. It's a pity that after her episode arc she is pushed into a support role and her screen time is drastically reduced.
Overall Robotics;Notes is not something I would recommend to others. Specifically if they are looking for something on the same level as Steins;Gate, avoid it like the plague. Really it's just a good example of how going too far for dramatic effect can come back to bite you in the ass. If you plan to watch it no matter what I say I give you this piece of advice. Keep your expectations rock bottom, no matter how promising something looks.
The relatively shallow plot disappointed fans of Steins;Gate, but the enlarged scope of events and more action scenes pump more adrenaline.
When compared with Steins;Gate (the main reason for this sequel's initial popularity), the plot is much shallower but instead wider. In Steins;Gate most of the struggle of Okabe is within the laboratory members and the concept of time. In Robotics;Notes the struggle is not only between Akiho and her sister, but the entire club/school plus JAXA and everyone related with Kimijima's plan.
Nothing much to say, the art is good and above average, other than the awkwardly drawn characters that can be seen in
a few scenes.
I enjoyed the background musics and the opening/endings, and overall do contribute to the mood and the intensity of the events occurring. However they are not particularly memorable or exceptionally good.
We see many sides of each and every character, something which many anime works neglect upon as they try too hard on other aspects. Senomiya Akiho is especially developed well as we get to know the things she value and her reactions to some of the things that happen to her.
I am personally a fan of conspiracy theories and related stories, so Robotics;Notes was an extremely enjoyable series for me. Other people that I know have criticized Robotics;Notes for being too unrealistic, detached, chaotic, not paced well, etc. I see where they are coming from but the intense plot (which I can't really describe in detail because of spoilers) and the climax kept me excited and wanting to watch the next episode and hence I finished the show in a day.
When going into the fall 2012 season, I was at a loss at how underwhelming I found the anime year 2012 to be. If there were two animes I felt could possibly save it, it would be Gen Urobuchi's Psycho-Pass and Production I.G.'s other hit show, Robotics;Notes, an indirect sequel in an alternative setting to Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate. Unfortunately for Robotics;Notes sake, it seems to draw comparison to Steins;Gate, a tough standard to hold an anime to considering Steins;Gate is considered one of the best animes to come out in recent history. It's also hard to compare since Steins;Gate was
produced by White Fox and Robotics;Notes was produced by Production I.G. Still, how was Robotics;Notes as a series?
Overall, I found it to be a pretty solid series in its own right. I wouldn't call it a masterpiece or a great anime, but I did find it to be very good. It had an interesting, quirky cast of characters involved in a pretty interesting mystery plot.
The story revolves around a HS Robotics Club that is struggling to keep it's club status due to only having two members. Those members are Akiho, an ambitious, fiery girl with an obsession for giant robots, Gunvarrel in particular and Kai, her childhood friend who lazily just hangs around and does nothing but play robot fighting games on his PokeCom...and the only time he'll do anything is if you beat him in a game. Akiho's goal in the Robotics Club is to build a full-scale robot modeled after the famous Gunvarrel, trying to finish a project her older sister started when she was at the school. The series takes an interesting turn into the mystery genre though when Kai discovers he can see an electronic girl through his PokeCom, as well as discovers the mysterious files of a deceased scientist named Kimijima Kou that leads into a potential cover-up of the potential world destruction. Overall, I have to say the story really surprised me and I found the mystery element to be an interesting twist on what you can already consider a school club genre. Although, I did find some weaknesses to the story, as it seemed to lack some development of the character motivations toward the end, the antagonist in particular (which I will not spoil since it is part of the series twist). I found the twists to be very good, which should be no surprise considering it's coming from a 5pb. VN adaptation.
The characters as a whole I found to be extremely likable and interesting. Akiho and Kai's personalities were hilarious to watch clash, but still endearing at the same time. The other members that are recruited into the Robotics Club are excellent as well. You have Subaru, a peculiar boy that has a negative attitude toward the Robotics Club at first with it mostly having to do with his hilarious alter ego and side hobby as well as his parental situation, Junna a shy girl from the karate club that strangely joins the Robotics Club even though she has no interest in robots, and one of my personal favorites...Kona. Kona is a strange, hermit of a girl that spends most of her time in front of a computer and is a bit of a game developer, however she has a strange obsession with speaking in Internet lingo. She is quite possibly one of my favorite characters in any anime just because of her quirky personality and constant Internet references and hilarious laughter. I know I caught myself saying "Duhuhu" every now and again. Of course, the mysterious side characters involved made for an interesting watch. Misaki, Aki's older sister seems to have a strong detachment for Aki, which leaves Kai wondering what happened to Misa for her to have such a poor attitude toward Aki. You also have Airi, the electronic girl that assists Kai in discovering the Kimijima Reports, just to name a few of the characters. Overall, the supporting cast for this series was extremely strong as it seemed each character had at least some impact on the story. It's one of the rare times I watched an anime where it seemed like there wasn't a single worthless supporting character.
As far as the production was concerned, I thought it was okay. It probably was one of the weakest elements behind this series. There wasn't anything "breathtaking" about the animation, especially from a Production I.G. work. Of course, that could have something to do with Kazuya Nomura's inexperience as an anime director. His only other direction work was with the Sengoku Basara series, which is a COMPLETELY different animal than Robotics;Notes. It wasn't that the animation was bad, it just wasn't particularly great. There's nothing about it's animation style that will make me remember it by. However, I will admit the series did redeem itself with its seiyuu work and music. The seiyuu work in this series was great, and I have to applaud Kaori Nazuka (Kona), Yoshino Nanjo (Akiho), and Yoshimasa Hosoya (Subaru) in particular for their passionate performances. Even Ryouhei Kimura did a commendable job voicing Kai as well. Yuki Hayashi, Takeshi Abo, and Chiyomaru Shikura collaborated on the music and I felt they did a commendable job of setting up great tracks for creating an excellent mood for the series.
As far as the series weaknesses are concerned, I'll be honest. I didn't find the final episode's conclusion to be very strong. If nothing else, the ending felt somewhat rushed. On top of that, I just didn't find it to be a satisfying conclusion for an overall great cast of characters, as it is very vague in regards to what happened after the conflict had been resolved. I also found one of the major weaknesses to be that the series antagonist had a weak, or rather unexplained character motivation as to why he was acting the way he was. I don't consider it the best writing when a character close to the antagonist even says why they can't explain why they are acting the way they are. I already mentioned the animation being somewhat weak for a Production I.G. work. For a company that brought us Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Psycho-Pass, which are visually stunning as well as xxxHolic and Usagi Drop, which are artistically stunning, Robotics;Notes just seems sort of cheap and generic with its animation. Like I said, there isn't anything "bad" about the animation per se...it just wasn't good or memorable. I also found the pacing to be a little slow at times. It didn't quite bring things to a stand still, but I will admit the first half of the series doesn't get the ball rolling too well on it's overall story.
As an overall series though, Robotics;Notes is pretty good if you're looking for a club oriented anime with a pretty solid mystery element. If you go into this series expecting the next Steins;Gate, you'll be extremely disappointed as the plot isn't nearly as interesting as Steins;Gate and the animation styling isn't nearly as daring. The "tone" of Robotics;Notes is a lot less heavy than Steins;Gate, as you can tell from the bright and vibrant colors of it's animation in comparison to the dark contrast of Steins;Gate. I know I'm drawing a lot of Steins;Gate references, but it's hard not to since it is the adaptation of 5pb.'s 3rd installment to the Science Adventure VN series. Still, on the whole, I do consider Robotics;Notes to be one of the better animes to come out lately and if you enjoy a good mystery, I think Robotics;Notes is at least worth a watch.
What started off being a very light-hearted anime quickly turned in an anime that sent chills down my back. I kind of just wanted to write that one sentence as my review because it is what changed my view on this anime and what made me write this review
The title of this show “Robotics;Notes was quite simple to understand. The first part “Robotics” refers to the club that Akiho Senomiya and Kaito Yashio are trying to keep alive the Robotics Club. The second part of the title “Notes” refers to the Kimishima Report and the notes that Kou Kimishima left behind, and being able to
figure out what they mean.
The first two people you meet are Akiho Senomiya and Kaito Yashio. Akiho has a dream, and this dream is to complete the robot Gan-tsuke that her sister Misaki started years ago at the same school. Akiho is a character that is full of life and energy, but at the same time isn’t the smartest of the bunch. Kaito, her childhood friend really has no interest in the club and was just dragged along by Akiho, but what he does like is robot fighting games. Not only does he love them, he is completely absorbed/addicted to them and the only way to ask him to do favors is to beat him at the game Kill-Ballad, whom is created by Kona Furugoori. Just to put in very simple words who Kona is… she is a NEET that is really all you need to know about her for now.
This anime, aside from being about Robots and solving mysteries, also is about friendship and bonding. Now I know tons and tons of animes are about friendship and bonding, but what is particularly special about this anime is how far they are willing to go for each other and to be able to protect this friendship that they have made.
To be honest though, once starting this anime I was not expecting much more than a show that would bring enjoyment, and be able to laugh and maybe watch some cool fights, but this idealistic idea of mine was quickly turned astray. Even though what is happening is very unexpected, this is what makes me super stoked about watching this anime every Thursday (or Friday). On an Enjoyment based level this anime is actually amazing, there is nothing really more you can ask for, when you start watching a show having low expectations and this show completely turning around and being one of my favorite shows from last season. To put a comparison in your head this show is like watching those animes that have robot fights, and when the robots die or loose an arm blood spurts out. If you don’t understand what I am trying to say it is how unexpected this anime really is.
I guess the last thing I can talk about is the op/ed songs. I am just going to say by far the best song used in this anime is the OP (Zwei – Junjo Spectra). It really just has a nice tempo and beat to it that almost seems very fitting and suitable for this anime. It almost seems as if something amazing is going to happen right after I hear that song, which on the most part is true.
This review is a wee bit shorter than I expected, but honestly I am not 100% sure what more to add or write about. This show is very underrated and there really wasn’t much “hype” for when it started and came out, but I recommend you give this anime a shot, I can almost promise you won’t be disappointed with the outcome. If you have any questions or comments please just send me a pm or write on my wall, I will try my best to answer to the best of my power! I will accept any type of feedback on to how to better improve my reviews, but please be constructive as well! Please also check my other reviews. Also if you want me to do a review on a certain show (whether I watched it yet or not) I will try to prioritize. Also check out my blog post (http://myanimelist.net/blog.php?eid=723679), to help me with future reviews!
Robotics;notes can be summed up with one word: enjoyable. This anime certainly showed a lot of promise.
The series follows a few narrative lines which culminate toward a grand finale where all the plot points are meant to converge. The first and primary one being a young student who is trying to keep her robot club alive and finishing her sister's unfinished dream of making a super-large sized robot from a popular - but mysteriously unfinished - anime series called Gunvarrel.
What struck me about the series, and what is perhaps the sole element that carries this anime, is the quirky, fun and humerous characters,
namely the protagonist Akiho. Her counterpart, Yashio, counterbalances Aki's exuberant over-enthusiasm with his blase, nonchalance, making for many enjoyable interactions. Combined with a few ultra-odd lesser characters, Robotics;notes has all the elements to go anywhere it wants. The foundation is solid.
Unfortunately the structural elements of this anime let it down. The story is convoluted, attempting to pack in many narrative plots at various levels of intensity and scope, that it can't quite fit in to the 22 episodes. The first narrative, keeping the club alive and building the robot, is fun, light hearted and highly enjoyable. The larger narrative plot regarding the end of the world, just can't be pulled off, and you're left at the end feeling somewhat cheated. So many things are hinted at, but not explained, until the very last few episodes. But the explanations are inadequate. Rewatching it a few times, or perhaps going back and reading the manga might shed some light on what the hell is happening - but otherwise you are mostly left wondering. The plot holes are gaping.
Part of why the plot doesn't quite make sense is the villain. The villain is, well, simply put, villainous. Even one of the characters asks the villain why they are doing what they are doing. Their response? Because I want to. Because I can.
Hmmm... Sounds like the author didn't quite think that one through.
Although the end tries to tie it all together, what you're left with is a mangled lump of threads mashed into a ball. The ball sticks, but only barely. In one of the later episodes, a mysterious shady character sits down with one of our protagonists and lays it all out, telling, essentially, the audience what the hell is happening. That's not good storytelling. Even the explanations don't quite add up, and you're either left feeling cheated, or simply are forced to suspend all the annoying, nagging questions you have at the back of your mind in order to move on to the next episode, which unfortunately doesn't seem to help.
Having said that, the gaping holes in the story does not mean that the plot is not enjoyable, or that the conclusion is not satisfying. There are many satisfying elements to this anime, and I would recommend giving it a go. It's perhaps a shame that they tried to squeeze it into 22 episodes rather than taking their time, spanning it out, and having it make sense. This could have been really something.
Well. Time for my first review I guess. There will be spoilers, but contained to a small section which is labelled appropriately.
Robotics;Notes (R;N) was originally created as a Visual Novel. It was brought to you by the same guys that had previously released Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate. While both of them were very unique, I absolutely loved S;G while hating C;H...so going into this I had absolutely no idea what to expect. In the end, I got served a big fat dose of "meh".
Firstly I think it;s important to state that if you're looking for a mecha anime, you're going to have a bad time. This
is even less of a mecha anime than Guilty Crown was. Right, now that's out the way, moving on with some of the issues.
The primary issue with the series is pacing. Saying the series starts off slow would be a massive understatement. While the plot is developing to an extent, the meatiest chunk of the plot is reserved for the last 4 episodes, with the previous 18 focusing on anything else but the plot.
Speaking of plot *SPOILERS START* It really is not explained well. Concepts such as monopoles are never explained. They're just there suddenly and you have to accept that. If this was a 12 episode series, I could accept things being cut out due to time constraints, but this wasn't a 12 episode series and they certainly were not overloaded with content. However, the most damning thing of all is that I cannot even remember Kimijima's reason for wanting to kill the majority of the population. Maybe this says more about my memory than the anime itself, but I've never experienced this in anything else that I've previously watched. Throw in examples of embarrassingly bad use of "Deus ex machina" for problem resolution (eg: A bird deflecting a gun) and you're left with a badly executed plot. *SPOILERS END*
As far as characters go, they're decent for the most part. Yashio and Akiho are developed well and have a decently executed and interact in a seemingly natural way with each other. This seems to be quite rare in anime with everything being exaggerated, and it's something I really appreciate here. I personally found Frau entertaining and Mizuka is one of the strongest side characters I've come across in anime. However, two of the "main" characters could have been completely cut from the series without any real loss. They were just there because it was an adaptation from a VN and therefore the cast was already decided for them. The antagonist of the series was extremely weak with little development given.
For art and sound, I honestly don't notice unless a series is exceptionally good or bad in these aspects. It isn't either of the two extremes, so I'm not going to comment further on it.
Overall it's a watchable series. It's poorly paced and badly explained in parts, however the characters overall are strong. I cannot really compare it to either s;g or c;h. I'm giving it a rating of 6/10 overall, although I do tend to rate harshly according to my score deviance on ratings. I wouldn't advise against watching it.
I hope this helped and that I didn't waffle on too much.
For this review I will make references and comparisons to two other anime: Chaos;Head(2008) and Steins;Gate(2011). While all three of these anime adaptations were made by separate studios, they drawn upon the same series of visual novels for source material.
Now to begin the review. I'll start with the story. Like Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate Robotics;Notes has a story line that could only be described as thrilling. While the story started off at a slow pace it gradually built until I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation. They really pulled out all the
stops for this show. Even with the slow start, the constant switch between success and failure in the attempt to build a giant robot as well as the mystery of the Kimijima reports was more than enough to keep my interest. In spite of the mystery, though, the plot was much easier to follow than either Chaos;Head or Steins;Gate. Personally I liked those complex stories that required an acute attention to detail, but that might not be a plus for everyone. As the story progresses it does take on a darker tone, but I found it nowhere near as grim as Chaos;Head or Steins;Gate. The story is overall logical and well thought out. My only qualm was that robots seemed far to advanced and integrated into society for the year 2019, but in spite of this the show does feel very realistic at times. The phone-tablets that everyone uses seemed like a very accurate prediction of the future. I can also understand why robotics needed to have become as advanced as it was for plot purposes. With so few negatives I felt that the story was perhaps the best part of Robotics;Notes.
The art was quite impressive as well. The animation was beautiful and fluid. Several of the Character designs were a bit generic (Akiho and Subaru), but I really liked the uniqueness of some characters like Kona. Action scenes, which were few and far between, were underwhelming in terms of animation, but the focus of this show was not action. When all was said and done, though, I thought the art was very aesthetically pleasing.
I'm not exactly a connoisseur of music, so I don't have to much to say about the sound. The soundtrack was enjoyable and had some excellent tracks within it, but it was not a masterpiece. It was definitely not a detriment to the show however. Like I said, certain tracks were absolutely fantastic.
Character development was good but not great. I thought characters like Akiho and Kaito received excellent development. They were round characters, not bound by the basic traits they were introduced with. Others characters, however, received far less development. Of the shows cast I would have to say that Kona was my personal favorite. She received excellent character development and had the most interesting personality of all the main characters. Kaito, the protagonist, was not the greatest character I've ever seen, but he was far from generic and boring. I found him to be quite a likeable character with a realistic personality. In comparison to Chaos;Head, Robotics;Notes is far superior in terms of character development. However, its characters were not as impressive and those of Steins;Gate. That about sums it up for characters.
Since enjoyment is a very subjective factor, I don't include it in reviews. Overall is just the combination of the previous factors, so there's not a ton to say for it. Robotics;Notes was superior to Chaos;Head in just about every way, however, it does not reach the same heights as Steins;Gate which I consider as masterpiece. At the end of the day though, I think most anyone would really like this show.
For me this anime is like ignored by many people because they think its just about robots, but in my opinion, this is like the another story of robots and different stye of story, it explains more about robots than the other anime robot like just for fighting and actions, this anime shows something cool!!
You guys that are curious to watch this anime, you can try, i think its fun, it shows some more things about robot more than fighting robots or action thing like i said above, it shows me more about things here, its more realistic and more things to see!!!
this is another
series of the anime with ";" like Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate, like u see those anime, it shows something that you never imagine, steins gate shows about time machine but not just a normal time machine, same like this anime, u guys can try to watch!!! DONT DROP ! LOL
Whenever I watch an anime I get an initial impression or a promise. The anime will usually promise me that it's going to be one way or the other. Just from looking at the cover and watching the first few episodes and the main gist if the anime told me I was getting into an anime full of inspiration about a group of kids trying to make their dreams come true through the building of a robot. It could have been that or an Angelic Layer style robot tournament. I wouldn't have even minded a slice of life with a little robot building hobbies on
the side. However this anime so far has introduces so many concepts that for the sake of not spoiling anything I will not mention. Lets just say some of those concepts were pretty... earth shattering. Anyway, I really don't know what this anime is suppose to be, I don't think it knows what it wants to be. The reason why I brought up impressions and promises earlier is because I need to commit my feelings to something, at times it's ok to willfully betray the viewers initial impressions like in Madoka Magika, to get a certain effect, but this anime didn't seem to have a goal in mind as it popped question after question in my mind. Even at this point in the anime I feel like there were so many odd ball occurrences that were completely out of context that they could very well end up being plot holes by the end of the series unless they do some serious tying of the strings.
Another thing I would like to touch on is the Characters. I felt like in the context of this ever vacillating story, the characters could not plant their roots firmly enough to make significant development. The characters all have very strong personalities and they are all very likable. I just wish that I could come to draw even closer to them especially by now.
So far my mid series review is this:
Story: There really isn't much of one at this point, I am having a hard time even pegging it as a slice of life anime. There are too many themes that are picked up and dropped to be able to understand what the anime is trying to be.
Art: It's quite good. It;s very befitting of the overall mood of the story and it is quite pleasing to look at for long periods of time. Very smooth animations and pleasant backgrounds. Very Slice O' Lifey.
Sound: My hands are together for Asami Tachibana, Takeshi Abo, and Yuuki Hayashi for putting together such a wonderful soundtrack. If anything, the sound kept the mood relevant throughout the anime. I especially liked some of the more ongoing pervasive melodies as they were very nostalgic and just put me into a very good mood. I would definitely purchase an album if made available to me.
Character: The storyline aside, the characters were very lovable. They all stood out in their own way and if anything is the reason to watch this show as these character would probably make a better episode by episode anime rather than a show with an intricate plot that divides and ties together at the end.
Enjoyment: Frankly, I found my attention drifting. It really hasn't riveted me as much as I'd like. Nitroplus has been known to make other animes that have been more or less slower at the beginning like Steins;Gate which is probably one of my favorite anime ever alongside Bokurano which also has a slow beginning. The thing is, even those anime had enough promise to keep me watching the show until the kicker, when i was fully submersed. I can't say that even up to this point I am fully submersed in the show. I'd even go as far as to say that it's because of Steins;Gate that didn't get truly interesting until ep 11 that I am even giving this as much of a chance as I have (Along with the fact that once I have gotten this far into something it has to be really bad for me to not commit till the end. The only anime that bad was Star Driver but that's another review).
Overall: Once again this is a mid way review and my thoughts may change but usually the first half of the anime marks the point at which it will not get any worse and the first half of this has set the bar pretty low, so I am just eagerly awaiting. Until then, I will continue to enjoy the gorgeous soundtrack and lighthearted humor that this anime has to offer.
Robotics;Notes is the kind of anime that I have to force myself to review. The truth is, I like it. I really like it. That's why it has a 6 and not a lower score: because for all its flaws, it is remarkably enjoyable.
But this is a review, isn't it? I can't just harp on about how fun it is without pointing out how horrifically flawed it is. The primary issues that Robotics;Notes experiences is this:
a) It isn't as intelligent as it thinks it is.
b) It tries to do too much.
I'll begin by clarifying that second point. Picture an anime akin to The Melancholy of
Haruhi Suzumiya: a sci-fi re-imagining of a typical romantic comedy, some decent characters, good comedy and the potential for some seriousness mixed in there. Then take a show like Steins;Gate (which I have yet to watch): a hyper-intelligent sci-fi thriller with a serious tone. Robotics;Notes wants to be both of these. But the result is rather like mixing vodka and lager together: they can be pretty enjoyable on their own, but the mixing of the two just doesn't seem to work. I can't escape the thought that had the creators decided to make either a sci-fi rom-com OR a sci-fi thriller, then the result would've been fantastic. But Rob;Not tends to flicker schizophrenically between light-hearted comedy/drama and serious psychological mystery while keeping the two largely disconnected. Characters like Subaru and Junna are completely irrelevant to the thriller elements of the series, and they shouldn't have been. There's a tendency to develop a likeable character (Kona is the most notable victim of this) and then render them completely unimportant to the plot after their arc is finished. And it's a shame, 'cos Kona in particular was a very good character. If the show had chosen to be a rom-com, then Rob;Not would've been able to provide a tighter character focus without making seemingly important characters seem arbitrary.
Now to clarify point (a). The issue that Rob;Not has (which can also be seen in its sister-anime Chaos;Head) is that it just isn't as intelligent as it thinks it is. Convenience writing is not a sign of an intelligent series. But Rob;Not has a tendency of coming up with convenient plot devices (the monopoles, Kai's slow-motion ability, the links between the bad guys and an anime production company) and then establishing a weak explanation in order to make these points seem important. I'm going to have to venture into spoiler territory here, so I apologise. Why, if the villain is planning to destroy the world, does he bring attention to his plan by creating hidden files? And why can the main character conveniently locate these files? Why are the monopoles falling from the sky? What did they hope to achieve on the SS Anemone? What role does Airi play in any of it? Rob;Not seems to be under the impression that in order to be an intelligent thriller, it has to include as much non-existent sci-fi stuff as possible, but that isn't the case. A decent twist without such obvious and poorly-justified convenience writing would've been much more intelligent, even if they'd had to ditch many of the sci-fi plot devices. There's an assortment of blatant plot holes on show with almost no justification beyond lazy writing. Everything the villain does seems to give the main character more and more power that he can use to bring an end to the evil plan. There's no realistic psychology on display.
Thinking about it, Rob:Not may have been better off as a rom-com, 'cos that seems to be what it does best. The characters are actually quite likeable at times (Kona and Airi being my personal favourites) and the show is at its best when it focuses on the relationships between them all. Despite being the primary element of the series, the thriller aspect just seems to get in the way of an enjoyable twist on school-life drama. That said, there are effective thriller moments, with the highlight being an almost disturbingly graphic death scene in episode 16 that still seemed completely unnecessary. It can be dramatic and fun, but not effectively serious, and so a lot of potential is lost.
I'd like to start off by saying this is my first review on MAL well, first time writing a review in fact so please keep that in mind when reading this.
Robotics;Notes does what it does in a generic way and it does that quite well. I would classify this anime as underrated and the reason is people who watch this anime have the same expectations as they would if watching Stein's;gate, that's the problem. Robotics;Notes is not Stein's;gate. I highly suggest watching this anime and lowering your standards just a bit and you will definitely come out pleased with the ending.
Now, onward to the actual
The story of Robotic;Notes is very well thought while at times it may be easy to predict whats going to happen, it's very easy to enjoy watching as things slowly unfold.
Art: 9 The artwork is absolutely beautiful as expected.
Sound: 8 The music is well placed and fits each and every scenario also the OP songs are pretty darn good in my opinion.
Character: 6 This is where this show loses a little face. The two main characters are relatively bland. There is really no sort of character development. The main male character doesn't do anything and when he does it's not much of a surprise, he's predictable and boring. I will say this though, the side characters are interesting and are very good at getting laughs out of the viewer!
Enjoyment: 7 It's a good anime if you want to take things slow the journey there is nice!
Overall: I'd rate this anime a solid 7.5 with a standard deviation of .5 meaning, at times it's an 8 while others a 7. I highly recommend this anime because I put it off, and I don't want another person to make the same mistake. this anime deserves to be watched.
Robotic;Notes the 3rd visual novel made by 5pb collaborated with Nitroplus as most people mention. Overall the anime was pretty good giving consideration to the number of episode length and amount of story line needed to be incorperated.
Sci-fi genre stories are almost always interesting with having a grandiose scale conflict that is built up or connected to smaller events that occur among the characters. Didn't like how each individual character conflict was so simply considered resolved especially with Subaru, practically no resolution for him. Deux ex machina was used a bit too extensively for the story, most likely due to cutting out parts of the
visual novel storyline (like in the opening you see them having fireworks at the bench but there wasn't any episode). Also the story skipped quite often from one point in the story to the next with connection to each episode, as well as some plot holes made from them. However the story was overall good, it was unique and represented 5pb & Nitroplus' theme of 1% fantasy 99% science story style.
Art was decent, expressions, reactions etc were well made most of the time. The design of the robots were realistic in terms of the amateur physic knowledge needed to see if such robots could be made. Gunvarrel is pretty awesome looking in my opinion, its nice to have a robotic represent a hero of justice for those childhood dreams.
Sound was decent, the background music was suitable though could have been better. The opening song first and second were enjoyable, especially first one in my opinion.
Characters were nicely made, each personality was unique in some sense. Though, character development could have been done further (if more episodes were given), especially for Subaru and Daitoku. Since it feels as though you only know their problems and how they are typically, no sense of how they wanna purse the future and grow as an individual character. Furugori was well done, background story and character develop was well shown and portrayed. Akiho and Kaito were decently done, not too well done but decently enough I got no complaints except on how Kaito about Airi. Antagonists could have been better, Kou's character was little iffy because of what Airi said yet the flashback scene didn't show it well enough.
Enjoyed the story a lot though, Furugori was interesting. The game within the story was interesting wish app store had something like that. Sci-fi was great with those phone droids the character had, concept of elephant-mouse syndrome. Though that syndrome could have been incorporated into the story better. Akiho's version only seemed problematic, Kaito's version was like a special move.
Overall enjoyable to watch! Though the story didn't end in the way I hoped. Wish the story had a better twist, almost thought (spoiler here) that when Misaki got out of the black/purple Sumeragi or the images people saw of the city destroyed through their phone screen that it was an alterate world, or the world acted like a mirror having 2 different possible perspective depending on which side of the world you were in? Anyway, give it a try, its worth watching!