Protagonist, Robato, is a super serious, dead-pan, neat freak who is also the least flexible and can never read a situation right. His unfeeling and expressionless face gave him the nickname—Robo. One day this Robo meets golf and...!?
As a part of the JUMP START initiative, the first three chapters of Robot x Laserbeam were published in English in VIZ Media's digital Weekly Shonen Jump on the same day as the Japanese release. After, the series was added to VIZ Media's Weekly Shonen Jump lineup.
If you ever read or watched any Ganbatte type of anime or manga, this fills all the tropes while bringing only a bit new on the table. I usually like this kind of anime, despite every sports anime is most of the time told in the same way they always have unexpected turns or work in general. Main characters can lose a battle and its always exciting to know more about a different type of sport. Robot x Laserbeam had certainly some flaws but it had a good premise to offer.
It stats off that the main character Robato is basically an autist who is constantly
in dialogue not understanding what other people mean. This isnt really bad , but it had some potential with character building. In the end robato certainly becomes a little more down to earth and seem more "normal" but there isnt much done with the aspect that he is completely different from everyone. Yeah his skills in golf reflect his personality, but the main character doesnt really have any friends, is good at school and so on. It doesnt really make sense that he doesnt get bullied by other people and end up getting respected trough his gold. Everyone ridicules him yes but not in a very mean way per se.
There are other characters, but most of them arent really worth mentioning. There is a recurring enemy that serves like a obstacle to overcome to get to his true rival, a golf pro player he met. But the enemy itself seem rather to be too strong since he is a direct rival of the golf pro player. There arent really many matches inbetween. In the end since the manga got just dropped, there isnt any endfight with the pro player and the story just ends.
To the story itself, the premise, really starts off well. In itself i wont spoil too much because the beginning is really worth reading. Its a real good way to set up a rival that is just way too strong for the main character. They play a match and in the end both of them are not satisfied. Robato wants to play again against him, but the pro player says he only wants to play again but only in a pro tournament . Robato then joins basically the golf club. He trains a lot but the whole training arc is completely skipped and suddenly the tournament arc starts. That really hit me off and almost made me drop it. But what kept me going was how exciting it was to read the matches. They were pretty fun and unexpected most of the time.
In the end i recommend Robot x Laserbeam only to sports anime fans who are interested in the golf setting. Sadly that the story doesnt end into anything but the premise, character building and the matches were just enjoyable to read.
I heard that apparently Robot x Laserbeam is getting axed after another chapter or so. And honestly? It doesn't surprise me.
While Tadatoshi Fujimaki hit the jackpot with Kuroko no Basket's success, Robot x Laserbeam doesn't bring anything new to the table. It seems like he's rehashed a lot of tropes and cliches that he's used before, and this manga doesn't really incite any emotion in me. I don't care about any of the characters (except perhaps Youzan) and I'm also not interested in the sport or the matches with how it's being presented either, even though the art is pretty good.
The story started out decently
enough, but once Fujimaki wrote in a timeskip that jumped from the beginning of Robot's first year at high school to being an adult pro, it was essentially over. For a sports manga, skipping all of the high school years just to focus on the pro world is basically suicide. It kills all of the necessary aspects of a sports series, such as teamwork/partnership, friendship, and most importantly, the mental and emotional growth of teenagers.
I get the feeling that Kuroko no Basket's fame has held Fujimaki back a little bit, because instead of breaking through his shell to explore new ideas with Robot x Laserbeam, it ended up being nothing really special.
Robot x Laserbeam is like Kuroko no Basket sports-wise. Kuroko no Basket was basketball with superpowers, Robot x Laserbeam is golf with superpowers.
The reason I think Robot x Laserbeam is a bit better than Kuroko no Basket so far is because I enjoy Robo's character more than Kuroko's and Kagami's and in general, so far, it lacks the unnecessary and cringeworthy drama that Kuroko no Basket had.
I also like the fact that the mangaka chose golf because every hole is special in a golf course and many unexpected things can happen as part of the game, allowing the mangaka to write all sorts of
If you are looking for something sports based that is over the top (and not realistic by any means) and fun to read, here you are.