|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
This one's quite the mixed bag. Robotics;Notes appears to juggle several lingering plot developments with the main focus being on a struggling robotics club, both members experiencing disorders that affect their perception of time and a conspiracy development connected to a collection of reports that Kaito is trying to track the whereabouts of. The first half starts off kind of like a slice-of-life comedy as Akiho and Kaito try recruiting more members and making their robotics club a success as they build a large mecha and get sponsorship. The characters are a bit on the cliched side as they follow certain archetypes, yet are a likeable bunch who all have their varying personal dilemmas that the anime focuses on.
The second half of the series is where the plot picks up as things with the mentioned conspiracy pick up steam and shady developments with a secret organization make their presence felt in the later episodes of the series. These events are meant to connect the developments involving the plot and characters of the series. But their integration isn't too smooth and what the events lead up to are quite a bit on the cliched side with who is responsible and why they are doing it.
Visually, the series is quite nice on the eyes with vivid and detailed scenery shots and bright colors, with character designs getting similar treatment. Animation for the series is mostly fluid and there aren't many instances of shortcuts being implemented, with high points involving movement of mecha and some later combat scenes involving the mentioned secret organization.
Overall, I'm kind of indifferent on this series. It works well as a slice-of-life title in its focus on the struggles of the robotics club, despite the rather cliched characters. But its attempt to try integrating its plot and character developments into a conspiracy plot is awkward and not so smooth with connecting. Definitely the weaker of the Science Adventure series that 5pb and Nitroplus have whipped up for anime adaptations thus far.
Last updated Wednesday, April 16 2014. Created Wednesday, April 16 2014.
(Avoid+ or Watch-)|
(19 episodes watched):
This was a show which initially seemed like one I must watch, what with the link to the enjoyable semicolon series Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate. But this time what I got was an inexplicably confusing and nonsensical mess which I finally dropped just as it neared it's conclusion. Something about an evil conspiracy to destroy the world with solar flares (I forget why), and secret messages which must be decoded, and a cyber-girl who only one guy can see, and relations with older siblings, and other stuff which I have forgotten as well. But all the different plot strands just seemed like a garbled mess rather than ever coming together in a manner which is remotely worth all the time and effort which a viewer must invest to understand the plot as a whole.
I guess there were two plots to R;N, the frustrating and apathy inducing conspiracy one, and the friendship in the Robotics club one. This latter one was halfway decent and was what kept me watching for as long as I did. I thought for awhile that maybe this really would be nothing more than the story of a high school robotics club that wants to win a competition (and not be dissolved). In episode three some weird stuff starts to happen; so, something strange was starting to happen, even if we don't know much about what it is. But whatever is happening, it is confusing. It's hard to keep track of what happened a week ago when it didn't make much sense even then. Six episodes into the story, we still haven't learned much about the secret organization that is monitoring the teens, and Kaito seems to have largely shrugged off the bizarre experience he underwent earlier. It seems that too much is being kept secret from us, no doubt in hopes of intriguing us somehow, but in fact the effect it has on me is to frustrate and confuse me. But I continued watching, in part because I hoped that some sort of explanation would come together, even though I was no longer expecting it to be a great one, and partly because the day-to-day behavior of the characters is fairly amusing. I guess to a large extent I watched for the jokes and wasn't bothering to keep track of all the confusing plot threads. That would have been too much trouble in exchange for what I was getting back. One thing that baffles me: how did a full size mecha get built by a high school robotics club in the first place? As of episode nine, I still frankly had little idea of what the moral or message of this show was supposed to be. There had yet to be anything supernatural, unless that girl who only appears on Kaito's cell phone qualifies. The other ';' series had far-out spins, like time travel, introduced early on but this one doesn't seem to have much besides conventional mecha and the day-to-day banter of the characters. I didn't mind watching it, but there just didn't seem to be any long-term plot coming together. Could that mean that this would be a 26-er, and was taking it's time? I hoped not.
No such luck; episode twelve has all-new OP and ED sequences. I needed to pause at this point and decide whether continuing onwards was worthwhile. Although I had become apathetic about the long term plot, I decided that the characters were likeable enough that I would do so, at least for awhile. I couldn't help contrasting this show with Steins;Gate which was interesting and moving while this one was definitely not. Was there really any relationship between the two series at all? This one seemed completely different. This show is too cryptic; so many secrets are held from us that rather than being intrigued we lose interest and become apathetic. At one point a character gets killed, but I can only yawn; I never really understood what was important about this person or felt that he/she had much of a personality. Lack of character development is probably the number one problem with R;N. The main characters have just enough to squeek by, everyone else has little or none.
In episode 19 the size and gravity of the evil conspiracy that has been underway for years begins to be revealed to us. It starts when a mecha goes berzerk at a robotics show. Apparently the viewer was supposed to be shocked by this, but I couldn't help laughing. When a supposedly harmless mecha looks like a hungry spider, you know that there's trouble just around the corner. What the hell was the point of provoking this mayhem anyway? This episode had exactly the opposite effect on me as the makers intended; all sorts of extremely unlikely things happen, but rather than being thrilled I felt appalled by the apparent carelessness with which building a climax was being handled. In fact, my interest in the series as a whole nearly collapsed. I guess the conspiracy plot has taken over altogether and the one about friendship among Robotics Club members has been shunted aside until after the climax. But that half of the story was all that I was still watching for, since the conspiracy didn't make much sense, and now that I'm getting the message that that one is over and it will be pretty much 100% conspiracy from here on, I finally decided to quit the series altogether. When watching another episode of a show becomes an ordeal rather than a source of entertainment, it's pretty safe to say that you should have already given up by now. Robotics;Notes was a series which originally seemed to have a high pedigree, but turned out to be virtually incomprehensible. I wish I had quit much earlier than I actually did.
Last updated Thursday, April 17 2014. Created Sunday, October 21 2012.
|Official website of the franchise||http://roboticsnotes.jp/|