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Robotics;Notes part 1 (anime review)

Robotics;NotesTitle: Robotics;Notes part 1

Director: Kazuya Nomura

Writer: Jukki Hanada

Studio: Production I. G.

U. S. Distributor: FUNimation

U. S. Release Date: Feb. 18th, 2014

Format: Blu-ray /DVD/ 11 Episodes / 275 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Thriller, Romance

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: A-

Synopsis:

Kai and Aki dream of building a giant fighting robot based on a super-popular anime, but that’s going to be impossible if they don’t get more members into their school’s Robot Research Club. They’ll take anyone they can talk – or force – into joining them, including an eccentric robotics champion with a secret identity and a l33t video-game designer who’s spent one too many late nights online. Finally, their goal looks like it’s within reach.

But when a sentient AI program tells Kai about mysterious documents hidden on the internet, things start to get strange for everyone. As the club members track down the secret messages, they realize that the information might be far bigger – and more dangerous – than they expected.

Commentary:

Following the Techie anime of the last few years like Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate, Robotics;Notes brings things back to earth and give us a bit more plausible story line (at least so far). With that said there is still plant of little signals that tell me there are things yet unrevealed that will add several layers to the series and make it more like the multi layered Steins;Gate. I’m not saying that those layers are a bad thing and intact I really enjoy it when a series makes me think and then surprises me later. That level of writing is hard to find and also hard to pull of.

So, far the series seems to be somewhat straight forward with a darker mystery sitting there just below the surface. I am very much looking forward to how this plays out and truly expect it to give me reasons to cheer it on. The thing about Robotics;Notes so far is that it is drawing us in with some rather likable characters and a challenge to have a high school club actually build a full size mecha robot that doesn’t defy physics and at the same time makes us imagine a world in our own future where these things can be done.

Overall Grade: A-

With Robotics;Notes following the indirect path or rather a simplistic story line to set us up for something much deeper I find myself hooked. The animation production is at times a bit simple, but that too is a trick that gives us an illusion of a basic teenage high school story and a false sense of security. The voice acting is fitting in just perfectly and gives a another sense of reality that is both reassuring and somewhat unbalanced with the light comedic presence. Of course the story follows a group of high school seniors and their drive to make their mark so the voice acting must come across with the same naivety of those very 17 and 18 year olds, and so far I see them hitting the mark.

Robotics;Notes part 1 doesn’t hit you with a dazzling display of action or in your face mystery. What it does is give you some very likable high schoolers who have their own motivations or lack there of and places them in a very believable world that just might get turned upside down as we go along. I am looking forward to seeing how the series concludes and honestly expect some strong twist along the way. As a Techie Sci Fi companion to the likes of Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate I honestly expect the second half of Robotics;Notes to blow my socks off, so bring it on I am ready.

 

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