Friday, 26 October 2012

Robotics;Notes - Episode 3

With a working robot and an innovative control system created to use those of video game Kill-Ballad, it's off to the Robo-One tournament we go for this week's Robotics;Notes.

No sooner does our dynamic duo (plus their teacher) arrive in Tokyo than we hit our first obstacle - their lack of budget means they have nowhere to stay, and thus nowhere to sleep.  Still, Aki and Kai endure and come the next morning they're ready for their first match-up bright and early... a match against a former finalist of this tournament, no less.  Thanks largely to Kai's abilities and his familiarity with their robot's control system, he breezes through this first match while making a fool of his opponent, and before we know it robot after robot is being crushed by Kaito's ruthless abilities and tactics.

With interest in the Tanegashima High School robotics club growing, and some seemingly high-powered onlookers watching over the whole thing (including Aki's sister, no less), it's time for the grand final against the flamboyant Mister Pleiades.... someone who looks decidedly familiar to Kai once you strip away the mask and the dumb outfit.  Although the final of Robo-One ends in defeat for the robotics club, it isn't completely without merit - not only does Kai put in a spirited display, but he also shows some rather unique abilities in the heat of battle that seem to be closely related to Aki's own medical condition, and more importantly this meeting with Mister Pleiades makes for a perfect opportunity for a little blackmail to ensure that the club isn't terminated by the school's headmistress.

Despite not focusing on the actual robot fighting side of things quite as much as I might have expected or enjoyed, this was another fun episode that still took enough time to give you a feel for the Robo-One and draw you sufficiently into the tournament to be engaged in its big finish.  This is all largely secondary however to the fact that the elements that seem likely to make up this series in the long-term are starting to come to the fore, between Aki's sister and her role in things and the arrival of a seemingly celebrity stranger on the island at the end of the episode.  In short, things are starting to warm up nicely for Robotics;Notes, and although it might not be quite as instantly enjoyable as Steins;Gate it's still doing a pretty good job of things thus far.

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