It's festival time as we reach episode nine of Robotics;Notes - and perfect timing it is too, on the eve of the final assembly of GunPro-1 and the final realisation of Aki's (and her sister's) dream.
Not that all of the members of the club are present at the festival - having been sent to collect Kuojiro to bring her along, Kai is instead dragged into another session of hunting down cheaters in Kill-Ballad amongst other things, while he also begins to at least start sharing some of his recent discoveries on the island with her given its possible ties with the death of her own mother and the mysteries surrounding it.
Aki also has to suffer without her full crew as the upper and lower halves of the GunPro-1 are finally merged, leaving them with a completed robot to play with at long last - come the next day, it's time for the machine's first activation test which, thanks to some comprehensive marketing from their sponsors, brings out quite a crowd. Surely they will be nothing but awed by this behemoth activating and walking for the first time? Err, not quite.... while the original design of the GunPro-1 was perhaps something quite spectacular for its time, almost a decade later its glacial movement and clunky internals do nothing but bore the crowd, before the robot breaks down entirely when its diesel generator gives up the ghost. It's a tragic end to Aki's ambitions, especially given that her sister isn't responding to any of her photos showing the GunPro-1 in action, and it leaves some rather large questions as to where she and the rest of the robotics club go from here.
In some ways, this week's Robotics;Notes was a bit of a slow-burner - the first half of the episode didn't really take us anywhere significant and simply reinforced what has gone before. Thankfully, things picked up in the second half to deliver us the bitter-sweet construction and activation of the GunPro-1, which actually worked pretty well and at least went some way to suggesting that the show has done a half-decent job of fleshing out its characters to the point where we actually care about them and their endeavours. Once again, we're left in the dark as to where the series goes from here, but it certainly has no shortage of directions to make full use of.