Saturday, 16 March 2013

Robotics;Notes - Episode 21

Aki finally has the team she needs to build her dream robot, but boy are the stakes higher than she could ever have imagined as Robotics;Notes hits its penultimate episode.

With news organisations and the like beginning to twig that the whole "solar flare" story is some kind of scam or something of the sort, it's clear that Misaki and Kimijima are going to have to push on with their plans before their true intentions come to light, in turn piling the pressure on for Aki, JAXA et al to complete their robot.  Meanwhile, there are other important issues at hand, with Kai finding out the rather painful truth about the N IV device while Kimijima and Sister Centipede look set to ratchet up that pain even further until the latter defects at a pivotal moment.

Although their robot is now effectively complete, Kai's testing of the N IV has left him hospitalised, begging the question - who is going to pilot the machine with the required skill to best Misaki and make full use of the systems set up to defeat her and Kimijima?  Of course, it's too early to write Kai off, as he offers himself up to the task despite his current state of health - a piece of showmanship that earns him little respect from Aki, even though she knows that there is no other option.

Having complained about the slow pacing of this series on numerous occasions, it feels a little odd to now complain of it going in completely the opposite direction for the first half of this week's episode, where so much happened that there was no time to feel or fully comprehend the impact of any of it, leaving us with a bit of a mess.  Thankfully, the soft centre of this installment's second half at least restores some faith in the series as we go into its climax - the final scenes with Aki and Kai, and even the comic relief as they're joined by the other Robotics Club members, worked really well in bringing a personal angle to a challenge which threatens the world.  If only there had been more similarly successful moments, then I might have found myself caring a whole lot more about what happens in next week's episode.

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