Robotics; Notes Review — D

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A school robotics club builds a robot… and saves the world.

Robotics; Notes is based on a visual novel by the same people who made Chaos; Head and Steins; Gate. I’ll be brief: I didn’t like it. The show doesn’t know where it’s going and it takes forever to get there.

The first half of the show is just the club doing normal high school things, while there were signs of some evil crazy conspiracy in the background. At first, I wanted to see more of the conspiracies and was frustrated that so much time was wasted on video games and club activities.

Then, about midway through, I finally got to like some of the characters (well, one of the characters, more on that later). Then, once I’d decided to treat the show as a slice of life harem, Robotics; Notes immediately ditched the entire supporting cast in favor of the conspiracies it’d completely neglected up until that point. And the conspiracies turned out to be, frankly, stupid.

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It was frustrating because they spent all this time in the first half of the show building up all these characters, who they turned around and forgot about. Essentially none of the characters’ personal problems are resolved by the series’ end (or even mentioned again). Karate girl is useless. Mr. Mysterio is useless.  Nae is useless. Frau is useless (even though I love her.) No one but Akiho and Kai, the two main characters, has more than a token role in the ending. Robotics; Notes consisted of a slow, slow buildup that I wanted to skip through, with absolutely no payoff in the end.

  • Storytelling – D – Directionless, slow and at times bizarre (in a bad way).
  • Voice – F – They claim to like robots?
  • Characters – D – I liked Frau, but they didn’t know what to do with her. Aki started out with a great character but she didn’t grow at all. The rest start out OK but end up useless, except for Kai who is a sack of potatoes.
  • Attention Grab – F – You may have noticed that this comes out on Thursdays and I never wrote about it until Monday. There’s a reason.
  • Production – B – Meh, looks fine.
  • Overall – D

RecommendationsSteins; Gate

16 thoughts on “Robotics; Notes Review — D

  1. Indeed I’m not really liking it either. Directionless, one dimensional characters and awkward plot devices. Although Frau is still awesome. I was having pretty high expectations due to the better Steins;Gate. I guess I shouldn’t have too much of an expectation when watching a new anime like this one.

    1. I think it’s fine to have expectations, you just have to accept it when your expectations aren’t reached. 🙁

  2. The problem with VN adaptations in general is that they often ruin themselves by trying to please all the fans by shoehorning in all the routes from the original game rather than choosing one route that might stand fine on its own and sticking with it. R;N is definitely a product of that line of thinking and I can’t help but feel it would have been better as a movie, similar to how Clannad worked better as a movie (although I know I’m the only guy who thinks that, similar to how I’m the only one who thinks the original Hellsing is better than Ultimate). Sure there’s stuff like ef, Higurashi, and Steins;Gate (which had problems of their own, but that’s not relevant to what I’m saying) that had more linear stories, but that’s because the VNs themselves only had one linear route you had to traverse. And even Steins;Gate had harem pandering that should have been cut out entirely.

    Oh, and this isn’t relevant to the article, but I saw your mosaic and you really need to update your list dude. How hard can it be? I update mine all the time. 😛

    1. The VN format doesn’t carry over well to animated form. I’m not certain if this was one of the biggest problems with Robotics; Notes though— Frau got a couple episodes, Mr. Mysterio got a couple episodes, Karate girl got a couple episodes, but in my opinion those were some of the show’s better episodes. The worst part was towards the end when it actually focused on the one linear route with Akiho and her sister. (I don’t know anything about the VN or its structure, so correct me if I’m confused.)

      Yeah I know I should update it… I will try to do it after the new season starts and I have less other things to write.

      1. Never got the appeal of those episodes. They felt like they belonged on the Disney Channel and weren’t even trying to draw any sort of emotion. And if you know my tastes, you know how much I can’t stand “safe” stuff.

        The actual plot was retarded, yes. It needed a major overhaul to entice me. Still it might have gotten a 5 or 6 on thar anime list thing if it kept the direction tight instead of the 3 I ended up giving it.

        1. To be clear, I agree with your criticisms of these episodes, I just thought they were better than the more plot-centric episodes.

          I’ve got to agree that a tighter direction could have helped. I mean, look at Stein’s; Gate: the story there probably wasn’t much better than this, and yet they still managed to turn that into a great show.

  3. Yeah… Robotics is 10-15 hours longer than Steins;Gate. S;G had 24 episodes and R;N has 22. Yep.This was going to be a trainwreck.

    The sad thing is the VN is actually good. It isn’t as great as the S;G VN, but it ties up all loose ends in a logical (for this world’s logic) way (except for Konna’s mom). Heck even the bird who stopped the gun and the way Kimijma acts like a cartoon villain have a legitimate reason. The last episode was completely butchered too. It sure as hell wasn’t as cliche as it looked like. The only real problem was what mostly happened in episode 20, but in the VN it at least didn’t completely ruin the tension.

    1. 10-15 hours longer…? Wow. That’s why I don’t play VNs…

      Even the bird and Kimijima’s villainy are explained? Wow. The bird seemed impossible to explain from just the show.

      1. Yep. In the VN, the bird is shown many times to snatch objects from peoples hands. So, while it isn’t perfect, at least the bird taking the gun is plausible. Also, the gun never goes off in the VN, so it isn’t like the bird has the power to redirect gunshots. Now that would be implausible. As for Kimijima, basically he was in the midst of transferring his consciousness to the internet (Basically using the logic of how Okabe is able to use his mind to time travel), when Misaki killed him. So he only transferred his intellect, project Atom and what to do. It looks like he shows no emotion because the AI literally doesn’t have it and he says he does this because he has to because that’s the only reason accessible to the AI.

        1. Ah, makes more sense if the gun didn’t go off and the bird had actually done things before that.

          That would have explained Kimijima much better and doesn’t seem like it would have been too difficult to explain, either. I wonder why they chose not to.

  4. … hopelessly lagging behind w/ last season…

    As much as I tried to like this series I can only agree w/ you on most points. The direction was aimless and the main conspiracy just laughable.

    I still think it was one of the more enjoyable shows of last season, though. Like you, after some initial disappointment I came to like this show as a slice of life-series. It was two-cour, looked really nice and at its best conveyed a sense of growing up on a remote, but sunny island with not much more than a JAXA base on it. The ending was a letdown, though.

    Re Frau: Eps 13 and 14 were certainly among the best. But why on earth did she regress to otaku girl stereotype again after these episodes? As much as I tried to like her I had really hoped that she’d crawl out of this corner and present some other side of hers than just lewd comments.

    In the second half, Aki became the one character which kept me to this show. Her willingness to continue w/ her project no matter what setback was impressive. Also, showing her w/ hair let down in episode 18 was very well-placed!

    1. Re Frau: Eps 13 and 14 were certainly among the best. But why on earth did she regress to otaku girl stereotype again after these episodes? As much as I tried to like her I had really hoped that she’d crawl out of this corner and present some other side of hers than just lewd comments.

      Good question. I found this very frustrating as well. It was like those episodes never happened. I think that a similar thing happened with karate girl and the boy too: it was like they completely forgot their arcs had happened. Plus for a while there they completely forgot the characters existed too.

      Aki was what kept the second half running. It’s a shame they had to forget about all the other characters to use her though.

      1. Oh, now I remember, there was a karate girl and another boy, as well! They were so insignificant I didn’t even notice them.

        PS: What really annoyed me was that the monopoles were also forgotten! They were supposed to be a physical anomaly no one has ever seen before. But instead of explaining how they were created and why they fell from the sky exactly at Kai and Aki’s place the creators just introduced them and let them serve as a convenient fuel source for the Gunvarrel. The Sumiragi has been moving, too, so why did they need the monopoles?

        1. It’s okay, the creators forgot about them too. They weren’t that important.

          Good point about the monopoles. I still have no idea what that was about.

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