Last time, I said that the Robotics;Notes premiere was slightly underwhelming. Luckily, it looks like things aren’t going to stay that way. This episode gave us a peek at some of the back-stories of the main characters and introduced us to new, important characters. First, we find out that the robotics club was originally founded by Aki’s sister. She was also the one who started the gunvarrel robot that Aki is so ardent about. Not to mention, the club had its “shiny days” in her time. Clearly, Aki has a lot to live up to, and being genki all the time can only get you so far. There’s a lot of past tense involved, though, and despite her being mentioned, we never see Aki’s sister in person once. I don’t want to jump the gun, but this seems to suggest that she’s not around any more, one way or another. Which brings us to an interesting point. Is Aki actually that enthusiastic about robots, or is she just following in her sister’s footsteps? I personally like to think that she’s genuinely interested in the stuff, as the OP would suggest, but you never know. We have been getting some rather “darker” or more “serious” tones in the show this episode.
And what about Kai? I’ve been hearing him compared to Houtarou of Hyouka. More specifically, that he’s a meaner version of Houtarou. It’s undeniable that Kai puts up a very cold front, has an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude, and “rudely” denies Aki straight up on many occasions. Well, I guess he does give her a chance to beat him at the game he’s top ranked in, but that obviously doesn’t mean much. Only knowing this, it’s easy to say that Kai is just an ass and that Aki has it tough. But then the store lady’s remark came out of the blue. He’s actually very nice to Aki? We know that he’s taking care of Aki for her sister (whose circumstances we still don’t know for sure), but isn’t he treating her just a tad too poorly? I would argue that it’s actually not the case. He’s always around her no matter what, and we actually find out why. Turns out Aki suffers from Elephant Mouse syndrome, which causes her to blank out for a few moments (highly reminiscent of Rikki’s narcolepsy in Little Busters!). This really puts things in perspective in my mind. True, he may be cold towards Aki, but she’s the extremely energetic and bubbly kind. Those people can be “annoying” at times, to put it nicely. And yet, Kai is willing to put up with it and spend his time watching over her in case something happens. If you ask me, that’s some dedication right there. Maybe he’s just a male tsundere! We don’t really see many of those, do we?
Moving on, we are introduced to two new characters this episode. We have the old “Doc” whom Aki constantly pesters for help and parts (at a discount) and his granddaughter Junna. Despite his tough attitude towards Aki, it’s obvious that Doc has a soft spot for her, as he ends up helping her nonetheless (after she pays up, of course). As for Junna, we learn that she is a shy girl in the karate club. It turns out that she hasn’t interacted with her grandfather in years and can’t get Aki a discount, but that doesn’t stop the genki girl. Instead, she “cuts her losses” and proceeds to ask Junna for a “finishing move” for their robot since she knows karate. I didn’t even know that robots needed finishing moves, but when it turned out Aki really did add one, I just had to laugh. I’m sure Junna will get roped into the robotics club soon enough. In any case, we also learn that the “random” store lady from last episode actually serves a pretty important role. It seems she runs some sort of “information exchange”, but only if you can stomach her “unique” Chinese buns. I’m also curious as to the purpose of the exoskeleton-like frame that she wears around her legs and lower back. Is it just to help her out, or does she have some physical need for it? We do have something similar in our time and world for the purpose of increasing the mobility of soldiers on the battlefield, but that’s obviously not something commonplace.
So this second episode pretty much starts picking up the pace, and it’s done its job well. The show now has my attention in full, and I’m really interested in finding out more about the characters, as well as how the robotics club fares in its endeavors. Hopefully more mysteries will be revealed or cleared up soon, and perhaps we might even finally get to meet that mystery girl in the ED. I could just be getting my hopes up though.
I personally didn’t find anything particularly bad in this episode. Again, I did hear people complaining about how Kai is an ass, but I’ve stated my opinion above. I believe he truly does care for Aki. Haters gonna hate.