Robotics;Notes continues to pile on the mysteries and conspiracies. Perhaps the main development here is Frau’s confession to Kai about her family. Kai had previously asked her about her parents, and she had attempted to dodge the question using some dodgy internet language. Failing to distract him, she told him her father was in Tokyo, but stopped short when it came to her mother. I had initially guessed that perhaps her mother died when she was young, thus being the cause of her anti-social tendencies. However, we learn that this is not quite the case. According to Frau (and I don’t see any reason for her to be lying), her mother was the director of the Gunvarrel anime. The last episode of which was never aired because the staff were all killed except for her mother, who mysteriously vanished. I hadn’t noticed this from last episode, but Frau’s two “AI”s are in fact the male and female characters of the Gunvarrel anime. I won’t say this is the reason we should believe what she says is true (she could just be one of its many fans), but I’m fairly certain we can just take it for granted as fact. Regardless, it was a very nice, subtle touch.
We also gain some insight about the side effects of Elephant-Mouse Syndrome from Kai. According to him, the time dilation “spasms” that he and Aki suffer from are akin to “post-traumatic” symptoms. That kind of language is interesting. Typically, post-traumatic disorders are a reaction to some sort of overwhelming threat to the individual. The account of the mass fainting event didn’t seem particularly physically traumatic, suggesting that the trauma might have been psychological. Just what, if anything, did the victims of the mass fainting experience while they were out cold? What could possibly trigger the mind to process events faster or slower than usual as some defense mechanism? Moreover, why are Aki and Kai the only two suffering from the Elephant-Mouse Syndrome? I had previously postulated that their holding hands might be important, but this talk of trauma might suggest that something else is at play. If it’s anything like the current spasms that the two suffer from, it can’t be very pleasant, as Kai tells Frau that he feels like he could “drop dead at any moment” (think before you make jokes about illnesses, folks).
Moving on to more character developments, Junna (I’ll refer to her as Jun from now on) is really fitting in with the robotics club, but so far she hasn’t done anything technically meaningful for them. It seems as if she’s just around to boost Aki’s confidence and serve as a poster girl. Heck, even the president of Space Candy pegged her as such. Subaru, on the other hand, makes a return despite the incident with his father. While he’s apparently given up on his own dreams, it seems that he still has the heart to help the robotics club out with their dreams instead. It seemed as if he had some chemistry going on with Frau last episode, but here we see him blushing madly over Aki as well. I guess he’s just a shy guy in general. And a massive tsundere at that. “I-it’s not like I’m helping you guys build this giant robot because I like you or anything, baka! I just so happen to like working with robots! Don’t get the wrong idea!” I jest, but it’s really nice to see him not mope over his father’s disdain.
And with the revelation about Frau’s mother, the mysteries only deepen further. Clearly some organization has been busy silencing people, and from the looks of the news report, it might not be the organization that Misaki works for now. Apparently they just make exoskeletons, which goes along with Mizuka’s legs. In any case, the episode leaves off on a cliffhanger with an ominous team of men in black (and is that Mr. Brown’s daughter?!) confronting the robotics club. Just what do these people want? We’ll have to wait until next time to find out.
I’ve heard people point out that Robotics;Notes is really slow on the plot progression. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, and given that the show has two cours to work with, I’d say it can afford to take things slowly to a reasonable degree.