You know, I didn’t think the Robotics Club would actually get around to completing GunPro-1. Or at least, it wouldn’t be done so soon. And yet, sure enough, they finally put the thing together this episode. Granted, it probably isn’t how everyone envisioned it would be, but the shear size of the thing is impressive enough if you ask me. And while the slow, cumbersome movement of GunPro-1 obviously disappointed the expectations of the spectators, it’s actually more realistic physically. It all comes down to the scale factor. If two objects travel at the exact same speed, the larger object will appear to move slower1 because the ratio of the distance it’s traveled to its dimension in the direction of movement will be smaller. And yet another more important problem is that if a giant robot relies on some walking motion to move, it will appear to lumber around dramatically and almost comically slowly. The fact is, taller things take longer to fall2 simply due to their height (the top has a longer distance to travel to reach the ground). Try balancing a typical ruler and then a meter/yard stick upright to see this for yourself. It will be much easier to keep the meter/yard stick from falling over because you have more time to compensate. Since walking (and running, for that matter) is essentially the act of falling forward, giant robots should thus walk at a slower pace (but cover a larger distance with each step). But of course, these points are almost irrelevant as the main problem with GunPro-1 is that it just doesn’t really move at all. And I’m not even sure if it really uses a walking motion to move. Both feet have wheels that seem to propel it forward without either foot ever leaving the ground, though the rest of the legs appear to move up and down in a motion similar to that of walking.
But that’s enough technical babble. This has been quite an aside, and I’m sure it’s starting to put you to sleep like some boring lecturer droning away. Aside from the “completion” of GunPro-1, we also see a great deal of focus on the relationship between Aki and Misaki. Or rather, there used to be one; now they just don’t talk at all. The show is very obviously keeping us in the dark as to what happened to Misaki. We keep seeing her portrayed in flashbacks as just as genki as Aki, except much more capable. And then suddenly, she gives up on her dreams of building a giant robot, even going so far as to call GunPro-1 a piece of trash. What could have possibly caused such a face-heel turn? And why would it also make her alienate Aki? She can’t be oblivious to the fact that Aki looks up to her as a role model and a goal to surpass. Yet she chose to abandon everything that she stood for and leave her impressionable sister hanging all alone. Well, I guess she did tell Kai to look after Aki for her, but why not do it herself? At first I thought that she might have gotten tangled with some shady organization and was just avoiding Aki for her own good, but it was only revealed not too long ago that she just works for a company that makes exoskeletons. That’s still related to robotics, so I don’t understand her suddenly not wanting to have anything to do with the Robotics Club’s projects.
Yet another interesting thing to note is that Kai seems to have to eat some candy before engaging himself in some “strenuous” activity. The usage of the word “strenuous” is quite subjective here, but I just mean any activity where he has to pay particularly close attention and focus carefully. If I remember correctly, the last time the show made a point of showing him eating candy was during the Robo One competition. Given the particular concern Kai shows over Aki piloting GunPro-1, I can only assume that it has something to do with the Elephant-Mouse Syndrome. And understandably, since time slows down for her while it speeds up for him, it would definitely be safer for him to be handling such tasks. But just what does the candy do for Kai? Does it help stave off those time spasms somehow? And if that’s the case, would it not also work for Aki? It’s possible that the effect only applies for Kai, and even then I guess it doesn’t guarantee complete prevention of the time spasms. Even after having candy before the Robo One match with MISTER PLEIADES (aka Subaru), Kai did suffer from a spasm during the match, after all. There’s just too much still unknown about the Elephant-Mouse Syndrome for us to draw any solid conclusions for now.
In any case, this was probably the most depressed (or just sullen) we’ve seen Aki in an episode so far. Will Kai be able to cheer her up? And will Aki ever be able to measure up to her sister? Hopefully we’ll get some resolution next time.
We’ve seen it multiple times already, but it really starts to sink in this episode. Misaki’s face-heel turn and her treatment of Aki now are both undoubtedly bad. Of course, we’ll probably get some answers eventually and maybe even a tearful reconciliation between the sisters. The crowd’s reactions this episode also angered me a bit, but I guess that’s just because I don’t live in the future and am not familiar with whatever futuristic standards they’ve gotten used to.