Robotics;Notes Weekly Update – Episode 14

Quashing robot rebellions.

Well there you go. An episode of Robotics;Notes that’s actually eventful! Ok, I jest; but this episode is probably exactly what those who complain about the show’s lack of progress are looking for. Not that the previous episode isn’t just as eventful as this week’s, but you have to admit this episode is pretty intense for one that takes place almost entirely in a hikikomori’s room. Things pick up where they left off, with a mass of domestic robots being hacked for the purpose of forming a robot army. It turns out the intent of the incident isn’t to just throw the city into chaos, but to amass a force capable of assaulting the government. Now, I had previously assumed that the Committee have positions of power since they wield so much influence on manufacturing and broadcast companies. But this episode seems to suggest otherwise. Assuming the Committee is in deed responsible for the attack, this would mean that they have yet to infiltrate the government. Or perhaps, they don’t even have any intention of taking over the government, and instead seek to completely overthrow the existing system in order to establish their own. I would have thought that sneaking in and taking over from within would make things much easier and smoother, but perhaps infiltrating the government is a task beyond even the Committee. Whatever the case may be, the fact that the Committee has to resort to “out of control” robots very clearly tells us that current government has nothing to do with them.

Thinking things over, it does makes more sense that the Committee has more of a financial background as opposed to a political one. Everything that’s been revealed about them so far only tells us about their ability to manipulate large companies, but not their ability to sway the political scene. And with such radical ideas as theirs, I highly doubt they’d make it very far in the political world. I guess I had just assumed that their financial power would go hand-in-hand with political power, as is usually the case in real life. So now that their little “robot rebellion” has been foiled, what is the Committee going to do? With a plan as large in magnitude as Project Atom, can they still pull it off without wielding political power? It’s hard to imagine that they would rely solely on a single robot rebellion to move things forward, so surely they have something else up their sleeves? They’ve had their various puppet companies working on all sorts of advanced technology for a reason, so it’s strange enough that they would rely on a bunch of hacked robots to carry out their revolution for them. Perhaps this event was merely them testing the waters? I still think that the Committee is going to build an army of giant robots using their own technology to overthrow the government, which would very naturally lead to the robotics club having to defend mankind with their GunPro-2 (and maybe even GunPro-1).

In any case, it looks like my theory about the Gunvarrel staff was slightly mistaken. I thought that they were just being used unknowingly, but Misaki’s boss reveals to us that the entire staff was in fact brainwashed. Frau’s mother was the only one who somehow managed to break free of the Committee’s control, and narrowly escaped when her former colleagues almost killed her. I guess the rest of the staff was just killed off once they had expended their use to the Committee to tie up loose ends, much like Frau’s programmer friend was in this episode. We also get a better idea about the timeline of events in Robotics;Notes. Kimijima supposedly died in 20101, while Gunvarrel was produced in 2015.  Compare this to the predicted solar flare dates of 2012, 2015, 2019, and 2020. The fact that Gunvarrel’s production began in the same year as one of the solar flares can’t simply be a coincidence. Most likely, the anime was produced under the cover of uniting people in the wake of a disaster, which would have the effect of expanding the audience exposed to the propaganda. I’m still not sure just what kind of message the propaganda conveyed though, because the existence of the Committee clearly remains hidden to society.

Speculations aside, the episode also provided us with some very interesting character development. It’s been fairly obvious since the beginning that Aki and Kai are a pair, but I had also believed that Frau might be paired up with Subaru. We’ve previously seen some very entertaining interactions between those two, but upon further review, that might just be because Frau’s interactions tend to be amusing regardless of whom she’s with. Even so, her latest development with Kai was certainly unexpected. That’s not to say it was completely random; it’s understandable for her to fall for the guy who did so much to help clear her name. Not to mention, he saved her when she was at her absolute low and about to commit suicide. But as awesome as Frau is though, I still can’t see her ending up with Kai. This is just one of those cases where the main couple is already clearly set up, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. So as hilarious as it is to watch Aki’s reactions and to think that she’s actually got some competition, I think Aki can rest easy knowing that she’s going to have Kai all to herself at the end of the day.

So by now it’s pretty much established that Misaki is working for the “enemy”. What are her reasons for doing so? The obvious answer is that she’s doing it to protect Aki and Kai; but from what? This episode does mark the much needed return of the Elephant-Mouse Syndrome, which has been disappointingly absent for a while now. Is the Committee really interested in Aki and Kai specifically because of their condition? And just why would that be the case? I assume they aren’t keeping the two under surveillance simply out of scientific curiosity. How does Misaki working for them help Aki and Kai, then? I’m starting to find it less likely that she cut some sort of deal, considering the Committee has no qualms about taking what they want by force. It’s also unlikely that Misaki has simply been brainwashed, because we’ve seen her express genuine concern for the two before (and I don’t mean in the flashbacks). My only other guess is that she’s been blackmailed by the Committee so that they may exploit her skills, but that would only further reinforce the almost comically evil nature of the organization.

The Screenshots

1Interesting that Misaki’s boss didn’t use language like “Kimijima was killed.” Is the Committee just that meticulous about keeping things secret? Or were they actually not responsible for Kimijima’s death?

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