Robotics;Notes Weekly Update – Episode 17

Everything goes wrong.

This episode sure was a roller-coaster. We’re still reeling from the blow of Mizuka’s death from last time; the mood is utterly bleak and somber. And then we get hit with the disbanding of the robotics club? Ouch. That’s just rubbing salt on the wound. But before you get on the principal’s case for being an ass to the robotics club, you have to understand that she’s just doing her job. One of her students was just in a life-threatening accident. If anything, she’s under just as much fire as all the other involved parties are. Having the club disband wasn’t some act to spite them or her jumping at the opportunity to take them down (in spite of her previous dealings with them). In fact, if you ask me, she’s been very lenient with them ever since Robo One. After all, she let them get away with the little technicality of Subaru joining the club. It’s just that when the safety of her students is in question, the only right thing for her to do is to remove the problem. You can’t seriously expect her to keep quiet about such a major event, and she’s not likely to just wave it off with simple condolences. Especially not after the parent of the victim filed a complaint. I’m surprised she still even has her job, despite not being directly involved with the robotics club. That’s just the way political things work.

In any case, it’s at least reassuring to see that Subaru survived his close call. He may be stuck in the hospital for a while, and there’s also talk that he may “never be the same”, but at least he still has his life. I would normally fear for someone’s survival if a giant robot fell on him, but Subaru luckily has plot armor going for him as a main character. Not that this really means too much after what happened to Mizuka, but I digress. It didn’t seem like he was in too serious a condition from the brief shot of his hospital room. I know, I make it sound like it wasn’t a big deal at all. But all he had was cast on one of his legs (not to diminish the severity of this) and he was conscious and alert as opposed to out cold and hooked up to various life-support machines. What I’m worried about is if the incident might only serve to make his father disapprove of robots even more. It sounded like originally he disapproved of Subaru working on hobby robots because he wanted his son to follow in his footsteps as a fisherman. But now that it’s come down to directly threatening his son’s life, I can’t imagine him having a very good opinion of robots in general. Not that this should really stop Subaru from getting back with the crew (assuming they do reunite, which is a pretty good bet).

The bad this week is Misaki’s boss. We finally get to put a name on him: Sawada. I had made a bold claim last week that he was directly responsible for Mizuka’s death. This week, he actually confronts Kai, and from their conversation it is suggested he doesn’t know as much as I thought he does. I’m tempted to say that he’s just feigning ignorance to get Kai to fess up about his involvement with the Kimijima reports. Then he would proceed to reveal that he was responsible for Mizuka’s death and add that he could strike at Kai’s loved ones (or even Kai himself) to keep him quiet about things. But when you think about it, if he wanted to scare Kai into submission by killing Mizuka, why would he need to personally come down and have a chat with him in the first place? Perhaps there really is more to him than meets the eye? It’s undeniable that Sawada is deeply involved with the Committee of 300. Maybe he’s one of their subordinates who also has an agenda of his own or something? Whatever the case, his actions have been rather shady, and I felt very anxious for Kai during their little “question session”. It really felt like Kai just had a close call of his own, where one little slip-up could have cost him his life or those of his friends.

As bleak as things were though, the episode does try to redeem things by ending on a lukewarm note. It was rather nice, if not a little too transparent, that things dipped down and reached an absolute minimum, before starting to rise back up again. I’m not sure I could take much more of the depressing atmosphere that has been so pervasive in these last two episodes. Also, the very last scene picked up the pace yet again with the final Kimijima report revealed to be a program that spreads the six previous reports worldwide. This flies in the face of Misaki’s cryptic warning to Kai to keep the reports a secret, but I think that’s just more of her misguided attempt to protect him (and Aki). True, if word doesn’t get out that he’s been investigating Kimijima, he’ll be safe. But now that word has already been spread, what could the Committee do against him? Killing him wouldn’t silence or stop the spread of the report. It’s already been uploaded world-wide. You could even say that the sooner Kai spread word of the Committee’s plans, the better chance he would have to avoid an untimely end. That is, the only time when he’s truly vulnerable is when he is in possession of the reports, yet hasn’t told anyone else about them.

The Screenshots

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