Robotics;Notes really is pulling out all the stops as it enters the home stretch. Aki and Kai make it to Tokyo Expo with GunPro-2 thanks to Mitchie and his uncle (the president of the Space Candy company). The episode begins with a bit of Aki and Kai shipping, as Mitchie decides it’s a good idea to only book one hotel room for the two of them, with a double bed to boot. Luckily, the show handles this potentially questionable situation very respectably. The sense of closeness between the two is made particularly apparent as Aki wakes Kai up from his nightmare of Mizuka’s death. Blaming himself for not being able to save her is a rather normal reaction (survivor guilt), but hopefully he’ll come to realize that he tried his best and the situation was beyond his control. In any case, the scene where Aki tells Kai that she’s here for him if he ever needs someone to lean on was perhaps one of the most heart-felt moments of the whole show. We don’t really realize how patient and understanding she has been all this time (she never pried into things like his earlier nightmare), and it takes her telling Kai he’s been so distant lately to remind us that they really haven’t worked together closely since the Robo One competition.
But as far as relationships go, I’m afraid that this is as far as Aki and Kai will ever get. Sure, they’re old friends and they’re very close, but I don’t think they have what it takes to take it a step further. Especially not if Kai keeps shouldering things himself and hiding things from Aki. I like to think that a serious relationship requires at least enough mutual trust for both parties to share their burdens and help each other out. Right now, Kai is just pushing Aki away. And despite his waving away her concerns with a warm smile, it still feels like he’s keeping her at arm’s length. As for Aki herself, there’s no indication that she sees Kai in a romantic light either. Her moment with him, as mentioned before, felt more like a plea for an old friend to come back than for a guy to see her as more than just a friend. As touching as it was, the scene came off as strictly platonic as opposed to romantic. Robotics;Notes may not have nearly as severe a shipping war as Sakurasou, but I’m starting to think that we may not see anyone getting together by the end of the show. Aki and Kai are remaining just friends, Frau’s bold approach on Kai felt like a one-time thing, and Jun is not even a candidate (as adorable as she is). And maybe this is just fine. After all, this is a show first and foremost about overcoming evil conspiracies and building giant robots. If you don’t believe me, go read any synopsis for the show you can find out there.
Maybe it’s just me, but it felt like the transition of Gunvarrel from global obsession to stigma was extremely abrupt. I’m pretty sure this is supposed to be brought about by Kai unwittingly spreading the Kimijima reports. The reports are the only things that accuse Gunvarrel of being mass propaganda used by some shady organization allegedly bent on world-domination, and I don’t think the “leaking” of the “final episode” was enough to cause such an adverse reaction. Actually, now that I think about it, I’m not sure if the Kimijima reports even mention anything about the Gunvarrel staff. The final episode sure didn’t have anything like that either, so just where did the hooligans who heckled the robotics club get their murderous staff idea from? This specific detail notwithstanding, it’s already pretty weird to me for the general public opinion to change so drastically and so suddenly, but I guess it can all be hand-waved and attributed to the Kimijima reports somehow. That would make sense with regards to Misaki’s warning to Kai, after all.
But that’s enough of that; let’s get to other matters. I’m going to have to throw Misaki into the bad this week. I’ve already expressed my disapproval of her coldly ignoring Aki. But that was “just” a lack of long-distance communication. Now that Aki has come all the way to Tokyo bearing the fruits of her efforts, you doesn’t even bother to turn around to face your little sister in your first reunion after seven years? I don’t care what kind of convoluted reason you have; that’s just inexcusable. Would it really hurt to see the face of the sister who idolized you and spent her entire life working to catch up to you? Not even some super secret plan to keep her safe would justify this kind of behavior. Doing this has just made you the one hurting Aki. Also bad is Sawada. His appearance last episode was already unsettling enough; it felt like Kai just narrowly missed an untimely end. This time, he’s out to kill yet another member of the cast? What, killing off Mizuka wasn’t enough? He’s almost as comically evil as the Committe that he works for! Ok, so we don’t know for sure that he was responsible for Mizuka’s death (I still don’t know how much we can trust his words), but it’s fairly obvious what he’s after when he has a gun pointed at Misaki’s back.
Given the way she was all suited up, I can only surmise she’s stolen some sort of top secret tech from Exoskeleton, and he’s not too happy about it. But just why would Misaki do something like this now? Why jeopardize the position she’s been in, where she could know about the Committee’s plans and actions? I can’t imagine this being part of a plan to keep Aki safe (which is still my own invention for the moment). Heck, she put Aki between her and Sawada’s gun as she was running away! What would she have done if he accidentally (or purposefully) hit Aki? Or maybe she truly doesn’t care about her little sister? I sure hope that’s not the case though, because that would be a whole new low for her in my mind. Plus, her asking Kai to look after Aki would lead me to believe otherwise. I guess we’ll just have to wait until next time for the cliffhanger to be resolved.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention Airi. Turns out none of AIri’s experiences were transferred to her; poor AIri literally disappeared. Technically, this means that Airi never did have that dream that Kimijima promised her, but I guess that’s a story for another time. We have yet to see if she has a bigger role to play in the recent developments, and chances are she doesn’t. She was originally some random sickly girl that Kimijima just so happened to take pity on, after all.