Yeah more Akiho! The first episode of Robotics;Notes certainly didn’t live up to its predecessor, Steins;Gate, but was still enjoyable and showed some promise for a decent enough show, even if not necessarily something I’d feel right about mentioning in the same breath as Steins;Gate. It still had me curious to see where the series would go next, since the premise allowed for some interesting enough material, as well as teasing some mysterious elements at the end of the episode and the ending sequence’s visuals.
Well I’m a little surprised by this, but the note they ended the first episode on isn’t explored in the next episode at all. However, that’s not to say nothing changed, and there was definitely some seriousness near the end. However, the bulk of the episode, basically right until the last few scenes, was a lot of the same fun little moments we saw in the first episode, similar to a lot of school club anime.
One thing I was glad to see was that the two main characters, still by far the dominating presences of the series, got to be apart for a bit, allowing for each of them to show a little of their respective personalities when they’re separate. This was especially welcome for Kaito, who hasn’t shown a whole lot of a distinguished personality, probably due in part to Akiho’s ever-present and overwhelming energy. Other than the glasses guy who is obviously showing interest in the robotics club while desperately trying to hide this from Kaito and, more importantly, the much more aggressive Akiho, Kaito and Akiho each meet with a couple of the only real “characters” we’ve gotten to meet so far. Maybe it’s because of Steins;Gate’s extremely small cast of characters, but I feel like nearly every character who seems close enough in age (apologies to the possibly very important old man) will end up becoming a major character in the story.
It almost caught me off-guard after how unenthused he seemed about everything in the first episode except his video game, but Kaito on his own had some nice comical moments that brought a little reminder of Okabe in the male half of this series, as it has been largely present only in Akiho if anything. His time away from Akiho sees him meeting with one of these characters, one who forces him to eat a passion fruit bun before she’ll give him any help, and this makes for some of the most fun moments we’ve seen from him so far. For Akiho’s part, she meets with a classmate, a karate girl who she thinks will make a good model for some robot moves. This shows off a lot of the same we’ve seen from Akiho, but it’s still nice to see her play off someone who is honestly a little more fun with her reactions.
Finally, we see some serious moments in the drama of the characters’ lives as well as their collective relationship. Along with being a nice display of these characters being likeable on a more emotional level, it also reminds me a lot of Steins;Gate and some of the moments with Okabe and Mayuri. Kaito and Akiho each fill the respective roles relatively closely, with a trauma from Akiho’s past causing a condition in her that Kaito has to help her out with, and he’s a lot more likeable here than when he’s just being unenthusiastic about Akiho’s overenthusiastic ideas. There are no more hints about the mysterious and potentially extremely large-scale events that will surely envelop this story as time goes on, but it’s doing an alright job as a light slice-of-life show for now.
Keeping it short, this episode has no big changes from the first episode as far as the plot or anything that was teased near the end of it, but there are some nice dramatic moments as well as some comedy that makes the male lead a little more fun than he has been before. There’s still a lot of potential for this to become something a lot more.