Robotics;Notes Episode #20 Anime Review

Robotics;Notes Episode #20 Anime Review The only thing that stops a bad guy with a robot is a good guy with a robot.

What They Say:
With five billion lives at stake, Akiho declares that she WILL defeat Kou Kimijima! The question is… how?

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Robotics;Notes is in its final stretch and this episode finishes off the big revelations that were started on last week to fully set up for the final confrontation. It ends at a stage perfect to spend one episode preparing for the showdown and one actually showing it. This is likely very exciting for anyone who’s stuck with the series for this long, but it’s also not quite as interesting as it could be because of how predictable and formulaic a lot of it seems to be heading in this last chunk.

The main purpose of this episode other than getting everyone out of the last one’s cliffhanger safe and sound (in a painfully stupid way) is confirming that Kimijima is absolutely the villain and that nobody else is at all. It was pretty easy to guess that Misaki wasn’t entirely a villain, but setting her up as they have and then revealing that she’s literally being controlled against her own will at all times is honestly a little bit of a letdown. I was very curious to learn what her motivations for turning on everyone were, but there was never really anything to be motivated toward. It’s a relief to learn the character Aki loves so much doesn’t actually hate her, but it also feels like a bit of lost potential for an interesting character story.

This episode does manage to be very fulfilling with reuniting the group that had been broken apart by the tragedies of various degrees that occurred a few episodes ago, as well as uniting nearly every character the series has ever introduced other than the lone villain that the earlier of the episode had clearly set up for us. They get ready to prepare their final stand at the end of the episode, so it seems very likely that Misaki will be joining them next time, or perhaps during the finale itself when she manages to break free of her constraints. What her release of Geji near the end actually means is an interesting element that I look forward to learning about in the same time frame. With the lack of a conclusion that she’s given, I assume we’ll be seeing her again.

In fitting with the theme of the series, the obvious answer is to use robots to save the world. As serious as everything feels at this point, the fact that it’s ultimately just a fight between the evil robot bent on destroying humanity because of its crazy master and the teenage protagonists banding together to build a robot of justice to defeat it and stop this master plan reminds us that it’s still essentially a story of childish dreams coming true. However, that’s been the theme from the very beginning, so even though things have gotten much darker, it can hardly be dismissed as inappropriate or out-of-place at this point.

In Summary:
With the finale clearly in sight, Robotics;Notes gives us our concrete picture of where everyone stands for the first time (barring any surprise twists at the very end), and sets up for a fitting conclusion. It’s a bit cliché and childish, but it’s also extremely fulfilling to see everyone unite for the common good in the end.

Grade: B-

Streamed By: FUNimation

Review Equipment:
Toshiba Satellite L655-S5191 PSK2CU-1C301U Notebook PC.