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Clockwork Planet – 11

「天才の理論(セオリー・オブ・Y)」 (Tensai no riron (seorii Obu Y))
“Theory of Y”

Ahh Clockwork Planet, you were great this week. A near perfect mix of intrigue and aggravation, simultaneously showcasing just what I like about you while throwing the bad back in my face. Development mixed with ambiguity, characters switched roles, and the steampunk world quite literally flipped in on itself. How we didn’t manage working “people die when they’re killed” into this mess of contradictions I do not know, but Clockwork certainly tried.

While I’ve been relatively tame discussing Clockwork’s faults over the weeks—that’s what final impressions are for—this episode succinctly highlights my main gripe with the show: the writing. At times it works quite well (i.e. the character relationships as mentioned later), but some of Clockwork’s narrative choices are a hard swallow. Take Naoto’s speech of remembrance and forgetfulness here, the purpose for me seems to be hinting that the world is an illusion—backed up by Gennai all but calling Naoto out as a Y impersonator—but it came across as confusing and amateurish. If Clockwork is walking the path of the Matrix (as I suspect), isn’t there another way to show these illusionary effects? Beyond Morpheus’ infamous red pill/blue pill speech, Neo largely observed the contradictions of the Matrix himself after all, lending strength to the audience’s idea that something is terribly wrong. Clockwork could easily have done similar here—like with Konrad’s blurb on missing gears—showing the problems of the world without the need for weird Naoto teachings. It might be an issue of pacing and adaptation choices, but I think the plot development could have been more efficiently handled, particularly Gennai’s belated introduction. Besides reducing confusion, such a move would have also yielded more hints earlier on, helping build suspense. No guarantee of course, but a likely improvement over the current arrangement.

On the other hand, however, we had the Marie-Naoto development which nearly counteracted the above for me. Besides Marie’s ability surprisingly mirroring Naoto’s—I definitely did not see that coming—both characters now perfectly complement one another. Marie’s momentary bouts of depression are neatly checked by Naoto’s headstrong attitude, while Naoto’s self-inflicted doubt is easily erased by Marie’s faith in his abilities—both mentally and physically. Even RyuZU helps by bridging the emotional extremes between Naoto and AnchoR. It’s all around excellent chemistry which organically builds on itself, keeping characters true to their base personalities while fleshing out those components bringing them into their own—basically a sign of the immense trust they now have in one another. Under this development the changes (i.e. completion) of Marie’s and Naoto’s power then make sense—it was a natural evolution fleshing out those areas they both have long neglected. Quite cute how RyuZU noticed this too and subtly approved of it, paving the way for some strong relational ties being forged later on, particularly between mother and wife. Without a doubt for me this character cast and its consistent evolution is what keeps Clockwork intriguing. No matter the plot issues here, I am going to miss the tales of the Naoto family harem once this show is over.

With only one episode left I think we all know how Clockwork will end (*cough* robot destruction), but there’s no reason we cannot have a bit of entertainment too. Some uncertainty regarding AnchoR’s fate, testing out that new Naoto-Marie Y-related power, learning just what Gennai is after, lots left to explore in the big finale next time. We may not get all the answers, but there’s no doubt Clockwork will leave a noticeable impression. After all, AnchoR demands it.

 

Preview

June 15, 2017 at 11:39 pm
13 comments »
  • June 16, 2017 at 12:48 amKinai

    I didn’t watch the episode yet, but I read the novel.

    I understand your misgivings, but I don’t think that clockwork is going to go down the Matrix’s path.

    I can be wrong, but I think that Naoto’s speech goes more in the “feel, don’t think” direction. As if saying that Y don’t use common logic but another type of logic that only Naoto and Marie can grasp; but only if they throw out all the perjudicar. I.e: that can be done because it’s impossible.

    Another way yo ser it, would be to get the full picture, not the details.

    On the other hand, if it would really be similar to Matrix, then the Big bad would be right. Not a common sight in LN if I am not wrong.

    Anyway, that’s only mi opinión.

    The anime os going to wrap at the end of the second nivel and there isn’t only four. It’s top soon to know.

    • June 16, 2017 at 11:41 pmPancakes

      Oh I agree there’s no guarantee it’s going into Matrix territory, it just feels that way to me right now. The mentioning of inherent flaws in the clockwork technology and Naoto’s/Marie’s godly powers suggest the current world is “wrong”, which is mostly why I brought up the Matrix–the best example of a fake world :P. I’m not expecting answers next episode, but I still hope we get something for our troubles.

  • June 16, 2017 at 1:42 amzztop

    J-Novel Club will be translating Clockwork’s LNs.
    https://j-novel.club/c/clockwork-planet-volume-1-part-1

    • June 17, 2017 at 7:26 amKinai

      But how it has been licensed, all the fan translations have been deleted. :’(

      Now I don’t know how many time theya are going to need to reach the fourth volume so I can know what is going to happen with Show Spoiler ▼

  • June 16, 2017 at 8:20 amMagnus Tancred

    Besides Marie’s ability surprisingly mirroring Naoto’s—I definitely did not see that coming—both characters now perfectly complement one another.

    Really now? I’ve been going on about a yin-yang dynamic between Naoto and Marie for a few episodes already. This episode basically confirms it! :D

    I got excited after they exchanged “lessons” (Naoto’s may sound silly but I think/feel that it’s some form of meditative/Zen approach), because finally, there’s an overlap in their knowledge and abilities, allowing them to efficiently communicate and coordinate their work.

    • June 16, 2017 at 11:44 pmPancakes

      Heh I know, I just never thought their increasing similarities would extend over into their actual powers. Becoming better friends and learning to communicate yes, but the power awakening never once entered my mind. Not that I’m complaining though, as mentioned it’s a logical step and gives a surefire way of bringing them more closely together.

  • June 16, 2017 at 5:21 pmDude

    Naoto’s speech is more similar to Qui Gonn telling Anakin to “feel, don’t think. use your instincts” when he’s pod racing.

    • June 16, 2017 at 11:46 pmPancakes

      Probably now that I think about it, I just got caught up on the “flawed world” bit and started thinking Matrix, leading to my example. Plus at least Qui Gonn states the concept better than Naoto :P

  • June 16, 2017 at 8:38 pmCroos

    God damn it Pancake, you’re right.
    Clockwork series is kinda like Matrix.
    I don’t know what’s going on somehow something awesome is happening but I can’t still comprehend.

    • June 16, 2017 at 11:48 pmPancakes

      I don’t think any of us will find out this season sadly, and it sounds like even the light novels haven’t revealed everything yet XD

  • June 17, 2017 at 1:10 amCroos

    I wonder if this two will end up in a romantic relationship?

    http://randomc.net/image/Clockwork%20Planet/Clockwork%20Planet%20-%2011%20-%20Large%2028.jpg

    • June 17, 2017 at 2:59 amKinai

      Am I the only one who, after seeing this scene and the next one where Naoto says that Marie had awakaned, go to check if Naoto had headbutted Marie? ^^U

    • June 17, 2017 at 4:52 pmRedRocket

      Well someone in the harem needs to be able to have babies.

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