OP: 「純情スペクトラ」 (Junjou Spectra) by Zwei
「ガンヴァレルが待ってるから」 (Ganvareru ga Matteru Kara)
“Because Gunvarrel is Waiting”
I’ve been impatiently waiting for Robotics;Notes to air, and it doesn’t help that it was one of the last fall shows to premiere. I have a lot of built up anticipation for this series to be epic (or at the least – very good) but I hate having to wait week after week for new episodes. Coming in, I also have no prior knowledge of the visual novel so you’ll be reading a lot of my predictions and such… some of which will likely be totally off side.
On to the premise of our story…
Robotics;Notes focuses on two students who make up the robotics club at school. Yashio Kaito (Kimura Ryohei) and Senomiya Akiho (Nanjou Yoshino) are the only two remaining members of a club whose goal is to create a real life robot named Gunvarrel. Their dream is to take this robot to the World Expo (in less than 6 months). Since they are the only two existing members, they have difficulties receiving their budgeted funds and finding peers to join. This all leads to the primary issue at the moment – winning the next robotics tournament to prove to the VP that the club is doing something productive. Along the side lines though, there is an interesting history behind Gunvarrel and how he became such an icon to students and appears to have revolutionalized the mecha genre. There are also bits and pieces of history behind the robotics club, including mentions of Akiho’s older sister (who started the club 8 years ago). What strikes me as critical is obviously the scene with the girl at the end. She has an entire ED devoted to her and I would keep my eye on her… the audience is just unaware of her role yet.
On the surface, the story revolves around two students who clearly have a common interest – robots. Kaito seems to be mainly absorbed in robot games and fairly antisocial (always hooked on his tablet) in my opinion. As his opposite, Akiho is a happy-go-lucky spirit (as she states herself) who loves Gunvarrel. She’s also clearly obsessed with this missing final episode as well; which I also would be going crazy over. How can you not have an ending?! We’re also joined by Hidaka Subaru (Hosoya Hoshimasa), who is visibly an important secondary character later to be recruited one way or another. The very carefree teacher Nagafukada Mitchi (Ueda Youji) seems to have beef with the store owner Irei Mizuka (Honda Takako). I’m sure there are a ton of characters yet to be introduced (you can easily tell from the OP) so we’ll see what kind of role they play.
The big “mystery” aspect of the story has to come from this girl with long purple hair. Still nameless (and I’d prefer it that way until revealed – so please no spoilers!) and she appears several times already – in the OP and ED (I love the song by the way!) so I can’t imagine that her role is small. You also see her growing up in the ED so that’s really interesting… I predict that she likely comes from the future to try and stop the robotics club from doing something (stupid?) that will destroy the world later on. There’s also a voice heard at the end… and I want to believe it was the purple-haired girl, but it sounds like a completely different seiyuu so I’m not too sure myself.
Overall, I’m really enjoying the set up for the story. The viewer isn’t bombarded with a ton of characters from the get-go and you get a true understanding of who everyone is and what they’re about. The story takes place in the near future… not too far (like Accel World) for audiences to relate, but the universe is still different enough to lose a sense of reality when you’re watching. It may be slow paced for the time being, but I see a lot of potential for our cast and especially the direction that it’s taking with the mecha and mystery aspects. I am not a mecha fan, but this show actually makes me want to see robots fighting and in tournaments so that has to mean something. I’m not entirely sure that it’ll be the hit of the season, but if all else – it’ll be better than average (or at least, I’m hoping!).
ED: 「海風のブレイブ」 (Kaifuu Brave) by fumika