「ロボット研究部は、本日をもって解散します！」 (Robotto Kenkyuu-bu wa, Honjitsu wo Motte Kaisanshimasu!)
“As of Today, The Robotics Club is Disbanded!”
After last week’s shocking ending, I was not surprised to see the depressing overall tone of this episode. A lot of readers mentioned that the mood of Robotics;Notes has suddenly turned really dark and I cannot agree more. With the passing of a character, there’s always going to be a mourning period and this episode was it. Lots of tears, lots of break-ups and unfortunately, Mister Sawada Toshiyuki (Miki Shinichiro) doesn’t make things any easier.
A lot of people were focused on Mizuka’s passing last week and even I completely forgot that Subaru was hurt in the process. A giant robot fell on him and he’s still alive! That has to be miracle in it of itself, but still not enough to save him from any permanent damage. I’m not too sure what he’s suffering from, but it could be a spinal injury (those are pretty much permanent) or broken legs. I’m not going to go parading around how horrible the principal is because I think it’s her duty to ensure that her students are safe. If the club activities are endangering lives, it only makes sense that the project is shut down. If the students wish to pick it up on their own accord though, I don’t think she can stop that. With all that said, I still feel bad for Subaru and I hope he gets back up soon. I always thought his story was cut short – maybe we’ll finally get to see his relationship with his father improve. Speaking of father, doesn’t someone look familiar in this old photo?
At the same time, I feel that Aki’s arc is finally coming to light. She’s getting her own time to shine with Kai by her side and in all honesty… I didn’t love it too much. As much as I adorable Aki’s genki personality, it’s sometimes too overly optimistic and she’s very blinded by the constraints that bind her. In this case, how is she supposed to build this massive robot on her own now? I’m glad that Kai’s there to keep her grounded, but losing to her on purpose is not exactly really proving anything either. I wasn’t sure what to expect of their development and even now, I’m hoping for more. Aki seems to be very driven by her desire to prove something of herself, while Kai is just trailing along. The ending with Doc and Mitchie was a little too corny in for my taste and I wish it had less of a “friends-can-help-you-prevail-anything” feel. It would’ve appealed more to me if the scene ended with Aki and Kai’s hug.
Our mystery CEO (or I assume) of Exoskeleton finally has a name! Hurray! He confronts Kai himself on the cliff that Mizuka walked off of, and what did he say? Well… he asked a bunch of questions and walked off; only to provoke the interest of Kai even more. Toshiyuki does give me the shivers, but that’s got to be a sign of a good villain. Misa even calls Kai herself to warn him of the dangers of Kimijima Kou. Of course, no protagonist is without his rebellious moments and this is a shining example of reverse psychology when Kai downloaded Report No. 7. There’s a download, there’s the distribution of Kimijima Reports… and now I’m finally beginning to piece together who Kou was. Perhaps he’s not such a great guy after all – but then again, nothing is ever that predictable in Robotics;Notes.