「今でもロボットが好きですか」 (Imademo Robotto ga Suki desuka)
“Does She Still Love Robots?”
I can’t emphasize enough how quickly events have escalated in the past weeks and I’m sure everyone watching with me will agree. The story has gone from a group of high school kids building a giant robot for fun… to a group of high school kids building a giant robot to save the billions of lives from a villain who “technically” isn’t even alive. I would legally say this guy is as dead as can be, but if he can find a way to survive over the virtual web – then I have no right to judge or criticize. Kimijima Kou has just lost all my sympathy and yes – he was murdered, but the guy totally deserves it for testing his projects on children and trying to destroy the world. I still have no idea what his motive is and it drives me insane that he seems to be bad for the sake of being bad. What does he have against the world anyway? Or is he trying to prove something of himself and his experiments?
I hate to admit it as well – but Aki’s optimism is starting to rub me the wrong way. I still it’s a great trait of hers and everyone needs to stand up to the bad guy and not give up, but her selling point was robots. Giant robots. As much as I like the series, I still can’t get over the fact that their solution to stopping the Committee of 300 is to build a giant robot to combat their SUMERAGI model. How does this prevent Kou from firing this rocket into space? How did they deduce what Kou’s plan was anyway and where everyone is situated? I can only guess that JAXA gave them a huge helping hand (and Nae as well) in order to help the group create this elaborate plan to save the world. All of it could’ve seemed a bit believable – if not for the fact that they’re building a giant robot just because Aki believes it will be a justice robot. I honestly don’t want to say that her dream sucks or that I’m crushing it because I’m not a mecha fan… but I think it’s fair to say that there’s a very loose thread that ties her love for justice (and robots), her sister’s loss of mind and Kimijima Kou’s diabolical plan to destroy almost the entire human race.
I’m glad that Aki has stood up to Kou, don’t get me wrong. I think the series depends a lot on her optimism and her honest belief that she can make a difference – but I still don’t think this is the best plan out there and it’s the only thing that’s preventing me from loving the series. Perhaps they’ll even launch the robot into space (I’m sure they will – given the premiere episode showcased this) but how does this stop Kimijima Kou and the Committee of 300? So many questions and so little time left…
The first couple of minutes of the episode really had to be the jaw-dropping moment for me. It is revealed that Misa actually knew Kou (who knows how or why?) and tried to stop his plans and experiment on the S.S. Anenome. Unfortunately, Kai and Aki still ended up with side-effects, but nevertheless, healthy and alive at least. It turns out that Kou was indeed murdered but not without seeking revenge on Misa by playing with her guilt. If anyone’s ever read/watched Macbeth – this is where you can infer that blood stained hands can never truly be washed away. I’m not sure how this necessarily “brainwashes” Misa (a lot of people in the comments mentioned this), but I think it does traumatize her enough to let Kou walk all over her. I think it’s the same case with Airi; both were very broken people and vulnerable and Kou just waltzes in to claim control of their physical body. Anyway, I think the background story between Misa and Kou ended up being a more tragic one that I imagined – including the small appearance from Mizuka. Kou is clearly not the great man that we’ve been seeing in flashbacks.
If there’s one last thing that I want to mention… it’s the ending. I understand why the robotics club would get together after seeing Aki’s speech. It’s an inspiration speech for everyone to group together and prove that Aki’s dream can be made a reality. On the other hand though, I think it got really out of hand when the principal showed up, the students came, Mitchie’s uncle showed up with his company, JAXA was there and finally – what’s the deal with Subaru’s father? Your son broke his leg because of robot-building! Even though I’m all for “following your dreams”, as a parent, I wouldn’t encourage it anymore – at least not while he’s still on crutches! Anyway, I’m not a fan of the setup for the finale, but if this is what works, it better be worth watching. I’m really only interested in how Kona is going to work with Sawada’s program and how Misa’s going to snap back to reality (probably as a result of Aki’s blood, sweat and tears into building a giant robot to stay bonded with her sister). 2 episodes left!