「ナンバーズを追え」 (Nanbāzu wo Oe)
“Chase the Numbers”
After my worries about pacing last week, it’s good to see a more relaxed episode as a followup. In return, there’s less of that tangy action juice (but still some small sips) and more the mild character/relationship building between Mira and Kyouma. This is probably the closest that Dimension W is going to come to being slice of life—albeit the strange kind of life of a superpowered robot girl wasting her millions of suspicious cash earnings on refurbishing a trailer she buys from a middle-aged hoarder. Y’know, as one does.
The central question of the episode should be a familiar in this neck of the sci-fi woods, and a fairly obligatory one when we have sentient robots involved. ‘What makes human?’ Dimension W asks, of a robot that has some oddly human-like features and functions but, hey, detachable head. Or actually, I suppose Dimension W doesn’t really ask at all because it, along with Mira herself, has always insisted that she’s a real girl in all but her coil-powered body. So, instead, we can instead say that this episode is intended to humanise Mira further, and nothing is quite so humanising as bonding with children. Their shameless innocence either makes them endearing, or makes then those brats that get on your lawn and break your stuff. As far as robots go, it shouldn’t be a huge feat to win children over to their side. As a kid, robots are awesome. Sure, now that I’m older and wiser I’m rightly wary of Arnold Schwarzenegger coming from the future to steal my trousers, but young Passerby loved his robots. Especially those with gravity defying superpowers. Of course Mira would be popular with kids. Even more if she shot lasers. Functioning while decapitated is such a mild trick.
Even through this development episode, though, the plot keeps chugging ever forward. We get more war flashbacks out of Kyouma (making Loser’s exposition about his backstory in the previous episode somewhat redundant), including whatever this is. We learn more about the Numbers (prototypes with which New Tesla dug too greedily, too deep, it seems). And some we’re introduced to even more faces; there’s some old guy to join Kyouma’s goatee club, but more importantly is the New Tesla COO. Now, I make a point of never trusting corporate bigwigs in anime (or in general, really), but this one doesn’t seem too bad for now; again, note the humanising affect of having a small child hang off of her. While I’m sure that New Tesla has nothing but shifty agenda, she does not seem to be in an antagonistic position for now. More likely, they’ve let a genie out of a bottle and now need to scramble fast to stuff it back in. That’s how these ‘dangers of technology’ stories go, right? Assuming that’s what we’re getting? Ever since the nuclear age, science fiction has been dreaming up all sorts of ways humanity is going to destroy itself, with our insatiable hunger for energy being an increasingly popular one. And really, do you trust a multinational megacorporation like New Tesla to not drill all the way down into hell if they could? If only to see if they can monetise it? Oh, what has mad science wrought? I’m guessing, at some point, ‘whoops’.
Well, for now, there are more pressing immediate concerns, namely killer robots to contrast with the friendly neighbourhood Mira. As we’ve all been indoctrinated by traffic lights to know, red means danger, but this glowing-doom-eyes robot still seems to have a blue coil, so I don’t know what’s up with it. Well, I know that I was wondering last episode why nobody died in that one, and I guess Dimension W is throwing some grotesque corpses my way as reassurance. It just didn’t feel quite right without a higher body count. Consider me satisfied.