「大深度地下層(ディープ・アンダーグラウンド)」 (Daishindochika-sou (diipu andaaguraundo))
Say what you will about Clockwork Planet, but the show is never boring. Every week has the uncanny habit of getting laughs out of me even while curiosity stokes the imagination. Yeah a good chunk of the humour is intentional like Naoto’s boisterous gear fetish, but some is definitely unintended. Marie feeling guilt over Naoto’s not-death? Probably meant to sympathize, but all I could feel was my sides hurting at the disconcerting eyes girl was rocking. Naoto miraculously returning from the dead? The cliché comedy writes itself. Probably just me and my sense of humour, but cannot deny Naoto’s roasting of the pint sized terror was hilariously on point.
The interesting bit for me this week though was the focus. A Mary-Halter episode, besides running on the serious side, showed how well Clockwork could function without the usual light novel hijinks. Remove Naoto and the dweeby personality—hell even RyuZU too—give Halter some additional power to compensate for lack of hearing, and the show wouldn’t actually be that bad. Yeah we would miss out on RyuZU and all the fun deriving from that relationship—plus those Marie tsundere-isms—but as a simplistic sci-fi story it could work. Marie certainly has the capacity for bad ass main character if her interrogation tactics are anything to talk about, plus Halter never disappoints with his voice of reason—and hints towards a human past. If anything I’d say it’s encouragement for Clockwork to take more risks when it comes to its storytelling.
Speaking of story, the big reveal this week was the story. For once we have a multi-episode arc on our hands which also includes elements previously touched on. Conspiracy theories are a dime a dozen, but Clockwork’s setup is pretty ingenious for its simplicity. Illegal research, government cover up, and public relations boosting through an outside enemy—it’s actually a pretty realistic scenario. Our history is filled with similar tales (ex. Carter’s failed Iran hostage rescue, Operation Rolling Thunder), giving Clockwork some sturdy plot legs to work with. The curiosity for me though is what part of existence the government is trying to justify. Is it the government in its current form, or government as a concept? I can easily believe the former considering Clockwork’s premise so far, but the latter is a stretch, even for this show. The answer will likely involve that old man though, and may also include the allusions to anomalies and world stagnation discussed in earlier episodes. I seriously doubt we have seen the full extent of Clockwork’s plot just yet.
Before we get into such world ending problems, however, first we must beat the big giant robot and its loli master. Considering AnchoR is confirmed acting against her will I expect we’ll see some sort of RyuZU-led intervention on that front while Halter brings down the monster. Not sure how it will all play out, but you can rest assured the results will definitely be amusing.