「そうだイセカンダルいこう」 (Souda. Isekandaru ikou.)
“I know. Let’s go to Isekandar.”
Ah, RobiHachi. Where to begin with you?
Robby Yarge (Nakai Kazuya) is either a down-on-his-luck investor or a professional dupe. Past romantic relationships have led to him frittering away his earnings on Get Rich Quick schemes in an effort to solve all his problems, which naturally gets him on the bad side of Mr. Yang (Sugita Tomokazu), a loan shark. Shortly after nearly losing his money to a thief, Robby takes the savior of his wallet, Hachi (Koumoto Keisuke), out to lunch. This, of course, leads to problems when it turns out that Robby lost all his money in the latest scam, anyway, and just when Mr. Yang’s come to collect his due.
As far as set-ups go, it’s unique in the sense that neither Robby nor Hatchi have a higher goal, and the “villain” Robby is trying desperately to get away from is someone he legally should give money to. Even knowing that, Robby’s charm and free-wheeling nature are quick to gain sympathy. Plus, Sugita’s performance and smarmy character design (Yahiro Yuuko is one of the greats when it comes to pretty and fluid animation) make it inordinately satisfying when he gets thwarted. The rules of being in this stealth reunion of the Gintama cast are simple – Don’t be a jerk.
The soundtrack that follows Robby’s antics as he navigates the futuristic town where he lives and outsmarts loan sharks is delightfully upbeat and energetic, with enough bounce to add to the scene without distracting from it. I feel like I’m hearing a lot of Jazz this season, but given the elements of science fiction mixed in this odd partnership of the fool Ben Franklin was thinking of when he said, “A fool and his money are soon parted” and Hatchi, a young thrill seeker, an homage or five to Cowboy Bebop wouldn’t exactly be out of place.
Sometimes a series is indubitably good, and sometimes your expectations can make or break it for you. This series, for example, is great if you’re hoping for something weird, or if you’re on your third cup of coffee at 4 AM and you’re looking for something bright and cheerful to take your mind off your slow descent into madness. What I’m trying to say is expectations go a long way. Watch a comedy expecting a drama and you’re probably going to be disappointed. But for those who don’t need an explanation for how a guy with no money can afford to live in a penthouse with an AI butler or for why there’s an advanced spaceship within the building that somehow still works and can transform into a mecha with a ‘stache, you’re in luck.
Because I believe that RobiHachi has the potential to be a lot of fun, and because Gintama’s director, Takamatsu Shinji, and these voice actors have all been the cause of more giggle fits than I can count, I’m inclined to invoke the Three Episode Rule and see how things unfold from here.
ED: 「The Shortest Warp Route to You」 (Dancing to Night ~Kimi e no Saitan Warp Kouro~) by Subaru Kimura, Shinosuke Tokudome, & Tomokazu Sugita