Forgive the pun, but things are heating up on Robotics;Notes in every way.
Sawada Toshiyuki and is played by the legendary (and deservedly so) Shinichiro Miki. I’m not a fan of exposition that comes by way of characters making extraneous speeches for the audience’s benefit – please see Shin Sekai Yori for an example of the way to do exposition without short-cuts – but that aside, he has some very interesting things to say as Tokyo simmers in darkness and the robots rise up to terrorize the populace. We get by far our most descriptive mention of Project Mars – “the plan to throw the world into chaos with a robot uprising”, which is “only a precursor to a larger plan”. Does that fit with my theory as espoused in last week’s episode post, that the larger goal is to wipe out life on Earth and set up shop anew on Mars, warmed by a newly hyperactive sun? I don’t think there’s anything conclusive either way – my first question is, why is this plan called “Project Mars” in the first place – what’s the Mars connection? But it’s clear from Sawada’s words that Project Mars (and presumably Atom) have been in the works for a long time, and that he believes it, the death of Kimijima in 2010 and the release of the propagandized "Gunvarrel" final episode are directly linked. Speaking of that final episode, Sawada also reveals that the entire crew of Gunvarrel was brainwashed, except for Kona’s mother (Maeda Ai), who somehow broke free of it – and this is a tactic that was apparently used on Maguyan (always great to see a star of the last generation like Ueda Yuji get a nice gig), the member of the Kill Ballad development team that was used to hack Frau Bow’s accounts and set her up as the scapegoat for the robot rebellion.
winning return this week), but we’re seeing the other side to her now, and it’s completely believable and involving, especially the story behind why she developed Kill Ballad and what “Gunvarrel” means to her. And while our attention was directed elsewhere, Kai and Kona were developing into one of the more intriguing potential couples of the year.
tortured himself physically so that he might slip into his “slow motion” mode and defeat the CPU playing Kill Ballad, thus allowing Kona to access the Roboratory (heh) Industries robot control server. But the thing about Kai is, he pretty much does this every week – he doesn’t usually do it in such a flashy manner and the need isn’t normally so dire, but he’s invariably the one who takes it upon himself to help whichever of his friends is in trouble. Was his answer the truth – that he was doing it for the right of the act himself, and would have done all he did whether Kona needed him or not? Even if that were the case, that doesn’t preclude Kai having feelings for Kona – and that’s where I fall on the matter. Kai would have put himself through that anyway given the stakes involved, but it seems clear to me that he feels something more for Kona than simple friendship.
Aki’s hilarious reaction when Kona grabbed Kai’s arm makes it clear that she’s not OK with the notion that he ends up with another girl. But her kiss after his heroic collapse makes it equally clear that Kona has made a decision not to accept the “forever alone” end. All this is taking place as the net closes around the innocent world of the Robotics Club, with Kona’s unwilling involvement in the Tokyo events making it impossible to believe that she and Kai can escape the notice of the Committee of 300. I hope enough of you have stuck around, because I very much believe the best is yet to come.