ANIME & MANGA - Article
13:00 - 6th May 2013, by NEO Staff

Anime Expose: Robotics;Notes

Have you ever wanted your own giant robot? Of course you have. Have you ever thought of how difficult it might be to actually build one, though? It's the sort of engineering project entire countries would struggle with - so of course, a group of school friends are setting out to create their own working mecha in Robotics;Notes!

Robotics;Notes is the third in what we at NEO like to call the 'Semi-colon Trilogy', following its stablemates Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate. All share roots as visual novel adventure games developed by 5pb. Inc, and all are based in some way around speculative sciences. Although each game and their subsequent anime adaptations dealt with very different themes - psychology and psychosis for Chaos;Head, time travel and paradoxes for Steins;Gate, and now robotics and artificial intelligences - there are several characters and organisations that cross between titles, creating a loose shared universe.

The series is currently airing on the much-lauded noitaminA time slot on Fuji TV. It's a programming initiative we've praised extensively in NEO, given its mission statement of creating bold new anime that aims outside of the hardcore otaku audience. Animation duties on the show are handled by the highly respected studio Production I.G., and as you'd expect, it looks fantastic. Chikashi Kubota's character designs perfectly reimagine Tomonori Fukuda's original look for the game, with a wildly imaginative take on the various robots seen throughout the series.

While Jukki Hanada returns as screenwriter from Steins;Gate, providing some degree of creative continuity, the show is quite the departure for director Kazuya Nomura, whose previous work focussed on more action-heavy fare such as Sengoku Basara's second season and movie. His approach works surprisingly well though, particularly when there's any level of robot combat. Nomura shifts styles effortlessly, presenting both the 'real' world of the characters and the various video games and show-within-a-show anime series they experience with distinct visuals.

Although Robotics;Notes is shaping up to be a modern classic, at time of writing, Funimation has streaming rights locked down to North America only, making this one series we can't wait to see make its way to UK Blu-ray!

This is an extract of a longer article which originally appeared in issue 109 of NEO

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