Robotics;Notes 16 and 17 brings the threat closer to Kai and his friends, but we’re still not sure how everything fits together.
In ep16 we get two bad events. What a terrible way for Mizuka to go, her mechanical legs marching her off a cliff while she can only watch! Kai spends a lot of time watching too, before he sort of springs into action, but his attempts at stopping her are pathetic to say the least. This guy is great at fighting games yet can’t figure out how to keep Mizuka off her feet? That rather took my mind off the shock of it all, not to mention the noise all the phones were making just before. And earlier we had another robot demonstration by the club and we learned that the thing isn’t steady on its feet, especially in high wind, and that Subaru, like Kai, is a bit slow in the realization department. Frankly, I nearly laughed at that scene. What made it especially pathetic is that the robot was toppled over by winds pushing its side while it was walking, and meanwhile Kai can’t figure out how to stop Mizuka’s legs? Or maybe the irony was intended? And so the episode ends and we’re a little closer to some answers, especially that someone’s out to get them.
So that’s two down in one episode; the show seems to be making up for lost time, but in ep17 no one is hurt and we just get more threat. Sawada shows up with a “what do you know about …” speech. He’s taken the time to visit Kai himself, meaning it must be important, but Kai doesn’t know enough to make a connection. It’s interesting that this scene takes place just as Kai was about to press that button, just like his scene with Mizuka. Maybe every time we need the plot moved forward we should stick Kai there and have him try to download something.
Otherwise the show takes the time to mourn Mizuka and fill us in on Subaru (hospital, badly hurt) and deliver the bad news that the school is disbanding the robot club, dismantling all the robots, and generally making everyone as miserable as they can. Apart from the rather scary conclusion (Kimijimi report #7 is apparently an exe file, and when icons start appearing on a world map you figure it ain’t good), the mourning, and Sawada’s cheerful discussion with Kai, it’s time to get Akiho’s spirits back, and suddenly we’re in “plucky kids make a robot for the big tournament” mode again. I wonder when the show will drop this whole robot-contest pretense and get to the interesting stuff, you know, like the destruction of humanity by man-made solar flares. Building a robot feels like a sideshow. Also, since Akiho is starved for attention from her sister, getting to the secrets of the secret society would be the quicker way to reach her.