Robotics;Notes finale, Bakuman3 almost the finale

Robotics;Notes ended the way most shows do. They have a big fight. The “bad” character is redeemed. The villain is destroyed. The club is vindicated. But it all feels underwhelming.

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In spite of the show working on it for episode and episode I could never really get into the threat that the 300 Club (whatever) was presenting to us. Maybe destroying most of the earth’s population was too abstract an idea, the more people dead the harder it is to conceive. It shouldn’t matter. The threat is there, our heroes have specific goals in the finale, and the episode does a pretty good job in building up the suspense.

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In practical terms saving the world meant keeping that rocket from blasting off. Also, Misaki must be rescued and brought back to her true self, whatever the hell that is after years and years of brainwashing. It all happened, but apart from the rocket exhaust taking an agonizingly long time to stop, little of it was as effective a it should be. Akiho has to push that button to get Taiko into slo-mo mode several times, but we don’t see any real consequences to Taiko, in spite of the warnings. Seriously, shouldn’t he have been rushed to the hospital (along with Misaki) the moment the crisis was over? What’s more, how effective can this slo-mo when Taiko’s pushing buttons to move giant hydraulic limbs rather than a virtual game or a quick, tiny robot? I didn’t buy that. I also didn’t buy Nae and her team retaking JAXA, probably because we didn’t get to see it. I was looking forward to it, too.

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As for the Misaki/Akiho story, it went pretty much as countless other stories have. Akiho (and Taiko) talk Misaki out of it while the ghostly Kimijima speaks lines about how shocked he is. But it was also confusing. Misaki stops when Akiho motors out to talk to her, then Taiko starts to trash-talk, and there wasn’t a moment I noticed that suggested the rebooting was done with. So, Akiho was trying to talk her down, Taiko was trying to pick a fight; it looked like they were working at cross-purposes.

The winnah!
The winnah!

Well, it was a decent series. It developed some good characters and was always visually interesting to look at. Not nearly as good as Steins;Gate, but not many shows are, and it was much much better than the dismal Chaos;Head that started this whole business. It falls right in the middle. I’ll look forward to the next installment of this franchise.

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There’s not a lot left to do with Bakuman3 23 being the penultimate episode of a long, long series, but with all the other plotlines burned away they can’t finish without coming to grips with the original goal: Miho acting in Mashiro’s anime series and thus making them eligible for marriage. Auditions are nerve-racking enough for the participants, not to mention us viewers at home, but to make it an open audition and deciding by online vote is made the whole affair tough to watch. And it was terribly unfair to everyone involved to put the casting up to a bunch of fanboys. On the other hand, Miho’s audition piece and the effect it has on everyone who watches it (a shifting tableau of regular characters) was a lovely moment, especially when they framed Miho in front of the manga character she was auditioning for. As for the Weiss vs Schwartz business, who the hell cares?

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