For its few faults, Robotics;Notes Pt. 2 presents the one thing that I care most about in anime, besides the awesome animation, character development. The second half of the latest Science Adventure series is absolutely worth anyone’s time, due to the fantastic characters contained within. After the major cliffhanger from the previous volume, where the final episode of Gunvarrel was shown to be part of a major hoax and the Robotics Club’s first robot turns to be a failure, the second installment of Robotics;Notes shows how the team manages to come back together, not only for the sake of competition, but for the sake of the entire world.
Robotics;Notes has been deliberately slow paced, in order to flesh out the entire cast, so we can know what motivates them, what their fears are and most importantly, gives us a reason to believe in their simple dreams of building a robot. Where Steins;Gate had missed an opportunity by back peddling, Robotics;Notes does the complete opposite, by giving us the stakes, showcasing how grave they are and by committing to every decision that each of the characters make. While there were certain points that make the series feel a bit astray in the latter half, specifically with Kou Kimijima becoming the main antagonist and a few elements regarding him and Akiho’s sister, Misaki, that make the show feel a little too convenient. Even with these elements in place, Kai’s dedication to Akiho, Frau’s dedication to finding the people that ruined her mother’s career, Subaru overcoming his father’s shadow and Junna’s bonding with her grandfather are but the human elements that help elevate the series into something beautiful.
The set from Funimation comes in a DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack, with a nice reversible cover, that showcases the entire main cast or just Junna on the cover. The video on the Blu-Ray comes in a AVC Encoded, 1080p HD transfer, with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, that looks just as grand as the first set. While most shows that are 23-26 episodes tend to falter in their latter halves, Robotics;Notes does a pretty great job at staying consistent through its entirety. Most of the episodes has the characters speaking to one another, with very minimal animation, but when the production needs to ramp up, especially during the final act, the animation does a fantastic job at conveying the action at hand. The audio on the Blu-Ray comes in two Dolby True HD channels, the English 5.1 and the Japanese 2.0 channel. I mostly listened to the series in the original language track, but the English track does a fantastic job, from a performance perspective, as well as an immersive surround mix. Like the first set, the surround channels are used in order to convey the realistic settings and places, like a subway train or a giant airplane hanger full of people. The extras on the disc were clean intro and outros, Part 2 of the Science Adventure Series interviews with J. Michael Tatum, Joel McDonald and John Burgmeier, along with a series of trailers for other Funimation properties. The second part of the interview is a bit insightful, but more for the cohesion of the shows, as well as the production aspects of the show from Funimation.
While again, there are elements that might not work for some people, but Robotics;Notes is a love letter to giant robots, the fans that care about them and a group of kids that risk everything, for something larger than themselves. If you can’t get behind something like that, then I don’t even know why you watch anime. Highly Recommended!