Koukaku No Pandora
September 24, 2016
Initially I was sceptical of whether I should watch Koukaku No Pandora. First of all, it is sci-fi genre and to me that isn’t my cup of tea and one of the early signs to indicate that I should stay away. Of course not all sci-fi series I have seen throughout the years are bad so that’s why I thought of giving it a chance. Then it had me wondering if there is a bit of horror too because I saw the manga illustration cover of a girl breaking out from its rusted mechanical shell. Yikes. It might seem normal to others but I thought it was a little creepy. Even the name of the title sounds ominous. You know, Pandora Box? Then I also read that it had a little ecchi theme in it and suddenly my doubts were blown away and put it on my list to watch. Yeah, I’m the worst… If only world peace can be achieved that easily…
On a cruise ship to Cenancle Island, Uzal Delilah spots an android and since she didn’t respond to her call, she thinks she is from the black market. But Nene Nanakorobi quickly dismisses she is one and is human. Though, she is more of a full body cyborg. What? I’m confused… Nene is ecstatic and loves Uzal’s maid pet, Clarion. To Clarion’s dismay, Uzal gives permission to Nene to mess with her. They introduce themselves and it seems Nene is here to live with her aunt, Takumi Korobase. Uzal changes the question if she had all the money in the world, what would she buy? World peace. You can buy that? Uzal is fascinated with her answer. Once they reach land, they part ways. Halfway through the city, a big explosion occurs. Nene fears for Uzal and Clarion and goes to find them. She sees them fine but is puzzled that they are running towards the source of the explosions. From what I understand, there are disgruntled cosplay subordinates of Uzal doing some sort of rebellion but Uzal laughs it off and accuses them of betraying her in the first place. They want her to hand over the real activation key but Uzal gives Clarion permission to unleash her Pandora Device to smash up some of the attacking robots. Nene is in danger’s way so Uzal orders Clarion to prioritize her safety. She loses an arm but they manage to get away. Hiding in an underground lab, Uzal hopes Nene could help her. She is going to give her temporary authority to use Pandora Device. So stick your hand inside Clarion’s vagina!!! WTF?! Well, at least it seems like it. And you bet Nene is going to feel some sort of fuzzy sensation during this transformation. She is given a gun in which she is surprised she can use it effectively and efficiently after a short installation of the application. After accurately dispatching all the bots, Uzal can tell she is an Adepter.
Uzal narrates the full body cyborg technology still in development in which cyborgs undergo rigorous rehabilitation but since people have trouble adapting to the prosthetics, it will take some time before this technology becomes commonplace. However there are cases where some use or learn their prosthetics better than a real body. These Adepters compensate for the limits of prosthetic technology. Nene is worried she forgot to call her aunt but Uzal assures her not to worry because they are close friends. Nene is then knocked out and when she wakes up, they have finished doing some programming on her. Now the rebels are trying to cut open the thick steel door so Uzal has Nene use Pandora Device again. This time we get to see a magical girl transformation. I don’t know about this outfit but it feels like she is an idol. And what was again about it being a camouflage? When the steel door is completely cut open, the shocking scene of those subordinates crying and begging to Sahar (Uzal) to help them contain rampaging BUER because at this rate it is going to drill straight through the base of the island. Uzal then asks Nene’s wish to buy world peace again. Would she like to buy this island’s peace as a start?
Uzal explains BUER is a drilling machine from her company that is going on a rampage thanks to these incompetent morons. That’s why the city is on the verge of collapse. She is going to send Clarion and Nene to help fix this mess. The way Clarion is sexily fixed back (her arm, that is), Nene is more than enthusiastic to help her out. There is a cooling period after BUER fires each time. That is when they will take advantage of it to shut it down by putting the key on a statue on top of it. The real key is Uzal’s glasses. It is Clarion’s job to get onto BUER but because its defence mechanism is activated, this is where Nene plays her part in using this special weapon that normal humans cannot handle and fire back to protect Clarion. She reaches the top and finds the statue to be some sort of Venus bust of Uzal. I guess it isn’t surprising that while she is hesitating at this atrocious statue, a slab falls on Clarion. Nene is disheartened as she rushes to the scene to pick up those dropped glasses. Before she is zapped, she is taken away in the nick of time by, uhm, egg robots? Gertsecomma (Gert for short) are Clarion’s robot pets. As proof she is alive, she is controlling them. Though, Clarion is being sandwiched and almost crushed inside BUER. When Nene goes back to try and rescue Clarion, she dodges all the defence mechanism attacks. Uzal is stunned she has a capability that could anticipate BUER’s shots and could be more than just an Adepter.
Nene gets her motivation when Clarion personally tells her she is resting all her hopes in Nene for world peace. At the top, the statue is damaged but don’t fear. Because there are more atrocious statues like these! Just pick one and put the glasses on. BUER shuts down but they can’t be celebrating yet since Uzal detects the authorities are coming in fast. She tells Nene to detach BUER’s Central Nervous Unit and retrieve Clarion. So this central unit of BUER is a 5 legged lion?! And pervy?! Did they take inspiration of his design from Bleach’s Kon? Nene now becomes overprotective of Clarion. More accurately like a leech because she just won’t let her go even though she is fine. With water seeping into the lab, the useless subordinates can only whine. Have no fear as Uzal is the only competent one. She made an emergency lift in times like these. As Uzal is last to board, the sound goes off for overweight. WTF?! Even more WTF is how her subordinates laugh at her for being heavy. Then they realize it isn’t funny anymore when Uzal stays behind to sacrifice herself. Uzal then ‘sells’ Clarion to Nene since she can’t offer any world peace to her. Nene is more than happy to take ownership of her. As they ride up the lift, a gloomy mood descends them. Even if they make ironic statements that she cannot die even if you kill her. Worrying about her is the least of their concerns because upon reaching the surface, they are surrounded by SWAT teams.
Nene and Clarion are called out by the officer. Then the rest are arrested! Nene and Clarion head to Takumi’s house and her aunty is a loli???!!! And she is the kind who hates being called an aunt too. Takumi receives a cheeky message left behind by Uzal about how she treats her ‘toys’, the reason she sent Clarion to be her ‘babysitter’. Takumi goes into rage talking about how she had it hard sneaking out Nene from the facility and thus she belongs to her and only her. Although this is also now Nene’s home, Takumi is not happy she has another thing to take care and thinks Uzal just pushed this responsibility to her. As Nene lost her luggage during the terrorist attack, Takumi takes her out shopping. Clarion senses somebody targeting Nene and attacks the perpetrator… A dog? Takumi becomes obsessed in trying to touch Clarion’s ears and even more so when she doesn’t let her. Her ‘bullying’ over Clarion crosses the line so Nene activates her Pandora Device and starts deleting all the hard work data Nene has done. Seems the entire space is just an illusion. Nene then goes down to the central room where Takumi is and slap her for being a bully. Seems Nene knew the entire thing was a simulation from the start. Although this makes Nene more interesting to her, Takumi can’t help cower in fear at how ‘awesome’ she is.
It is reported that the internationally wanted terrorist, Sahar Schehera is confirmed dead during the attacks. His accomplices have been arrested and Uzal is believed to be dead and a state wide funeral is held in her remembrance. As the criminals are being transported to a correctional facility, a bomb explodes at its entrance. Nene and Clarion head out to town for real. Takumi spies on them via her surveillance. She notices a shady character tailing them and corners her with Gerts. At the same time, Takumi detects somebody hacking into her system. Nene?! Another warning that spying on others is wrong. So this shady character turns out to be one of Uzal’s useless subordinates, Bunny. She desperately wants the glasses that activated BUER. Clarion had them all along. There is a cheeky message left by Uzal that she knew this was coming and made Bunny do all the useless stuffs before just handing it over. She then returns to her big boss, Colonel Ian Kurtz who is not pleased with her and the group’s performance. He saved them from the police to keep information from leaking out but their failures have caused him to waste precious time. But since she completed this within the stipulated time, he will not execute her comrades as promised. But it seems the real key could be that lion guy. He claims his giant body is currently resting and will be starting up in normal fashion soon. Takumi believes Uzal actually did complete something and that the terrorist attack and her puppet showing up are all connected.
Takumi wants to dissect BUER but luckily Nene and Clarion put a stop to it. Takumi starts thinking the need to distract Nene because her hacking skills can be quite a pain in the ass. So she creates her favourite RPG game to play but Takumi was soon busted. So Takumi is now under constant surveillance and this gives her the creeps. Actually Nene just enrolled in a school and her homework is to research about the feelings while getting a job being done. Takumi then introduces a few of her businesses in which she can observe. Of course now that the cat is away, the mouse comes out to play. Yup, nobody can stop Takumi from experimenting on BUER now. The duo head to one of Takumi’s industrial companies and once the receptionist realizes she is a VVVIP, all the staffs come to greet her and show her all their technological advances in each of their department. Perhaps everything is too overwhelming for Nene to handle… She thinks this is not perhaps what she wanted. She then notices a nearby charity event and becomes interested in helping out. She observes everyone having a good time when suddenly punks come by to wreck the place. The crowd becomes terrified and Clarion steps in. Of course they try to beat her up but she is stronger than your metal bat. That is when the crowd starts to turn on the punks and beings throwing stuffs at them. These punks are the underlings of Bunny. She wonders why they are taking so long to clear the crowd out and when she sees Nene and Clarion, she makes the wise choice of retreating. So as not to ruin the rest of the day, Nene uses Pandora Device and with Clarion’s help, they cook for the crowd. Meanwhile Kurtz is not fazed with the failure since the inevitable fate of this island will still happen when the time comes. Lastly, Takumi has cornered BUER and will dissect him to her heart’s content. Luckily the duo return in time to give her another good reminder. Despite shaking in fear, Takumi still threatens them. Till Nene hacks and destroys her Gert. Now you be a good girl and keep your hands off BUER and Clarion, okay? Okay.
Takumi shows her Gert production facility although Clarion points out the fundamental layout and design were done by Uzal. Learning their lesson from last time, the duo take BUER with them when they go out. Each time he tries to make a stupid joke, expect a chop from Clarion. They practice juggling at the park and the crowd is enthralled. However Nene doesn’t feel satisfied or doing it right because it is like using Clarion’s power. It feels like cheating. Because everything from Nene was given by someone else. An old lady, Anna was watching their performance and praises how they could do it so well with prosthetics. She has a prosthetic hand but can hardly control it. She gives them a sweet as reward. The city suddenly experiences network outage. This means all services stop running and everything electrical too because Anna’s pacemaker just stopped. The duo then are met with Robert Altman who thinks they are androids but swiftly stands corrected. As he agrees to escort them home, they get to know each other and take a detour helping others in need because it is Robert’s nature to help others. This includes disabling and apprehending a pair of kidnappers. We see Robert having some sort of super speed to take them down. After they part, Nene and Clarion see Anna squirming on the ground. Nene uses Pandora Device to become a paramedic and then chauffeur her to the hospital whereby the power conveniently resumes. Anna learns Nene is a full body cyborg but still thanks her nevertheless. It leaves Nene a little fuzzy since this is the first time somebody praised her. Meanwhile Robert reports to Kurtz who is not impressed he is 42 seconds late! Well, you can’t argue how time is essence in life. He wants to requisite 4 more underwater robots although he already got 6 last week but were lost. Robert agrees to comply without question. Kurtz then reminds him to carry out the order regarding Vulcan Harbour Park. This is all for the sake for world peace.
Nene sees Dr Toto for her check-up. He is impressed with Takumi’s great maintenance, she is in good shape. Despite the city is experiencing another network outage, the hospital has many backups thanks to Takumi. A little girl, Amy Gilliam is also here for her check-up but her stray kitten, Lean followed and wandered into the hospital. As she goes around looking for it, she stumbles upon BUER being locked inside a cabinet (it’s the only way for Clarion to make sure he stays put). He agrees to help Amy find Lean but this little dude can only talk big fancy words. Talk about being useless, right? I might be just coincidence that Lean appears before them before running away again. The duo are reunited with Nene and Clarion. BUER thought he could get Nene’s hug but she is infatuated in hugging cute little Amy. Instead, BUER got his ‘hug’ from Clarion. Thankfully Lean is safe in Anna’s hands. They agree to help look after Lean as Amy goes to her check-up. Unfortunately she trips and rips her dress. She starts crying that she wanted to show Dr Toto the dress and any other dress won’t do. Nene has an idea as she uses Pandora Device (away from Amy’s eyes of course because lesbianism is NSFW) and becomes a tailor to turn the rip in the dress into a frilly fashion statement. Amy the world’s happiest girl. After her check-up, she receives a new and improved right prosthetic leg. Nene and Clarion accompany Amy back to her camp. She lives with her grandma at the park where that charity event was held. To her dismay, everyone is gone. Crying again? But after contacting grandma, it seems the CDF (police) ushered everyone away to another spot. As Nene takes Amy there, she crosses path with Kurtz from the opposite direction. When they pass each other, Kurtz’s invisible bodyguard is about to punch Nene from the back but Clarion blocks it. The bodyguard ignores and resumes following Kurtz while Clarion continues to stare with suspicion.
Takumi is not thrilled that Nene gets light injuries each time she helps out. Thanks to Uzal’s safety design, she hasn’t been seriously injured yet. A mysterious unknown module inside Nene only ticks Takumi off as she is going to solve this mystery once and for all. But she hears Nene and Clarion talking about the former’s transformation scene which is actually just an optical camouflage for her clothes. Say what again? Nene and Clarion go to visit Amy and her grandma’s new settlement home. They also meet Robert there helping out. A group of robbers, Chicken Bros (seriously?) led by Mr Chicken (seriously?) target to kidnap the duo. They believe they must fetch a high price in the black market seeing Clarion’s high efficiency in defending all their attacks. But Nene gets kidnapped and Clarion netted by Mr Chicken’s brother, Fried (wait a minute. Chicken and Fried? As in Fried Chicken?). They have to leave now since the temporary network outage will be gone. This leaves Clarion mad as she chases them down. Takumi is even madder and uses her hacking skills to track their hideout. The gang is already waiting for Clarion and ready to take her down. They fight but she is pinned down by Fried’s cybernetic arms. Because he touched her ‘forbidden zone’ (ears), she goes berserk and cuts his arm off. They start to think she is an illegal AI since it attacked a human without being ordered. Meanwhile Nene wakes up in a storeroom and sees all the inactivated robots. She goes to call Clarion who then abandons the fight just to be by her side. She shows her the robots and wants to help them. Using Pandora Device and her puppeteer ability allows Nene to control all of them to overwhelm the thieves. This has got to be the weirdest orgy party ever, eh? The robbers are left confused and perhaps realized they have messed with something more than they can handle after Nene warns them not to pick on Clarion. CDF later arrests them and thanks to Takumi cleaning up the mess, the news reports the group being busted due to in-fighting.
Janus North, the governor of Cenancle makes his speech for Herme’s department store by offering free goods as apology for the frequent power outages. A reporter tries to usurp the event and interview him about his luxury limo controversy but gets taser by his assistant. Nene and Clarion are also here to shop for equipment and they end up in the same elevator as North and his assistant. North thinks they are high quality androids and perhaps the reason the media always writes on them for the economy’s recession (something about robots stealing your jobs) but corrects himself after Nene introduces themselves as humans. Then another outage occurs. The lift stops working. Worst of all, North needs to go to the toilet! Time to panic? Nene uses Pandora Device to help relief his anxiety by showing him heaven? Is this what you see when you’re high on drugs? Why didn’t Clarion just force open the door in the first place? But that is just the beginning of another problem: The entire building is on fire! Luckily everyone else has evacuated. I don’t know what this Pandora Device they use to escape the flames. How should I put it? Riding inside a big sack on a cart and using ultrasound to guide their way around. Looks funny… All the while, North can only think how amazing technology has become for androids to function as closely as humans. And cute too! As they descend the emergency stairs, Nene sees a lost kid. She wants to save him but Clarion says he is not their responsibility. You know she won’t abandon him, right? And of course Clarion can’t abandon Nene since protecting her life is her top priority. North and his assistant get out safely and they lament Nene and Clarion aren’t with them. While Nene gives her oxygen mask to the boy, Clarion uses her giant sack as parachute as she jumps off the collapsing structure. Don’t worry, a ‘soft landing’ on somebody’s luxury limo… Quickly they hand over the boy to that reporter and she unwittingly becomes a hero. Didn’t even know what happened… Clarion and Nene run away. Robert spots them but Clarion puts her finger on her lips and Robert instantly knows what she meant. He assures North that those girls are safe. When Clarion cannot move on, Takumi’s Gerts come pick them up.
Many hours ago, Kurtz and his team have successfully infiltrated the first defence barrier of BUER’s spherical body. But he senses something amiss so he orders the classified storage units moved out immediately even if it means losing some hard earned data. They managed to do that in time before BUER releases a high energy beam, the one that resulted in that network outage and caused the building to be on fire. Nene and Clarion see Dr Toto to get some patch-up but nothing serious. Clarion has been thinking and she would like to help Nene achieve her world peace. What seems like a normal day with Nene being her happy self. That night, Clarion is seen riding a giant badass mecha infiltrating into a facility. You think the human guards can take on this? Not a chance. Flashback reveals that Clarion went to seek Takumi’s cooperation. Insistent at first, a video of Uzal then pops up to explain the dire situation that is about to happen. This video is playing itself because BUER’s systems has been detected to go on a rampage and will continue to do so until it self-destructs. She hopes Takumi can help contribute to world peace. Takumi knew the American Imperial Army (AIA) has been swarming Uzal’s lab but never paid attention since she didn’t think they could succeed in interfering. With evidence from the building’s destruction that some particle cannon was fired, Takumi agrees to help Clarion. But Clarion’s intention is not to fight the army but to stabilize BUER and in turn protect Nene. However Takumi has one condition and that she cannot kill or deeply injure anybody. Just one is enough for her to lose her right to be with Nene. So we see Clarion carefully ‘dismantling’ the guards. In the next room, guess who is waiting for her? Bunny! Forgotten and ignored… I believe Bunny is still an idiot because she thought her threats were enough to make Clarion back down. Even more so, her robots don’t listen to her and fire all they’ve got. You know how tough Clarion’s mecha is, right? And to end this farce, a rain of missiles at Bunny shuts this b*tch up for good. Suddenly the Gerts are sliced in half. Courtesy from the invisible bodyguard. Kurtz is impressed with Clarion’s abilities and will spare 5 minutes for amusement. Time is precious, you know. Nene wakes up and only finds a note from Clarion telling her not to get involved.
Nene looks for Takumi and is explained Clarion left for an errand that involves company secrets. So don’t worry. However Nene thinks Clarion is mad because of that note. Just when she thought she gets a call from Clarion, it is from Amy inviting her to her newly completed temporary shelter to play. Too bad Nene is spacing out and unable to concentrate, even mistaking Amy for Clarion. She couldn’t even concentrate while saving Lean stuck up a tree. Thankfully she is caught by Robert. It feels like Robert has become her psychologist to analyze what is bugging her and those feelings she has for Clarion. Ultimately it is natural for Nene to worry about her and go help her even if told not to. This gives Robert some sort of personal motivation too. After discussing with North, he returns to address his CDF team about raiding AIA’s base. However this is not an order and just voluntary. I guess everybody vouches for the peace of this island so they all agree to go with him. Meanwhile Clarion still manages to hold her ground over the relentless attacks. She even manages to dismantle his cloaking armour and it turns out he is an android that can even transform. Clarion can still fight on par and could have continued had not for stupid Bunny who thinks she can waltz in and help out during the fast paced action. So fast that you can’t even see what the f*ck is happening. Because Clarion remembers her promise not to have anyone killed, she saves her from being chopped up by android dude but in the process ends up on the receiving end. Nene cleans her room while fantasizing the princely return of Clarion. Then remembers she has forgotten all about BUER and after lets him out. From the way he talks, Nene knew Clarion is out for more than just an errand. She is going to find Clarion and leaves a decoy hologram to fool Takumi (since she is busy trying to monitor Clarion) and heads out.
Nene sneaks into AIA’s base and where did she end up? In a room where macho naked men are changing!!! Screaming like little girls???!!! I hope no one will complain about not being able to get married anymore. She hides in a room filled with inactivated robots. Kurtz is also there too and to think Nene could fool him with her, uhm, robotic act? Well, he orders her to be disposed off. Unknown to him, BUER tags on his back. Now Nene finds herself in the incinerator dump and with her is Bunny. I guess it is time they figure out how useless this trash is, huh? As the floor is opening to burn all unwanted trash, Bunny has Nene dive into the system to stop this process. So this data world is a bit like Pac-man? Just when Bunny resigns to her fate that she is going to die first before her comrades, Nene successfully stops the system. Phew. Just another foot and they’ll be goners. Then Bunny realizes the cables connecting to Nene weren’t connected at all… Oh sh*t… You mean she did that all by herself?! Bunny gives Nene a weapon left behind by Clarion. Before she could say she died, Nene had already wandered off. I’m not sure about this next scene because it involves a battle between Kurtz’s scientists as well as Takumi trying to hack into BUER but the lion guy is fighting back (hijacking one of the scientists) by strengthening all the barriers with Trojans and everything else. Before BUER can fire another particle, they manage to stop it and it is believed BUER is now under their control.
Kurtz then spots Nene wandering around looking for Clarion. He communicates with her and calls her as Sahar’s successor. He explains about BUER’s worth in its charged particle cannon. Whoever controls it, controls the world. Yeah, we all know how rotten and corrupted this world is, right? So what gives Kurtz’s the right to control it via BUER? It doesn’t make sense they can fire a cannon without risking any treaty violation compared to nukes. He wants Nene to join him and using her technology they will create their ideal world. But Nene dismisses all that and says world peace can be achieved with money! Yeah, you can buy world peace! This only pisses off Kurtz. Viewing her as the same as the rest and a waste of time, he is going to let her meet the same fate as he friend. Here is a piece of her arm, the only part left after being disintegrated. Before Nene can be destroyed by the bodyguard, Clarion saves her. Wait. What? I thought she is dead? Apparently not. You trying to troll us? Guess what? The girls ignore Kurtz’s ranting of his ideologies and don’t give a f*ck about what he is saying since they go into their yuri reconciliation mode. You know, how Nene came to love everyone she meets on Cenancle and how much she loves Clarion. As well as she understands why Clarion did all this for her sake and not to get involved. As somebody special to her, she too wants to help her out in anyway. So you done with your touchy reunion? Time to stop talking and get into your Pandora Device gear. Because Kurtz is going to introduce his bodyguard. Behold and fear… Fear! How apt his name. And he is going to show them what it means…
Don’t be fooled yet if Fear is defeated so fast because Kurtz gives Fear the order to go all out and kill them. Meanwhile Kurtz himself goes to The BUER sphere to activate and take control of it. So by the time Nene and Clarion defeat Fear for good, Kurtz against BUER’s advice not to do this goes unheeded, suddenly images of girls’ thighs are broadcasted throughout the world?! WTF???!!! What the f*ck did we just see?! BUER’s little porn collection?! WTF?! BUER becomes saddened that people tried to gang up on him, hack into his system to expose his little happiness. But you don’t know how mad Kurtz is. The effort he put in, the time he has spent. All wasted over this silly porn?! What’s more, BUER said they just scratched the surface and nowhere near his core!!! In BUER’s despair, he is going to decimate the island with his beam. Now pops up Uzal of all times. At least in holographic form to tell them the key to stop BUER. Clarion is the other real key to stop BUER from inside but the catch is that she has to sacrifice herself. Nene instantly puts her foot down this will not do despite Clarion has accepted her fate that this is what she must do. Oh, guess what? Apparently there is another way too but risky. Nene immediately agrees to it but when Clarion objects to it and even disobeys Uzal, Nene says it is okay. WTF. So Clarion can’t do anything dangerous but Nene can? What kind of double standard is this?! So while they race to the centre of the BUER sphere, Kurtz tries to stop them in his mecha but got stuck somewhere. Nene reaches BUER’s core to calm the little lion down. Yeah, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Ironically everyone should! Then a big hug before BUER realizes a big but minimal beam of discharge into the sky.
Robert and his team arrive to arrest Kurtz. Seems he has formed a new organization which is not military and has enough evidence to convict Kurtz behind the terrorist acts. He is also stripped of his military position and is now just a criminal. Clarion is worried Nene didn’t answer her but BUER can grant her final wish and all Clarion want is Nene. Really? I thought she was alive all along. Now everyone has to get out before the place crumbles as the BUER sphere is sinking itself deep into the ocean. Uzal notes all part of the first phase of her secret experiment. Don’t ask… But Uzal thanks Takumi for taking care of Nene and Clarion who are both the true keys to BUER. Kurtz escapes during the collapse. He thinks he sees the real Uzal and I am not sure if the collapsing debris got him. Clarion has somewhat retrieved BUER the lion as they safely reach outside along with Bunny and her comrades. One second late and they would actually have been goners. In the aftermath, peace seemingly returns to Cenancle. Bunny and her comrades are taken in by Takumi but are made to wok their ass off. Robert still helps others in need. Nene and Clarion go out together and Nene hopes Clarion would find what she is looking for. However Clarion says she has already found it and will only tell her if Nene achieves world peace. I think I know what it is…
(Cyborg) Girl Meets (Android) Girl
Okay… I laughed, I cringed and I had my confused moments. But ultimately in the end, this series isn’t one that you should take seriously and one that wouldn’t be in the mainstream or the radars of many anime enthusiasts especially those who are really into the sci-fi genre. You could have spotted the signs like BUER’s design, Takumi’s childish nature despite being an aunty and even how Nene activates Pandora Device via Clarion should give you a clue that you can’t expect this series to be up there with the same level as To Aru Majutsu No Index or even To Aru Kagaku No Railgun.
Although there are a few sci-fi terms throughout the series, the spontaneous (and random) funny moments made this series bearable to watch. At least for yours truly. You know how much I detest in having to learn a lot of sci-fi terms, trying to figure them out and piecing them together and only to find in the end that I have not understood a single thing thus inhibiting my experience to enjoy the most out of a series. So thankfully with the minimal ‘serious’ sci-fi elements, the series is mostly just about the daily friendship and bonding between Nene and Clarion. Sometimes the episodes feel like standalones like the building on fire or visit to the doctor although in actual fact they are not. Because the only threat and antagonist throughout the series seems to be taking his time for his world domination goal. It is like they are teasing us on and off in the initial episodes, showing short clips of his team in trying to unlock and control the giant solid eyeball.
Thus no matter how silly the comical moments may look, at least it softens the impact of not letting my brains go into meltdown by thinking all the confusing terms and plots that could be far worse than seeing Takumi doing all her superb hacking and programming skills in which she makes it look like child’s play. You’ll tend to notice how many of the funny moments feel like the series’ running joke. The most obvious one being everyone in this series tends to call Clarion as Clarin thanks to Nene ‘corrupting’ them by introducing her as so. Each time Clarion clarifies her name herself, nobody listens and continues to call her by her shortened name. I suppose Clarion has had enough in rebuking Nene about her real name and just let her be. So much so right in the end when things seem bleak, Clarion even wants her to call her by that name. Yeah, just for dramatic effect I suppose.
Another obvious one is that unlucky reporter who has become a staple of each episode. She always gets into some sort of dangerous predicament that could kill her (for the first few episodes, I thought it was a joke that she ‘died’ and miraculously came back to life from all those ‘deaths’). She gets passionate about being the best journalist ever and the ultimatum signalling an end to her screen time is that before she could finish saying her name (was it Vlind or something?), she is disrupted by some sort of accident. Well, what doesn’t kill her makes her stronger. I think. Don’t worry. You can count on her to always come back in the next episode even funnier.
I think I also noticed this somewhat reduces the seriousness effect of this series. Clarion for half the time if she is not drawn or animated as her cat-eared maid outfit character, she is mostly seen animated simply as just her outline figure. You know that cat character known as Chiyo’s dad in Azumanga Daioh? Yup. Looks something like that except you don’t even colour it and leave it all white instead. Sometimes it feels the producers are lazy in just drawing her full detailed body and dress but then again, she kinda looks funny in this shape. Oh yeah, I thought she sometimes looked like a ghost.
Last but not least, there is BUER to add and complete to the list of running jokes of the series. This little lion dude as I can see doesn’t really contribute much for a big portion of the series and his only role is to be an idiotic character since he spouts grandeur ‘philosophical’ lines. And when he steps out of line trying to become a pervert, you bet Clarion will be there to crush him to put him in his place. So if you want to shut this dude up, just throw him in a dark box on enclosure and you can bet he will quickly fall into his trauma complaining about the darkness and cramped spaces. Making him even odder is his fifth leg which makes it look ambiguously like a certain erected male anatomy and the one he moves it around is like trying to confirm you have a dirty mind.
Speaking of fanservice, I don’t think I could get used to it. Aside from BUER swinging his fifth leg and making ambiguous poses with it, seeing the only obvious one is the use of Pandora Device in which is a cue for not only a transformation scene but for Clarion to lift up her skirt and allow Nene to have her hand-in-vagina moment. Knowing that Clarion is an android and you can see limb joint lines all over her body, it feels that even if you get to see Clarion fully in the flesh, it is more like looking at a naked mannequin. Also, red pantsu that Clarion always wears is not my thing and doesn’t turn me on… There might be some yuri moments but I can consider them as mild and even less. Heh. Not that I am a yuri expert or lover but I have seen ‘enough’ to believe there are mildly bolder ones.
The action parts are fairly entertaining but if you expected something that is over the top and even flashier in an exaggerated way, you would be better off looking elsewhere. Because Clarion remains the best kickass character of the series considering she is an android programmed with some fighting and offensive skills. Even if Nene transforms via Pandora Device, she doesn’t do much fighting with it later on in the series as she uses it more for cooking, paramedic and even tailoring.
Talking about the character development, unfortunately all the characters do not feel as much even with the big flashing sign that this show is about the yuri relationship between Nene and Clarion. Because mainly I feel that all the characters (and this includes the baddie himself) are either jokers or have child-like personalities. You can already tell from Nene’s airhead character that she is nonchalant and the happy-go-lucky kind. Because for her to even think about using money to buy world peace, you can call her naïve but hey, money solves everything, right? RIGHT?! Despite not being a rich girl herself and for her to come up with this kind of conclusion, it shows the power of money, doesn’t it? Cyborgs too value money! Even Clarion who doesn’t show much emotions, as I said her animated form for half the series makes her feel a lot more comical in those situations and even more so when she plays the rebuking role to BUER who himself is a big little joker.
But if you want a dumb joker, that role goes to Bunny whose every darn appearance will only have you think something funnily bad is going to happen to her. It is amazing this useless subordinate is still alive after so long and her comrades too but in prison. They are like unlucky luckies. Get what I mean? Don’t get me started on Vlind too because you know who she is and what she is for. Then you have Takumi who acts like a child throwing tantrum if she thinks she is superior than you but when she realizes Nene is far more superior, she cowers behind her Gert like a child afraid of her parent. Amy might be one of the few least joker characters but I feel she is there because for the moe loli factor. Why else would she be in this series for? Even minor characters like North and even Mr Chicken feel more comical than anything serious, don’t you agree?
And as I have said that even with Kurtz being the villain looking all that serious and a typical baddie look, he also feels like a joke, spouting his time-is-precious crap and world dominating goal. Yeah, it took him almost an entire season trying to get control of BUER, right? You can’t blame him for being mad that after all this time of wanting to shape the world to his ideals, all he got was somebody’s porn! Truly disappointing! Truly hilarious! Well, at least we know he isn’t into girls’ thighs ;p… I thought he might even go as far as killing himself for all those wasted time. And Robert’s role seems so minimal, that you wonder that everything from his cameo is just to lead up to the final scene of him arresting Kurtz in which he somewhat fails. So how is Robert a joker? His penchant to help everybody in need with a smile. That itself is a joke in a real world because you can’t find such a Good Samaritan anymore. Yeah, blame the world for making me cynical.
I am not sure if Uzal is dead since after stabilizing BUER for the first time, she only appears in videos that are timed to appear when certain circumstances and conditions are met. Even in the final episode it is hinted she is very much alive, it made me wonder if that was all just part of her advanced programming. Yeah, I know she is a super genius but it feels like she is like God in this sense of knowing what will happen. Uh huh. It is like she made provision and predicted almost everything that would likely happen. Perhaps she has more cheeky experiments to carry out and thus the reason she is moving about in the shadows. I am a little confused of her background. Not too sure if she has a double identity because the world projected her as a terrorist that looks like a Che Guevara revolutionist under her Sahar moniker. As there was a movie adapted from the series before the TV series and as usual I have not watched it, I am not sure if this movie is a condensed summary of the entire TV series or a prequel to the story. So I won’t be finding out more about Uzal any time soon or ever since this genius scientist is an ever greater mystery than BUER.
Art and drawing for a sci-fi genre feels acceptable. But somehow I find that some of the young looking female characters to resemble a lot from the mahjong series Saki. As I found out, both series are animated by Studio Gokumi (although they only animate the Achiga-hen and Zenkoku-hen of the Saki series) who also did animate anime with lots of moe like A Channel Kono Naka Ni Hitori Imouto Ga Iru, Kiniro Mosaic and Yuuki Yuuna Wa Yuusha De Aru. Therefore it is without any doubt that I see strange similarities in some of the characters like Clarion whom I thought is a flat chest version of Nodoka! Nene looks like a cross between Saki and Shizuno while Takumi feels more like a livelier version than Arata. And that Vlind girl? A bit like Yuuki, doesn’t she? The only young female character that doesn’t look like a Saki character is Amy. Because when I first looked at her, I thought she was a younger version of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica’s Mami!
The only seiyuu I recognized is Junichi Suwabe as Kurtz. The rest are Sanae Fuku as Nene (Risa Shirakaba in Aikatsu series), Manami Numakura as Clarion (Paula in Nisekoi), Marie Miyake as Takumi (Ringo in Mawaru Penguindrum), Atsuko Tanaka as Uzal (Caster in Fate/Stay Night series), Junpei Morita as BUER (Jason Li in Classroom Crisis), Tetsu Inada as Robert (Gamagoori in Kill La Kill), Maria Nakagawa as Amy (Theia in Rokujouma No Shinryakusha) and Rie Murakawa as Bunny (Hotaru in Non Non Biyori). The thing that attracted my attention and perhaps the only thing that makes the opening theme, Hopeness by ZAQ stand out is the fast and creative finger drilling piano play. Otherwise it would have just been another generic sci-fi song to me so thanks to this seemingly hectic and crazy pace of the piano, it really got my attention there.
As for the ending theme, Lose Control by the duet of Sanae Fuku and Manami Numakura, uhm, how should I put it? The song feels robotic… Uhm, robotic-like sound effects? Sure, it also feels like a theme for the yuri pair but the way it is played out makes it feel quite android-like and weird. It’s like trying to be Miss Monochrome but couldn’t. Also during the ending credits sequence, there will be a short radio show hosted by the duo called Pandoradio in which of course Nene is being the idiot and Clarion the rebuking role. While I don’t particularly note the background music, there was one that stood out like a sore thumb. During the final episode’s climatic sequence, there is this opera lady singing in the background. It just felt so weird…
Overall, a fairly entertaining series but don’t count on it being mainstream. Because the prospect of seeing mild yuri with robot girls might be too much to handle for some even though these girls look and act so human-like. Not the best in story, character development, action and fanservice or even in the sci-fi genre if you have certain hopes and expectations for it. But if you can open your mind just a little and accept the random hilarious (and robot yuri), there is some worth in watching this little entertainment and make you ponder about the possibility of the future of high technology. Yeah, it has got me worrying about the frequent network outages… I’m so scared… Not even all the money in the world could solve this. So buying world peace with money may seem like mission impossible and a pipe dream but at least it is more probable to buy all the ecchi anime, manga and eroge. Oh yeah. Those are world peace material! Or Pandora’s Box to world destruction? I know. That feeling of how much you want the world to just explode when the world sees your porn collection. That is why always remember to hide it well. Deep and dark corners of your folders…
P/S: You know it is world destruction when there are only yuri robots left to make out ;p.