Clockwork Planet

October 21, 2017

They say that even a broken clock is right twice a day. Heck, I still don’t really fully understand what why it is so despite my ‘extensive’ research over the internet (though I do understand its proverbial meaning). So why am I talking about broken time and the likes here? It’s time for one of those futuristic sci-fi action adventure drama thriller comedy romance anime! Okay, it doesn’t have anything directly to do with that. But it was rather interesting to read the setting of Clockwork Planet whereby the entire world has been destroyed but ‘saved’ when some genius turned and built everything on gears. Of course it couldn’t last forever as it starts to crumble once more. Just delaying the inevitable. And of course this is where our typical main character who might seem like a useless member in society has a hidden talent when he accidentally obtains some automaton and together they set the gears in motion of the future of mankind and this planet. Okay, maybe it does sound a little cliché…

Episode 1
As narrated, Earth was destroyed a long time ago but the appearance of a clocksmith only known as Y managed to recreate a destroyed with nothing but gears. But as they say, nothing lasts forever. So after a thousand years, the gears start to collapse. Naoto Miura is a kid who is fascinated with anything with gears. He is a clocksmith wannabe but from the looks of it, he is a failure. Till a coffin containing a beautiful life-like automaton crash into his place. I’m sure he wants to tinker with her body… Marie Bell Breguet is not impressed that she has to clean up some sh*t again. Along with her bodyguard, Vainney Halter, they head to some core grid to fix it but the cocky military think they can handle it themselves. Naoto tinkers and messes precisely with this automaton’s complicated gears with only his hearing, causing her to awake from her slumber and save him before his place crumbles apart. RyuZU as she is known is grateful for the repairs. She learns that Naoto has this ability to hear precisely sounds and thus was able to locate the problem via hearing when all other clocksmith experts fail. Although she considers Naoto as her master, she has a very sharp tongue and sarcasm. Every guy’s fantasy? As part of the process to accept her as his master, he must suck her finger?! Who the f*ck came up with this sh*t?! Definitely some guy’s fantasy. Needing to find a place to stay, they end up in a love hotel. RyuZU shows she is not to be messed with when some punks try to hit on her but she beats them up when they threaten her master. Instead of renting a room, they prefer the lounge seat? RyuZU must be thinking if this is his perverse way of getting close to her. At least he got a lap pillow. Deep in the night, Marie wakes up after feeling some sort of faint tremor. The next day, Marie meets her committee and tells them that the irregular gravity would soon cause Kyoto Grid to collapse. However the military has chosen a different choice. They are going to force purge Kyoto Grid and sacrifice 20 million people.

Episode 2
Marie threatens the military guy for more details on the purge. So the military is trying to save face if they left without fixing it? Yeah, what better way than to kill everybody, right? The purge will take place in 20 hours. Can Marie fix it in time? Not if she can help it. She calls Limons Vacheron, an officer of Meister Guild to put her through to one of the engineer chiefs, Konrad. She tells him about the purge and anomaly that needs to be fixed. They’ll do whatever they can but they have to expect the military trying to sabotage them. So we see Marie and Halter plunging into the deep depths to fight robots and fix whatever damn thing that needs to be repaired before they get going to the next one. Meanwhile Naoto attends high school like normal. Even more shocking is how RyuZU becomes a transfer student in his class and shocks everyone by telling Naoto is her master. Some kind of sick play. Right? Marie is discussing with the clocksmith team about the 520 million parts they need to check! Man, they really need a miracle for this one just to save the city. She then gets a call to stop whatever she is doing. She is forced to comply and laments only if she had RyuZU (lost during transport to her), things would have been destroyed. With all the chaos in the background, Naoto takes RyuZU shopping like any other normal day. Marie sees Limons as he was the one who ordered the withdrawal. Looks like he is in cohorts with the military and 20 million is just a small sacrifice. Yeah, so small indeed. If Marie resumes work, her licence will be revoked. Marie gets made thinking it is Vacheron’s ploy to bring down the Breguet family. She whips out her gun, making that guy piss in his pants. Halter puts some sense in her. Nothing changes if she kills him. Marie beats herself up and blames herself for this incident. Halter reminds her the military would have done if she is in the picture or not. She is going to follow her heart and do what is right. Anybody who stands in her way, she’ll just beat the crap out of them. As they walk out, they cross path with Naoto and RyuZU walking in. She immediately recognizes RyuZU.

Episode 3
As they talk, Marie claims RyuZU is the Breguet’s property. She wants her back and of course he will be compensated. Since Naoto refuses, she threatens him. She didn’t see it coming when RyuZU’s blades are sticking at her neck. When she calms down, she continues explaining what is going on. However RyuZU rubbishes that she is that saviour they are hoping for. Her role is to serve Naoto. Naoto could tell an earthquake is coming and true enough it rocks the place. Marie learns of his precise hearing ability and wants him to help them fix a problem. Naoto is sceptical. Why isn’t she running away? Why so adamant to save the city? If she runs away, she will never have faith in herself again. Naoto still can’t help but when RyuZU mentions she has a sister, AnchoR in some tower’s basement that could help, Naoto agrees to come! He wants to meet her sister?! This guy got fetish for younger girls or is it he wants to tinker with her gears? So as they go down the tower, Naoto can hear robots waiting for them. He out-argues her by saying he wants to meet AnchoR and she wants to fix the tower. Everything else is irrelevant. He’s got a point. After battling the first wave, news spread that Marie is dead?! Limons panics and wants this under wraps since the murder of Marie will make their organizations collapse. Apparently Marie faked her own death so she could prove the connection between the military and the guild. It is also she can move freely without being restrained by politics. They meet more robot resistance along the way. This time RyuZU transforms into her ultimate, uhm, white wedding form to easily take them all out. This uses up a lot of energy so she goes into sleep mode. Of course nothing like a little tinkering from those masterful hands of the so called best clocksmith in the world would wake her up shortly. And then Naoto confesses he wants to marry her (after seeing all those awesome ‘naked’ gears) but she rejects! Marie is confused if RyuZU is programmed like that but she disagrees and loves Naoto out of her own free will. Then the duo stare at each other and Naoto has her nod to indicate how many times she likes him. I don’t think she is going to stop nodding… Marie blows her top seeing they wasted time with this stupid romcom drama. Yeah, 5 hours to go until the purge…

Episode 4
Marie is surprised to see Konrad and his team working. She hopes Naoto would get started but he can’t help feel at awe at all the gears. Obviously this makes RyuZU jealous. He has seen her body and now he is ‘cheating’ on her? Do we have time for this romcom silliness? So Naoto gets working as he uses his super hearing ability to detect the anomalies. Once he pinpoints the place, the rest goes to fix them. Of course we get to see Marie in action fixing the gears with her special tools and RyuZU using her fast precision that no humans could do. And then they did it! They actually can’t believe they fixed it! You’re telling me they expected to die?! But their celebration is cut short when the military has started the purge. Crap. Limons is bugging the military to hasten the purge or else he will lose face! Marie is cracking her head on what’s need to be done. The moment she realizes Imaginary Gear as their only hope, Naoto shouts a big no. Despite using some mechanism to generate and reverse the city from falling, it requires the sacrifice of RyuZU. A very risky move despite Marie assuring she can try to fix her later. Try. Naoto continues to protest but RyuZU believes in him and stabs herself! Now in Naoto’s palm is her mechanical heart. Don’t waste time by crying over her lifeless body. As Marie tries to fix whatever needs to be fixed (she has to get it done fast as the strain pushes the heart’s limits), Limons sends his robots to deal with them. This is where Halter comes in. Konrad joins him, probably bored with fixing things. The moment Marie is done, Naoto quickly rips the heart out. RyuZU is in some deep suspended dream. But when she reaches out to Naoto’s hand, she knows she is awakened again by him. Naoto is all tears hugging her. RyuZU believes her existence is because of the Gear of Fate.

Episode 5
An official funeral is held for Marie. Naoto laments after that risky mission, AnchoR wasn’t there. He blames Marie for bad luck. Don’t be surprised, there’s more in store for him. Because Marie wants his help to save the world. In exchange she’ll help him find AnchoR. Deal. Several intruders enter a tower but are finished off by this black hole ball from this loli automaton. No prizes for guessing who she is. Halter receives a mysterious transmission that seems to insult Marie about her poor sex life. This means we have to interrupt RyuZU’s flirting on Naoto to seek his help to trace that transmission. Naoto pinpoints the direction of the transmission and it seems he now has another motivation to go there. How do you like automaton in swimsuits? Yeah, Naoto is going crazy snapping photos of sexy RyuZU in a swimsuit. Another cliché moment of guy falling over girl. She wants to kiss but he chickens out. Falls into sea. Almost drowns. Saves him. Time for CPR. Interrupted by Marie because she doesn’t want to turn this show into some stupid romcom. No wonder her sex life sucks… Oh yeah, she’s a virgin… On to serious business at Mie Grid, Naoto couldn’t hear a sound here. Then it dawned to them that this place is dead. Even its core clock tower has stopped. Naoto believes this means AnchoR is here because where else to transmit illegal radio waves. Inside the tower, they see a big hole in the ground. Dropping down, they see disintegrated body parts and what shocks them most is a huge mecha. A weapon of mass destruction that used parts of this tower. Marie is hell bent on destroying it but AnchoR approaches them. She considers them a threat and attacks.

Episode 6
As they dodge her attacks, Naoto could hear AnchoR’s thoughts that she doesn’t want to do this and wants her sister to destroy her. The fight ends with Naoto and RyuZU falling into an endless abyss. They’re as good as dead. Halter takes Marie to retreat above ground. She now falls into depression blaming herself for being responsible over Naoto’s death. But that’s not going to stop her yet. So they turn into some vigilantes beating up the mayor of Mie Grid about that huge mecha underneath. They even threaten to kill his family! He finally reveals that Mie Grid is in cahoots with the military remnants of the purged Shiga Grid to hide it. 30 years ago there was a large scale defect. It would have affected the country so a purge was decided instead of waiting for repairs. However that was just a ruse as they were conducting an illegal electromagnetic research which is believed to affect the gears. One experiment went wrong and the government covered up their involvement by purging Shiga Grid and pretended it never happened. The abandoned military and scientists went underground and controlled Mie from the shadows. He never went public with this because Mie Grid would be threatened to be purged next. Thus that mecha was just insurance. It should never have worked. But it did. All because of Marie! After the Kyoto Grid fiasco, the people lost faith in the government and lost money. In need of funds and reason for their own existence, they are going to crush Mie Grid and restore their hero status. So Marie, how does it feel to reveal the government’s wrongdoings? Because she tried to be a hero, more people will die! More depression for her. More dilemma thinking if this world has value is worth saving. And suddenly Naoto and RyuZU pop up from the sewer. They’re looking fine and can still joke. Immediately Marie kicks him for not informing her he is still alive. So they explain when they fell, there was an abandoned facility beneath it. Some old geezer, Gennai Hirayama living there activated the elevator for them to get out. It is reported AnchoR is heading to Tokyo with that mecha. Since Marie is still unsure what to do, Naoto knocks some honest idiotic sense into her. So everybody is an idiot. She’ll save the world and do everything. For starters, they’ll go to Tokyo to attack.

Episode 7
Naoto becoming a terrorist and scaring the people by destroying Tokyo Tower? This is part of their plan to clear out the city so the military can clash with the mecha while they go save AnchoR. Naoto and co take on a few of the military robots, the same time the military themselves engage with the mecha underground. Naoto, RyuZU and Marie wait for AnchoR to come to them. Naoto knows it is so because AnchoR wants to be destroyed by her sister. Plus, based on their last fight, he knows AnchoR cannot kill humans because Naoto and Marie were not targeted. As the sisters fight, RyuZU lets AnchoR chase her till she suddenly switches with Marie. This sudden change has AnchoR malfunction. RyuZU cuts off the mask that is controlling her. Naoto manages to repair RyuZU but Marie needs to take AnchoR back to the safe house to fix her. When AnchoR wakes up, she starts calling the trio her father, mother and sister! Naoto would like to be the brother but being the father isn’t bad either. RyuZU suggests to AnchoR she needs to have a master. Would you like Naoto to be your master? That guy definitely say yes. So she initiates the master recognition process. What? No finger sucking? She is asking who she is?! WTF?! So, uhm, AnchoR is AnchoR? Correct?! However with Naoto now her master, she has lost her free will since weapons do not need one. So how? Naoto tells her to unlock whatever programme that is locking her free will! OMG! That easy?! So is the robot girl doing it via order or her own free will then? This is so confusing! Then he tells her to do anything she wants. But she still needs to ask his permission? Permission to cry, touch him and say sorry. Then she breaks down in tears in his arms. Wow. She is more human than robot.

Episode 8
Naoto is now fawning all over AnchoR. RyuZU is jealous so Naoto explains RyuZU is wife and AnchoR his daughter. AnchoR’s black ball spits out the head of a cyborg, Vermouth. Marie fixes it up to learn what happened. However Naoto hears the ground shaking. It’s that mecha (now termed as Yatsukahagi). It’s rising up from the ground. Didn’t the military take care of it? Well, the air force sure couldn’t now. Not any military missiles too. A sudden electromagnetic attack renders everything with a gear to a stop. Gennai and his rogue military are controlling Yatsukahagi. They are delighted nothing can stop them now. Though this isn’t what Gennai is aiming for. After he rescued Naoto and RyuZU, he told them how many scientists sacrificed their lives trying to understand this world and failed. Including himself. He felt like giving up since all it does is breed doubt and keep obstructing the path of humanity. Naoto told him he will never lose hope. Karasawa is trying to explain his theory to the authorities that Yatsukahagi was using electromagnetic technology, the reason it could disable all grids and outperform their weapons (meaning to say that the government is secretly and illegally conducting electromagnetic research) but they’re just accusing each other who to blame. Yeah, purge the entire grid! When Naoto comes to, he sees Marie dejected sitting in a corner. She says the world is destroyed since everything has stopped due to the powerful electromagnetic pulse that magnetized everything. Naoto is not going to be defeated. He is going to find a way out of here and a way to do demagnetization. I guess seeing how he never gives up and thinking about her times with Halter made her change her mind. It took a while but AnchoR starts moving after her backup programme is initiated. Cue for emotional ‘father and daughter’ reunion. Naoto knew the entire time his ‘family’ was still alive. Even RyuZU is currently ‘moving’ and is fine despite looking unconscious. Something about heat can demagnetize things. That is why RyuZU’s body is burning hot as she has no cooling system. Marie must be ashamed of herself for giving up. Despite everything Naoto did was out of instinct and without hesitation, she’ll allow him to drag her around for now.

Episode 9
Marie is supposed to meet up with Konrad. So his base is in a strip club?! Not safe for kids… This workshop also serves as a black market for automata. Marie wants to wake up Vermouth to learn more about the truth but needs a vessel. So they use one of the strippers’ automaton body to hook him up. He explains that when Yatsukahagi appeared, nothing needs to be done anymore as everything is already set in piece. Because right now the higher ups are arguing about using Tall Wand, a satellite in the space that when dropped can destroy an entire city. Some disagree so they start blaming each other for everything. At this rate, the government and military will destroy themselves. Not via terrorism but coup d’etat. Then there is something about Yatsukahagi being a hybrid of clockwork and electromagnetic technology and something is going to happen in 66.5 hours. Marie thinks it is some world war so where is Naoto going? Doing what he can. And by that he means going shopping with AnchoR?! Wait. Why is Naoto cross-dressed and loving it?! Marie is confused they can have fun despite the impending danger. AnchoR tries to be nice to ‘mom’ and buys her a gift but Marie lashes out at her. She wants her to destroy Yatsukahagi. AnchoR will do so as not to make her sad. When Naoto learns about it, he lashes out at Marie for trying to push her burden onto others so she can consider it done. He won’t allow it for AnchoR is his daughter! So what does Marie do? She goes back and tries to fix RyuZU?! Shouldn’t that be Naoto’s job? Well, he can’t seem to repair her now either because that time he fixed her, he heard a good sound. Naoto ponders about the Pillar of Heaven which is the centre of all grids in Japan. He plans to take over it. Because they have done so many ‘villainous’ things, might as well live up to that name. But they don’t have manpower. Naoto knows a place to get Halter a spare body while Vermouth can go scout for recruits. He wants to help Naoto because it is fun. After AnchoR promises to protect Marie, Marie cuts some slack. Why be so serious? They’re not defenders of justice or anything. She got too caught up and forgot what’s important. Time to go all out and have fun?

Episode 10
Vermouth is going all out destroying the mechas. Since it was his idea to hook up Halter’s brain to a heavily armed automaton, he has to do it by ploughing through waves of enemies to nab that Genbu body series that Marie wants. Then it is Marie’s turn to show her chops as she tries to fix every damn thing under 30 seconds. She isn’t human the way she works her hands with all those screwdrivers… Halter finally wakes up in his new body and destroys the remaining forces. Next, Naoto continues his villainous broadcast how he kicked ass easily wiping out those weak forces. Yeah, he is mocking those higher ups. After announcing his goal to sink Tokyo Grid and all that connects to it, Naoto has also seized the Pillar of Heaven and took Princess Houko Hoshinomiya who occupies it as hostage. She makes her statement for everyone to remain calm and evacuate the area. Konrad receives word from Karasawa and then tells Marie that there are plans to use Tall Wand on Yatsukahagi. They have less than 7 hours. This means they have to bring Yatsukahagi down before they have a chance to use it. Meanwhile Naoto is frolicking with his automaton harem. What is a genius has got to do at an idle time like this? Marie and Hoshinomiya know each other from overseas university. But Marie graduated earlier since she is a genius. Hoshinomiya believes the old Shiga army is behind Yatsukahagi. Marie tells of her plan to fry the entire Tokyo Grid to render electromagnetic effects ineffective. The only thing that can do that is Pillar of Heaven. Could you believe this is Naoto’s idea? No wonder he can play around with his harem because he gets things done when needed. Because we didn’t have quality Naoto x RyuZU time, well, here’s some before the storm hits. The usual blah, blah, blah as Naoto gives RyuZU a gold ring as ‘punishment’ because she has to wear it at all times.

Episode 11
Hoshinomiya talks to Naoto to learn why he is doing this. Because he says he wants to make them pay for making AnchoR do vile things, she replies he cannot be trusted and is a fair person. Her answer shocks RyuZU as she never expect her to think like that. With the military trying to mount an attack and rescue Hoshinomiya, Halter and Vermouth defend the place to also give time to Marie to fix the Pillar of Heaven. Gennai kills off all his men. After meeting Naoto, it reignited his hopes again as he is going to challenge the monster who pretends to be Y. Everyone is shocked when Yatsukahagi fires a devastating blast that heavily damages Pillar of Heaven. They didn’t expect it to recharge so fast but Gennai had redirected all its power there. Gennai introduces himself and challenges Naoto. Marie wants to fix the gears but Naoto can’t. He can’t hear those gear sounds anymore. Marie falls into depression that she relied and placed all her bets on the miracle known as Naoto. She even begs him to use RyuZU or AnchoR to destroy that weapon. Naoto would rather have the world destroyed! Isn’t that the same in both ways? AnchoR bugs ‘father’ for an order and since he won’t do it, she can’t abide by that and goes off herself. Naoto has RyuZU go tell AnchoR to wait for 70 minutes (Yatsukahagi is scheduled to fire again in 72 minutes). As Marie is still depressed Naoto scolds her about not using her talent he envies and giving up so easily. She beats him up and after taking out her frustrations, she gets back in her groove.

First, she knows that the research did by the clocksmiths for 1000 years were wrong. All of it. She believes Naoto knows the answer. There’s some example using orchestra music but I don’t get it. She is saying Naoto doesn’t need to know how to repair. He just needs to analyse and climb. Naoto also knows Marie can repair despite never seeing the blueprint (case from Halter’s repair). In other words, she can see the future she is supposed to reel in. This has Marie realizing they are opposites. While she arrives at the answer from the situation, Naoto constructs the situation from the answer. She wants him to tell everything he hears from the Pillar of Heaven. He might not be able to verbalize it properly so he lets her peek into his mind? One of those mindf*cks when he tells her to not memorize everything but don’t forget it. Do everything and nothing. Everything is right and wrong. Everything and nothing exists. Yeah, my head is going to explode. So I don’t know what Twilight Zone she entered but when she finally wakes up, she might not understand a thing but Naoto believes she remembers everything. Are you f*cking with me?! Then they hook up to some gears to fix the Pillar of Heaven. Yeah, it looks like some cheap video game to deconstruct and put together gears. Time is up as AnchoR jumps down to initiate her self-destruct sequence.

Episode 12
Why does Naoto and Marie repairing the Pillar of Heaven look like they’re doing some Dance Dance Revolution?! Gennai is counting his chickens as he claims victory and something about how does it feel like to feel despair of humans. With Marie quoting the same thing as Naoto said to him, the old geezer now believes Y exists in 2 forms. WTF… He notices the recharging rate dropping. AnchoR is going full steam to destroy all the generators. Each time it takes a great toll on her body and causes her great pain. Only 1,002 more to go. So much so she loses an arm along the way. Yeah, her body is breaking apart. Too bad she won’t go further as Gennai shoots her down. Luckily he won’t finish her because RyuZU arrives and cuts of his hand. An arm for an arm? Gennai thinks his death still means his victory as Yatsukahagi will soon recharge and shoot its final blast. However it couldn’t fire because as RyuZU explains, AnchoR’s destruction bought enough time for Naoto and Marie to finish fixing whatever. Naoto and his motley ‘terrorist’ crew then escape by jumping down. They leave it to Hoshinomiya to activate the updraft for their soft landing and to enhance their ‘villains’ reputation. After RyuZU takes AnchoR away, Yatsukahagi explodes taking Gennai with him as he still refuses to accept defeat. Well, he can now take it to his grave. But the more important question is can Naoto and Marie repair AnchoR? Thankfully Naoto hears her insides and is relieved her damage isn’t fatal. Of course we have to build some emotion with AnchoR regretting she wasn’t able to do what she was built for. Gee Marie, you look like you’re going to cry. AnchoR wants an order so Naoto orders her to be proud for what she did. For once instead of turning it into some Naoto x AnchoR loli romance, Marie bumps him away to emotionally hug and praise her. Why you make AnchoR cry now?! With Halter getting his human body back, they meet up with Karasawa who provides them a boat for them to escape the country. So now they’re floating in some ocean as Naoto and Marie argue who to properly fix AnchoR. Marie obsessed with AnchoR? She doesn’t want Naoto to turn her into a pervert. RyuZU ‘supports’ Marie since it would mean she gets Naoto all to herself. It gets worse with them wanting AnchoR to choose. Halter’s best quip: They’re the worst because that’s just bad parenting. Sorry to stop your family bickering but the government’s forces are hot on their tail. I guess Vermouth is itching to get into some action. How the heck can a small boat take on a few military class warship?! Beats me. They say they’re going to travel the entire world to overhaul all the gears. Yeah…

Gears Of War
Well… I think they can do it and fix this damn planet. Because when they have done everything and the impossible, what is there else to stop them? So when other countries see this little motley crew coming to shore, you better welcome this new age sci-fi Jesus Christ. Oh, you bet your gears that they can and are going to fix whatever wrong is with your sh*t. All the while fighting and defeating the forces of evil in the name of the government. Sorry if I got a bit lost in my own made-up fantasy since I was already confused by the time I finished watching this anime so I figure why not speculate something of this sort and cool down my ‘system’ before it overheats and I enter a mental breakdown of overthinking. Maybe I am already breaking down without knowing it…

Unfortunately I can’t seem to follow the plot easily. Based on my experience from watching sci-fi genres, I was already expecting this kind of personal disappointment. So when the story was all over the place about trying to rescue the city, trying to rescue a loli robot, trying to rescue the city again and possibly the entire country, I was just freaking confused. So basically everything inside this anime (the workings of the gears, etc) is so complicated that I suppose ‘antagonists’ have a better idea of destroying everything to make it look like an accident so they can save some face. Yeah, I would do that too if I was in their shoes. And they would have gotten away with it if not for those pesky meddling kids. Haha! Imagine a group of adults in high positions losing out to a bunch of genius kids and their robot personnel. Laughable. Better to accelerate the end of the world.

By the time the anime ends, you might start thinking who this Y dude who created this entire planet is and hence to some, this clockwork world is just one big gear of despair because nobody understands anything. Geez, and I thought being stupid is bliss. It’s like he created this world to prolong mankind’s suffering. This guy’s single named initial is so ambiguous that as though it is left for future bad puns like why oh why the heck did all this happen. And a parody of a certain popular children’s TV programme. Today’s world is brought to you by the letter Y. With Naoto and co going around to fix things, who needs to know about this dude? I feel like making a few clock and time related puns like how they are all racing in time to save the world trying to work against the clock and that they are taking actions because a stitch in time saves nine, but I guess it would be a waste of time. Oops…

As for the characters, they feel like a hit and miss. But leaning more towards the miss side. Many times, it is hard for me to understand them either. Yeah, that’s the downside of being a genius since ordinary dumb people like me cannot understand them. Naoto and RyuZU’s relationship are interesting to watch (sometimes funny, sometimes annoying) because they seem to be having fun in their own world while the rest of reality is on the verge of breaking down and turning into Apocalypse. RyuZU seems amusing with her sharp acid tongue and her yandere tendencies but it gets old after a while and not so prominent once AnchoR entered the ‘family’. Naoto despite the main character is shown to have his own flaws. I know I’m repeating myself by saying he is a genius and thus his crazy ways can’t be easily comprehended by normal people. Therefore despite his unorthodox ways of coming up with certain strategies and his unique ability of hearing the slightest sounds that no one else can hear, he looks like an idiot doofus who is just ‘fighting’ to protect his harem-cum-family. He is a ‘pervert’ because he prefers his girls in the form of mechanical automata instead of real flesh and blood. Sorry folks, no hook up with Marie. That’s why I figure they make her look less feminine with those boy shorts (loli + shota?) and a nerd with those tools.

The rest of the supporting casts don’t really do that much. It feels like Marie is a character that is needed to be the opposite of Naoto. She hastily wants to get things done because of this sense of responsibility thing but is forced to follow Naoto’s ways. She and Naoto have lots of contradicting ideals but in the end it is usually she who has to bend to his will since he has her robots and yeah, the main character. To show she isn’t totally a brat, that’s why I suppose Halter is playing the loyal subordinate who will always be by her side. But she is still as annoying as Naoto sometimes. Just saying. Ever since AnchoR becomes Naoto’s ‘daughter’, she is docile that she is hardly noticeable unless she is forced for some loli time with Naoto. At least she is the apple of Marie’s eye to share the love evenly. More chances for them to spat and hence increase Marie’s ‘relevance’. Oh man, looks like Marie has now become crazy after Naoto’s influence. Remember, the real Marie ‘died’ a long time ago.

And being tired of the usual military being the usual and typical villains, suddenly they pop this Gennai geezer to the fore with his twisted intentions of trying to best Y. Again. Since when did he represent all of mankind? Does being a scientist gave him that privilege? I mean, haven’t they learn? Those who failed to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it again in the future. Well, it seemed like he did learn his lesson (after a thousand years apparently). Until he met Naoto! Oh dear! Don’t you see?! Naoto is primarily responsible for his revival and hence this final piece of story for this season! Heck, Naoto didn’t even face him directly as a final boss and was killed off by his automaton. I guess he wasn’t worthy enough to be the last final boss for Naoto.

What makes Naoto and Marie totally unbelievable is their abilities and when they put them into action. I know I already said it a few times about them being genius but the way we see them go into action just feels unrealistic. It makes them not human! Look at the way Marie moves her hands and using multiple tools at the same time! With such speed! It’s like her fingers have hands themselves and doing all the fast work too. Is she a robot?! Is she God?! What about Naoto who can just hear every damn gear and pinpoint with 100% accuracy its faults. Heck, I can’t even figure out where that odd sound is coming from my computer and fear the use of using the ol’ whack-the-machine as seen on TV to fix it. But this kid can just hear those ‘beautiful’ sounds so precisely. Is he a robot?! Is he God?!

Even more unbelievable is how some of the robots are so human-like not only in term of appearance but in terms of personality too. I was fooled at first because initially I thought Halter was human or at least a cyborg. Turns out he is 100% robot too. They look, speak and act like a human but inside they are totally made up of metal parts and gears. As though you are peeking through some sort of alternate dimension if you open up their bodies. I know this is sci-fi and even though in reality our technology is getting closer to this very life-like artificial intelligence but it is still mind boggling and too much.

Action and fight scenes feel mediocre although it isn’t entirely that bad. Because it is futuristic sci-fi and has lots of disposable robots, it means that we need to shoe in some battles to show off the capabilities of our main characters. Hence sometimes the action feels mindless because there is a need for RyuZU to showcase from time to time how she can easily slice those mindless robots into half like a hot butter through knife and to make her look like a badass. Lots of firepower, lots of slashing, lots of explosions. Oh heck, this could be the mini Michael Bay’s Transformers series. Unless you are a fan of complicated choreographed fight scenes, such mindless battle scenes may still provide some simple satisfaction because who wouldn’t feel satisfied and be awed to see one heroine take down a hordes of enemies at a time?

Art and animation looks pretty decent. The cities being packed on gears when you look at them from a top-down perspective looks interesting but if you want to start thinking of how possible it is for it to keep standing for a thousand years like that, I think I’ll stop thinking. Character design I’ll say something about RyuZU’s design because the first time I see her, I thought she was taken after the designs of several anime characters like Rozen Maiden’s Suigin Tou, Chrno Crusade’s Rosette and those slicing scythe weapons that comes out from her thighs could be based from Busou Renkin’s Tokiko. I guess that is why she is better to look at compared to all the other bland designs of other robots belonging to the military. I know perhaps the robots are designed for their functionality and purpose but couldn’t they look a bit better than that?

It could be just me since I find that some of the characters’ face to be a little bit broad. Especially Naoto and Marie. Makes them look a bit weird… Maybe it’s their genius genes that has their brains stretched out a little. Haha! Just kidding. You can tell so when you compare them to ‘normal proportions’ characters like Halter and Hoshinomiya. Then AnchoR I thought her head is a bit bigger than her body. I think it is for that moe loli automaton effect but then again, it could be just me. Lastly, CGI is used sometimes to give off that sci-fi feel and although they aren’t that horrendous, it isn’t impressive either. Animated by Xebec who made lots of other popular series like the To Love-Ru series, Love Hina, Shuffle, Shaman King, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san and Mahou Sensei Negima.

Interestingly, the opening theme which is the same name as the title of this series is very much to my liking. I really like this song. If the heavy techno beat sounds somewhat familiar, it is because Fripside sings it and it has that similar sounds to similar techno beat songs they sung like the ones in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun. This is one of those techno songs that I could listen over and over again while blasting it loudly from my music box like I am in some underground disco. Really. The ending theme, Anticlockwise by After The Rain may not be as catchy as the opener but it isn’t that bad either. It’s quite a dramatic piece (did I hear some frenzy piano playing in the background) with lots of loud music and I think they use some sound effects for the singing voice. Oh, the CGI used in the ending credits animation feel cheap…

The voice acting is rather okay. I didn’t recognize any single one of them so I guess there is nothing for me to be happy about. The main casts are Yoshino Nanjou as Naoto (Kokoro in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes series), Ai Kakuma as RyuZU (Julis in Gakusen Toshi Asterisk), Saori Oonishi as Marie (Kazuha in Girlish Number), Sayaka Senbongi as AnchoR (Morina in Piace: Watashi No Italian), Kenichirou Matsuda as Halter (Batou in Ghost In The Shell: Arise), Maaya Uchida as Hoshinomiya (Rikka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Takayuki Sugou as Gennai (Zangetsu in Bleach) and Unshou Ishizuka as Konrad (Jet in Cowboy Bebop).

Overall, despite the interesting setting, everything else seems to fail to live up to expectations and fall short. Definitely not for those who want straightforward plots. Definitely not for those who would love their characters with more personality rather than being one dimensional. For those who want a bit of mindless action. And especially for those who love loli and robots. I doubt this series might get another season. I mean, since when have you heard of sci-fi series like this got a sequel? Looking at you Divine Gate… So while this series may not be a masterpiece, maybe sometimes what it takes to fix it (series that are following this format) is just a little whack to make everything right. But then you risk everything crumbling altogether like a domino effect and render it beyond repair. In this age of plenty, why repair? Throw it away and buy a new one! This means I would continue to watch similar sci-fi anime genres in the future…

%d bloggers like this: