RobiHachi Review Episode 9

Stealing Childhood Memories

RobiHachi Episode 9

Revisionist history, flash backs and forced memory retrieval… okay, this episode got more interesting than I originally expected. Instead of our usual opening we had a story about the first moon landing and alien contact, though this was an interesting portrayal of those events. Then Robi and Hachi land on an industrial planet where Robi’s ship apparently came from so they can get repairs.

What follows is that Robi learns quite a bit about his family, or seems to actually bother to think about them and realises a few things, and then he goes to the anime fan club that exists on the planet for the anime his grandfather apparently directed. Which seems fine until the crazy fans realise that Robi actually has seen the lost episode and they decide to forcibly extract it from his memory. That comes with a handful of side-effects but no problem.

As usual, this episode doesn’t take itself particularly seriously and despite the shady dealings going on it is difficult to imagine any real danger to anyone. The pursuit of a missing anime episode is a suitably ridiculous goal and the lengths the characters are going to suitably exaggerated. All and all it just kind of works even while it is pretty ridiculous.

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Also as usual, now that Robi and Hachi have visited the world they are blasting off on the next leg of their journey. I wonder if they will ever reach their destination or if Robi will ever actually pay off his debt? Though, honestly that would most definitely be the end of the adventure if it happened. I did start wondering what happened to Hachi’s storyline though. The characters that were pursuing him vanished and have been completely forgotten but I wonder if they’ll turn up before the end.

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RobiHachi Review Episodes 7 + 8

Amusement Parks and Robot Wars

RobiHachi episode 7 - The amusement park

RobiHachi Episode 7

Imagine a planet filled with bright, cute, lovely, happy things that obnoxiously shoved themselves into your face and then they banned any form of complaint speech? That sounds like my idea of a horrible place to spend time and clearly Robi agrees with me even if Hachi ends up skipping with joy. Yep, our characters land on a world that is more or less an amusement park full of singing and dancing flower people, rides, popcorn, and even a parade.

Oh no.

As usual, it is enjoyable to see Hachi take everything new in his stride. Whether he actually likes what is happening or whether he simply likes the novelty of something new to experience is still undetermined, but he throws himself into each experience with reckless abandon and the end result is usually entertaining. When contrasting Hachi’s you only live once attitude with Robi’s more jaded view, and the robot’s absolute frustration and you get an amusing situation where the characters bounce off each other nicely.

Hachi - Enjoying the amusement park - RobiHachi

They do take a moment to dive into a bit of Hachi’s past but like with most of the characterisation in this anime, it is a shallow dive. Mostly we see him playing alone and looking pretty miserable. It is kind of fun to see him so lost and alone when separated from Robi and how genuinely happy he is when Robi decides to just enjoy the parade with him.

Of course, we do need the silly chase sequence of the episode and Yang shows up during the parade chasing the two up to the castle. It is all just silliness and par for the course but again, fun enough. As is the robot letting off some steam once they get off the planet as he realises that he can complain again.

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RobiHachi Episode 8

From the amusement park to a planet run by mecha who enslave and look down on humans. RobiHachi continues to take us from planet to planet exploring the weird and wonderful (or bizarre and terrifying) features of the galaxy.

Robi and Hachi dancing in towels - RobiHachi

After facing discrimination in their human forms, Robi and Hachi board their transforming robot in order to get a delicious meal of clams. As usually happens, one thing leads to another and they end up recruited by a robot king to fight in a robot war, inspire the human slaves into a rebellion, before running away with an advanced payment to boot.

Throw Yang into the mix, riding a robot version of his own head and still trying to find Robi before he joins in the rebellion, and you have a colourful and entertaining episode of silliness to enjoy. While it seems at first like we might be getting a heavy handed anti-discrimination message, the story mostly reinforces that Robi learned practically nothing from the entire experience, and maybe that’s a message in itself.

The fights are incredibly over the top this week and the visuals are quite interesting particularly during the war. Otherwise, this is another average episode of an anime that remains entertaining but not great.

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RobiHachi Review Episode 6

Eels in Space

Episode 6

We’re continuing our space tourism trip and this time Robi and Hachi find themselves on a planet that’s about to have an eel festival. However, for the first time Yang and the others chasing Robi for his debt will actually be on the planet at the same time. Expect lots of food made from eel parts, various tourist activities and ultimately that Robi and Hachi are going to run away.

Hachi continues to be good value in this show as he embraces more or less whatever comes his way. Whether it is being chased by a giant eel, trying eel jelly, or taking a bath with an electric eel, it is very hard to bring him down. While episode 6 of RobiHachi chooses not to get into his choice not to access his money it remains a persistent plot point as Robi ends up entering an eel race in order to earn money for the next leg of the journey. Still, it will be interesting when the story finally does decide to deal with that issue.

On the other hand, Robi remains as straightforward as ever with his obsession with girls and having a good time and absolutely no plan for the future. As he’s chased by the debt collector he repeatedly says he will settle up on his return to earth but nothing he’s done in this series indicates he has any actual plan for accomplishing this. Just one hopeless dream that will probably fail as miserably as all of his past get-rich-quick schemes which are the reason he’s landed himself in this mess in the first place.

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Still, while the plot of this anime is pretty sparse, the overall episode remained entertaining with us jumping from one event to the next and enough of the jokes landing to keep it feeling light. It is all over the top and silly but the bright colours, fun back ground music, and entertaining characters are keeping this one floating along relatively well even if it isn’t doing anything particularly amazing.

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RobiHachi Review Episodes 4 + 5

There’s something fishy about the pacing here.

Hachi excited over fish - RobiHachi

Episode 4

Robi and Hachi’s journey this week was a little on the shallow side and I think they knew that. Interspersed with their journey we kept flashing back to the debt collector and his assistants getting a bit of backstory on Robi’s debt and how the other two came to work for the debt collector. The end result is workable but not exceptional.

There were two noteworthy character points revealed by the events this week. The first, is that the feeling that the debt collector was personally interested in Robi is firmly reinforced through the first flashback. We see the guileless Robi requesting yet another loan for an investment that is sure to payoff but before leaving he gifts the debt collector with a snack food. It’s a small moment but works quite well and just kind of confirms what was fairly clear about the debt collector’s intense focus on following Robi.

The other moment comes from Hachi. He seems to be operating as normal but his reaction when he finds out they are being followed is a little peculiar and once they arrive on the next planet he avoids paying for their food and takes on work instead. It seems he is aware that someone is tracking him through his purchases and he’s resolved to be a little more discreet. Whether that will make any difference in the long run is another story and we’re still not sure who it is that is following him (though I would strongly suspect it would be his family).

However, the episode as a whole was a little flatter than previous ones and the silliness of the fishing sequence and the attempt to use the robot to go underwater didn’t exactly land its mark. While I still enjoy the cast here and the colourful show is hardly boring, this episode wasn’t exactly the fun ride the previous three managed. Hopefully this isn’t a sign for where the rest of this series will go.

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Episode 5

Episode 5 of RobiHachi dove us straight into the absurd as they attempt the next leg of their journey only to be told they need travel permits. The only way to get a permit is to return to earth which neither one of them feels is acceptable and so they hang out in the hot springs while considering their next move.

I’m not entirely sure that the resolution at the end is satisfying but watching the two in the hot springs and tracking down the leader of the underworld to somehow get permits was entertaining enough.

One thing I do enjoy about this series is the heavy focus on food. Hachi not only reads food reviews and chooses restaurants that have ‘specialties’ he really just enjoys the act of eating. While Robi compares his style of travel to that of a girl, I don’t know that I necessarily agree, but I do think it would be pretty fun to travel with Hachi.

If anything was missing this episode it was probably the sense that these boys are being pursued given other than a brief scene at the beginning we don’t see the debt collector or the mysterious group following Hachi.

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RobiHachi Review Episodes 2 + 3

Ground Roots Space Tourism?

Episode 2

Want a giant robot that doesn’t have real weapons and then a visit to Mars where the people are octopuses only maybe they aren’t? This anime continues to be weirdly amusing even if the main conflict ended up being resolved by an incredibly heavy handed parody of the standard ‘be yourself’ message. I mean, they pushed that hard enough it almost went straight past parody and into the realm of not knowing whether or not they were actually being half serious.

Alright, so we pick up from last week with Robi and Hachi inside the transformed robot and bickering about who is the lower and who is the upper half. Somehow or another they escape, though when they tried to fire their weapon it just made a really bright light which seems a bit odd but is explained by the end of the episode. Then they run away but because of fuel issues they land on Mars which works in their favour.

The debt collector is really obsessed with getting Robi and is prepared to chase him to the ends of the galaxy and kind of figures where Robi intends to head and goes to head him off. What the debt collector didn’t count on was Robi having to make a stop so the end result is that for now at least Robi and Hachi have a bit of breathing room. I do find it interesting though that Hachi intends to follow through on his job of collecting the money from Robi even if he doesn’t appear to be in any rush to do that.

This one is really just easy, if bizarre, watching as Robi and Hachi do the tourist thing on Mars and weirdness follows. Hachi ends up arrested because he learns the secret about the octopus people and Robi goes on a date that takes a turn for the strange. Ultimately they meet back up and the episode ends with them heading off for what I guess will be their next random adventure and if the episode title is anything to go by we’ll end up on Pluto.

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Episode 3

Alright, from Mars to Pluto with the debt collectors a whole leg of the journey behind in RobiHachi this week. Now, neither Robi nor Hachi want to be on Pluto, however apparently they were so successful at helping out Mars tourism, the representatives of Pluto decided that forcing them to help with their PR was a great idea.

There’s a lot of silliness here involving old-time mascots, Robi’s general gullibility when it comes to girls and breasts, as well as a giant robot battle that essentially amounts to kids in a playground shouting their super-secret moves and counters at one another because no one is actually game to fight. As stupid as it all sounds, it actually works and ends up being pretty funny.

The favourite moment of the episode though has to go to the inhabitants of Pluto fiercely objecting to having Pluto downgraded from a planet to a planetoid and their argument that a day of the week should not be named after a moon but rather after Pluto. Either that or listening to the representative and his daughter try and list the actual appeals of Pluto which amount to not very much given it is a frozen hunk of space rock and in this case inhabited by the ugliest Penguin you ever did see.

What I do like is that despite the skit like nature of this anime where so far each episode has kind of had its set up and then finished it off, they keep making it clear where the journey is going next. At the end of this episode Robi and Hachi are about to leave the solar system and it turns out someone other than Robi’s debt collectors are tracking them. I’m betting it has something to do with Hachi given they were tracking his credit and we know Robi doesn’t have any, but I guess we’ll have to wait and find out who else is after them and why.

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RobiHachi Review Episode 1

What did I just watch?

Episode 1

Why hadn’t I heard about this anime? I mean, seriously, I had no idea this existed and I still don’t really have a clue what it is about despite watching the first episode but I know I want more of it. Even the MAL synopsis doesn’t really help in this case because it mostly just summarises the events that occur in episode 1.

However, what I do know is that despite being about a guy who is clearly naïve, gullible and completely reckless (so the kind of character I normally dislike immensely), I found Robi pretty charming as the lead. And then, pairing him off with Hachi, the straight character who finds life boring and predictable but wants to find something interesting, just works beautifully in this episode.

I do want to point out that visually this one is really striking and bright. It  isn’t beautiful by any means, but the bright colours and solid look to the whole thing just works for the kind of story being told. The character designs are interesting as well, though they might be pushing Hachi’s lack of interesting things a little too far with his look. On the other end of the spectrum the debt collector is probably incredibly over-designed to scream knock-off villain.

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Really though, I just had fun with this. Comedy isn’t usually something I get into but episode one of RobiHachi left me smiling and wanting more. There were a couple of moments where I just had to stare at it and wonder if they had just done something, particularly at the end where the two fighter jets (that kind of come from nowhere) merge into a giant robot like a 1980’s cartoon. It was just so ludicrous and yet at that point you kind of expected something along those lines because it just felt like that kind of show.

So, fun characters, good pace in the episode, no clue at all where it plans to go, but so far entertaining, while I had no expectations going in, literally didn’t have a clue what I was about to watch, this one is going onto my watch list.

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