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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Karandi James
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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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ID-0 First Impressions: Not for me

This one came out on Netflix over the weekend so I thought I’d check it out and maybe binge a couple of episodes. Then I got to the end of episode 1 and figured I had other things to do.

Impressions:

It should be pretty obvious that it was not love at first sight for me and ID-0. It isn’t that there is anything grievously wrong with it. My few complaints are either minor nit-picks or just personal taste issues mostly relating to the main characters shrill voice, the unexciting feel of the episode, the illogical design of the system being used to transfer their consciousness into a machine and some minor issues with some of the character designs and animation. None of these are actually indications that a show deserves an instant drop and if we weren’t about to launch into a new season of anime, I probably would stick this one out a bit longer. At some point I’ll likely go back and try it again when I’m in a slightly better mood as well.

id0b

But, this episode really didn’t do much for me. Stuff happened. Young and inexperienced girl gets dragged in over her head and then abandoned by her team who are apparently selling information illegally anyway. The end result of that being that her consciousness is trapped inside the machine she was in and her body is still on the ship and she can’t get back. Um…

Didn’t the ship back up their consciousness in case the machines got broken? And the other guys’ machines were smashed to little pieces and so they just woke up? So surely somewhere in their infinite wisdom, someone programmed the thing so if it got out of range is assumed the thing was destroyed and consciouness would be returned to the body? Right? No. Apparently not. Apparently you can just get stuck in a machine and your body, without you in it, can go off elsewhere.

I’m a fantasy fan so I’m used to premise’s that have holes in them but that seems like a technology killing issue. No one would ever use it if that could happen so easily.

id0c

Anyway, they do give us some back story on the protagonist. She’s an orphan, needs a scholarship, yada, yada, yep, usual deal. Again, not bad, just not interesting to me right at this point and time.

It is amazing how each issue isn’t that big on its own but the snowball effect was that overall this episode just fell pretty flat and even though I’d set up to binge watch (had snacks and everything), I passed on this in the end.

Oh yeah, there’s like space pirates and government groups and all sorts of other issues going on. Bit of a space battle (like 1980’s style with green lasers everywhere), and then episode ends.


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Iron Blooded Orphans Season 2 Series Review

Iron Blooded Orphans Episode 46

Overview:

Previously I reviewed season 1 of Iron Blooded Orphans so you can check that out here.

Season 2 pretty much picks up with Tekkadan trying to make it as a legitimate business but through various business and political maneuvers as well as some poor decision making we see our orphans going back into battle.

I reviewed this week to week so if you want to know my thoughts on individual episodes click here.

Review:

I’ve made no secret in the past that Gundam and I have a love/hate relationship. The first season of Iron Blooded Orphans was great. I really got into the characters because the orphans had some great chemistry (individual characters didn’t fare so well but as a group they were charming to watch face off against everything that stood in their way). So season 2 should have been fine.

orphans38

For the most part it is actually fine. The problem is that it doesn’t ever do anything more than fine. This is actually going to be a short review because if you’ve watched any Gundam show you know the basics of how they go anyway. And if you haven’t the Orphans is hardly the starting place even if it is fairly stand-alone.

Tekkadan is now established as a force to be reckoned with and realistically Orga should have been able to run the company legitimately with no further fuss. Yet this is Gundam and we have 25 episodes to fill, so let’s over-complicate things horribly with conspiracies within various organisations and hidden motives everywhere.

orphans44b

I guess the question really comes down to what did season 2 really accomplish?

Season 1 had a clear purpose. The orphans overthrew the company that had pretty much enslaved them and then used their skills to get Kudelia to earth so that she could help Mars not be totally exploited. It had drive all the way through. The villains were clear and their purpose was simple. Stop Kudelia. Some of them were trying to do that to keep the status quo, while others had personal profits on the line, but it was all very clear.

But season 2 loses this sharp focus as motives and goals fragment across multiple organisations. Even the orphans spend a lot of the first half flitting between possible goals before they throw in behind McGillis (which is a really stupid move) and we finally move toward the, at that point, inevitable tragic end.

orphans43

However, you don’t care about this conflict. Season 1 made you care because you wanted the orphans to find a place and you wanted Kudelia to succeed. In season 2, the orphans have a place but they end up over-reaching and lose it. You can’t even see Rustal Elion as an actual villain because basically he’s doing his job (using somewhat underhanded and unethical methods at times). But we don’t get a motive from him and he doesn’t seem overly personally invested in the conflict.

orphans36

So there’s no clear purpose, the conflict is pretty much pointless, and there’s no villain to really speak of (though plenty of despicable human beings if that’s enough for you). There’s also very little in the way of character development for our main cast. They learn a little but mostly are fixed where they were during season 1.

Orphans45

That doesn’t mean that there isn’t any thing going for this season. There are some spectacular space battles and lots of giant robots smashing each other into bits. Those who watch Gundam for the bang, crash, zwing sound effects will be really pleased. Plus, there’s a nice character death count by the end, though more of the orphans survived than I initially suspected would.

Orphans50c

Basically, I found season 2 watchable, but I wouldn’t really recommend it. It didn’t grab me the way season 1 did and while the end is satisfying enough, I’m still wondering exactly what the overall point of season 2 was supposed to be.


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Iron Blooded Orphans Episode 49

Review:

Orga’s death hits Tekkadan hard but Mikazuki actually takes some initiative, even if he is just using Orga’s words to rally the others followed by the blunt threat of violence. I’m not sure if this counts as development or not but it is more proactive than we have seen Mikazuki before.

Orphans49b

Spoilers below.

Someone finally killed McGillis. Seriously, that needed to happen episodes ago. He was a pathetic character and once his grand plan was revealed to be pretty much nothing his existence had become pretty superfluous. His death was fortunately not particularly grandiose nor did it have much impact on any of the events still in motion which is kind of the inconsequential death he deserved at that point.

Anyway, pretty much the guys from Tekkadan that we still actually know the names of are out buying time while everyone else hopefully escapes. Given Hush has already died and the others are well out-numbered I’m wondering what the final count will be next episode and whether or not the others will actually escape or if all of this is all for nothing.

Iron Blooded Orphans is available on AnimeLab.


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elDLIVE Episode 12

Review:

Amazingly enough we didn’t get any kind of twist. The spy was Vega. We do get an angsty reason why and in the end we save him but seriously for a season finale having the recently introduced character turn out to be a traitor and call that a wrap on the season is just kind of lazy.

Of course that’s a criticism I could extend across a lot of this. The suddenly being able to recruit aliens all around the world to take out DeMille’s ships is just a cheap throw away plot device because otherwise the heroes can’t get out of the fix they are in. But there’s no speech or negotiation scene. It’s just, hey, here’s an idea, and it’s all done. If it was that easy, why were the ships even a threat?

Additionally, the final fight between the space police and DeMille Junior is just so easy and over and done with too quickly. Playing the theme song and hitting us hard with guitar riffs doesn’t make it any more exciting. The only fight that had any punch to it was between Vega and Chuta and the outcome of that was so incredibly clear that it just didn’t feel worth it.

So I’ll write my full review of this show and sadly put it among the titles of shows that maybe could have been so much better than they ever were.

elDLIVE is available on Crunchyroll.


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elDLIVE Episode 11

Review:

There’s actually a half decent set-up in this episode with the villains demanding Chuta get handed over and the spy in elDLIVE (though it seems like it is obvious who that is unless they are just playing us). However, as always, elDLIVE decides to strangle itself by spending the first third of the episode on a random art museum excursion where the boys get all excited over pictures of naked girls and the girls get all offended. The other issue this episode is Chuta is back to being miserable. While I get he isn’t going to instantly be full of confidence, his bouts of self-doubt are really dragging this particular story down because they aren’t dealt with very well and he isn’t a sophisticated enough character for me to care about his insecurities. It just makes me want to slap him and tell him to get over himself. Plus, Dolough fading out just before revealing the name of the traitor is pretty lame though was completely expected at this point. Well, I guess we’ll find out how this crisis is resolved next week.

elDLIVE is available on Crunchyroll.


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