Thus, the aberration is expanded.
Steins;Gate revolved around travelling through time, while Robotics;Notes seems to revolve around slowing time. As we saw with the introduction in the last episode, there’s a blatant existence of a disease that explicitly slows your perception of time — Akiho seems to have it, while it’s implied that Kaito has a similar, albeit more controllable strain. Let’s split this review into three parts: the episodic plot, the character interactions, and the soundtrack.
This episode revolved around the Robo-1; it seems to be a relative aberration in a highly “technical” world. Consider it nitpicking, but the robots presented are relatively basic, incredibly rudimentary. They’re not especially complex, and they seem to be driven by basic mechanical options [on the contrary, our protagonists have phones, or gaming devices that do supersede modern day technology; current day technology parallels with the robots presented]. Our protagonist’s robot appears to be powered not by brute force [As seen by the first contender], nor by great technology [as seen by the finalist], but rather, by maneuverability, experience, and an anomalous trait. An agile body, followed by a flurry of accurate, pinpoint, otherwise weak strikes appeared to have carried their team to the victory. But rather than the specifics of the “fight”, the episode seemed to have used the competition as a plot device to introduce numerous developments [among the additions include the introduction of a new club member in a relatively “pragmatic” way, the further characterization of Akiho’s sister, the reveal of a new character, and more development onto the temporal aberration].
The character relationship between our primary characters was accentuated by both an emotional and a physical bond. The “temporal anomaly” as stated, seemed to have been an experience that involved the two of them; we can assume that Akiho’s the weaker one in terms of “handling” the aberration, while Kaito seems to have adapted it to “use” [not explicit as to if he uses it for video games; but, it is a distinct possibility — the exhaustion towards the end could have been not from a “new use” of the temporal anomaly, but rather, through continuous use from the previous battles]. Nevertheless, this is a wide assumption — it’s still incredibly ambiguous, the only thing that we can deduce “accurately” would be the involvement of Akiho’s sister in one way or another; there’s a shroud of interpretation not only revolving around her character, but between her character and Akiho. Nothing explicit about their past was given, we could assume that there was an “incident” that resulted in a disparity between the two in terms of relationship, but even this is circumstantial. But the relationship between Kaito and Akiho really was posited at its acme; when we see the two characters, we see this odd sense of familiarity. Not because of their “closeness” of being friends, but rather, by a more visceral feeling; Kaito seems to be extremely protective of Akiho although he won’t show it, and he seems to understand her character to the extents of predicting everything that she does do. In other words,there’s a ridiculously close bond between the two of them; it’s now more of a matter of their past actually being developed. It should be quite interesting to see the route that the adaptation does take, but I don’t think that it’ll transcend into being a love triangle. It’s not in the style of the novel to have such a familiar, yet different structure [Steins;Gate and Chaos;Head both revolved around the protagonist and the heroine, there shouldn’t be any changes to this; it also revolved around slice of life being attenuated by an underlayer of ambiguity].
The diverse soundtrack also makes an appearance — as said in the first episode, it has a ridiculously diverse soundtrack; each track can fit a number of situations, it was one of the earlier indicators of Robotics;Notes not being so heavily “slice of life.” Well fuck, not much to say, going “I should talk about the soundtrack” really made a lot more sense in my head…
Robotics;Notes is developing at a healthy pace; we’ll probably begin to experience more definitive developments. It is how Steins;Gate and Chaos;Head was structured; the most minute, idiosyncratic attributes of them resulted in importance later on. I’m designating the guy’s skill with his video games as one of those traits.