Robotics;Notes – 3

Though the robots were miniature, the foreshadowing from this fighting tournament is huge considering the implications we can apply to the future of Robotics;Notes.  Though Tanegashimachine-3S could fit nicely within the pupil of GunPro1, the giant robot at the heart of this anime, witnessing its controls, kinetics, and performance for the first time gives us an excellent idea of what to expect from GunPro1 when it is complete and ready for action.  That is to say, though there may be elements of fantasy and fiction sprinkled throughout, we can expect the robots to behave as realistically or as physically-appropriate as possible.

Seeing as Robotics;Notes is an anime about a giant robot, the physics of said robot is topic of somewhat interest or slight concern.  With many giant robot anime franchises, the robots behave with no regard to physics, completely ignoring inertia, momentum, the other transitive properties of matter and mass.  And with that, we have completely fictional robots that barely obey the laws of physics and choose to follow the laws of cool.  Robotics;Notes is not completely accurate when it comes to its model of physics and there are certain to be scenes where it is taken for liberty, but what these initial robot battles have showed us is that Robotics;Notes intents to be accurate with its depiction of physics and not present to us an anime about magical giant robots that only adhere to the laws of physics whenever it looks awesome (which is never).

This opinion on robot physics is based on the observations made during the Robo-One fighting tournament that this episode centered around.  Perhaps the most notable is that the rules for the tournament are based on knocking your opponent down a few times or forcing them to leave the battle arena.  What this tell us is that it is common knowledge or understood that these robots are unstable, that their balance can easily be disrupted by a moderate change in its center of gravity, and that they will easily fall over when presented with this trivial challenge.  In fact, the purpose of this tournament is more to show how steady and structured your robot is than how good of a fighter it is.  Kai immediately detected this flaw with the first robot he faced and used its instability to his advantage.  Hearing this and acknowledging this fact means we can probably apply it to GunPro1 which towers over all the other robots and humans seen in this series thus far.  What this also means is that there is likely to be considerable problems with the balance of GunPro1, seeing as how much larger and lanky it is than these hobby robots.  It wouldn’t be surprising to see Akiho and friends run into these problems later on in the series considering that the giant robot has an impractical humanoid-shape.

The next set of evidence to support this idea is based on the actual movement and actions of the robots in this tournament.  What we saw from the Tanegashimachine-3S battles were primarily accurate representations of physics.  The hobby robot was able to make side-steps in a rigid and step-wise manner, one that combined different motions together to ensure that it would move laterally while remaining balanced.  Its attacks and evasion maneuvers also followed this pattern.  Virtually every movement it made was the result of a predefined set of motions to allow the robot to successfully complete its action without losing its balance or setting itself up for a fall.  This is promising for the future since we can expect GunPro1 to have a similar set of motion patterns when it is complete.  The most practical and realistic way for this giant robot to move will be to use sets of motions together to complete complex movements, rather than a system where each extremity, limb, and torso is somehow controlled by the pilot.  However, for this system to work, there will need to be substantial compensation considering its size, weight, base, and elevated center of gravity are vastly different than Tanegashimachine.  Though there may be some degree of fantasy employed to some of its movements in the future, depending on the situation and environment, it is feasible to see GunPro1 move in this realistic fashion.

And to expand on that last point, another significant piece of evidence for the realistic kinetics of robots is how nothing seems exaggerated.  Okay, fine, that whole slow-mo scene was a bit over-the-top, but that had nothing to do with the physics of the robot besides calling into question how responsive and quick it is compared to Kai’s commands.  But all the other motions and movements of the robots were modest when compared to other robots we’ve seen which fly around, jump, shoot rifles, and just blatantly disregard the laws of the universe.  Instead, what we watched is a robot that moved and behaved like an athletic human.  Though one might call into question some of the running and dodging employed by the robots in this episode, there was nothing completely unrealistic about it.  The fact that none of the scenes showed the robot do anything deliberately unrealistic or impractical is an encouraging sign for the rest of the anime.  While I do expect there to be some scenes in the future where the laws of physics are ignored (for whatever reason), I expect the anime to stay faithful to its dedication to authentic, realistic movement and not lend itself to be all fantasy and whatnot when GunPro1 is complete.

Considering what we saw in this episode, evaluating how the robots performed in this well-attended fighting tournament, I believe we have a great idea of what to expect from Robotics;Notes when GunPro1 is complete in regards to its physics.  Even though this is a giant robot we’re talking about, we can safely assume that Robotics;Notes will do its best to remain as true and accurate to physics as possible.  After seeing how much detail and thought was placed into the movement and actions of the hobby robots, we should feel encouraged that the series will do the same, if not better, for the giant robots of this anime.  Of course, there will be times when the laws of physics will be bent to fit the current events of the story but we can expect it to remain as realistic as possible throughout.  And considering this amount of effort and devotion, this is a huge positive for Robotics;Notes moving forward.

You know, blackmailing your friends is probably not the best way to get them to join your club… but when it’s your only chance, I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.  Considering how opposed to the Robotics Club as Subaru was prior to joining it, I question how he will impact the construction of GunPro1 and how he’ll treat Aki and Kai.  At first glance, it doesn’t look good, especially considering how lazy Kai is and how passionate Aki is.  What I can see is Subaru distancing himself from Aki, so he doesn’t have to deal with her enthusiasms, and complaining about how lazy Kai is even though he won’t do any work himself.  It will take something considerable to get him to change and to work on the robot with as much heart and soul he did for the Robo-One tournament.  Yeah, seems like getting him to join was the easy part.  Getting him to be an active part of the GunPro1 construction project will be even harder.  And judging from Aki’s success with Kai… it doesn’t look good.

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  1. #1 by Joojoobees on October 29, 2012 - 3:05 AM

    I really wouldn’t mind an entire series based on these “hobby robots”. The high school I went to takes part in the Robo-One tournament (unfortunately, it started long after I graduated). I think there is a lot of potential for drama in the project / robot-building part, as well as the actual tournament. I think something pretty cool can be done.

    I certainly hope you are right that this was a taste of the direction they will go when it comes to the giant robot.

    I think the key for the club is going to be the girl that was introduced at the very end. She obviously has a work ethic, and I can only assume that she has joined the school because she wants to get involved with the club. That changes the dynamic you describe above, although I agree that blackmail is unlikely to generate good results on its own.

    • #2 by avvesione on November 4, 2012 - 10:26 AM

      I believe the hobby robots will continue to play a role in R;N, though at a small capacity than GunPro1. I figure once the tournaments and fighting are over, they’ll use the Tanegashimachine-3S as a model for which to base GunPro1 off of, or something to that degree.

      Yeah, I do believe Frau will certainly help, especially programming the robot to function properly since she has a firm understanding of programming and robotics given her background. Wouldn’t be surprised to see everyone come to terms at some point or another over the project, though, given how everyone has such a diverse background when it comes to robotics and what they can do for this project.

  2. #3 by bobbobsters on October 29, 2012 - 5:00 AM

    All I can say at this point is: GIANT QWOP ROBOTS

    • #4 by avvesione on November 4, 2012 - 10:26 AM

      Oh, the horror!! The horror!!

      Actually, that’d make for a pretty funny montage of Kai trying to learn how to pilot it and crashing every few seconds or something.

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