Robotics;Notes – 4

Presently, GunPro1 resides in an abandoned airport hangar, resting incomplete.  Through anyone’s eyes, the project is nothing more than an unfinished structure of welded steel in the shape of a torso crowned with a masked helmet.  But to the people who are at the heart of this project and those potentially linked with it, GunPro1 appears to be much more than it truly is.  Whether it is the manifestation of a lifetime of dreams, a rational and fully-functional giant robot, or an opportunity for unique corporate advertising, everyone associated with GunPro1 has their own, distinctive vision for this arising giant robot.  However, these conflicting interests and completing influences may ultimately keep this project grounded and forever incomplete.

Akhio’s vision for GunPro1 is to create a life-size replica of the Robot of Justice, Gunvarrel.  The intention of the project has always been to recreate Gunvarrel and its current state reflects this.  As it currently stands, GunPro1 is nearly complete in the frame and shape of the hero from everyone’s favorite mecha anime.  However, Akiho sees beyond these next steps and fantasizes about a robot that can perform not only the physical actions of Gunvarrel but that can inspire a whole generation to serve justice and reach for their dreams.  In order to realize this vision, Akiho needs to adhere to the strict guidelines set out by her favorite anime and construct her project in a nearly identical fashion.  Not only that, but the robot will need to function like Gunvarrel, meaning it will need to be rather nimble and flexible which is a challenging task considering the gargantuan size of the robot.  However, this is what she sees the end-product of GunPro1 to be and everything she does is to work toward her ambition.

Subaru, however, has a different vision for GunPro1 than Akiho and the entire history of robotics club members.  What Subaru sees for the GunPro1 is to create a robotic that is realistic and practical, one that reflects current robotic design and technologies.  Because of this vision, he finds a number of faults in the robot where Akiho doesn’t.  For one, Subaru wants to remove the internal cockpit and use a remote-control system to operate the robot.  Another is that he wants to remove the external armor, citing that the robot is too heavy to even walk.  Beyond that, I’m sure Subaru would enact a number of other changes, too, given his successful background at constructing and operating hobby robots and possessing a rather high intelligence.  What Subaru sees for this project is to create a robot as close to Gunvarrel as possible but to alter it in a way so that the robot is actually functional, even if that means changing it so that it doesn’t look or feel like Gunvarrel at all.  Obviously there is some conflict between the two current club members about what to do with GunPro1 due to how contradictory their visions for the project are.  However, Subaru sees GunPro1 as something of his own now, shared with Akiho and Kaito, and wants to complete the giant robot in the way he sees appropriate.

Beyond the club members who are actually constructing the project (Kai doesn’t get a paragraph because he’s too lazy), the people connected to the project have their own visions for it as well.  Club advisor, Mitsuhiko Nagafukada, sees the project as nothing more than a headache that will never end.  Vice Principal Usui sees GunPro1 as a heap of scrap metal and a sinkhole for the school’s money and student time.  Doc, known to most as Tetsuharu Fujita or the charitable owner of the robotics supplies store, Tanegashima Revive Junk, probably has a mixed opinion on the robot, seeing as he’s the major supplier for it but is hardly making any profit.  And keeping with the business side of things, Nagafukada’s uncle, Sumio, who happens to be the president of the space candy company, sees the robot as a potential space for advertising his products, so long as the robot becomes more marketable following his generous sponsorship.  That is to say, everyone who has any part in the project has their own vision for its completion so long as they take some part in it.  And who knows what Frau or Junna will want to do when they finally join the robotics club and help out with this unfinished giant robot.

The future of GunPro1 lies in the visions of everyone around it.  Each character has their own ambition to fulfill with this robot and their perspective dictates their actions and reactions to everything that happens with this robot.  Of course, being a team project, these visions are often in conflict with each other and require some compromise or resolution to allow the project to advance.  Because of the number of people joining the project, the original intention of creating a life-size replica of Gunvarrel might go through potential changes.  It shouldn’t be surprising as more people become associated with the project that they’ll add their thoughts in as well and influence the vision of others.  In fact, these visions are subject to change as the series progresses, too, that they are not static and inflexible.  Who knows what everyone will think about GunPro1 as more people get involved, the robot is further constructed, and people persuade or inspire each other to change their opinions for this project.  In the end, GunPro1 might be a combination of everyone’s vision or no one’s vision; it all depends on the perspective of the characters looking at it.

One thing I don’t get is how Kai missed Airi, the silver-haired girl whom he saw walking across the grass on his PokeCom.  I understand how it was shown to us, a focused shot on the PokeCom with Airi walking and then disappearing, and why it was shown to us like this, to give us a subtle hint on her presence without formally introducing her to the cast, but I still don’t get how it happened.  If you think about it from Kai’s perspective, he’s looking at the screen, as we were, his peripheral vision would’ve had a large enough visual field to notice no girl was there.  Try it like this: hold you cell phone about 1-2 feet from your face so that text is still readable.  Now consider all the visual space you have outside your focus.  Yeah, it’s pretty large and you’d be able to detect motion or the absence of motion despite your attention being placed on that tiny screen of yours.  So, yeah, not sure how Kai missed that and didn’t think to track Airi with his screen, but I guess it’s not her time to appear yet.

Also worth noting that, yes, both my first part and second part had to deal with ‘vision’.  Think that’s the first time both parts ever deal with a similar theme or topic in a post like this, despite the fact that one was literal and the other was figurative.  Still, it’s worth pointing out and having a quick laugh.

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  1. #1 by Joojoobees on November 4, 2012 - 8:21 AM

    This show still isn’t quite working for me. The only character I consider likable is Akiho. She has the passion necessary for a primary character; she has a dream for the future, she just doesn’t know how to effectively bring it to reality. Unfortunately Kai, the character with whom we spend the most time, is the biggest drag, as you indicate above.

    • #2 by avvesione on November 4, 2012 - 10:52 AM

      Yeah, Kai continues to act insensitive to everyone around him, which is unfortunate to see since we’re finally getting the history of him and Aki and it’s rather sweet and intimate. It is a bit disheartening to hear that the anime isn’t working for you, though as the cast balloons to accomidate Frau and Junna, I think things will improve since there’ll be further character interactions and perhaps more of a group/team dynamic forming where they work together and function as one.

      Still, Kai sucks as a friend.

  2. #3 by windyturnip on November 4, 2012 - 9:14 AM

    Airi doesn’t appear to be human, or at least she isn’t a normal human. Considering what the show is about, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was some sort of AI. That also explains why Kai couldn’t see her with his peripheral vision; she wasn’t physically there to begin with.

    • #4 by avvesione on November 4, 2012 - 11:00 AM

      Yeah, Airi isn’t human, so that’s why she only appeared on the PokeCom screen and not in Kai’s real world vision. However, what I meant by the peripheral vision is that he should’ve noticed that he couldn’t see her moving in the real world (there’d be that disconnect with motion on the screen but no motion outside of it) and only on his screen. If that’s the case, he should’ve realized what he was dealing with and he could’ve tracked her with the PokeCom screen by following her movements. Or, to put it simply, because she wasn’t visible to his peripheral vision, Kai should’ve continued to track her with the PokeCom screen, rather than looking away from it, puzzled, and then trying to track her.

      • #5 by windyturnip on November 4, 2012 - 1:14 PM

        I think you’re expecting a bit too much from him. As a viewer, we generally see things a bit differently than the characters we are watching so try and put yourself in his shoes. If I were him, I would probably brush it off as me just seeing things. I definitely wouldn’t reach the conclusion that some futuristic AI had hacked into my computer and was trying to communicate with me.

        • #6 by avvesione on November 4, 2012 - 1:46 PM

          I realize why we were shown the ending scene the way we did and why there was no formal meeting between the two; it isn’t the time nor the place for that the happen.

          However, in this world, these PokeCom screens are used to see things hidden in virtual space, like the advertisements that Akiho saw in Tokyo. Here, it’s the same principle with Kai seeing Airi with his PokeCom, but instead of using it to continue to look at her, he puts down his device and looks all around him like an idiot. And as I was saying earlier with the peripheral vision, if it were a human walking by, he would’ve seen her… instead, she isn’t human and only appeared on the screen, making me wonder why Kaito didn’t realize that and track her with his PokeCom.

          But yeah, you might be right about me expecting too much from Kai… he does seem a bit slow at times.

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