Blu-ray Review: Robotics Notes – Part 2

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With Robotic Notes – Part 2 now available on Blu-ray and DVD we’ve decided to ‘dip-in’ to see what viewers can expect from the series and it’s release, so without further-a-do here is a spoiler-free review of Robotics Notes – Part 2; a review which focuses more on the disc content than the series itself.

Synopsis:

Kaito, Akiho, and the rest of the Robot Research Club have finally completed their dream of building a giant robot, only to discover they’ve still got a ton of work to do. As they draw up plans for a new model, strange things start happening around them. A robot uprising wreaks havoc in Tokyo, a network-based AI crosses over into the real world, and the Kimijima reports foretell of an impending apocalypse.

Our View:

Robotics Notes – Part 2 continues to evolve the overall story into unprecedented areas and while we may be presented with two different storylines, such as the truth surrounding the Kimijima Reports and the continuing development on Gun-Build 2, it all comes full swing to provide a climatic, but abrupt, conclusion to a rather well executed series. Is this a bad thing, not entirely, I just wish we saw more of the events that transpired after the ending for some better closure.

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Let’s go back slightly; Robotics Notes- Part 2 contains the second half of the series, namely episodes 12 to 22, whereby we witness the Tanegashima High School Robotics Club, along with their new formed partnership with JAXA, create GunBuild-2; a lighter more portable version of GunBuild that will be shown off at the upcoming Tokyo Expo. Amusingly while the Robotics Club members, namely Akiho, Subaru and Junna, are working on the project, Kai, along with some help from Frau, find themselves attempting to uncover all of the mysterious Kimjima Reports; which causes some hefty repercussions for the entire group.

The balance between ‘seriousness’ and ‘fun’ is painfully obvious, as whenever Kai is searching for the Kimjima Reports it becomes a dangerous hunt to uncover a ‘potential’ leathal piece of history-come-predication, whereas when Kai is with the Robotics Club its all about having a good time with friends and showing off their hard-work to the world. Ultimately both of these storyline types blend together towards the end, whereby the world they once knew comes crashing to a halt and the only people capable of stopping the unforseen enemy is the Robotics Club and GunBuild-1.

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What started as a simple ‘mystery’ becomes a full-fledged war; the tone and pace are completely different to that of the first half of the series and it offers something more on par with a Gundam series rather than an after-school past-time. Don’t be put off though, this is still the ‘robotics notes’ you’ve come to enjoy; it’s just a lot more serious and potentially life-changing for our main group of protagonists.

Extras:

As of late FUNimation produced shows have been quite ‘generous’ with the amount of bonus content and this UK Release of Robotics Notes – Part 2 is no exception, as included are a wealth of episode commentaries, textless songs and more importantly the second half of the Science Adventure Series.

Disc 1:

  • Episode 15 English Cast Commentary

Disc 2:

  • Science Adventure Series Interview – Part 2
  • Episode 22 English Cast Commentary
  • Textless Opening Song
  • Textless Closing Song
  • US Trailer

The Episode 15 English Cast Commentary sees Apphia Yu (voice of Airi) and Clifford Captain (voice of Kaito) discussing how they received their roles within the Robotics Notes series; additionally Clifford also shares his experience with working with Apphia in a previous dubbing project. As you’d expect both voice actors discuss their experiences within dubbing the series and their thoughts of the show itself. The The Episode 22 English Cast Commentary on the other hand sees Joel McDonald (ADR Director) and Eric Vale (voice of Kimijima) discuss what it was like writing dialogue for anime in general while Eric Vale (amusingly) promotes his own youtube channel.

Interestingly enough both audio commentaries are quite interesting to listen to and are far superior then previous audio commentaries released. Of course the main ‘bonus material highlight’ is the   Science Adventure Series Interview – Part 2 segment; an interview which sees Joel McDonald (ADR Director), J. Michael Tatum (Voice actor) and John Burgmeier (head writer) dwell further into the Steins Gate and Robotic Notes universe(s), such as the relationship between the two main characters and the mecha used within the series.

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Both the cast commentaries and science adventure interviews are worth checking out, especially if you are interested in the production of the series, as it takes a closer look into both aspects; production of the series (Japanese-wise) and dubbing of the series (English-voice-over-wise). Of course to round out the list of bonus content we have the inclusion of Textless opening and closing songs as well as the original US Trailer for this second half.

Specs:

Media: BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 3:06:57 (Disc 1), 1:09:36 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English) & Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Robotics Notes – Part 2 sees the story continue from where the first part left off; with Kai gathering the Kimjima Reports and the Robotics Club attempting to build their second incarnation of GunBuild-2. For the most part this is where the story stays, however looming in the shadows is danger that’s just waiting for the perfect moment to strike and once it does our protagonists best be ready, as the source of it all is closer to home than they might have initially thought.

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Robotics Notes – Part 2 offers a lot to talk about and it will require viewers to pay attention; but unfortunately without spoiling most of these juicy details we can’t discuss them. But what will say is that viewers will be treated to one impressively detailed conspiracy theory that just gets better with each passing episode, at which point the series evolves into a parody of Gundam whereby only the children can protect the earth from total destruction.

In regards to this Blu-ray release by Manga Entertainment UK then once again their isn’t really much to say, the visual(and audio) quality is superb and the subtitles are, as far as i can work out, perfectly accurate – however what I can say is that the subtitles are ‘locked’ to the Japanese audio and the only way to change between audio languages is via the pop-menu.

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Overall Robotic Notes – Part 2 was an absolute pleasure to watch from start to finish and is easily one of those sets you can spend an entire afternoon watching; it’s got a bit of everything which what makes it so entertaining to watch – Put bluntly this is a series you must own; especially on Blu-ray!

Score: review-stars-5

Robotics Notes – Part 2 is now available on DVD and Blu-ray within the UK.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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