English Dub Review: RobiHachi “Merfolk on the End of the Pole”

The Life Aquatic with Robby Yarge

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

Yang flashes back to how Robby won his heart so long ago, specifically by giving him some snacks after asking for yet another loan. Also, his henchmen, Allo and Gras, get flashbacks about how they joined him.

Back in the main plot, Robby and Hatchi stop at the mostly ocean-based planet of Odwarla (which makes me crave a smoothie for some reason) and explore the amphibious tourist spots, including a first-fish, first-served seafood restaurant (basically that you eat what you catch off the side of the building). But once they’re done eating, they find they can’t pay their bill AND Robby collapses from illness apparently from eating something on Pluto. So, Hatchi and Ikku take jobs at the restaurant in order to pay for everything. Luck also comes Robby’s way as he runs into the hot nurse he briefly dated before her mob boss boyfriend tried to kill him. I mean it sounds like bad luck, but it’s definitely a KIND of luck.

Hatchi befriends one of his fishy co-workers who is looking to catch the Odwarla Oarfish, a rare catch that’s worth a lot of money, to get a real wedding ceremony for his wife. Robby also gets this idea from his hot nurse and so he and Hatchi plan to nab it for the cash. Regular fishing doesn’t cut it, so they whip out the Hizakuriger to head into the ocean depths…only to immediately take on water and needing to be rescued by Hatchi’s co-worker. Though good luck shines on them when the Oarfish hops out of their water-logged mech! This allows them to pay for the co-worker’s wedding, Hizakuriger’s repairs, the “special” rods the nurse scammed Robby on…basically they used it all up. Status Quo restored!

OUR TAKE

Much like the Hizakuriger this week, it seems this show is starting to crumple a bit under pressure. We’re finally outside of the solar system, so that means completely new planets that have to make their gimmicks up entirely from scratch. And our first foray into that IIIIIISSSSS…a pretty dull fish-person planet that’s pretty boring as a concept and as a plot. The only thing out of it that I ended up thinking was interesting was probably the idea of a restaurant where you have eat what you catch, which seems more trouble than it’s worth now that I think about it. Though even with that, the episode as a whole ends up being pretty disjointed and, even more damning, disposable.

Take the flashbacks to Yang and his henchmen for example. Do they have any impact on the episode other than to fill time? Well, sadly, no they do not, and if they’re trying to build tension for the eventual reunion of this weirdo and his one-sided crush, it doesn’t seem to be working. Then even in the main plot, there’s the subplots of Robby meeting his old flame and Hatchi meeting a guy who wants to get something for his wife, with both of them after the Odwarla Oarfish because of its rarity and worth.

My weird brain started piecing some possible connections together to make me think that the co-worker’s wife was going to end up being the hot nurse, meaning that Robby getting involved with her again would just piss off the guy and force him and Hatchi off the planet, just like when she was dating a mob boss that went after him then. Or they’d be in on the scam to get the two to pay through the nose to catch a fish that turned out to be not worth much at all. But it turned out those two were completely unrelated and everything just kinda worked out for everyone and nothing of importance really happened so…what was the point of this episode?

The benefits of having two leads so different in personality is that, if you split them up, you can put them in similar situations and see how their characters dictate how the situation will play out to both explore the setting and develop them a little bit more for later. Unfortunately, the most we really explore regarding Robby is that he’s still a horn-dog who is easily sold on scams and that Hatchi is a well meaning go-getter who will prioritize a new experience over common sense any time…which are both things we already knew full well about them. Maybe next time will get us out of the rut?

David Kaldor

Green Lynx (David Kaldor): Aimless 20-something given a paid outlet for his thoughts on cartoons. Fears being boring slightly more than being outright disliked.

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