English Dub Review: RobiHachi “Pique on Planet Pluto”

If it can be a planet, it can be a planet again. Planet! Planet planet-planet!

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

Hatchi does some research on the Hizakuriger show, specifically that it was really popular until mankind actually met real aliens. When those aliens didn’t match up with how the show wrote them, the popularity evaporated and it got the ax. Though apparently there was enough love for it that someone made a real working model of it, which somehow ended up on Robby’s dad’s ship. Before they can think on this, they’re struck by another ship in hyperspace with them and end up warping out in front of Pluto and needing to land to make repairs. Once there, they meet their attacker: Mr. Pluto and Miss Denshi, two disgraced mascots.

Or rather, the people wearing their costumes, the chief of the travel bureau on Pluto and his daughter…which is oddly similar to last week’s episode on Mars. Which they address, having seen those events broadcast and thinking Robby and Hatchi could help spice up Pluto’s tourism appeal. Seems they’re bitter about Pluto’s demotion to planetoid and hope to make a big resurgence…but were scammed by an agency and are stuck with a remote iceball and unpopular mascots. Robby tries his best to try looking for more accessible attractions, but eventually get pushback from the scamming agency, Dontsu, which have their own giant robot version of Mr. Pluto. Robby and Hatchi bring out Hizakuriger, leading to a showdown as the two metal behemoths slowly realize the other side has no real firepower. But our heroes have a spear, which is enough to beat them. Robby and Hatchi then make their escape.

Yang and his crew are hot on their trail, having just found the revamped, non-octopus themed Mars tourism.

OUR TAKE

Never thought I’d see Japan (likely unintentionally) ripping off a Rick and Morty episode from 2014, but it’s actually kind of hilarious that they did. I also wasn’t expecting a redo of last week’s episode about Mars tourism this soon, but it wasn’t that big a problem. I still have no idea what to expect about this show, so an accidental tourism improvement story would definitely fall into that batch of “not expecting this”. The next episode seems to be breaking that pattern however, so we’ll get to see how it fares with other types of stories.

What WAS expected was getting some much-needed info about Hizakuriger. Finding out it was based on a television show in that universe adds a bit of meta-humor, especially since “fifty years ago” in this universe and seeming far future still means everything was black and white like the original Astro Boy cartoon. It also makes an odd bit of sense that a die-hard fan would want a working model of it, not unlike the life-size model of two types of Gundams that have been on display in Japan lately. Piecing what we have together, it’s possible that Robby’s rich dad either commissioned it or bought it to be put on his ship that Robby stole.

And naturally, because it’s just a model for basically display services, it’s not going to work in combat, which leads to our “mech fight” that was more about having the best poker face about whose mech doesn’t work the least. I have to admit I found that impressive for comedy, but more in terms of cleverness than actual hilarity. It’s an odd feeling watching something that turns out to be more clever than funny since I’m definitely interested in seeing more but not exactly expecting to be laughing my ass off about it.

Also, some neat bit of cultural trivia! Turns out Hizakuriger gets its name from a Japanese “picaresque novel” from the early 1800’s about the misadventures of two travelers going to Edo, not unlike Robby and Hatchi’s misadventures traveling to Isekandar. I don’t think I’m going to do that much more research into that to find further enjoyment in this show, nor should I have to, but it’s neat that this has some basis in some notable early Japanese comics. Regardless, we have another solid but not exceptional installment, which is not going to be enough to keep me very invested if it keeps up like this much longer.

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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