English Dub Review: RobiHachi “Traveling Companions; Journey to the Star”

Welcome to the World of Tomorrow!

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

Galactic Century 0051. Robby Yarge has had a pretty bad streak of poor luck ever since he moved out of his wealthy parents’ place to strike out on his own. First, he was a rancher, then got into a pyramid scheme, then accidentally dated a girl associated with the mafia, then he couldn’t cut it as an online writer, and so on. One mishap after another led him to be borrowing money from a loan shark, only for that money to be stolen right from under him. The money is saved by a passing stranger named Hatchi Kita, who is bored of the predictability of life until Robby’s backstory of unfortunate events and words about “getting off the beaten path” inspire him to rethink his views on life. The two part ways and Robby gets back to his latest get-rich-quick scheme: shrimp farming!…that immediately goes to shit like everything else.

Back at home, Robby bickers with his robo-roommate JPS-19, but now the loan shark, Yang, has his goons out to get their money back and among them…is Hatchi. No matter how much Robby pleads, Hatchi is as relentless as a T-800 and gives chase. However, as he goes running through his apartment, he comes across a room he’s never been in before. Turns out his apartment is actually an abandoned space ship called the Nagaya Voyager that’s been sitting around for decades. Turns out all that bad luck is about to reverse as he manages to get the dang thing to take off, much to the Yang Gang’s surprise, and the next stop is the much-acclaimed vacation spot Isekandar!

To Robby’s shock and chagrin, Hatchi is still on board and Yang’s men are still giving chase, but Hatchi agrees to help to go with his new “grab life by the horns” philosophy. And Robby’s luck isn’t going bad just yet, as the two find a pair of fighter jets in the ship’s hanger which also turn into a giant combining robot called Hizakuriger (with its own theme music!…and a goatee)!

OUR TAKE

We’re in the middle of the blooming Spring 2019 Anime Season and with that comes this new original hit that’s got the energy of Outlaw Star, the comedic chops of Space Dandy, and apparently Anime Phillip J. Fry from Futurama in the design of Robby. Well, I say Space Dandy, but this show’s claim to fame is actually in its director, Shinji Takamatsu, and him being a veteran of many comedy anime like School Rumble, Daily Lives of High School Boys, and Gintama (where RobiHachi seems to take a lot of its humor and sci-fi elements from). Though of the three, Gintama is actually the one I’ve seen the least of (which is kind of a shame because I hear it’s great), so I’m going in basically blind here.

And so far, based on this first episode, I’m pretty interested to see where things go. The animation is a bit too bland looking for me to get all that excited, but luckily the setup and characters are pulling me in. Based on things like the title, this first plot, and the ED/OP at the end, it looks like this series will focus on the double act of Robby and Hatchi (gee who would have guessed), with both their differing outlooks on life, the universe, and everything as they try to run for their lives from various insanity…with a giant combining robot because of course, you need to have a giant combining robot. And while I’m more of a Real Robot guy myself, a Super Robot parody like this might actually make for some good comedy. I never got around to watching Space Battleship Tiramisu, so maybe this will fill that hole.

Also, all throughout this episode there’s been hinting about this place called Isekandar, which sounds like a name for Alexander the Great, but also uses Kangaroos as its mascots, so maybe it’s Space Australia? Even without actually seeing it, we’re already getting a bunch of different opinions about it, from excitement about how awesome and luxurious it could be to cynicism and doubt that the place is even an iota as good as the ads say…which is probably the more realistic attitude to take. It could end up being a craphole with a good PR team or a vibrant and gorgeous city with an abundance of opportunity, or whatever lies in between. Guess we’ll see what’s going on with that next episode. Go, Space Broncos.

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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