Entry updated 4 April 2022. Tagged: TV.
Japanese/US Anime online series (2021). CGCG Studio Inc., Qubic Pictures. Created by Justin Leach. Directed by Yasuhiro Irie. Written by Kimiko Ueno. Voice cast includes Kyōko Hikami, Kentarō Itō, Yūko Kaida, Marika Kouno, Yūki Kuwahara and Kōichi Yamadera. Four 25-minute episodes. Colour.
We open with JustinRobotics' Code of Ethics (a variation on the Laws of Robotics), which says developers must only create Robots to support, not harm, humans; the robots must cooperate with each other; and if a robot cannot do either, developers should cease their functions. Though "humans disappeared from the Earth 1,000 years ago", two robots, A37 (Hikami) and E92 (Itō), picking apples for biofuel (see Power Sources) near the City of Eden Three, discover a pod inside which is a baby girl named Sara Grace. There is a cult believing that robots were created by humans; if caught, its members are reprogrammed (see Memory Edit), because humans are considered harmful. Thus the pair know they should report the baby to the security guards, but they decide to keep Sara secret and care for her. Learning of a haven in the desert for robots who cannot assimilate into Eden Three society, they make their way there.
At the haven Sara (Kouno) grows into a reckless teenager who discovers a derelict Mecha; whilst inside she hears a plea for help. Believing it sent by a human in Eden Three she goes to find them: in the city's Underground levels she discovers the sender of the message, Zurich (Kuwahara), an AI that controls Eden One, a structure storing 34,998 Cryogenically frozen humans. They should have been woken long ago and the system can barely keep them alive; a human needs to utter an unknown password that will authorize the AI to awaken them. There had been 35,000 humans stored, but two were revived – Sara and a Dr Weston Fields (Yamadera).
Leaving the city, Sara meets up with A37 and E92; they follow a passing dog-like robot to a ruined house named Eden Zero; once within the dog plays them a 400 year old recording of Fields. However, they are captured and taken to Zero (Yamadera), the leader of Eden Three, who declares: "Humans destroy the world, they are evil ... they get in the way of creating a perfect world." Her robot parents are reprogrammed, but Sara escapes since the Code of Ethics hinders the security robots. Back at Eden Zero the dog shows her another recording, where Fields instructs his AI, Geneva (Kaida), to ensure all his human memories are deleted when they "transplant his neural network to the robot" (see Upload), Zurich says they are unable to do this, but can encrypt them to make them inaccessible. Having realized Fields is Zero, Sara learns his sad backstory – the death of his beloved wife and, later, daughter (the dog being her pet), whilst millions die from a man-made environmental Disaster and the resulting World War VII (see World War Three and Optimism and Pessimism). The viewer then sees him waking in 3071, supposedly to revive the frozen; but finding a Pastoral Earth restored by the robots, he decides that nature is best protected by the absence of humanity.
Back in the present, Zero activates the Demolition Robot, a giant mecha, to kill Sara and her robot supporters. With Zurich's help, Sara reactivates the other giant mecha she had found earlier: though the mecha briefly fight, Sara wins by playing a recording of Fields's daughter, which gets through Zero's memory encryption. Zero ends up saving Sara's life at the cost of being crushed, but manages to reveal the password – or rather, passwords: the Code of Ethics. Humanity is revived; Fields's neural network is transferred to the robot dog and Sara is reunited with the reprogrammed, Amnesiac A37 and E92.
Four episodes is too short a time to tell the amount of plot provided: as a result, events rush by, with character development and world building relying on over-familiar tropes (see Clichés); for example, after we are shown how lovable Fields's daughter is, she begins coughing and we know her fate is sealed. The animation is very good and the story unfolds agreeably; despite the flaws, this is an enjoyable series but one which, with more room, might have been impressive. [SP]
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