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Kimagure Robot

Entry updated 18 October 2021. Tagged: TV.

Japanese animated webseries (2004; vt The Capricious Robot). Studio 4°C. Based on the stories of Shinichi Hoshi. Directors include Yasuhiro Aoki and Yasuyuki Shimizu. Voice cast comprises Toshiyuki Itakura (all male voices) and Megumi (all female voices). Ten two-minute episodes. Colour.

Sometime in the future, The Doctor – a partially Cyborged, slightly Mad Scientist – and his glamorous young assistant build Robots ...

Stories include: A millionaire's robot personal assistant who serves, seduces and attempts to kill him: he learns it "provides the ultimate in service: it will never let you get bored." Aliens invade, but mistake a robot for a human, beating a retreat when it proves impervious to their guns, chemical weapons and tickling. A Spaceship's cargo includes a plant which starts devouring the walls; the crew desperately unpack crates containing The Doctor's robots: most prove useless, but the nearly-human Superlative Robot – despite its first action being to urinate – does eventually save the day. When The Doctor uses his Evolution Robot to Uplift cats, their resulting civilization tells him they have built a statue of their benefactor: he is dismayed to find it is of the robot. A robo-bird, built to detect and put out fires, flies towards the Sun. UFOs invade, releasing a Kaiju as a test of humanity: we pass, and are rewarded with candy. Desiring the Nobel Prize, The Doctor invents a "Fountain of Youth" pill which he accidentally swallows, growing progressively younger (see Time in Reverse): to counteract the pill he builds a robot which speeds up time (see Time Distortion).

The brevity of the episodes means that the stories focus on set-up and then gag (see Humour), but most are entertaining. Having seven directors means that the animation styles are varied and – as is usually the case with Studio 4°C – interesting. Originally shown on Yahoo! Japan's portal, the original intention was to produce further series should these shorts prove successful. There were no further series. Whilst alive, Hoshi, a pioneer of Japanese sf, turned down any request to adapt his work; this Anime could be made only after his death. [SP]

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