RobiHachi (ロビハチ) is an original seinen, satirical, science-fiction anime series from Studio Comet with direction from Shinji Takamatsu about two men living in a futuristic universe where they meet in a city called Neo Tokyo. The first is Robby Yarge, who seems to be cursed with bad luck regarding business ventures and women, and who is determined to find a means to live a comfortable existence without exerting any real effort. The second is a younger dude named Hachi who is sick and tired of the predictability of life thanks to the current technological advances, making him feel bored out of his mind. One day when Robby is mugged, Hachi saves his stuff and gets a brief lesson on breaking the mould of routine. They part ways and then meet again due to unusual circumstances that will eventually throw them together once more on a weird arse journey towards happiness.
I honestly don’t know what to say about this anime. When I checked out the previews for it, my interest was peaked due to the science-fiction elements and the pleasing animation. However, I never expected that it would turn out to be a work of satire of sorts on the sci-fi, space opera genre within the medium. This will be a major hit or a major miss for many anime watchers out there, and it seems like it is veering towards the latter half. With that said, I think I’m going to enjoy this immensely due to the sheer what-the-fuck moments it tends to toss out (aka the train wreck that it is).
My very first impression of RobiHachi occurred when Hachi arrived a couple of minutes into the pilot. He looks like the lovechild of Enokida from Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens and Art from Hamatora. Since I liked Enokida and adored Art, I knew immediately that he was going to be my new obsession as far this series was concerned. Then I learned more about his loathing for being bored and that infatuation was sealed in tightly.
Robby is someone with whom I shall have a love/hate relationship with. He is a guy who wants to make a shite ton of money hella fast so that he has a carefree life without putting in an ounce of effort, at least nothing more than the bare minimum. He’s also stupid in an obvious maybe-this-is-too-apparent kind of sense. It can be annoying at times, and not so bad the rest of the time, but I do believe that it shall get old quickly either way (if it keeps going the route it did in the pilot). Most of the humour also stems from Robby and that humour can be so cringey. He uses puns that are akin to Dad Jokes and his idiocy can come off as rather forced. Nevertheless, he does occasionally spit out words of wisdom in the most (ironically) common sense manner that can also make him feel slightly charming.
The third character I want to mention briefly is Ikku (JPS-19), who is the fantastically snarky rabbit robot that isn’t afraid to speak his mind. He made me laugh the most and he’s also the cutest and most adorable out of anything else in the bleeding show.
RobiHachi’s animation quality is vibrant and does an excellent job of highlighting the hustle-and-bustle of a port town as it pertains to galactic travel and technology. I enjoyed the neon signs and the fact that there is a burger joint called the Space Potato. I also like the character designs such as the funky ombre colour of the MCs’ hair. There is one other main character, who may be the antagonist, that is all kinds of flamboyant. I won’t be sharing a picture of him because to see him make an entrance is a special kind of experience, let me tell you. Animation-wise my only complaint is the use of 3D as it’s not that smooth. It has that classic awkwardness that tends to sprout up as one flips between hand-drawn and computer-generated. The music is a combination of Jazz and dance with a splash of techno or funk tossed in depending on the scene and situation.
Overall, it sort of has everything that could be associated with a great fun science-fiction series that doesn’t take itself too seriously. But then as the plot unfolds, we are introduced to this thing (see screenshot below). I won’t mention what it is—although you can probably guess—or what transpired to make it appear. All I will say was that it was by far the most interesting WTF moment the episode presented thus far. A small part of me is screaming to drop and run, yet there is this other part that is morbidly curious to see whether it will get worse or better, and if it is indeed going to be worse, how much worse?
I walked away from RobiHachi feeling that it’s a series for people who aren’t dismayed by mindless, somewhat tasteless and tacky romps within the sci-fi genre. If I could compare it to another anime out there, I would say it’s a mutation of Space Dandy and Cowboy Bebop with a tiny, itty bit of Macross. Other viewers have referred to it as a “funny Outlaw Star,” but since I haven’t seen that, I can’t comment on it one way or another from my own experience. The quality definitely won’t be on the same level as the shows mentioned, but the narrative and the attempts at comic relief do feel reminiscent of them. As it stands, I do plan on seeing what the bloody hell these doofuses shall be doing in episode two, with the plan to take it simply week-by-week without much expectation.
You can watch RobiHachi on Funimation on Mondays, where it’s currently simulcasting.