Series Review – Straight Title Robot Anime

In a world where humanity has died out, robots continue the final orders of their past human masters and fight for supremacy. Unfortunately for non-combat robots, there isn’t really anything to do! Straight Title Robot anime follows 3 robots unequipped for combat as they attempt to find the secret of laughter and end the ongoing war.
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Straight Title Robot Anime (Chokkyuu Hyoudai Robot Anime: Straight Title) is a series of comedy shorts (13 minute episodes) by the same producer as gdgd fairies: Bouncy. I loved gdgd fairies which inspired me to check out this series.

Each episode features the 3 main characters, Fujii the maid robot, Katou the library robot, and Mori the industrial multi-purpose robot, as they look at different ways they can bring laughter to the world. Being robots who have had no exposure to humans, they can only try things out based on research and frequently misunderstand the different aspects of comedy. The main part of each episode involves the 3 robots looking at a different type of humour (for example, impressions or manzai humour), and trying to put it into practice based on their research notes. There’s also a section where they run a simulation on sharing a kind of joke with the combat robots, and a final section where they try to improvise a joke based on objects that could be found in a real human setting. In this final section, the voice actresses also appear to be improvising as they at times break character or start laughing, which the show explains as an error in their transmission owing to interference.
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Fujii is quite earnest, Katou is very driven, and Mori is the robot who tends to say ridiculous things with a straight face. You couldn’t really call Mori’s personality trait a dry sense of humour, both because the robots are stated to have no sense of humour, and also because she has no awareness that what she is saying is funny, it’s only funny to us as onlookers. It’s behaviour which resembles a dry sense of humour in another person or character though.

As you would probably know if you’ve ever tried to explain a joke to someone, breaking down humour and figuring out exactly what makes something funny is quite difficult. Comedy is possibly one of the most subjective genres in general, with people who like comedy often enjoying vastly different styles and perhaps finding some things which are intended to be humorous totally unamusing. The robots often fail miserably at creating laughter from their lack of understanding as they have no experience with humanity or jokes in action. I found it amusing to watch them struggle to figure out how a joke worked and often completely miss the point, with a rare moment I found truly hilarious.

straighttitlerobotanime04As the show is animated in MMD (Miku Miku Dance), the visuals have very simple 3D designs. The robot character models still manage to be cute though, and there’s some nice battle mecha, but in the action sequences, I think that the simple animation does fall a little short. During the main conversation-heavy segments of the series, the visuals are basic but effective.

straighttitlerobotanime05Overall, while this wasn’t a terrible show, especially considering the limitations of the visuals and format, I felt that it didn’t have the comic strength of a lot of other comedy shorts which I’ve seen. I don’t regret watching it, but I couldn’t see myself revisiting the series. Unless you’re really deep into watching comedy shorts or love very silly comedy and robot girls, it’s not a show which I’d recommend to others.

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