So, apparently, the world blew up. But don’t worry, because that can all be rebuilt…WITH GEARS! Somehow, and rest assured the show does not want to bother for a second to explain how – a skilled clockmaker managed to make an entire damn planet solely out of gears, and now everyone lives on it in cities that are also made almost entirely of gears.
On Planet Steampunk lives a young boy named Naoto, who is obsessed with clocks and gears. One day a clockwork girl falls out of the sky and crashes through his roof – supposedly she was accidentally dropped by some Important People and she was intended to be delivered elsewhere. She isn’t working because one of the gears inside her is jammed, but he manages to activate her by fixing this.
Strange tremors end up destroying his house completely and alerting the afforementioned Higher Ups (which by the way includes a girl who looks 12) who realize that, amazingly, a planet made out of goddamn gears isn’t that stable and parts of it are apparently self-destructing. They want to save the part known as ‘Kyoto Grid’, but another group of people don’t seem to want to let them.
Okay so here’s the deal. I really, really hate Steampunk. Like a whole lot. It just sucks. All the gears stuck in places they shouldn’t be just looks dumb as hell. It’s an obnoxious and woefully unoriginal aesthetic that just wont seem to die, although it’s popularity in the west did seem to finally be waning. However, Japan was a little late to the Steampunk party and it’s still currently in full swing here, which means I have to deal with this irritating fad twice. Enough about my personal pre-grudge about this series (although I can tell you as soon as it showed the picture of the planet fucking made out of gears I actually had to pause it and yell about it over skype because what the hell), because just in case any of you think that I’m obviously biased and this series actually doesn’t really suck, I am 100% positive that even if Steampunk was my favourite thing in the entire world this show would still be a giant turd on a stick.
For one thing, if there’s one thing more aggravating than Steampunk, it’s incredibly lazy Steampunk. The clockwork planet itself consists of buildings which are honestly all pretty ordinary, except they have random gears glued all over them. 99% of these gears serve no purpose whatsoever. Hell, look at that screencap. There seems to be one floating in the air. To be honest, it’s not 100% steampunk given that there is no steam – and also because all the characters look like they were lifted from any other anime based on a light novel rather than looking like cliche steampunk characters with goggles and random cogs on their hats (I’ll let you decide which is worse), but the ridiculous aesthetic of the show feels, 100%, like some guy saying ‘hey fellow kids! I heard that there punky steam is cool right now, how’s this then? You kids like gears right? Well I got plenty of em, take a look! This planets literally made of them! Look at these buildings! Hell I stuck some gears on this car for no reason too!’ If I was a steampunk fan I’d actually feel kinda insulted by this. Everything about it stinks of trying to exploit a fad without bothering to even try to explore why that fad might be popular with those who like it.
But there’s non gear-related reasons to hate this show aplenty, and most of them are the completely unlikeable cast of characters. Naoto is an annoying protagonist whose entire personality is GOLLY GOSH I SURE LOVE GEARS, the automaton girl is the generic magical/mechanical girfriend who falls from the sky and is completely devoted in servitude to the protagonist (more on that in a bit), although she does insult him at every turn which is probably intended to be funny but isn’t, and whatsherface from the Meisters guild or whatever the hell (the ‘Higher Ups’) is the ‘genius girl who looks 12 and acts like its other people’s fault if they see her naked when it’s actually her’s’. I have no idea how that last girl gets involved with the first two – the episode actually opens with them fighting a bunch of robots before rewinding us back to before that happened (and holy shit I wish so many anime would stop doing this because it very rarely happens in a good show, and if they’re seriously trying to grab my attention by opening with a flashy battle it fails because it’s the same thing a million other shows do) and nor do I care because I am never going to voluntarily subject myself to any more of this garbage.
The worst scene in the entire episode, by far, happens when the automaton girl gets Naoto to ”imprint” on her so that he can be registered as her master and her his obedient servant, and she does this by felating his finger. Now, I’m not just trying to be funny here. I don’t mean ”hyuk hyuk she sucks his finger and it looks kinda lewd”. I mean she fuckin goes to town on his finger in a way deliberately flamed so that it looks like a blowjob, and the entire scene – from her head movement to how she takes her mouth off his finger in an explosion of saliva (why does a clockwork robot have saliva), is the most meticulously animated segment in the entire run-time of the episode. And did I mention Naoto looks about 11-12 tops?
In summary, I feel like this show was made to piss me off specifically.