TV anime Atom the Beginning's teaser visual (c)手塚プロダクション・ゆうきまさみ・カサハラテツロー・HERO'S／アトム ザ・ビギニング製作委員会
In Episode 5 of Atom the Beginning, Tenma and Ochanomizu saw their most precious experiment react in a way that proves the validity of their AI system. We all know that Bewusstsein is going to be a success, but the way A106 reacted to the situation can be interpreted in two ways: one that reaffirms Ochanomizu’s hopes for a new form of life that can co-exist with humans, and the other Tenma’s aspirations of creating the perfect tool.
But in the end, as Kensaku said, ‘He protected us all.’ Step on it, A106!
Japanese Title: 激走マルヒゲ運送
USB X: By now everyone in the world has at least one device that charges and interacts with other devices using the Universal Serial Bus, or USB for short. I love convenience when it’s not coupled with security or privacy concerns and having one cable to rule them all is one of the reasons that I don’t have any Apple devices.
Boxes: A106 is an amazing robot, and if you follow the robotics scene closely, you’d already know that while AI like Bewusstein are not that close, robots that will relieve us from heavy box duty are a close reality. The moving scene had a good flow with Kensaku’s insistence to take a few boxes adding to the comedy.
At last, Atom the Beginning showed us what it’s really capable of. I really liked all the episodes until now, but Episode 5 mixed the action and the humor in a consistent flow that felt exciting. And at last we get more hints on the plot.
That SD card from Episode 4? It turns out that it’s the key to controlling all the traffic robots of the city. A rebel-terrorist-freedom fighter, member of an anti-robot group that shares Kensaku’s belief that humanity lost something precious by relying to technology so much, wants to prove that technology is not so reliable after all, and the best way to show that is by disrupting the traffic and driving an automated heavy truck to go straight for the packed vehicles.
Tenma and Ochanomizu are taking advantage of their part-time job with Maruhige Co. to stop the automated track and save the day. Yet, A106 doesn’t go straight into his heroic deed. By having the robot in danger of getting the virus, the episode has us doubting if A106 is really acting out on his free robot will or he was instead hijacked by the virus.
Also, the romantic bits about Momoko and Hiroshi were so cute. It is now evident that the feelings are mutual and I do want to see them together (am I shipping here? Omg, I am shipping).
Themes & Trivia
Technology: Just like the power-assisting armor we saw in one of the past episodes of Spring 2017 anime Sakura Quest, technology can indeed make our lives easier. It can speed things up and save us from troublesome and tiresome activities like moving boxes. The problem with having more time in our hands is the way we choose to use it. Many people that operate in constant greed mode will push their productivity to inhuman levels and will demand the same of their subordinates. In a gruesome chain reaction, technology is not making our lives easier, but instead demands of us to be more productive and do more and be more successful and make more money and and and. It’s our responsibility to use technology to create a world with less stress and more art.
Autonomous Cars: While Google and Uber are trying to make the concept an everyday reality, autonomous cars have been a reality for quite a long time. All of them, due to laws and regulations, need a driver who must be ready to take control of the vehicle in the case of an emergency. Autonomous means that the vehicle is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input. Like true robots, autonomous cars use a variety of techniques to detect their surroundings. They can use radar, laser lights, GPS, odometry, and computer vision. Advanced control systems interpret sensory information to identify appropriate navigation paths, as well as obstacles and relevant signage. In theory, they are much safer than a human driving vehicle.
Do you want to know the most awesome part of this Episode? The rotary dial on Kensaku’s phone! That was the coolest cellphone I have ever seen. Who needs apps and cameras when you have that thing of beauty? Retro is the way to go, I tell you. An appreciation of the past builds the path to a nobler future. That means more retro and less VR FPS, more burgers and less vegan.
A1O6, The Hero.
Is A106 the hero this modern Tokyo deserves? Or is tsundere’s vigilante a better way to solve problems? In this episode, it was the indirect co-operation of the two that resolved the situation (even if the fact that the truck was the only thing that didn’t return to normal felt a little forced) but the time is not far when the two robots and the ideologies of their creators will clash.