How many times do we have to watch someone who is somehow ‘different’ question why the people around them don’t treat them less than they would someone who isn’t.
Clockwork Planet looked a bit dodgy from the trailer and episode one has done nothing to alleviate these worries. The story goes a little like this: the natural world has died and humans have saved it by introducing gears to operate in natures place. Naoto is a useless aspiring clocksmith who finds a mechanical girl fall from the sky. Despite not being able to fix a clock, he somehow manages to get this girl working by turning a screw in her heart (yes, really). RyuZu, the automaton, is intelligent and powerful, but lacking in any kind of modesty. After being activated by Naoto, she proclaims him her master, in a weird ecchi scene…
Mari is a princess of some kind, as well as a scientific genius. We see little of her in this first episode but she seems to be pretty important as at the end she is set on a course to stop the military collapsing Kyoto into deepest, darkest depths of the broken Earth. Her defining trait is not her intelligence however, but more her arrogance and lack of ‘typical’ high status ladylike formalities.
So the thing is, nothing happened in this first episode, but that wasn’t why it wasn’t a particularly great start to the season. As we saw from a future battle that the group find themselves in, a struggle is set to ensue and I would be prepared to wait for that. No, the issue here is how boring they managed to make a really interesting idea.
When you start a show by telling the audience that the world is dead, you’ve given yourself a platform to build on. Unfortunately though, after the mini prologue Clockwork Planet, never really regained my interest. RyuZu is the most interesting character up to this point as I have no idea where she came from or what her purpose is. All of the other characters however, were mind-numbingly generic: Naoto is a school kid with an ambition and untapped ability (not interested), Marie is a stuck up rich girl who happens to be clever – I’m guessing she’s had family troubles or something that made her who she is, honestly I don’t know, but again I’m not fussed. Marie’s bodyguard, Vainney is clearly meant to be the funny guy, but his wit, if it does exist, was wasted on this opening episode.
I wouldn’t want anyone to think that these characters are dull for sure – after all this was only the first episode and things might improve. There was though, so much time wasted here that could have been used to flesh out the cast – I mean, what was the point of the two minutes stood outside a love hotel, he likes the sound of her gears, that’s a funny, unique way of being perverted – we get it, move on already!
As I say with every poor first episode I watch, I’m not going to write this show off. With another 25 or 50 minutes, things might get a whole lot better, but you can forgive me for skeptical about this one so far, right?
What did you make of Clockwork Planet? Is this another instance where I’ve been too harsh or do you agree that this hasn’t started well?