A Viewer’s Guide to RobiHachi: Episode 1

A Viewer’s Guide to RobiHachi: Episode 1

May 22, 2019 Anime Blog Hizakurige Japan Jippensha Ikku RobiHachi Tōkaidō Viewers Guide 0
Ikku, Hatchi, Robby

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***SPOILER ALERT***
This episode guide may include plot and/or character reveals.

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Japanese Title: 旅は道連れ Journey to the Star

English Title: Traveling Companions; Journey to the Star

Characters: Robby Yarge*, Hatchi Kita*, Ikku/JPS-19*, Yang*, Allo*, Gras*, Hizakuriger*
* Indicates the first appearance in the series.

Summary: Debt collector Hatchi Kita tries to collect payment from unemployed freelance reporter Robby Yarge. Instead, he involuntarily becomes a spaceship stowaway during Robby’s escape from the loan shark Yang. Robby tells robot Ikku (JPS-19) to navigate their ship, the Nagaya Voyager, to Planet Isekander. Robby’s plan is to obtain Akafu Crystals from the Isekandar Shrine in hopes of changing his lifelong string of bad luck with women and money. Intrigued by the possibility of an adventurous voyage into the unknown, Hatchi decides to stay aboard, much to Robby’s annoyance.

Yang, accompanied by henchmen Allo and Gras, pursues Robby into space and locks onto the Nagaya Voyager with a tractor beam. Leaving Ikku in control of the main ship, Robby and Hatchi launch two fighter ships and frantically search their dashboards for weapons controls. When they both push a prominently displayed button, they are startled by a rousing theme song. The fighter ships transform and join to form a giant mecha robot called Hizakuriger.

Notes 

See “Getting Started” for background information on the anime, which is based on an Edo Period fiction series called Tōkaidōchū Hizakurige.

The official RobiHachi website is in Japanese. For information in English, see RobiHachi.

Voice actors Kazuya Nakai (Robby Yarge), Daisuke Sakaguchi (Ikku/JPS-19), and Tomokazu Sugita (Yang) worked with director Shinji Takamatsu on the long-running anime series Gintama, among others.

Hatchi Kita, Robby Yarge

Hatchi Kita, Robby Yarge

The opening theme song, Genius Playlist [天才のプレイリスト], is performed by Keisuke Kōmoto (Hatchi Kita), with commentary by Nakai.

RobiHachi and School RumbleAlthough it looks like a parody, director Takamatsu did not purposely make the ending animation resemble the opening animation for School Rumble, another series directed by Takamatsu.

Isekandar ShrineThe Isekander Shrine is a parody of the Ise Grand Shrine (Ise Jingū). Religious pilgrimages were hugely popular during the Edo Period.  

Isekandarkun, Akafu CrystalThe Isekandar commercial stars the official mascot Isekandarkun. Akafu Crystals from Isekandar Shrine are said to bring good fortune and wealth.

NEO TOKYO, doguuThe street scene in NEO TOKYO shows a dogū figure walking down the street. Dogū clay figures date back to Japan’s Jōmon Period (10,000 BC to 300 BC) and are thought to be talismans for good health or fertility.

coinsWhen Robby pays for lunch, his money looks similar to Edo Period currency.

Nagaya Voyager, Yang's spaceshipYang’s ship resembles the decorations found atop the roofs of Japanese castles called shachihoko, which is a mythical fish.

HizakurigerThe theme song playing during Hizakuriger’s transformation is Galaxy Traveler Hizakuriger! [銀河道中ヒザクリガー!], sung by Akira Kushida. The music was composed by Kōsuke Okui. The lyrics were written by director Takamatsu.

Allo, Yang, Gras

Allo, Yang, Gras

The ending theme song, Dancing to Night ~The Shortest Warp Route to You~ [Dancing to Night 〜君への最短ワープ航路〜], is performed by Subaru Kimura (Allo) and Shinosuke Tokudome (Gras), with commentary by Sugita.