A Viewer’s Guide to RobiHachi: Episode 2
This episode guide may include plot and/or character reveals.
Japanese Title: タコから出た真実
English Title: Truth Found from an Octopus
Characters: Robby Yarge, Hatchi Kita, Ikku/JPS-19, Hizakuriger, Yang, Allo, Gras, Mars Tourism Bureau Chief Chu-Chu Takokawaina*, Glamorous Girl*
* Indicates the first appearance in the series.
Summary: Yang panics at the appearance of the giant robot Hizakuriger and releases the tractor beam, giving Robby and company the chance to escape. Shortly after, Ikku lands the Nagaya Voyager on Mars for fuel and a service check. Ikku stays with the ship, while Robby and Hatchi take a taxi into town where everything is octopus themed. Hatchi eagerly tries the local food, takoyaki and tako crackers (tako means “octopus”). Robby is more excited about meeting a Martian hostess named Glamorous Girl, who brings the two men to her club for drinks.
After Hatchi accidentally discovers all the club hostesses are humanoids wearing octopus costumes, he is sent to prison in the Martian desert. The Martians are desperate to keep their real, humanoid forms secret because of the huge tourist industry built around their octopus identity. Hatchi is released from prison on the condition he acts in a live broadcast promoting the Mars attraction called Takotubo Land.
Robby discovers Glamorous Girl’s humanoid identity and that her father is the Mars Tourism Bureau Chief. After hearing her confession about living a lie, Robby takes her to Takotubo Land aboard Hizakuriger. The young woman takes off her costume in front of the cameras and Robby convinces the Chief not to be afraid of showing their true selves.
Yang arrives at the Haccone Checkpoint on the Galaxy Highway, where he spots a photo of Robby in the latest news about the Martians.
Aboard Nagaya Voyager, Hatchi discovers a 50-year-old cartoon featuring their mecha robot called “Galaxy Traveler Hizakuriger”, although no one is sure what it means.
See “Getting Started” for background information on the anime, which is based on an Edo Period fiction series called Tōkaidōchū Hizakurige.
The taxi driver asks for a fare of 720 mon, which is Edo Period currency. The current unit for Japanese currency is the yen, which was introduced in 1871.
Takoyaki are baked dumplings containing chunks of octopus meat and covered in sauce.
Robby’s description of floppy-limbed octopuses and Hatchi’s comment about H.G. Wells are references to the science fiction novel, War of the Worlds, in which the Martians were described as grotesque soft-bodied masses with wriggling tentacles,
The show What Brings You to Mars? is a parody of a popular travel show called Why Did You Come to Japan?
The tourism chief’s name, Chu-Chu Takokawaina, means “adorable, kissable octopus”
Takotubo Land is a parody of takotsubo (“octopus pots”), which are earthenware pots used to fish for octopus.
The mecha TV show is probably a reference to director Shinji Takamatsu having worked on various anime series of the Gundam franchise. The title of the anime, Gingadōchū Hizakurigaa, is a parody of the Edo book series title, Tōkaidōchū Hizakurige.
Cel animation refers to the original method of creating animated cartoons that involved hand drawing and painting each frame onto transparent sheets of cellulose.
Yang explains that prior to space travel criminals fled to the northernmost island of Hokkaido to escape the law. This sparsely populated northern frontier was originally called Ezo and was renamed Hokkaido in 1869.