A Viewer’s Guide to RobiHachi: Episode 4
This episode guide may include plot and/or character reveals.
Japanese Title: 竿の先に半魚人
English Title: Merfolk on the End of the Pole
Robby Yarge, Hatchi Kita, Ikku/JPS-19, Hizakuriger, Yang, Allo, Gras, Restaurant Manager*, Doctor*, Nurse*, Gyo-Gyokun*
* Indicates the first appearance in the series.
The episode begins with a flashback, during which Robby borrows money from the loan shark Yang.
Aboard the Nagaya Voyager, Robby describes the route from NEO Tokyo to Isekander. Ikku announces three unidentified ships are following them. After that, Hatchi insists on stopping at the water-covered planet of Odwarla.
Hatchi drags Robby and Ikku to a seafood restaurant. Then, when it comes time to pay, confesses to having no money. They begin to argue but are interrupted when Robby collapses with stomach pains. Robby is taken to the hospital and there, reunites with a beautiful nurse he dated on Earth. She tells him about a cash reward for catching the elusive Odwarla oarfish.
In a flashback, Allo and Gras remember being homeless before Yang hired them.
Ikku and Hatchi return to the restaurant in order to work off their debt. Gyo-Gyo is getting married, and so they decide an oarfish would make the perfect wedding present. Robby arrives with an expensive set of fishing gear he bought from the nurse. After hours of fishing, they catch lots of fish, but no oarfish. Robby and Hatchi use Hizakuriger to search underwater but unfortunately, the robot quickly fills with water. They manage to escape and Gyo-Gyo carries them to the surface. When they retrieve Hizakuriger from the ocean, they discover an oarfish trapped inside.
Despite the cash reward from catching the oarfish, Robby, Hatchi, and Ikku return to the Nagaya Voyager still broke after expenses. All they have left is a souvenir mug from Gyo-Gyo’s wedding.
See “Getting Started” for background information on the anime, which is based on an Edo Period fiction series called Tōkaidōchū Hizakurige.
The characters Yang of RobiHachi and Sakata Gintoki of Gintama have the same voice actor, Sugita Tomokazu. The two characters also share the same favorite flavor of sweet snack — Strawberry Milky Candy for Yan and Strawberry Milk for Gintoki.
The Earth-to-Haccone itinerary includes 53 planets on the Galaxy Highway, which parodies the 53 post-stations of the Tōkaidō Road. Starting with station #1, NEO Tokyo (Nihonbashi), the other planets follow the same numbering system:
#2 Nimoi (Shinagawa)
#3 Leontes (Kawasaki)
#4 Rose Goddess (Kanagawa)
#5 Grand Donut (Hodogaya)
#6 Tottska (Totsuka)
#7 Wisteria (Fujisawa, fuji means “wisteria”)
#8 Wide Mound (Hiratsuka, hiratsuka means “wide mound”)
#9 Oiso (Ōiso)
#10 Odawarla (Odawara)
#11 Haccone (Hakone)
The Odwarla post-station is an artificial, floating island that looks like a giant loaf of kamaboko, which is processed fish paste.
Robby’s personality is similar to the original Yajirōbei character and he is easily charmed into giving money to pretty young women.
While explaining he only eats at restaurants with good reviews, Hatchi reveals he is 18 years old.
The restaurant owner’s lament about labor law reforms refers to Japan’s “Work Style Reform Legislation” law enacted in April 2019.
The legendary Odwarla oarfish is based on a real, rarely seen fish that lives in the deep ocean.