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
Characters: Robi Yarge, Hatchi Kita, Ikku/JPS-19, Hizakuriger, Yang, Allo, Gras, Restaurant Manager*, Doctor*, Nurse*, Gyo-Gyo*
* Indicates the first appearance in the series.
Summary: The episode begins with a flashback to Robby borrowing money from loan shark Yang.
Aboard the Nagaya Voyager, Robi describes the route from NEO TOKYO to Isekander. After Ikku announces three unknown ships are following them, Hatchi insists on stopping at the water-covered planet of Odwarla.
Hatchi drags Robby and Ikku to a seafood restaurant but when it comes time to pay, confesses he is out of money. Robby suddenly collapses and is taken to the hospital, where he is reunited with a beautiful nurse he dated on Earth. She tells him about a cash reward for catching the elusive Odwarla oarfish.
A flashback shows how Allo and Gras went from living in cardboard boxes on the street to working for Yang.
Ikku and Hatchi return to the restaurant to work off their debt. They decide to help co-worker Gyo-Gyo catch an oarfish as a wedding present. Robby shows up at the restaurant with an expensive set of fishing gear sold to him by the nurse. After hours of no luck, Next, Robby and Hatchi board Hizakuriger to search underwater. Unfortunately, the sinking robot quickly starts filling up with water. Robby and Hatchi manage to escape and Gyo-Gyo carries them to the surface. After retrieving Hizakuriger from the ocean, they capture an oarfish that had gotten trapped inside the hollow robot.
Back aboard the Nagaya Voyager, Robby, Hatchi, and Ikku calculate that after expenses they are still broke, and all they have left from their visit 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.
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 route from Earth to Haccone stretches across 2,290,000 light years and 53 planets on the Milky Way Highway. This itinerary is a parody of the Tōkaidō Road and its 53 official post-stations. With NEO TOKYO (Nihonbashi) as station #1, 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 built on an artificial, floating island shaped like a loaf of processed fish paste called kamaboko.
The native Owarlans are merpeople who originally lived underwater and have adapted to breathing air.
During his explanation of why he only eats at restaurants with good reviews, Hatchi claims to be 18 years old.
The restaurant owner’s lament about labor law reforms is a reference 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.