Anime Review Visual Novel

Robotics;Notes Elite – Review | Conspiracy and Giant Robots

Robotics;Notes Elite is the fifth main entry in the Science Adventure series chronologically, with the well-known Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate being the first and second respectively. That said, while some references to previous games may be missed and you will not know some backstory, it is completely fine to come into this visual novel as your first. It does not require any knowledge of the series to understand it.

This visual novel takes place in a slightly futuristic world, where augmented reality (AR) is commonplace and robotics are becoming more and more popular. People use powered exoskeletons for mobility issues and more. Robots are used to serve customers and even to fight in tournaments. It follows the antics of a high school club from a rural island, aiming towards a dream of building a giant robot. One which emulates the title character of a children’s anime the founder loved.

Not everything is as great as it seems though. There’s a mystery hidden away on this little island. One that may affect the fate of the world. While it is often light-hearted and humorous, death and other sensitive topics do play a part in this visual novel, so be warned. There is no gore though, unlike at least one of the previous games in the series.

Robotic;Notes Elite - Group


Akiho has a dream. To follow in the steps of her older sister who founded a robotics club at the school and to complete the giant robot she and those who followed her could never complete. Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy job – she has issues with funding, she doesn’t have the best technical skills and the only other member of the club would rather play fighting games on his phone all day.

This is made even more difficult by the fact that Akiho and Kaito, the other member, were both involved in a mysterious incident in the past. They cannot push themselves too hard or they suffer attacks. Akiho feels like time passes quickly, while Kaito is aware of time moving slowly, boosting his reaction speed. In both cases, this comes on suddenly and affects them badly.

Another challenge soon appears as the vice-principal decides to shut down the club unless they prove their worth. They need to win a tournament, where smaller robots fight. A tournament which Akiho’s sister won when she founded the club. The same theme is a big part of Akiho’s character throughout the entire game. She’s always chasing after her sister and trying to measure up to her. 

As the story moves on, the robot club expands and they move closer and close to their goal. They have their victories and defeats, with a lot of humorous scenes along the way. You can see how the characters have grown between the start and the end too.

Behind the story of Akiho and her dreams, the main character Kaito is dealing with his own issues. He has no real aim for the future and does not care about much more than keeping Akiho safe and maintaining his online ranking in a fighting game. He’s in very different from his energetic friend and clubmate.

Despite his lackadaisical attitude, he uncovers a conspiracy by accident. One which he might try to ignore, but becomes too serious too, despite his wishes. At first it’s just rumors of strange things happening on the island. Mysterious messages and sounds, talk of a ghost and animals turning up dead. But it becomes more serious.

There are hidden messages, talk of disappearances, murders and more. Things start to connect together in a way that means Kaito cannot ignore what is happening. It gets to the point that it may affect everyone living on Earth, but no-one would believe him if he told them. All he can do is to try and find more messages. It starts to look like Akiho’s sister is involved in this conspiracy somehow too. 

I felt like the lighter side following the robot club was really enjoyable. The way they took this part of the plot was nothing groundbreaking, but it was certainly great to see the twists and turns as they kept coming up against challenges. The character interactions and development were what really made this part shine.

The darker side following the conspiracy was particularly interesting. It slowly built up, feeding clues and hints along the way. Unlike many mysteries, it didn’t feel like the protagonist was overlooking the obvious, nor was he blessed with amazing foresight. His ideas all seemed reasonable and developed as he learned more information, along with the reader.

As Robotics;Notes Elite came to an end, I found myself enthralled, finding myself reading the last six hours without a break into the early morning. It kept me wanting to learn more about the mystery and then to find out how it would conclude.

Robotic;Notes Elite - Robot Club

The Robot Club

Robotics;Notes Elite has a great cast of characters, who feel very unique. I’ve already talked about Akiho and Kaito as they take the main roles, but I should mention a few more.

Subaru is a student in the year below the main characters. Akiko seems to consider him as her archenemy as he’s basically her opposite. He’s unfriendly and a realist, but the robot club still want him. He’s known for having great technical skills. Seeing him having to deal with the other characters creates some hilarious moments.

Junna is extremely timid and has personal reasons why she is not suited to being in the robot club, which are explored in her backstory. In some ways, you can see the bad side of Kaito through his actions towards her as she is easy to push around. While she practices karate, she struggles with it.

Frau is a genius, though it’s easy to forget that as her defining character trait is being a pervert. She spends more time discussing whether Kaito or Subaru would be on top, having Junna as a maid or potential sexual encounters with Kaito or others than her area of expertise. She also speaks with a ton of old Internet slang. Beyond this, she has an interesting backstory that connects to the plot.

Many other characters appear too and I have to praise how interesting the majority are. It seems that anyone with significant screen time has very different quirks that create interesting situations or they are well developed. Another good point is that the story sometimes switches perspectives to see things from another character’s point of view.

Robotic;Notes Elite - Twinpo

Systems and Endings

Robotics;Notes Elite is broken up into various endings, though the structure is quite unusual compared to many visual novels. You first play phases one to five and either it will end on phase five or you will proceed to either phases six, seven, or eight, each which have their own endings. After clearing the first four endings, phase nine unlocks and continues until the final endings in phase twelve. Events in all phases are referred to as happening in subsequent phases.

To decide which phase you enter is another unusual aspect. It’s also quite convoluted. There’s a system in the game called Twinpo – basically Twitter. At many points, you can respond to the character’s messages by choosing one of three responses. If you don’t give a correct answer at one point, it may not give you the next prompt and you could never know. There are even points where not replying is the way to proceed. At one point, I had to go back two phases and repeat it all because all but what seems to be the final prompt appeared until I changed a couple of answers I gave quite far back. Luckily it provides a quick method to load on any date in the game rather than only being able to revert to previous manual saves. I had to use it a lot.

I do like that they’re using an irregular system. It’s nice to have a change from a simple case of a few fairly obvious choices every now and then. This had me repeating sections over and over though to try and figure out the right answer at times. It takes away from the fun and it never really explains what to do in-game. On a side-note, some of the achievements require this too. I went back and got all the achievements, but it took a while.

As well as being able to read tweets on Twinpo, there is an AR camera application you can use. This lets you view and collect geotags, which give you information about people and places.


In short, I found the writing to be engaging. Considering that Robotics;Notes Elite had me reading for thirty-two hours, this was certainly a good thing.

It made good use of humor and despite the story using technobabble on occasion, it kept things understandable. I didn’t find any issues with the editing either.

Graphics, Sound and Options

The artwork was high quality overall and there were a massive 155 CGs. Instead of the standard sprites, 3D models were used which often moved and changes expression. While a few of the models had small issues like jagged lines, they were mostly high quality and definitely helped immerse me in the story. It even mixed in animated movie scenes during several parts of the story.

The expansive soundtrack consisting of 46 pieces of music was certainly a bonus too. They really helped set the scene and there was always a suitable one. All of the characters including the main one are all voiced and fit the characters well.

All of the basic visual novel options are included, plus some of the nice extras such as individual volume controls per character.

Other Issues

Only one issue not already mentioned comes to mind. I played Robotics;Notes Elite on a PC, but I used a controller. It works with a controller or a keyboard, but it doesn’t seem to have any mouse support. This is a rather odd choice.

Another note is that some terms appear to differ from those used in the previous games in the series. This may disturb some long-time fans.


Despite the difficulties with the structure of the game and accessing different routes, I certainly had a good time reading Robotics;Notes Elite. The mystery unfolded an interesting way, the slightly futuristic setting was easily relatable and a lot of the character interactions and humor kept it going for the more relaxed sections. The production quality was incredibly high too, aside from a few minor parts.


Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4

If you would like to see more visual novels, you may be interested in our review of Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen. We are also working on a review for the sequel, Robotic;Notes DaSH.

Many thanks go to Spike Chunsoft for a PC review code for this title.

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