First Impression: Technoroid Overmind

A family (?) of androids watches fireworks on a beach. Cut to elsewhere with the androids on beds and one making some cryptic comments about destiny and reuniting. Cut to a “commercial” segment that explains how, in the wake of global warming and a massive decrease in human population, androids are picking up the slack. We meet Neon, Kei, Chrom, and Cobalt, the wonky androids, and a responsible AI named Eliza. The androids need money to pay the electric bill, so they head to Babel, an entertainment resort the shape of a huge tower (because towers named “Babel” have such a great track record), which draws in the four with the promise of easy money working as performers. Predictably, they have no clue what they’re doing and are unceremoniously booted from the hall. The group witness a top-performing idol group, STAND-ALONE. On the way home, the droid quartet meets a human boy named Esora just as he passes out from heatstroke; he had just attended a cremation for his adoptive father, rendering him an orphan twice over. They team up to search for the location shown in a mysterious home video, and quickly find it; Esora recalls visiting the park. The androids start singing for no apparent reason. They return to Babel and are suddenly competent performers. The stinger: while trying to return a lost hat, the four androids witness a robot throwing a drunk guy into a lava pit. No, really.

A story with singing androids and brewing human-AI conflict, huh? Totally doesn’t ring a bell. I found this episode a bit disjointed, with the parts not flowing together smoothly and kind of dragging at times. I also struggled to tell which characters are human and which are androids. It’s not at all clear from the first episode just where the story is going (I’m especially leery of assuming Esora will have a long-term role after Vivy kept killing off its human characters). Is Babel at the heart of an evil robot conspiracy led by Skynet that the androids will need to pose as idols in order to infiltrate? I’m just not sure how the parts of this story are supposed to come together. Is this a comedy? A found family story? Terminator? Even with all my complaints, though, the mysterious and ominous ending was enough to pique my curiosity about this show. I’ll come back for another episode, at least, before I make a final judgment about it.

Technoroid Overmind is streaming on Crunchyroll.

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