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Gia's List: Anime's 6 Least Likely Robot Rebel Leaders

by Gia Manry,

Most anime robots are designed for combat, and if they weren't so attached to their human compatriots, obedient to Asimov's Laws, or generally programmed not to: you know they could totally take over the world. (And sometimes they overcome all the above and actually do, of course.) But there are certain robots where you really don't have to worry about their dominating desires...mostly due to being functionally inept. Here they are:

6. Analyzer (Space Battleship Yamato)
Also known as 09-Type Autonomic Shipboard Analysis Unit, you can imagine Analyzer as a talking red R2-D2 with arms and hands, which he prefers to use to show off nurse Yuki Mori's panties rather than to plot world domination (also probably not R2-D2-like). It's not that he doesn't have some strong powers— he's been known to take on enemy tanks and win —it's just that he's much too easily distracted by his fondness (or fetish?) for his nurse pal. Like a kindergartener, it turns out his teasing is just a way to express and at the same time mask his love for Yuki, who has a hard time getting past the whole metal exterior thing (and probably the sexual harassment thing, too). Poor Analyzer winds up permanently in the friend zone, but that's probably not such a bad thing, since it turns out he's also capable of getting drunk, which does not always result in good times.

5. Haro (Gundam)
While the ever-popular floating ball of a robot Haro may have some combat abilities in alternate universe Gundam shows (notably Gundam 00, they are most often designed to have minor abilities like opening locked doors and minor to moderate speech functions (or basically whatever the episode requires). It's a good thing, too, because Haro is adorable enough that most people would accept him without concern, and replicable enough that a super-smart Haro with any ability to build things could reproduce faster than rabbits on speed. Gundam Seed's Lacus Clyne is already overrun with the bouncing bots; a manga spinoff reveals that Athrun Zala made 35 of the things for her in his apparently copious spare time.

4. Spike (Kurogane Communication)
In Kurogane Communication, a human girl named Haruka— possibly the last human on the planet —resides with five robots who have decided to make it their mission to care for her, in hopes of her survival helping rebuild humanity. She has what amounts to a father figure, a professor, a bodyguard, a kooky neighbor (gun-collecting bot Trigger) and that classic Japanese trope: the childhood friend. This friend is Spike, a robot who is Haruka's playmate and who likely has a crush on her. Where all the other bots in the show have some battle talent, Spike is a domestic robot who mostly handles maintenance. Sure, he'd sacrifice himself to save Haruka in a robot heartbeat, but he has neither the combat ability nor the conniving intelligence required to perform a coup, even if he had the drive.

3. Arale Norimaki (Dr. Slump)
She may look like nothing more than a little kid, but Senbei Norimaki's robot hhas book smarts (go ahead, give her any math problem ever) AND super-strength enough to hold her own with the Dragon Ball Z crew when she crossed over into creator Akira Toriyama's other popular work. But that doesn't mean she's going to go Super Saiyan and beat down Goku; even if she had strength at that level, Arale is permanently oblivious to various aspects of human life, such as bears not being pets and not understanding why her robot father won't give her a larger chest. Combined with a generally perky and friendly demeanor, it's hard to imagine that the thought of a robot rebellion would cross into Arale's head, although perhaps it's possible, provided enough centuries of exposure to humanity.

2. Nano Shinonome (Nichijou)
Can you take over the world by providing it cake? If that were true, then Nano would be the most dangerous robot in existence. As it happens, though, an eight-year-old professor-slash-genius-scientist created Nano, who mostly goes to school and handles household chores. And occasionally has a limb fall off to reveal a fish cake or other food item, to the great delight of her childish maker. Nano also attempts to hide her identity as a robot, a gesture made moot by the giant key on her back which her creator refuses to remove (because it's too cute to get rid of). Sure, once in a while Nano discovers the ability to shoot a laser, but when your creator is more interested in coloring books than conquering the planet, you generally wind up without the kind of firepower you'd need to help out.

1. Mechazawa (Cromartie High School)
The eternal mystery of Cromartie— one no one ever really wants to solve —is how anyone fails to realize that the bucket of bolts that requires constant oiling who hangs out in the classroom is, in fact, a robot. Apparently they don't watch mecha shows, because even the name Mechazawa isn't a giveaway. This is, of course, an ongoing gag in the goofy high school comedy Cromartie High School, and it's important to note that even Mechazawa himself doesn't seem to be aware of his true nature as a robot. In fact, he's one of those people who is helpless with electronics. As such, why would he ever attempt to take over the world in the name of robots everywhere? Yes, the world is safe from Mechazawa...for now. (There was that one time that he accidentally got rebuilt into a motorcycle with a rocket launcher...)

The new poll: With their impressive hacking abilities and the strange human attitudes towards them, persocoms from Chobits didn't feel like a good fit for this list- but which of the bots is your favorite? Vote here and check back next week for the results!

The previous poll: Haruhi-ism stood strong in our Easter poll, when we asked you about your favorite bunny girls. Yes, the leader of the SOS Brigade took home 32% of the vote and the #1 slot for her appearance as a guitar-playing bunny, with Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2's Kallen Stadfelt's brief appearance as a be-cottontailed waitress took home second with about 21%. Rounding out the top five were FLCL's Haruko Haruhara, Ranma 1/2's Ranma (female verison), and Hayate the Combat Butler's Hayate Ayasaki (male version— people do love him in drag). Here's the complete list:

  1. Haruhi Suzumiya (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) - 32.40%
  2. Kallen Stadfelt (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2) - 20.99%
  3. Haruko Haruhara (FLCL) - 19.27%
  4. Female Ranma (Ranma 1/2) - 6.03%
  5. Hayate Ayasaki (Hayate the Combat Butler) - 5.92%
  6. Misty May (Otaku no Video) - 5.27%
  7. Rabi-en-Rose (Di Gi Charat) - 4.41%
  8. Akane (Ranma 1/2) - 3.12%
  9. The White Rabbit (Miyuki-chan in Wonderland) - 2.58%

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