That's probably a question Yuu Kamiya, author and illustrator of No Game No Life, was probably asking himself when he began the concept for Clockwork Planet. A world where humanity was on the brink of destruction after the Earth as we known it died, but was then saved by a mysterious man only known as "Y" who rebuilt the planet out of gears and other clockwork parts. Where did he obtain the metal to recreate Earth to scale? No idea. Where did humanity move to while he was making this new planet? Beats me. But I do know this, gear enthusiasts everywhere just jizzed their pants.
Hold on to your mechanical horses though, because I'm not done. The anime begins by introducing us to our clockwork fanatic of a main protagonist, Naoto Miura, whose hearing is so good he can visualize even the most minor detail about a clock from meters away. He's basically a super version of Daredevil except a child, not blind, and whose power only applies to mechanical constructs. Soon enough Naoto's life is changed as a coffin crashes into his abode, opening to reveal a beautiful sleeping woman who Naoto quickly identifies as an automaton. After fixing an "ugly sound" within her heart she awakens, informing us her name is RyuZU and that she was created by Y to act as a guardian. Luckily for Naoto she immediately took a liking to him, and soon registers him as her master; all benefits included.
RyuZU's appearance was a mistake however, a product of a malfunction in a military transport that was carrying her body. As such the big wigs want her back and send a blond loli and her automaton bodyguard to capture her, introducing us to Marie Bell Breguet and Vainney Halter. And before you ask, yes, Marie is a super genius when it comes to clockworks. So grab your anime trope bingo cards and mark that one down, if you hit a bingo then be sure to cash it in for your very own clockwork sex doll. Oh, and as a bonus if you have corrupt military and shady government you can tick them off as well.
Anyways, Marie soon finds Naoto and RyuZU but it's clear that RyuZU being awake is a big game changer. Can't take back what won't go willingly. So they retreat and frighten me by making it look like this anime is going to revolve around school, which thankfully goes away almost immediately when the military and government decide to "purge" the entire city just because of PR surrounding a malfunction within the city's gears. This event causes Naoto, RyuZU, Marie, and Halter to join forces as an "evil organization" to stop the purge and expose the government plot. They accomplish this with the help of RyuZU's superpower of being able to stop time for a bit, but they are still branded criminals and forced to flee.
This is when things go more fantasy then super advance clockwork technology, as a final main character is added to the mix; AnchoR. This daughter type character is also an automaton and is RyuZU's younger sister, unlike her sister though she was designed for combat, sporting a multitude of weaponry, and the ability to fend her sister off even in time stop mode. Her weakness is that she can not hurt humans, something Naoto takes advantage of as the group attempts to free AnchoR from being stuck in a berserk mode. This results in the addition of another loli, a cuter one, to our cast of characters before the big finale.
Our final boss as it were is a grumpy old man who is angry at Y for disappearing, and is determined to destroy the world if it will cause Y to show himself. To accomplish this he tricks some fellow engineers into building a weapon that uses electromagnetics, a technology that was banned as it interferes with clockwork tech rendering it useless. After putting a hole in the main mechanism that controls all the gears in Japan and almost forcing AnchoR to destroy herself, he is defeated by Naoto and Maria working together in the clockwork-realm where you can magically create gears out of thin air. This was probably the place Y remade Earth now that I think about it, but still, a dimension of clockwork? Just how obsessed with clocks do you have to be to come up with that one?
In the end our gang is forced to flee once more, even after the President of Japan acknowledged that they did good and was also a close friend of Marie. Not sure what they'd go onto do next, maybe hunt down more automatons left behind by Y I guess, find more corrupt government officials to expose, and maybe explore just how "human" Y made RyuZU.
Genres: Fantasy, Action, Clockwork
Animation: Studio Xebec were the ones who did the animating here, the same studio behind anime like To Love-Ru, Love Hina, and Haiyore! Nyaruko-san. Overall it was pretty average stuff, even dipping down into the sub quality level. This anime dealt with a lot of mechanical parts, but most if not all were CG creations. That that there's anything wrong with that, but it did contrast pretty distinctly with the regular animation.
Voice Acting: Everyone knows I'm a stickler for genders playing their gender, guys voice guys and girls voice girls. Yes I know how it sounds, so sue me. But even before I looked up Naoto's VA, Yoshino Nanjō, I knew it was a girl. This just deflated all the points where Naoto was cool and manly for me, man, I just really want more guys who voice male character that don't suck.
Favorite Character: RyuZU. She's mature, level headed, listens to Naoto above all, and is a powerful fighter. Yet at the same time she can be quite adorable, and oh so damn sexy. She even accepts Naoto's marriage proposal! That's right, Marie is not Naoto's romantic interest! Praise Y!
Clockwork Planet gets a 6.5 out of 10