Ando Lloyd ~A.I. Knows Love~ Episode 1
I really don’t know what to make of this drama yet. It’s…different. We have androids, segmented story telling, police from the future, etc. I’m not wholly new to science fiction, but I always thought that an android was a humanoid robot that was still 100% machinery while maintaining a realistic visage of a human and it was a cyborg that married machinery with biology creating something that is both man and both machine.
Ando Lloyd…is he really a robot? Sure, he’s got an OS and all that technological stuff…but why does he bleed? A robot should get scraps and cuts that end with bruising and blood. Ah, so confusing.
Kimura Takuya stars dually as genius scientist Matsushima Reiji who tells lame jokes and can’t get his students interested in his class, and as Ando Lloyd, an android from the future who has come to protect Ando Asahi from being killed. The man is a good actor to go back and forth between the socially clumsy and awkward genius to the cold robot.
We open the drama with him solving a very complicated equation in his head. Yeah, I can only do simple equations in my head, but when you mix in calculus and science related math…I’m way lost. He gets excited and puts it on his whiteboard and turns to talk to his class which is small and most students pay attention to their phones instead of the professor. Class then ends as he’s getting to the good stuff. His sister and other science cronies talk about how he’s brilliant…but can’t really teach. Yep.
We then cut to his office where his sister Matsushima Nanase [Oshima Yuko] brings him buns made by his fiancée Ando Asahi [Shibasaki Kou]. He is happily enjoying the “perfect” meal when he hears that a certain scientist has been killed. This means that he’s next. Nanase doesn’t get what he means. He then hands her over a list of names (all famous scientists) and says that if his theories right, it’s his turn to die in a couple of hours. He then calmly leaves his office behind leaving a bewildered and worried Nanase.
We then get to meet his fiancée Ando Asahi [Shibasaki Kou] who is stuck doing a press conference after her company’s information was leaked. She assures the press that even if their clients’ information was leaked, there is no one out there who can decrypt the information. Right. After that conference, she gets a call on her office phone from Reiji who tells her everything he told his sister. He also adds on that if he dies, she’s next on the list. In fact, she’s the very last name. He then hangs up after vowing to protect her no matter what. Ando is startled. Surely this is all a joke. She thinks like this until she gets a call on her cell phone from Reiji saying someone is going around making prank calls as himself. Ando demands to know who the person is as Reiji doesn’t know her cell number at all. Click. Ando quickly rushes out of the building to find her missing lover.
In the taxi, she takes out her tablet and tries to challenge someone to a shogi game. No response. We then flashback and learn that she was queen of virtual shogi until Reiji challenged her and beat her. The angry Ando goes to seek him out and is astonished to learn that he beat her without even looking at the shogi board. One thing led to another and the two fall in love. Reiji always insists that the will be a real man and protect his woman. I think that in and of itself is kind of odd as in all flashbacks, Reiji is adamant about that. It seems really odd if he didn’t know any danger existed that he would keep insisting he would protect his woman.
Meanwhile, Ashimo Isaku [Endo Kenichi] who I guess works for national security, is told by his partner that another post has come from the year 2113—100 years in the future. It is the same homicide list. Ashimo quickly moves and puts Reiji on a terrorist list in order to track him down faster. To save him? Or to see if he’s the real mastermind behind the list and murders?
Our missing physicist is at the airport. There he meets Laplace [Fukuda Ayano]. He is happy that as a scientist his theory was right. Laplace cannot fathom this man and his thoughts and emotions. Reiji then tells the girl that she can’t kill him because he’s shredded his passport and is at place where you can’t hack the security cameras. Laplace then shows him a duplicate passport and says security cameras can’t catch ozzling or something like that. Reiji doesn’t know what that means and then they kind of phase out so they aren’t directly in the realm of humans. Well…they are, but no one can see, hear, or touch them. It’s weird.
Anywho, Reiji says that still he won’t let her win. Laplace cannot stand Reiji or his attitude any longer and opens fire on him—killing him a wee bit early. Reiji then gets back to his feet and says that no matter what he will keep getting up until he wins. Laplace shoots him some more and this time he falls and doesn’t get back up.
It is then announced on the news that a plane went missing and Reiji was on that plan. This really throws Nanase and Ando for a loop. What would Reiji have been doing on that plane? Is he really dead? Ando doesn’t think so. She has a feeling that he’s still alive out there. Meanwhile, Ashimo wonders if this is all some diabolical scheme in which Reiji faked his own death. It doesn’t seem very likely, does it?
Ando goes back to her apartment where she refuses to answer calls from her mother [Natori Yuko as Ando Keiko]. She sits on the floor and recalls how much money Reiji spent to make an exact replica of his office in her apartment so he can do his research and still spend time with the woman he loves. We get some really cute scenes together. When Ando falls asleep, a computer program starts running. Just what is that programming doing exactly?
Ando lifelessly heads off to work the next day while Ashimo is called in by his superiors and basically told to stop doing what he is doing and going against regulations and orders. Which, of course, Ashimo refuses to do. He leaves the meeting and hands over a recording to his partner asking him to hand it over to a PI for analysis. Looks like he’s suspicious of Kadoshiro Hajime [Hiraoka Yuta]—his new boss that he’s never seen before. And…who just might be an AI as after Ashimo leaves the room, his eyes flash and the other people disappear. Tricky, tricky. See? So much going on it’s enough to give you a headache.
Ando arrives at the subway station to head into work when her colleague Hoshi Shinzo [Kiritani Kenta] gets a call from Laplace posing as Ando and saying she is going to commit suicide. At the same time, Ashimo is heading to the station to prevent Ando’s death and at Ando’s apartment, a Reiji look alike is being created. His mission? To ensure that Ando Asahi does not die.
The Reiji clone rushes off to save the day and does manage to catch Ando when Laplace pushes her in front of the oncoming train. Needless to say, Ando is flummoxed by this robot who appears like the man she loves. Did Reiji really die? No. He was murdered. It is this android’s job to protect her. So we get scenes of Ando Lloyd [our android] trying to protect her from Laplace. Laplace really kicks his rear which makes the higher ups send out Sapuri [Honda Tsubasa] to fix him. While he’s being fixed, Laplace goes to kill Ando, but is stopped by a girl dressed all in white [Kiritani Mirei] saying that she had better take care of the android first. Laplace is confused by this sudden life form coming up to her and speaking when she has phased out. Nonetheless, she does go to kill the android before Ando.
Just as she is about to destroy Ando Lloyd, Ando rushes in and throws bricks at the female android. Laplace goes to kill her first, but AL reboots with a forbidden OS—the Asura OS and totally kicks butt. Laplace warns him that there are 10 more police officers from the future and Ando says he will destroy them all. How will that be possible? He will keep trying until he succeeds. This strikes a cord with Ando since that is the last thing Reiji said before he died (Ando Lloyd let her watch her fiancée’s death that was recorded from Laplace). AL then shoves something through the female android’s brain and she “dies.” He then requests her matter or whatever to be recycled.
After his victory, AL reaches maximum OS capacity and is switched back to his other OS. Ando then asks if her lover is really dead. No, he didn’t just die. He was murdered. AL then collapses. The…overwhelmed…Ando walks out and goes back to the subway station where she throws herself in front of the train this time. Everything goes black. When we come back, we see an even more battered AL. Ando tells him that without her Reiji, there is no point of her living. AL, who has no idea who his boss is, tells her that he cannot allow her to kill herself. Even if the whole world turns against her, he will be by her side and protecting her from the world.
When AL has enough of Ando’s complaint over living and wanting to know just why she must, he requests permission to kill her. It takes awhile, but he does eventually get that permission. And that’s where the episode ends, with AL pointing a gun at the head of the woman he was technically sent to keep alive.
What the heck. Besides me being confused about cyborgs and androids, what’s this message from the future carp? And just who/what is Mystery Woman in White? Is she human? Is she an android? Is she from the future? Was Reiji from the future? How did he change the future to the point where that forfeited his fiancée’s life (that is what Laplace told Ando when Ando wondered why she was marked for death—its because of the future Reiji changed)?
Oh, I’m sure we’ll discover answers to most…I hope…of my questions. It all really depends on how well thought out the drama is. I mean…Clone Baby was not a horrible drama per se with all the questions and the answers we get at the end, so hopefully this sci fi drama can deliver something interesting and different that won’t leave me screaming in frustration or leave me dissatisfied with the ending.