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The short story "Fandom For Robots", written by Vina Jie-Min Prasad for Uncanny magazine,1 concerns a robot entering into the fandom of a particular anime TV series. As a member of an online sci-fi/fantasy community myself, I can tell that this is a broadly accurate depiction of such fandoms in general. But as someone with absolutely no knowledge of anime, I have no idea if the fictional series Hyperdimension Warp Record, or HyperWarp, is a thinly-veiled reference to some particular real anime series, or if it's just meant to be a generic portrayal based on anime fandom as a whole.

From the text of the story (which you can read in full online):

Hyperdimension Warp Record (超次元 ワープ レコード Chōjigen Wāpu Rekōdo, literal translation: Super Dimensional Warp Record) is a Japanese anime series set in space in the far future. The protagonist, Ellison, is an escapee from a supposedly inescapable galactic prison. Joined by a fellow escapee, Cyro (short for Cybernetic Robot), the two make their way across the galaxy to seek revenge. The targets of their revenge are the Seven Sabers of Paradise, who have stolen the hyperdimensional warp unit from Cyro’s creator and caused the death of Ellison’s entire family.

Episode seven of HyperWarp comes with the revelation that the Second Saber, Ellison’s identical twin, had murdered their parents before faking her own death. After Cyro and Ellison return to the Kosmogram, the last segment of the episode unfolds without dialogue. There is a slow pan across the spaceship’s control area, revealing that Ellison has indulged in the human pastime known as “crying” before falling asleep in the captain’s chair. His chest binder is stained with blood from the wound on his collarbone. Cyro reaches over, gently using his grabbing claw to loosen Ellison’s binder, and drapes a blanket over him. An instrumental version of the end theme plays as Cyro gets up from his seat, making his way to the recharging bay at the back of the ship. From the way his footfalls are animated, it is clear that Cyro is trying his best to avoid making any noise as he walks.

The credits play over a zoomed-out shot of the Kosmogram making its way to the next exoplanet, a tiny pinpoint of bright blue in the vast blackness of space.

The preview for the next episode seems to indicate that the episode will focus on the Sabers’ initial attempt to activate the hyperdimensional warp unit. There is no mention of Cyro or Ellison at all.

Does this seem to be a reference to a particular real-life anime series?


1 Hat-tip to @BESW for making me aware of this story in the first place.

  • The title reminds me of Hyperdimension Neptunia, but the story not at all; it sounds like a Leiji Matsumoto space opera or something. – Torisuda Apr 5 '18 at 2:42

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