Active Raid 04 – METANORN

Active Raid – 04

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Get ready for some turbulence

This season has really exceeded my expectations. I thought I wasn’t going to like anything, and yet I’ve been going completely wild over at least 5 shows. Active Raid is… not one of those first rate shows, but sometimes you need contrast to really appreciate them. That’s what I’m telling myself.

Now that I’ve got into the groove of Active Raid being a goofy show, I have very different expectations of it. Unlike before, I now want it to completely drop any attempt to flesh out a coherent story and just go nuts with crazy robots every week. Honestly, the best parts of the show are the silly moments, and whenever the half-baked story tries to present itself as a brilliant masterpiece, things start to crumble.

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There has been a lot of time spent depicting the relationship between Sena and Kuroki. They don’t enjoy each other’s company and they are such opposites that it seems they should be constantly trying to murder each other. That isn’t quite the case though. They’re able to tolerate each other quite well, and Kuroki doesn’t receive any more than curt warnings from Sena. Other than that, they have a decent amount of respect for each other. It’s like they’re so different that together they form a whole, normally-functioning human being. When they’re apart, they’re so set in their own idiosyncrasies that they can miss the whole picture. (Or be attacked by inflatable animals. Either one).

Unfortunately, this isn’t a very interesting dynamic. There’s no tension because they actually do get along quite well. Sena scolding him just comes across as him being his usual preachy self, so it doesn’t have any weight. You see, if they actually had beef, it would be suspenseful to see sparks fly between them. The addition of Kazari would put an already chaotic situation into a deeper state of imbalance, and it would make the missions all the more intense. As things are, everyone is good friends and nothing is there to get worked up over. They try and play up that Sena and Kuroki have a deep rivalry wayyyy too much when in reality they act pretty normal towards each other.

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They can handle standing on a moving plane but they can’t handle cute mascots

There’s also some added stuff here with Sena previously working for the government before being “downgraded” to Unit 8. I’m sure this will come into play later, but for now, I’m still not very interested in his past. Hell, even Sena seemed to not care very much about his dirt being dug up. I think later on we’ll see that side being much more corrupted and then maybe his past will be more…important.

What’s working well for me is that Unit 8 is sent on these weird missions and the shut-in hacker dude is always pulling the strings behind the scenes. A lot of what he says or does is hard to understand at this point since we don’t know his goals. At one point he suddenly starts talking to Bird, who isn’t even introduced, they just kind of barge in and we’re expected to know what’s going on. ….Much like how the loli sitting in the background still hasn’t even been acknowledged yet. At this rate, we’ll get to the finale and they won’t even explain why she was there in the first place just to be edgy. Anyways, I kind of like that about him and his weird gang of hackers. None of it makes any sense, but at least it’s interesting to follow.

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While the mission itself had its ups and downs (we all knew the bomb would be diffused and everyone would land safely), I was pretty pumped when the plane was landed by the Willwear suits acting as fake landing wheels. It was the only thing that felt really desperate about their mission.

All in all, this wasn’t as good as last week because they toned down the crazy a little too much. I still enjoyed ridiculous moments like the hacker dude actually munching on popcorn while waiting for the shitstorm to go down and Sena’s Willwear not being able to fly for some reason. You would think they’d just stick some wings on that guy so he wouldn’t have to rely on Kuroki picking him up all the time. Especially for a mission that takes place on a moving airplane. Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous! …But I will still see you next week!

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The girl in the background has been appearing every week now! It’s like Where’s Waldo except easier.

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A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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11 Responses to “Active Raid – 04”

  1. Hunter says:

    Hey, I don’t think it’s a zero-sum game where either the show must be totally crazy at every single moment and completely nonsensical OR it must be a masterpiece of realism and sensibility. There is plenty of room between both extremes of the spectrum.

    Because I am pretty certain that Active Raid has never, and will never, pretend to be a masterpiece. Even if it gets occasionally a little more serious, that’s not what it is going for.

    However, I like both the very silly parts as well as the decently coherent parts. Their presence doesn’t bother me. In fact, I like the variety it brings to the table, rather than the opposite. Too much craziness has its downsides.

    For instance, I don’t think the purpose of the current episode was to make the Sena-Kuroki rivalry come across as tense, much less “deep” either. No, it simply showed they will bother each other about a couple of things but can still work as a team. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I think it was all pretty amusing.

    Moving on…I think the show simply wants to tease us about Bird, who will either turn out to be a completely new character or, just as likely, someone we already know.

    On that same note…I think this episode started to clarify part of the villain’s goal, since he seems to be interested in that “Orochi” system. Which is a pretty suspicious name for anything, to be honest, so that can’t be a good thing.

    There’s a fan theory, which I might agree with, that the pink loli sitting in the background isn’t a real person but another virtual projection, an AI or something along those lines. Who knows? It would explain a couple of things, including her silence.

    • Overcooled says:

      Of course a show can incorporate both into a perfect blend. I just haven’t seen Active Raid achieve that. It doesn’t do serious well at all for me, even when it’s just a little serious. So naturally, I just want them to cut out the parts that don’t work for me. I think the problem here is that I don’t actually like this show all too much so I’m just desperately clinging to the few parts I do enjoy :/

      I dunno about the Sena-Kuroki thing. They spend an awful lot of time talking about it, drawing attention to it, and trying to point out the chemistry between the two. Not just this week, but last week too. And it’s just an interesting dynamic for me to have two guys kinda sorta annoyed at each other sometimes. Not enough for the amount of times Kazari points it out, at least.

      I can see Bird being a tease for later. Never thought about it being someone we know, but now that you mention it, I’ll be looking at the cast a little more suspiciously next week….

      I haven’t read any Active Raid fan theories but that sounds neat. The pink loli being an AI would make a lot of sense. Of course the only person a hacker would be comfortable with would be someone who isn’t actually a person…

  2. zztop says:

    Someone translated some info from the anime’s website, which details the Raid universe:

    -Asami did really go study overseas and is a returnee. (this explains her random English.)

    -Willwear was developed in Japan for use in reconstructing Tokyo when parts of it were being damaged by the quicksand. Since it was actually so ultra-effective, security forces and foreign nations have started looking at its application for military purpose.

     -Rank C ammo is for intimidation purpose, emitting light and sound. 
    Rank B ammo is for capturing targets, which involves EMP nets, adhesive glue and low-impact bullets to only damage the outer shell of the willwear. 
    Rank A ammo is lethal use ammo, involving armor-penetration bullets and explosives. Mainly used by the military.

    • Overcooled says:

      Thanks, zztop! Informative as always. I almost stopped questioning her random engrish because I’m just so used to characters randomly spouting it.

  3. HannoX says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with the relationship between Sena and Kuroki. Each has habits that annoy the other and they’re not likely to hangout together except at parties involving all of Unit 8. But they can work together because they’re professionals. If you’re professional you can work with someone you don’t really like (or even actively dislike) in order to get the job done.

    However, it is clear that they are an Oscar Madison-Felix Unger pair. Totally different personalities that get on each other’s nerves, but below the bickering they are good friends. It’s just neither one wants to admit it, but Unit 8 knows they are friends.

  4. IreneSharda says:

    This is actually probably my favorite episode so far. It was a little less silly and really fun. Sena and Kuroki really just embody that old red oni/blue oni trope and its rather cute, though I can understand their ire with each other.

    Mythos continues to always be one step ahead. He’s like a Bond villain with the loli as his trusty Persian kitty. I’m just waiting for him to announce himself to Unit 8 in some over the top way.

    • Overcooled says:

      I remember last week you were more on the fence about it haha glad this one was better for you.

      Oh man, when he announces who he is, it’s definitely going to be over the top. That will be golden.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Active Raid continues to maintain its consistency being entertain just by going with the flow. Neither needing to real goofy nor dead serious. More and more, Sena and Kuroki act like two dysfunctional brothers glued to each other’s hip. I’d like to know more about Sena’s acquaintance with the prototype Willwear. Doubtful this is the last we’ll see of her.

    While Mythos used the airplane incident to find Orochi’s “ro” data, part of me feels he was in it halfway for the kicks of tormenting the authorities.

    • Overcooled says:

      Gah, I forgot to talk much about the girl with prototype Willwear but she did seem pretty cool. I liked her relentless teasing. The sooner I see more of her, the better!

      Getting ro is one part…and other part is watching others suffer. A nice bonus!

  6. BlackBriar says:

    Active Raid continues to maintain its consistency being entertaining just by going with the flow. Neither needing to real goofy nor dead serious. More and more, Sena and Kuroki act like two dysfunctional brothers glued to each other’s hip. I’d like to know more about Sena’s acquaintance with the prototype Willwear. Doubtful this is the last we’ll see of her.

    While Mythos used the airplane incident to find Orochi’s “ro” data, part of me feels he was in it halfway for the kicks of tormenting the authorities.

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