Active Raid – 05

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“Let’s install a complex, anti-cheating program into this robot…and add a cute bowtie”

Life is getting so busy that I barely have time for introductions anymore

Ahh, there always has to be a gambling episode, doesn’t there? Logos is the perfect excuse to shoehorn anything the director wants into Active Raid, so here we have a seedy math teacher playing DEATH POKER. When he wins, Logos decides whether or not to launch some missiles. Onodera gets to rebel against the casinos that kicked him out and Logos gets more publicity as being a well-organized terrorist group. Well…relatively well-organized.

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“Eh, guess we’ll watch this crazy guy play poker and blow stuff up. Totally safe and legal, right?”

I think the most interesting thing this week was seeing some fragmentation within Logos. Until now, they’ve shown absolutely no weaknesses. Here, we saw the slightest slip as Dog disobeyed his orders and launched a missile out of boredom. While this doesn’t exactly go against what Logos was doing anyways, it’s still represents a power struggle amongst the ranks. In the future, reckless actions like that may lead to them getting caught.

I also thought it was interesting Mythos said their goal wasn’t to hurt anyone. That gave me some serious flashbacks to Gatchaman Crowds Insight where Rizumu had the nerve to try and stop people from hurting themselves by viciously attacking other people. It’s just funny that Mythos launches a missile one day and then says “ohhh, but we’re not trying to hurt people” the next day. Firing missiles and planting bombs in planes is, like, the opposite of not hurting people.

Anyways, the stuff with Logos was interesting. I’m still not entirely sure what their end goal is other than “not hurting people” and obtaining Orochi. Based on Mythos acting self-righteous, he seems to have a deeper goal that just leaving destruction in his wake. He really believes this is something good he’s doing. Logos sure is an odd group of villains. It’s pretty impressive the range of crimes they commit as well, with this week’s gambling death match being the most innovative yet.

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Cat ears…uneffective!

Unfortunately, the matches themselves aren’t all that exciting. A bunch of cards are flashed onscreen and then the player will just call out the name of their hand as if they were reciting some sort of spell. There’s little to no strategizing, no interesting cheating, and no tension behind it. I will admit that I was spoiled by the iconic gambling scene in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure where shit got so real that souls were taken and the opponent got so stressed out over the match that his hair turned white. Compared to that, this isn’t as lively as I’d have liked. Although I suppose a lot of shows aren’t quite as bombastic as JoJo so it’s not all too fair to compare them.

I liked that we learned more about Madoka, but in a way, we didn’t learn quite enough! I would have loved to see her just gambling in a dinky basement with some old guys and seeing her finally be herself. I would also have loved to see more about her past and why she did all this for her siblings. Instead, all the time is spent watching a poorly directed series of poker matches. Even when Madoka stepped up to the plate, it wasn’t exciting because it was the same structure as before…except she just happened to get better hands. Her eye twitch was obviously a ruse as well because you don’t become a gambling goddess if you have a tell that obvious. It was predictable.

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The only good thing about the match was Kuroki flying in and playing poker for a round…in his Willwear. Come on guys, that’s a golden opportunity to show us a robo-poker face and make things interesting!

All in all, it was a meh episode that didn’t capitalize on the things it should. If you’re gonna give us a poker episode, don’t make the poker match the most boring part. If you’re giving us backstory, GIVE US BACKSTORY! Madoka is too darn cute to be ignored. Active Raid continues to be a pretty subpar show, but not bad enough for me to drop. After all, I need to be there when that goddamned loli finally speaks.

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This week’s Where’s Waldo answer

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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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12 Responses to “Active Raid – 05”

  1. zztop says:

    The only good thing about the match was Kuroki flying in and playing poker for a round…in his Willwear.

    And thus the fun silliness quota per episode was met. ^_^

    This episode appears to be a riff on a what-if scenario if Japan legalized gambling. Currently gambling is illegal by law there, except certain ones like horse racing, motor sports, the national lottery and pachinko.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambling_in_Japan

    Their government’s proposing a bill to legalize gambling and open proper casinos, which would open a source of new government revenue. The debate’s currently on hold though.

    • Overcooled says:

      Oh wow, so they’re thinking of legalizing casinos. Hmm, I wonder if that episode actually is up to date with politics or if this just happened to coincide with that.

  2. zztop says:

    Asami centerfold for Megami magazine:
    https://forums.animesuki.com/showpost.php?p=5767419&postcount=158

  3. IreneSharda says:

    This episode really felt like filler and a bit needless, however it was nice to see the mousy, quiet computer girl have a cool past.

    • Overcooled says:

      It was certainly light on the plot compared to last week. But yes, it was nice to see Madoka become more than just a background character!

  4. HannoX says:

    Madoka’s past and her love of gambling were the only interesting parts of this episode. But they weren’t capitalized on the way they should have been.

    The poker hands were boring. Plus the plays were unrealistic. Both always went for all five cards. However, as Kenny Rodgers sang, “You got to know when to fold them.” If four cards have been dealt and you see you can’t beat what’s showing in the other hand, a good player folds and hopes for a better hand next time. You might even fold after three cards depending upon circumstances. But none of them ever folded and it wasn’t like only one hand was being played.

    The playing would have been more interesting if fewer hands were played and we were privy to the thoughts and strategizing of the players after each card was dealt.

    • Overcooled says:

      It was such an interesting story, I’m so surprise they didn’t give us more! She had a whole other persona and dark past that we hardly even saw.

      The poker really didn’t do it for me. It felt like they were trying to do it in a way where people who have absolutely no understanding of the rules could follow…but that ended up making it far too shallow. Less hands and more strategizing would have helped

  5. BlackBriar says:

    I also thought it was interesting Mythos said their goal wasn’t to hurt anyone. That gave me some serious flashbacks to Gatchaman Crowds Insight where Rizumu had the nerve to try and stop people from hurting themselves by viciously attacking other people.

    Well, the show seems black and white as can possibly be. And since Logos is the antagonist group in such a setting, we can’t really hold them to their words, can we? Which is why I can wholeheartedly agree on Rin’s supposition that they’re in it to cause mischief. It makes think of a famous movie quote:

    “Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
    – Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine). The Dark Knight.

    Well, a no-brainer that our shy girl is the infamous Bloody Mary and I can’t say the mask did much concealing appearances. At least it shows there’s more to Madoka than meets the eye being an underground gambler. It’s real welcomed because just being cute and nothing else won’t bring a lot of attention her way. Since she’s an underground gambler, meaning a participant in an illegal activity no matter the perspective, that’s practically making Madoka a criminal which is ironic because she’s in law enforcement. So… which is her real face? I could only imagine the team’s inner thoughts.

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m still unsure if it’s just for mischief. It all depends on what Orochi really is and what they’re going to use it for. But they do seem to be having fun as all this chaos unfolds…

      Madoka seems like a really cool character, but I wanted more. You’re right about the team not really showing much of their inner thoughts either. I would have a million questions if my coworker suddenly revealed they were a super gambling prodigy!

  6. BlackBriar says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t point out and mock Yasuharu Funasaka‘s failed attempt with his James Bond impersonation. That “Vodka Martini. Shaken, not stirred” was grating. This isn’t Casino Royale and Funasaka is nowhere near as suave and charismatic as Bond.

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