“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.
“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.
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.
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.
This week’s Where’s Waldo answer