Pro tip: take your date to see giant robots. Girls can’t resist them!
|Are you guys ready for V-DAY?! I was hoping there would be something vaguely romantic in one of the series I’m blogging so I could pick a related screencap, but the closest thing was that old dude dragging Kazari to a giant robot show. I guess it depends on what you see as romantic? Maybe giant robots make you weak at the knees. Here at Metanorn, we do not judge.|
I really liked the way they approached the subject of robotics, talking about how giant robots were once cutting edge technology. It seemed like a career path with a bright future full of new jobs and applications in numerous fields. But as one thing led to another, it became clear that these clunky, fuel-guzzling giants just weren’t worth the price of entry. It’s a sad chain of events that shows an almost darker side of the Willwears, as they replaced these robots and put a lot of people out of work as a result. It’s a neat way to throw in some worldbuilding and also develop Funasaka a bit more.
The history of Willwears is suddenly a lot more interesting to me now. You have younger guys like Sena and Kuroki who fully support Willwears without even acknowledging these giant robots as a threat. It would be like me suddenly cranking out posts on a typewriter – it’s just not as convenient as new technology that has come to replace it. But that leaves older generations feeling a little displaced when technology they grew up with suddenly becomes obsolete. It’s even worse when your entire job revolves around it and then all of a sudden your one means of making a living essentially doesn’t exist anymore. It’s scary to think about something like that happening in the future, where someday they’ll tell us computers are out-dated and we need to switch to something new and better. Even if you’re making a change for the better, change is always difficult in one way or another.
I would choose any career a giant robot told me to as well
The giant robots were framed in a nostalgic sort of way, with all these old guys fondly looking back at it and wishing they could have continued to pursue their dreams. Dr. Kasumigaseki having severe Alzheimer’s was like an added kick. Because of his illness, he literally could not move on like the others had. He still breaks in to check on his robots as if they still need repairs to get up and running. To him, everything is permanently frozen in the era where giant robots were still a booming industry. You can tell by the way he still refers to Funasaka as a young boy even during one of his moments of relative lucidity that he still has no idea how much things have changed.
It’s a nice throwback episode, complete with a giant robot battle and oldschool music, it gives Funasaka some attention after his absolutely terribly showing last week (he lost at poker pretty badly), and it builds up the world of Active Raid as something else so much bigger than this police vs petty terrorist catfight. I would welcome more episodes like this, because Active Raid is excellent at coming up with clever little ideas like this.
Some people have mental breakdowns during a midlife crisis. Others punch things with a giant robot.
Unfortunately, while the concept was sound, I feel like the execution was lacking. The episode starts off smack dab in the middle of showing Drew and Morgan, and it feels like being thrown into cold water all of a sudden. There is no slow build, we just dive RIGHT IN to giant robots and a boatload of exposition. Funasaka spends so much time talking and explaining things that I actually stopped watching halfway and had to save the episode for another day. I was bored. The second half was thankfully much better, with some last-minute robot fixing, an oldschool showdown, and a somber death scene for the esteemed doctor. I wish Active Raid had a little more finesse to pull off this story better, because there was so much heart in the idea!
This seems to happen a lot too. The poker episode was a nice concept..in theory…but then it just ended up being a slideshow of different poker hands being revealed with no excitement whatsoever. They also throw in cool little tidbits like Kazari unable to fight due to pop-up ads and requests to not fight in a certain area because an anime studio is trying to meet a tight deadline. There are some great ideas up there in the old brainstorm box, but they don’t always come out right. At least it looks like by this episode they’re kind of getting the hang of it? Maybe? ….We’ll see…
Mission success (minus however much damage they caused COMPLETELY DESTROYING THIS PLACE)