Active Raid 06 – METANORN

Active Raid – 06

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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…

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Mission success (minus however much damage they caused COMPLETELY DESTROYING THIS PLACE)

About

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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6 Responses to “Active Raid – 06”

  1. Painboy says:

    Unfortunately, while the concept was sound, I feel like the execution was lacking.

    This pretty much sums up this show so far. They have some worthwhile ideas but the writing and animation hasn’t really been there to support it. It’s also strangely disconnected from episode to episode. It can’t seem to decide if each episode is it’s own story or if each episode is just a chapter in one big story. Currently I find it really muddled.

    • Hunter says:

      I don’t think there’s been any such confusion.

      It’s mostly episodic with a few small hints about larger stuff that hasn’t had relevance yet.

      No episode has been, so far, presented as a chapter.

  2. zztop says:

    It became clear that these clunky, fuel-guzzling giants just weren’t worth the price of entry.

    And thus the greatest fallacy of the Gundam universes was revealed, causing each of them to implode and collapse from the strain of being unable to handle this piece of logic…

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Definitely crafted and targeted for hardcore mecha fans, though I’m not one myself. Don’t know if it was deliberate or not but Morgan and Drew looked as though they came right out of an old Gundam series and I bet Fosh would’ve been all over this if he were watching the show.

    It cheesy how Funasaka and the other technicians were cheering the doctor on to lead the repairs but at least he can pass on with a sense of accomplishment.

    Mission success (minus however much damage they caused COMPLETELY DESTROYING THIS PLACE)

    It comes with the territory. Take the Transformers movies for example.

  4. Hunter says:

    I was hoping you’d actually be very positive this time around, but no such luck. Man, you’re really such a spoilsport!

    I didn’t think it was remotely bad to tease us by showing Drew and Morgan at the start. In fact, that’s generally what a pre-credit sequence is supposed to do.

    Rather contradictory for you to demand build-up and then suddenly complain about Funasaka’s exposition, all of which was relevant to the episode and delivered to a younger person who probably didn’t know about the giant robots.

    It’s like you want the show to be slow, but whenever it slows down to let people talk, your brain apparently goes into a coma.

    I really have no choice but to conclude you are far too easily bored and that makes me sad.

  5. Hunter says:

    I don’t know if my earlier post got through, but I could understand your complaints about episode 5.

    This time? I find them entirely unwarranted and unfair.

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