|All these weeks of poking fun at Active Raid, and it finally pulls a good episode out of its ass. Instead of swinging between “bad” and “bad in a way that’s mildly enjoyable”, this episode was genuinely good without any irony involved.|
Kuroki wishes she’d carry him in her arms like that
What really made this episode for me was seeing the relationship between Sena and his ex, Ooshikouchi. It works so well because these two know each other intimately, which allows us to see hidden sides of their personality. Sena, who I assumed was some asexual robot, actually had a girlfriend and did all sorts of romantic things for her. That’s adorably unexpected! It also became increasingly clear that he still has feelings for her and would jump at the chance to get back together. I didn’t expect someone who usually doesn’t react to things to look so wounded when Ooshikouchi was insulting him. The looks after she threw wine on him in his fancy suit just killed me.
BITCH, THIS THIS GUCCI
Speaking of that wine scene, Ooshikouchi is also quite the one to subvert expectations as well. During her previous screentime and during the “drinking party”, she was so polite she seemed almost angelic. That facade quickly washed away when she was alone with Sena though. She dings Sena for being a controlling perfectionist, but it turns out she’s actually just as bad as he is. For Sena, he shows it in obvious ways such as planning every single aspect of a date to an obsessive extent in order to please his girlfriend.
For Ooshikouchi, her version of perfectionism is a little more selfish. She’s obsessed with her image being “untarnished” and strives to be the best in every aspect of her life. She also seems to be sadistic to the point where she feels pleasure from seeing Sena apologize profusely to her (for literally the dumbest things), meaning that she actually kind of expects Sena to cater to her every whim. You can’t complain about someone doing too much during a date and then turn around and get mad when they don’t do enough. They’re definitely both perfectionists in their own way, which may or may not make them a good match in terms of forming a healthy relationship. Still, I thought they were a cute couple. It’s a shame all this drama got in the way of their reunion, because they both seem to harbor feelings for each other after all this time.
Watching the ups and downs between the two was fun, but what really elevated the story was having that romantic plot layered with the Ultimaid plot. Bringing the two together worked so well, as each story enhanced the other instead of muddling it. Having a vigilante hero butt in became even more interesting when it turned out to be a planned attempt to show off the USDF’s skills…and that the pilot was Sena’s ex. It fell into place so perfectly that I’m amazed I didn’t catch on to the connection sooner.
So good on you, Active Raid, for making me feel more than just pity this week. This was the best episode to date! Unfortunately, I think we’ll go back to the level of derp as “I LOVE TRAINS” once again next week. This is just a pleasant anomaly, but I’m going to enjoy it while I can.