*cue dramatic explosion behind them*
|I watched this episode with a blinding headache, because this is the kind of show I feel like I can watch without paying much heed to. So of course, this episode turned out to actually be kind of decent, but I was in too much pain to enjoy it. I’m sure I’d be even more impressed if my head hadn’t felt like it was about to implode.|
The structure of Active Raid up until now has been very rigid, focusing squarely on one character per episode until the entire Unit 8 crew was properly introduced. This became a bit of a tiresome approach, as the individual episodes characters got often did very little to successfully flesh them out. As such, I still feel like I don’t know any of the members of Unit 8 any better – and if I do, I don’t like them very much anyways. However, while each episode failed to deliver on the character-of-the-week scheme, I think it did a better job at setting up this main plot with Mythos. I can now see a lot of side stories tying together quite nicely in this penultimate episode leading up to the finale.
It’s the little things that went well this episode, but I really appreciate thoughtful touches. For example, the sleep ray we saw previously in the giant robot episode was repurposed to fight against the USDF without lethally wounding them. Bird’s seemingly random question to Hinata about translating sentences into Latin ended up being a password, which actually links back even further to when Bird first started using her as a pawn by controlling her laptop. Finally, Liko, who has been here since the beginning, is now part of Mythos’s major hacking crime. It’s really clever to have a seemingly innocent computer program that’s been present for the entire show end up being a malicious virus used to remotely control a bunch of computers.
There were so many little things that came to fruition this episode in a very satisfying way. The episodes prior were such a chore to watch, but now it’s starting to pay off in this finale. I’m not entirely sure if this makes up for the rest of the show being so mediocre, but I certainly can say I’m impressed with this episode in particular since it looks like the directors actually did put some effort into planning this show. Liko popping up now as a “final boss” of sorts was the most impressive, because it was being hinted at for such a long time but it still felt surprising when it actually happened. I especially got a kick out of the ED song and next episode preview changing to fit her new role. I’m a complete sucker for when they change the OP or ED to go with a major plot twist, such as in JoJo or ERASED.
So now all the old, uncool people who didn’t download Liko can save the day
Based on Liko’s appearance, Unit 8 didn’t succeed in stopping Mythos in time. It was fun, however, to see the whole team get together and work on a big mission. This is precisely why I wasn’t fazed by their break-up last week, because I knew it would be as temporary as a house of cards on a windy day. They got together again literally the next episode. So much for building that tension.
All in all, this was a solid episode of Active Raid. The interplay between Bird and Mythos is very interesting, leaving me to wonder who the real mastermind is here. I’m also starting to wonder if Liko is related to Emily in any way, as she appears to be an older version of the holographic loli that always followed Mythos around (and by similar appearance, I mean they both have pink hair in weird styles and that’s about it). With all these unknowns, the finale should be quite a wild ride.
*uses the sleepray on myself to get through exam season*