Active Raid – 01 (First/Last Impressions)

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We may have orders from RABUJOI Corporate to be tougher on shows and I may have had a long cold week, but neither of those things factored into my impression that Active Raid isn’t good. It is, in fact, quite bad. So bad, it was at times painful to watch. I’ll elaborate.

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The setting and premise are a strange melange of Psycho-Pass, Gatchaman, and Rail Wars!, without any of the strengths or charms of those shows. It also has a touch of Taimadou with its by now done-to-death “team of misfits”, but both the newbie Haruka (a smug, hollow Tsunemori knockoff) and the pithy, one-note misfits come off as dull and unlikable.

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Let’s set aside the fact that a guy randomly grabs Haruka’s ankle for no reason, Haruka often speaks English for no reason, and the titular unit with the too-long-winded name travels along on a slow train that shares rails with commuter trains as the perps (apparently “minors” who look like they’re thirty) fly around in Gatchaman like mecha.

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But the most damning aspect of this show is that it’s so interminably boring. Endless time is spent on displays and endless dialogue is devoted to getting confirmations and permissions and authorizations from the extremely inefficient bureaucracy. One could infer that that’s the point; that this unit could perform better if they were less hog-tied by red tape; but that’s just a theory.

In the meantime, the first episode’s obsession with following rules and the resulting, thoroughly listless sequence of action that got two random teenage perps got barely caught at great cost and trouble precludes any desire on my part to watch another episode in order to see if that theory proves true. This is another “anime-loaf” made up of several pieces of better shows, not baked with love, and I shall be avoiding it.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

5 thoughts on “Active Raid – 01 (First/Last Impressions)”

  1. Active Raid’s character designs are by Saeki Shun/Tosh, artist of the Shokugeki no Souma manga series. You may notice how Kuroki Takeru looks like a older, cockier cousin of Yukihira Souma. The anime’s scheduled as a split 2-season series, meaning the next half airs in Summer 2016 (similar to Asterisk War).

    Director Taniguchi Goro (of Code Geass fame) says Active Raid’s made to be a fun, wacky series, so things may not get very serious.

  2. There’s nothing especially related to Psycho-Pass other than introducing a newbie into the police force, which wasn’t a concept unique to that show. I don’t even think she has much in common with Akane at all, to be frank. That was a more brooding character, in spite of heir original innocence, and was inhabiting a darker world that quickly made her mature.

    I’d have to guess the use of Internet and Twitter might be what you’re associating with Gatchaman (Crowds)? It’s present, yes, but hardly conclusive evidence. And Rail Wars, really? Other than having (a smaller number of) cute girls around, they weren’t even presented in a similar manner. By this point in Rail Wars we would have already seen most of them in typical harem situations or bouncing up and down. I think the fanservice here, while existing, isn’t anywhere on that level.

    It’s hard to discuss “likability” and “dullness” since they’re such inherently subjective terms, but it wouldn’t be the first time a show makes its cast of characters look like bad people on the surface and then reveals their better sides. Too early to tell, at least for those who want to keep watching.

    I found the cast amusing enough, despite not being too interesting as individuals at the moment. Yes, the English was random, but I thought it was funny. Same for the fact the technician fellow grabbed her ankle (he does maintain the power suits, so it’s not too hard to imagine he’d need to know her shoe size anyway). I got the distinct impression the criminals were only pretending to be minors in order to get special treatment and that could have easily been false intel. The mecha didn’t seem too Gatchaman to me either.

    That theory may or may not be correct, but for me the primary purpose of the red tape was more on the humorous side. Of course, if you can’t laugh at it, perhaps it will come across as boring. Depends on how you feel about that sort of office sitcom situation (haven’t seen one in years myself, but I smiled here a bit).

  3. It had an episode to convince me to like or find something interesting in these characters. It didn’t.

  4. I can only shrug after reading your impressions. In my view, these were just some carefree heroic antics. Average genre material, but kind of fun and not too bad. I am willing to stick with the lighthearted premise since not every show needs to go for high stakes.

    The only anime I’ve ever dropped with such instant quickness was Cross Ange, because it became too insulting to watch after the pseudo-rape scene right at the end of the first episode. Everything else I am willing to give a couple of extra weeks to smooth out its rough edges.

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