Active Raid: 2nd A Good Season of Mecha cops.

Best random use of out of nowhere swearing that I’ve seen in a long time. Where are you going to see a character nonchalantly call someone a “scumwad d##%” on multiple occasions or randomly saying “D!!! in p&%$?”

Sensei here, sorry for tanteikid94 posting an unfinished product of this recently, but He has reflected on his mistake. Here is the final post.

After the events of the first season (Winter 2016), Unit 8 has seen some changes. Asami has found herself shunted off to lead the newly formed Unit 9, letting her have the power trip she’s always wanted while getting her out of the way of serious police work. Sena, meanwhile, has left Unit 8 to become a bin collector, working for the foul-mouthed Abigail. Something, something & now everyone finds themselves facing corrupt politicians, the remnants of Logos & a conspiracy that goes to the heart of the Tokyo governor’s office.

The second season, in particular, seems to have upped the efforts to fit social & political commentary into its crime stories. City Hall corruption, abuse of undocumented migrants & the use of what are in effect PMCs to supplement the police all come up for discussion. Normally, this would be praiseworthy in a medium where such subjects are rarely explored with more depth, but after watching Patlabor, I understand that the crime and politics IRL is more complicated and takes more time to flesh out. Unfortunately, time was on the side of the production. The lack of time and exposition for the characters means that they all feel like caricatures or parodies of the stereotypical archetypes expected in similar shows and not actual personalities in their own rights. Active Raid reminds me a lot of Patlabor, or maybe Patlabor reminds of this show after I finished that show yesterday, a similar setup with a rag-tag quirky group of characters fighting in the name of the law, but not always aided by it.

Active Raid is a hodgepodge of ideas, and sometimes it actually produces something interesting. On rare occasions it shows promise, like during one episode where a stalker nerd villain scenario has a few new twists, or the cool world-building of episode 6, explaining why Willwear came to be the dominant force in technological development, and that giant robots as an instrument of aid fell to the wayside, but these ideas don’t have a connective tissue that binds them together. Maybe that was the intention of Naruhisa Arakawa, who I found out to be a Toku writer for Kuuga and Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger. Now I can see why unit 8 has a lot of sentai feelings to it like the aspect of color for each member, a secret bases, and trains and lauch paths for our heroes. I could be wrong through, but that is fine. I think OG works being ok is fine.

This OG anime will be lost to time, but its director Goro Taniguchi, who will later direct Lelouch of the Re;surrection, has a good handle on the action. studio Orange showcase their ability in this 24 episode series with the mecha-suit animation and design. I can see their growth later in Gozilla S.P. and Beastars. This was the studio’s third anime series, but their style is already unique.

 For better or worse, Season 2 seems to be following the same formula as Season 1, and I ok with it.

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