Yukari TamuraSho HayamiTomoyo KurosawaAimi Tanaka
Active Raid Second
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2016: A
Also known as: Active Raid: Kidou Kyoushuushitsu Dai-Hakkei 2nd
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2016
Director: Goro Taniguchi, Noriaki Akitaya
Writer: Naruhisa Arakawa
Actor: Aimi Tanaka, Kousuke Toriumi, Masayo Kurata, Satomi Arai, Shizuka Ishigami, Sho Hayami, Tomoyo Kurosawa, Toru Ohkawa, Yukari Tamura
Keywords: anime, SF
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: Season Two: episodes 13-24
Url: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=18458
Website category: Anime 2016
Review date: 21 April 2017
Kidou Kyoushuushitsu Dai-Hakkei
It's a bit disappointing, really. It's fine, though. I watched it. It's basically the same as Season 1 and I was happy enough with that, even giving it a positive-ish review. This second batch of twelve episodes is similarly entertaining on an episode-by-episode basis, but its cast are mostly forgettable, it's not good enough to marathon and it has a half-hearted ending.
It's a seven out of ten. Six would be harsh. It's amusing and reasonably likeable. However I can't believe I'll ever rewatch it and I've already deleted my copies of the episodes.
Our heroes are cops in powered armour... but this is Japan, so they're polite, well-disciplined cops who follow regulations and respect the chain of command. They're called Unit 8 and their suits are called Will Wears. You might expect them to be continually called out to fight superhero battles, but in fact their adventures tend to be comparatively mundane police incidents. That's how I remember them. This is a realistic kind of superhero armoured cop show. Our heroes' enemies tend to be a bit pathetic rather than BWAHAHAHAHAHA EVIL and will include city bureaucracy, sad loners with insecure jobs, cheap punks, etc. Sometimes those baddies will also be wearing Will Wears, but I don't think I was ever scared or excited.
The show doesn't have much of a story arc. There are some interesting developments in the last few episodes with actual villains, but for the most part it feels like an anthology series.
As for the cops themselves, they're good public servants. Some of them have the odd personality quirk, but they don't let that interfere with the job. In other words, their personalities generally don't affect the stories. With only a few exceptions, they're anonymous.
I'm going to give myself a challenge! Without consulting my notes, what can I remember about the show I just watched? Umm...
1. The characters I can remember include Swaggering Male Hero, his Tightarse Rival and... well, the gentle middle-aged chap always seemed a bit more memorable than the others, even if I'm struggling to say why. I couldn't tell you much about the girls. A new girl in ep.1 has a phobia of people's eyes, but then she just turns into wallpaper for the rest of the series... and even that's better than the other new girl who joins alongside her. I couldn't even tell you now what the other new girl looked like. Tightarse Rival has quit the police and joined a garbage disposal firm under a vulgar foreign boss with big boobs. However he keeps returning anyway as a civilian contractor, which is handy for getting around police regulations since he's no longer a policeman.
2. The villains stand out more than that, but usually in the background and/or not involved at all.
3. As in Season 1, there's occasionally a bit of politics. What's more, it's not right-wing reactionary politics as one often gets on realising that a show has a hobby horse. I like this. It gives the show a bit of an edge, even if it's one that would be sharper if you were watching from a domestic Japanese perspective. There's a kaijuu movie episode, a bit like Season 1's giant robot episode in its lament about a dying industry. Not as good, mind you. However I was impressed with the illegal immigrant episode and its dark ending, since Japan allows almost no immigration and that almost never gets examined. That episode also touches on ostensibly moral governments that find reasons to cuddle up to murderous dictatorships.
4. umm... oh, yeah, ep.15. I'd heard that that was a "take that!" to people who can't watch anime dubbed into English. As such a fan, I was looking forward to this, but it looks as if that must have been the English dub only. The original Japanese track was talking about celebrity voice casting that produces bad work when non-actors get hired for their face or their name value. In Japan, that's actually a debate worth having.
Beyond that? It's a bunch of episodes. The characters don't tie it together, because hardly any of them have enough presence to do so. The plot doesn't tie it together, because the show only has a story arc by stealth. It's not a fanservice show, with even the bikini beach episode being tame. It's watchable, but it would be a mild stretch to call it good. It would probably go down quite well with ordinary viewers who don't want to watch anything too weird and would see this as a good, solid cop show with a near-future SF tinge. It's light, amusing and competent. It passes the time. You can do better.