It’s hard to talk about this episode because it unfortunately took the show in a direction I did not want it to go for me: Disinterest. While I don’t know for sure if this is a precursor to a lackluster series, Active Raid episode 4 was much different and felt a lot less entertaining as a whole. There are many reasons for this but the easiest way to discuss it is to bring to attention something all episodes seemed to have that this one did not contain to quite the extent: Active Raid usually succeeds because it inverts some sort of trope and allows a sentai theme to be questioned or played up for laughs. Episode 4 is the first episode of Active Raid to make me wonder if this trope will genuinely succeed or the show will find itself reaching a stale point of contention- and will they go back to actually relatable victims or people in danger? Seriously, this episode featured someone in distress that I did not care about at all, only the people around him really mattered to me.
The main focus of this episode was on a plane in a bomb, and for once the team seemed to be pretty efficient in fixing their ‘deal with the problem in a timely manner’ problem. However one of the successful things about the show was the level of, to be slightly off color in terms, foreplay they used to bring in the suits and make sure the mission was going to be hilarious. Instead of having a truly hilarious plot, which this show is generally very good at, they more or less rehashed the tensions and arguments between the two lead male characters. This ended up being less funny and more confusing, because this tension was artificially created in the beginning of the series and then essentially ignored.
When I say ignored I don’t mean it didn’t exist, but merely that the show allowed it to exist because it was an element of the show and it wanted it to be there. Ignored isn’t the correct term truthfully, the better way to say it is that Active Raid allowed the tensions of the main characters to blend in together and exist as a seamless thread in the shows plot that cannot sustain itself on its own. We have known from episode 1 that these characters have issues working together despite their actual capacity to work together, yet the focus on it this episode just made me feel as if I was watching for nothing. Nothing ‘new’ was added and the ‘plot’ this episode was putting in front of us was more monotonous and less fulfilling. That isn’t to say nothing good happened- there was the occasional dialogue and fight scene that pulled you in.
In fact it’s not that nothing happened in episode 4 of Active Raid: it’s that for the most part nothing really eye catching or engaging happened in episode 4 of Active Raid. While the previous episodes could catch my attention with a funny joke or something interesting to dwell on about the characters, this episode made it hard to keep my eyes on the screen. I am hoping this is more or less just working out the kinks: maybe this episode exists to tie a lot of plot threads together that I can’t possibly know about. The good part about being an episodic reviewer is I have the potential to further examine what comes next: is Active Raid going to continue on the path of a fun loving tongue in cheek show with a neatly threaded plot, or will it be less engaging in an attempt to be more serious? While I can’t answer that now, I am hoping to enjoy next weeks episode a little more.
The animation is still perfect though, and I love Soichiro so much I don’t care if most of his actual plot gets downplayed to have arguments with Takeru, he is my husbando . .takin out the trash. BUT WHY DID THEY BARELY MENTION THE BETA VERSION OF THE SUITS AND WHY IS THIS HACKER SO ONE DIMENSIONAL? Srsly.