Active Raid Season 2 – Preview
Active Raid Season 2:
Original Air Dates: Jul 10, 2016 to ???
Synopsis: Unit 8 saved Japan from a group of cyber terrorists, pinning them as heroes of the country. Now, with the support of a newly established leadership behind them, Unit 8 has expanded and gained new authority over Japan. Asami has moved on, creating Unit 9, another branch of the Assault Division to oversea law enforcement in south-western Japan. Sena has quit Unit 8 and now works as part of a clean up crew. However, Unit 8 may be about to face their deadliest threat yet as a new masked Willwear user sets about recruiting unsuspecting civilians as suicide bombers.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Active Raid has returned with the second season we already knew was in the cards. This time we’ve skipped forward some period of time after the conclusion of the first season. To really sell things we learn that several members of the team have moved on. Asami and Sena have both left Unit 8 for greener pastures. Asami moved on to form her own team, Unit 9, and protect the south western part of Japan. Sena quit the team and got a new job as part of a clean up crew for the city. Unit 8 itself has boomed in business and seems to have a lot more power than last time, changing up the dynamic. As if breaking up the team a little wasn’t enough, Active Raid Season 2 introduces two new characters. The first is a blond girl who joins the team. She’s entirely unremarkable and unmemorable. I assume her character will get more development later on, but right now she just feels like a warm body to fill an empty seat with. The other girl, a blue-haired beauty, is super shy unless she wears special glasses to mask people’s eyes from her. It’s a bit overboard, even for this show, but I guess it falls in line enough with Active Raid’s oddball tone.
Linny: The major shuffle in cast was a bit of a shock as the last season hadn’t hinted at any such changes but it is most likely an effort to give this season a fresh feel. Even though some of the major cast members have left, the first episode makes it abundantly clear that at least one of them is going to feature regularly. If you felt that some of the female members were a bit crazy last season, this season tries to top it with one of the new recruits. One girl has a phobia issue and enters the room for the first time, with her back to everyone, bent at her hips and butt in the air so yeah, prepare for more crazy. I do find it interesting that the character who set events in motion last season, former Unit 8 mole Asami, is only shown indirectly as the crew watches a promotional video she appears in and seems to be out of the picture completely.
Tom: This episode moves quickly, just like last season with events catapulting ahead one after another with little room to breathe. It feels like one of the first season’s stronger episodes that is until we start cramming in developments to force the team back together. Active Raid goes to great lengths to establish that everyone has moved on, and that there’s a new system coming into place that will allow civilians to work with the police in times of need. It’s pretty clear that this little development is what will allow Sena to get roped back into things as a new villain emerges. But instead of allowing it to exist as set up/foreshadowing for the future, Active Raid makes use of that possibility right away, begging the question: If Sena gets roped back in the very first episode, why have him move away from the team in the first place? It causes the episode to become bulky and unwieldy as events are crammed in to force everything to resolve in just one episode.
Linny: The first episode does seem to spend quite a bit of time on Sena and his return to the point of making his whole departure seem like a pointless venture. Maybe if we had gotten to see him as a non-member for a longer period of time, his return would have had more impact especially when his departure seemed to be on a whim rather than a heartbreaking decision and event for anyone involved. And while I enjoyed Active Raid for how it often had minor villains with understandable motivations, this first episode gave us yet another airhead of a villain who was easily fooled and manipulated into being a tool for this season’s new big bad villain. Hopefully, this season isn’t going to be a repeat of the last, where every episode dealt with villains who kept turning out to be puppets in the hands of the ultimate villain.
Tom: Ultimately Active Raid, for better or worse, feels very much like the same show from before. Little has been improved upon, but for the crowd who loved it just as it was, know that this season carries the same tone, fast pace, and lose comedy the first season was known for. I can’t recommend it to anyone who was mixed on Active Raid’s 1st season however.
Linny: Despite the shuffle in cast members, the main formula of Active Raid seems unchanged. If that’s what you loved last season, prepare for more of the same. However, it also means that for anyone hoping for different or more development, they might be headed for disappointment.
Active Raid Season 2 is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.