Active Raid is based on original story and is directed by a well-known director named Goro Taniguchi. He’s a director for all Code Geass series. Interestingly, character design in Active Raid is done by Saeki Shun who was also responsible for art and character design in Shokugeki no Souma manga and anime series. You may see the resemblance between characters in Active Raid and Shokugeki no Souma.
Active Raid is set in future Tokyo where technology advancement speeds up Tokyo’s fast reconstruction after the Quicksand Disaster with exoskeleton suit. Exoskeleton suits are normally used for good, however, in criminal hands, they serve a different purpose.
To combat criminals using exoskeleton, a police division specifically to combat exoskeleton criminal was formed and it’s called Mobile Assault Division. This division equips themselves with exoskeleton called Will wear. If you watched Power Ranger before, Will wear has a similar functionality.
One of the units within Mobile Assault Division is Unit 8 which has a bad reputation for their reckless and destructive way of solving crimes. As a result, Assistant Inspector Asami Kazari was sent to unit 18 with a secret mission to put this unit back up to shape and hopefully recover its public image.
While Asami has tons of experience under her belt, she’s still the newbie in unit 8. She’s just a classic case of “she thinks she knows it all” and they all must obey the law i.e. follow the rules regardless the situation.
After I watched the first episode, I thought this anime series has a lot of potential with a combination of police story, mecha and mixed in a little bit of comedy here and there. The 8th unit reminded me of Bokuto Police Department in You’re Under Arrest series in term of they do things i.e. not following the proper protocol. All in all, after the first episode, I was excited about the potential. In addition, the part where Asami joined the 8th unit and acted like she knows it all was too similar with Akane Tsunemori in Psycho-pass.
Then, here comes the next few episodes and all the expectation and hope were slowly going down. I just wasn’t sure where the story was going and yes, I was aware of the main villain, however, each episode was getting too repetitive. It always has the same plot i.e. the villain sent someone to disrupt Tokyo using will wear, unit 8th was called to subdue the troublemaker and during the process, unit 8th accidentally destroyed a building and caused any other issues that made their reputation even worse.
Even with such a weak story plot, I enjoyed the OP song called “Golden Life” sung by AKINO with bless4. She’s a well known for her voice in OP/ED in Aquarion series.
In addition, Active Raid also has a list of ‘star’ seiyuu which is kinda unfortunate to see when anime series with a weak plot is great in any other aspects. I felt it’s kinda a waste. Takeru Kuroki is voiced by Nobunaga Shimazaki who’s well-known for his voice as Haruka Nanase in Freeing. Asami Kazari is voiced by Ari Ozawa (Kirin Todou in Gakusen Toshi Asterisk, Chiyo Sakura in Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun and Airi Arcadia in Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut). Lastly, Souichiro Senna is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai ( Suzaku Kururugi in Code Geass, Haseo in .Hack // G.U., Cloud in FFVII Advent Children). Looking at these ‘star’ seiyuu list, it’s really a shame that the story cannot deliver.
To watch or not to watch is the question. If you’re going in with a high expectation that this series will be as great as Psycho-Pass or You’re Under Arrest due to its similarity, you will be greatly disappointed. I don’t recommend this anime unless the whole series is completed and you have nothing else to watch. Note that there are 24 episodes in total and it’s split between Winter and Summer 2016 anime season. What I would’ve done is to wait until it finishes 24 episodes and do a marathon.
Do you still have this series in your watch list? Which episode did you drop this series?