OP Sequence

OP: 「約束」 (Yakusoku) by ムック (MUCC)
Watch the OP!: Download, Streaming ▼

「回想のロンド」 (Kaisou no Rondo)
“Rondo of Reminiscence”

Given the controversy over Japanese textbooks and how they distort history, I’m curious as to how this original series will approach matters involving Manchuria, the Mukden Incident, and the Nanking Massacre, but it hasn’t touched upon any of them yet. I’m no history expert by any means, but I would’ve had to live under a rock to not have heard about the war crimes Japan supposedly committed during the time period and locale that Senkou no Night Raid takes place in.

It’s a dicey matter indeed and while I’m sure a lot of people would love to see Japan take responsibility like the Germans did for the Holocaust, I question whether a Japanese animation studio dares to tread in such rocky waters. Anime no Chikara has shown that they will look into history details for inspiration, but So-Ra-No-Wo-To is far from being any realistic interpretation, making that “This work is a piece of fiction” warning at the end of each episode warranted, much like it is here. That said, this episode did introduce the matter revolving around Manchuria as Japan taking an interest in seizing the vast northeastern region of China, but I don’t think the controversial history books even dare to deny that. It’s the justification behind the land of the rising sun’s actions that are heavily debated, and it looks like this series will sidestep that land mine for now.

I didn’t mention this in my first post, but the fictional secret intelligence agency Sakurai Kikan, comprised of our four superhuman protagonists and their supervisor/commander Sakurai Shinichirou (Oobayashi Ryuusuke), works under the imperial Japanese Kwantung Army, a.k.a. the Kantougun (in Japanese) / Guandong Army (in Chinese), that was stationed in China during the early 20th century. Since things seem to be focused entirely on them and their espionage missions with any resemblances of reality going right out the window, this series could very well portray the Kwantung Army in a negative light, though it’s highly unlikely it will do so. This episode for instance focuses on a Jewish Russian violinist named Sergei Krainev, who the Kwantung Army suspects is a foreign spy that has been leaking out classified military information to an unknown benefactor. So um… they’re already blaming the Jewish foreigners.

In any case, this was another self-contained episodic-like showing, that covered everything it introduced from the onset and depicted more of how the characters make use of their abilities. There was an unexpected twist involving how Krainev was leaking the information he obtained (via his music over radio airwaves), but the real focus was on the various characters’ subplots as the episode title indicates. In particular, they showed how Aoi once knew a female violinist and seemed to love her, how Kazura (real name Takuma) was brought up with honor and righteousness in mind (which sort of explains why he doesn’t like to use his ability unless he has to), how Yukina has an older brother named Takachiho Isao who suddenly went missing and is apparently a spy for the Kwantung Army now, and how Natsume (real name Kichizou) is Yukina’s close family friend/bodyguard of sorts. Not much was explained in their various flashbacks however, so all of this simply serves as foreshadowing of things to come.

Overall, this was an eye-opening episode on where the story may be going from a character development standpoint. There wasn’t a whole lot of action though, so I’m starting to think this is more of a seinen series for older viewers. Personally, I like how it doesn’t fall victim to having to rely on shounen fan-service, but I imagine it will come off as a slow-paced series to others for that very reason. Other than that, the actual opening and ending sequences were included this time around, with MUCC’s “Yakusoku” used as the opening theme as originally planned and HIMEKA’s new “To The Future…” ballad as the ending theme. You can never go wrong with HIMEKA’s music, so be sure to check it out below.


ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「未来へ…」 (Mirai he…) by HIMEKA
Watch the 2nd ED!: Download, Streaming ▼



  1. Your impressions are still a little too summary-laced, in my opinion.

    I agree with your query about it being for older viewers. I think a lot of people are going to be unimpressed by this based on the hype it had, but I’m enjoying it so far.

    1. To put it quite bluntly, I really don’t know what you’re expecting to read from episode “impressions”. I only talk about specifics in the show for the sake of discussion. In this case, I mostly wrote about what the show made me think of with regards to Japanese history textbooks.

      If you just want, “That was a good episode. I can’t wait for the next.” while ignoring exactly what happens, then things will get very dry very fast going episode to episode. I could rehash the, “Good/bad animation, I liked X, I didn’t like Y.” spiel in every post, but I honestly don’t see the point of doing that. I may as well just make a list of pluses and minuses instead of trying to write something that’s potentially interesting to read.

      Please keep in mind these posts aren’t reviews — they simply convey the thoughts I had running through my mind after I finished watching an episode. If you’d like to give me an example of what you’re expecting to read though, I’d be more than willing to read it.

      1. One sentence to send you into all that? I’m not insinuating you should post more like Omni, so your anxiety over being expected to fill his much larger shoes is unnecessary.

        We don’t expect reviews, but we do want your opinions. Your impressions don’t have to be long or brief, but they shouldn’t have to be half recaps of what happened, either. Putting words in my mouth to make it sound like I want you to abbreviate your impressions just doesn’t float, because that isn’t what I’ve ever said.

        To deliver on an example, paragraphs 1, 2 and 5 are great, where 3 and 4 are almost entirely summary with little of your thoughts. I implore you to reconsider a division of content, even if all that means is a double line break.

      2. Divine, keep up the great work! I’m really glad that you’re putting in the time and effort into doing all this, keeping Random Curiosity alive and sharing your thoughts and opinions about new anime.

        I like how you’re taking tid-bits from the series and expanding them. They make me think more in-depth about the workings of each episode and what to wonder and speculate where the plot may be heading just based on these simple nuances. Also great screen shots too (More Yukina please! ^^)

        And going on what Click said, I believe they would agree when I use the royal “we” here…that we all appreciate your work and enjoy your thoughts on each episode. If we didn’t then none of us would bother to comment, generating discussion and trading dialogue about it.

        Keep up the great work!! ^^ I haven’t started watching Senkou no Night Raid myself but will try and do that when I can fit it in. Funny how I had this as one of the must-watch series this Spring but for the life of me I have no idea how B Gata H Kei managed to take it’s spot o.o This type of anime is more up my alley, B Gata isn’t really…weird.

      3. I think the way you write is fine; then again I’ve always read omni’s complete summaries before watching the episode so spoilers don’t affect me. But to be honest, the spoilers in divine’s posts are very few, and to me it only gives me a general impression of where the story is heading, especially if I’m only speed-reading posts.

    2. Well said, however everyone has different ways of writing. If you jump to the comment section of Angel Beats especially episode 2(where I’m trying to jump into what the significance of the world and plot is) my comments are almost strictly analysis and looking into the plot. Though I do mention what I do like later on lol. I do see your qualms… and I know that many people may mis-read what you right online (it’s text, no one knows exactly what you mean without body language etc.) however, for now, especially since it’s divine getting started on his own, that I say he’s doing very well considering the amount of shows he’s keeping up with.

      Sora no Kaze
    3. Can’t we all just….. get along?

      Oh yeah, and by the way, when you say “We” you really mean “I”. Oh and btw, if you didn’t get it, it’s funny because you mentioned putting words in your mouth.

  2. I like the setting, the storyline, the animation designs and the overall tone. But the characters seem….bland. They haven’t made a big impression on me yet, nor have they shown any interesting personality traits. I’ll need more than superpowers in order to care about them.

    I’ll keep watching to see if this gets better. Much thanks for the post Divine.

  3. from the Chinese perspective- well at least they’re on the ‘winning’ side to the Chinese civil war. Guomingdang was reduced to Taiwan where it keeps on being corrupted…democratically of course. 🙂
    I have a feeling that they might be whisked away to Russia or something nearing the controversial massacres, Hmmmmm

  4. It’s kind of rude to try and tell people how to write on their own site. You should be thankful they do this at all, rather than to be all smart-mouthed when you don’t do a darn thing but look at the screencaps and see if you wanna watch said anime they took the time to write about or not..

  5. I’m still apprehensive about this series from a historical stand point. I’m not expecting Japan to portray themselves as evil, but if they flat out pussy foot around the crimes they committed then I’ll be irritated. The premise is really intriguing though, so it’s probably why I even care.

    Divine’s style is different from Omni’s. Some prefer oranges, others apples, both have valid traits though. Shit, I’m happy Divine picked up Random curiosity, I was bummed when it sounded like the site was going to die. *Belated thanks for carrying the torch Divine.

  6. I really REALLY hope they handle the Manchurian incident, and seriously at that. Doing something so risky and pulling it off would propel this series from being merely interesting to something really spectacular. Conversely, if they just sidestep the issue, it’d feel like a major disappointment and waste of potential, like Sora no Woto’s ending.

    1. I agree completely. As divine said it’s managed not to rely on shounen fan servicing and has kept things quite mature up until now. It has potential to be something very different if they throw that into the mix as well.

      Glad to hear you think it will appeal to older audiences. I’ve been looking for more stuff like this. Any others you can recommend?

      1. So far, this series seems fairly unpopular among the masses and I suspect it will be really under fan-subbed as well, both of which sort of reaffirm the idea that it’s more suited for older viewers. That’s perfectly fine by me of course, as seinen series always have the added benefit that you’ll never hear anything about them from shounen fanatics. =)

        I’m trying to think of similar type shows that I’ve seen, but all that comes to mind at the moment is Persona -trinity soul-. Despite the inclusion of superhuman abilities there, it had a slower pace and focused on the characters a fair bit, and a lot of people got bored of it because of that. However, I didn’t mind one bit and enjoyed the direction that series went, which is sort of why I’m looking forward to its director and writer’s work in Angel Beats. I loved the soundtrack too.

      2. Awesome, I’ll give them a try. I don’t mind the super human abilities so much as the way they choose to handle them. It’s sometimes nice to have a break from the typical shounen formula. 😉

  7. Anshin shiro yo! I like the way you write your posts, Divine. If it were me, I’d be talking (or rather writing) about seiyuu and voice acting almost 75% of the time while the other 25% to be divided between the story, the characters and the animation.

    Well, as for this episode, the actions toned down. I was expecting a good balance between the actions and drama because I love how they work together using their abilities. Keep it up, Divine!

    Lil' Lilly
      1. Outside of Japan, I doubt you’ll find many who consider the subject of whether the warcrimes occurred to be controversial at all. It’s not quit as bad as denying the holocaust, but I would say it’s in the same vein.

        David Ma
  8. @ Divine: “So far, this series seems fairly unpopular among the masses and I suspect it will be really under fan-subbed as well.”

    Well some anonymous person subbed the first… I subbed the first as well, and Rumbel subbed it. So that puts 3 for the first episode. Although I don’t plan to do anymore since Rumbel has officially picked it up. I only hope they don’t take as long to release as they had been with Gintama. They are a great group IMO though.

    Look forward to more of your impressions. I think you are doing a great job keeping RC alive.

    Maybe you should create some categories for the series though like some past series have? That way we can like read all the Senkou no Night Raid impressions without having to sort through the others for example.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I’ve actually added a bunch of categories for the new series already, so please check the sidebar for them. There are also new links to jump within a category just above each post title, so feel free to make use of those as well.

      However, please note that series with their own category doesn’t guarantee that I’ll continue covering it. I merely wanted to start organizing posts so that they’re easier to find.

      As for the fansubs, it’s nice to see that Senkou no Night Raid is getting some limelight (from people such as yourself), but my impression is that it’s not a “hot series” that a lot of groups have taken interest in. A shame to say the least, but given the series’ somewhat niche genre, I can’t say I’m too surprised.

      1. Ah, my bad. All I noticed before was: “Filed under First Impressions, Series Introduction”.
        Which meant we had to go through all the series under those categories. Thank you for sorting them out. I understand that as well.

        Did you hear about the DVD/Blu-ray? It’s going to have an episode #0.. plus one of the special features is an all Japanese Dub audio track.. so no Mandarin.

        News Quote:
        “The first DVD volume of the Senkō no Night Raid television anime series will ship in Japan on June 23 with an unaired episode #0 as well as the director’s cut of the first aired episode. The 0th episode is titled “Senjō no Crank Up” (“End of Onboard Filming”). The director’s cut of the first episode (“Kyūshutsugyō”/”Rescue”) will include about three minutes of previously unseen footage. The first DVD’s extras will include a short audio drama “Shanghai Tōchaku, Shoshite,” an alternate “Japanese dubbing” track in which the original cast dubs the anime entirely in Japanese instead of both Japanese and Chinese, audio commentary, a special next-episode preview, cast interviews, and the documentary-style television commercials that aired before the anime.

        The official website of Senkō no Night Raid has announced on Monday that the Blu-ray Disc release will also contain the same contents as the DVD release. Episode #0 will be an original prologue story in which the “Sakura Kikan” spy organization meet up. For the limited first edition of the Blu-ray and DVD, original character designer Akimine Kamijyō is illustrating the reversible disc jacket. The first edition will also include a pamphlet of the first episode’s storyboards by director Jun Matsumoto, a mail-away submission form for an event, a postcard, a booklet, and a special disc case. “

  9. I think I’m going to drop this series after seeing the screens for this episode. It was difficult enough for me to watch the first episode all the way through, with the amateurish direction, horrible Mandarin dialogue, and the awkward and unnatural interactions between the characters.

    From what I can see, this episode is already forcing back story and character development on us (for what are in my opinion, uninteresting characters to begin with) without making any overall development.

    I was looking forward to this series at first, and I can see where Anime no Chikara was trying to go with it, but it just feels way to forced. I guess my expectations were too high for a rookie studio, hopefully their future projects will be more refined than this.

  10. Thanks for commenting on the second episode, Divine. This series is unexpectedly boring compared to the norm, I wonder how many people can actually follow this through. But I enjoyed it because I could see the studio has put a lot work into researching and developing the whole idea. I really hope they can pick up the pace a little though.

  11. I actually think it’s nice to see the Japanese textbook issue brought up, as I happen to be studying that issue right now (the universe, like college, works in strange ways …). And personally Divine, I like the thought-point style write up you use. If I want to know what the episode was about I can always stare at the plethora of pictures you (very generously) post or … watch the episode in question.

    It’s always fun to read a post filled with another viewer’s thoughts and think to yourself, “Hey! That’s what I was thinking!” Back on the issue of how the events are portrayed, I agree that it will be interesting to see how Anime no Chikara handles it. The heavy use of dialogue didn’t bother me too much this time, especially since things look like they’ll be picking up again next week.

    You Wish
  12. honestly “zerothelegend” is nothing but a fail troll with a stick up his ass, i’m not quite sure why he is attacking divine. personally i think the posts on each episode are fine. The very fact that someone like him would take up this role and continue on with such a site is commendable at the very least, to think that someone would come and troll and even try to BELITTLE divine for the efforts he puts in, its absolutely disgusting.

  13. It seems that there are still no subs out despite that the raws are already available.

    Anyway, I’m more curious on the organization that the 4 protagonists are in and their powers. It seems that the OP is giving hints about it.

    Keep up the good work, divine. I hope you’re not pressured on how many series that you’re taking in.

  14. if anyone was wondering the piece Krainev played is called Praluedium and Allegro (i think thats how its spelt…the Allegro began at the fast part btw and before that was the prelude) by Fritx Kreutzer (i think thats how its spelt) because scary coincidence that I played this piece for my violin exam!!! =O


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