Home > Episode Reviews, Senkou no Night Raid > Senkou no Night Raid Episode 6 – League of (Oppressed) Nations

Senkou no Night Raid Episode 6 – League of (Oppressed) Nations

After a  bit of a break, there is a return to the main plot and to superpowers, both of which had been conspicuously absent, for better or worse, for the last two weeks. This shouldn’t be seen a change of tone or style, however, as the action again takes a backseat to what is an intriguing, if slow moving, plot. There’s also some more hints on how the show intends to take certain upcoming historical events, and those hints are actually promising.

The group is in high alert with the arrival of Miki (no given name supplied), an elderly Japanese statesman of unspecified authority who is clandestinely visiting Shanghai. Miki has been involved in supporting Pan-Asianism and encouraging independence and revolutionary movements in various colonial possessions, and it seems he’s come for a meeting with various movement leaders. While the Japanese government (and thus Mr. Sakurai and his subordinates) are very ambivalent about all this, what really catches their attention is Miki’s apparent connection with Isao Takachiho, Yukino’s brother and suspected terrorist.

Aoi is sent to infiltrate Miki’s personal staff, but is surprised to be confronted by Isao himself, who disables him through the use of some as yet unspecified power. Kazura—who is joined by Yukina and Natsume, even though the latter two are supposed to be sidelined because of their personal connection—tries to locate them, and is aided by a mysterious woman who may or may not be Aoi’s supposedly dead friend revealed in flashbacks in episode two. They are stopped by the bomb-laying teleporter from episode three, who has orders to keep them from getting to the meeting.

In case you forgot about her, there are a few more flashbacks of Aoi’s mystery friend. The umbrella seems to be a constant part of her ensemble

The important part of the episode is not this fight, however, but Miki’s meeting, which Isao has Aoi observe. There, the various representatives mostly affirm with Miki that independence is necessary, but also express leeriness of the Japanese-led Pan-Asianism he supports, explaining that independence from Western Powers shouldn’t lead to submission under Japan. Japan’s own colonialist actions have eroded a considerable amount of trust. Miki, for his part, can’t imagine an independent Asia where Japan isn’t first among equals.

(The meeting, which is held in English, also gives the show yet another chance to butcher foreign languages. Oddly, I think that many of the voice actors are trying to speak English with the appropriate accent someone from their character’s country of origin would have, but they mostly fail. A particularly ironic example is the Indian representative, who speaks perfectly fluent American English, rather than either British English or English with a traditional Indian accent. A part of me wants to give them credit for trying, but that part is overruled by my bleeding ears.)

Miki has sufficient dignity to bring in a translator for the proceedings. If only the other participants were so inclined

Surprisingly, Isao seems to agree with the representatives, saying that he has renounced his loyalty to Japan and believes that each country should be free, with Japan having no particular special role to play. His idealism is such that even the non-Japanese find him unrealistic, but this doesn’t seem to discourage him, even though he currently lacks the ability to offer any concrete aid to the various independence movements.

Outside, Isao’s agent successfully stalls the team long enough to allow the meeting to conclude and everyone safely leave, so he teleports away. During the conflict, it is revealed that Kazura’s teleportation ability does have some quantitative limit (he can only teleport so often in a short period of time) while the agent’s ability is limited in the distance and direction it can be used. It’s still not explained where the abilities come from or what governs their usage—the agent has sufficiently strong abilities to keep Kazura, Natsume, and Yukina occupied all by himself—and I don’t know if that’s a place the show will ever go.

Despite our heroes outwitting or outfighting this guy at least twice every episode in which he appears, he can always just teleport away again

After the meeting ends, Isao notes to Aoi that he revealed all this to him because he is recruiting: he wants people with powers to give him the army to fight for the liberation of all Asia. He is no longer trying to recruit his sister forcefully, as he thinks that the work he is doing will speak for itself. He also notes that Japan herself will soon comes to a crossroads, and the country will have to decide whether to go down a path of destruction—something he will do his best to prevent. With that offer on the table, he then departs just before Yukina arrives, barely missing her brother.

Later, Miki prepares to depart China, and says to Isao before he goes that perhaps Isao is right to desire an Asia where Japan doesn’t dominate any more than the Western powers do. Miki notes that he is too old and entrenched in his ways to come around to this way of thinking himself, but encourages Isao to keep working anyway. As Miki’s ship sails and Isao leaves, he passes by a woman confirmed to be Aoi’s friend, obviously very alive.

My report of this lady’s death in my episode two review may have been slightly exaggerated

Based on this, it seems like the show intends to take the “best” path out: keeping the blame on Japanese and the Kwantung Army specifically for the Manchurian Incident, even if it produces non-historical “good” Japanese like Isao (and likely our protagonists, eventually) to oppose them. Of course, it’s also possible Isao will cause the incident itself as an attempt to drive the Japanese out of China, which of course would exonerate the Japanese of creating their own casus belli. But at the moment, given Isao’s words of warning and Aoi’s fight with Kazura in episode four, I think it might actually be honest about the historical record. And this would be a minor miracle in itself.

There’s still the question of why Aoi’s yet nameless friend would want to help Kazura and company find Miki’s meeting, and what her ultimate agenda is. Regardless, she also seems to have some as yet unrevealed ability (I’m beginning to wonder who in this show doesn’t have super powers), so I’m certain she’ll prove a major player in the events ahead. On what side, we’ll have to see.

Another sign of honesty is that, in an episode about Western colonial oppression, we see Chinese boycotting Japanese goods. They don’t explain why the Chinese would, but at least they note that there’s tension

This episode, for good or for ill, was far more direct and obvious in how it painted the historical picture than last time, but given the subject matter, direct and obvious might be exactly what the Japanese need. I would still be somewhat surprised if the show leveled a full-throated indictment against Japan in the run-up to World War II, but I would also welcome it.

You can watch this episode here.

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