Senkou no Night Raid / Night Raid 1931 // 閃光のナイトレイド
The year is 1931. The city is Shanghai. Ten years before America will enter World War II, the hydra’s teeth planted by the first great global conflict are beginning to germinate. Hatching like spiders, they weave the complex web of plots and conspiracies destined to inevitably draw entire nations to the brink of destruction. Caught in the heart of these webs, desperately seeking to separate lies from truth, is “Sakurai Kikan,” an ultra-secret intelligence agency staffed by extraordinarily talented individuals with abilities far beyond those of normal humans. Their duty: to stop the darkest plots and eliminate the greatest threats. But in a city built on intrigue, can even a team of clairvoyants, telepaths and espers stand against the ultimate forces of destiny?
The Manchu Incident, the Chinese Civil War, the Opium Wars, all of these events during the 1930’s era that were included in the anime really give it a realistic aspect that I can really sink my teeth into. It’s obvious that the producers are skirting around the pond, they are avoiding heavy issues, such as the Nanking Massacre, that would spur on controversy and arguments between Japan and its neighbors and would have dirtied the name of this anime. I applaud the producers to take such daring steps (even if those steps are baby steps) to create anime that takes place in one of the most hotly debated eras in East Asia of all time. Using the “fiction” naming ploy, I believe the producers have cleverly avoided confrontation with political entities while at the same time, piquing viewers interest in Asian history.