Kikko has been criminally underutilized this season. Such a shame. Oh well, we do get some Emi time this week. We go both underground and into space this week on Concrete!
This episode manages to simultaneously be very easy to talk about, and very hard at the same time. What do I mean by that? Well, let us dive right in.
Concrete this week, while just as thematically deep as any of the others we’ve seen, manages to be the least subtle, or taken another way, the most overt with the themes it’s trying to get us to see. I was half waiting for Devilo to break out into “Kumbaya” with the crowd he managed to gather. But if you were at all unsure what was going on, Devilo’s half-song/half-poem about him and his sister, Devila, moving to Space towards the end of the episode should solve that, “You and I are different, but we can live in the same space”.
This is all in stark contrast to the Public Security Force that was hellbent on blaming any and every superhuman that could be vaguely plausible for the accident at the tunnel at the beginning of the episode. Superhumans, youkai living within the mantle and even humans should all be able to live together. But these latest conflicts have led both sides, instead of conversing and addressing whatever issues together, to dig in to their own entrenched beliefs about the others. The Public Security Force is going to arrest someone for whatever charges they can find, damned if they have any reason to do it. The consequences for any action that they can pin on anyone are also just as radical and extremist as can be. It’s easy to see them as the ultimate antagonists as we move forward, particularly as Jiro and the Bureau seem to agree with each other on the ridiculous extremism of the Security Force. Are these the seeds of a future reunion or sorts?
All of this is reminiscent of the partisanry of politics, not just in America but I’m sure in other countries across the world including Japan. Though I’m not as familiar with their political climate, it wouldn’t be surprising to see similar entrenched beliefs driving major political parties to be at odds with each other no matter the consequences. Which leaves people like Devilo and Devila to hang in the wind, or even move to other places (like Space). Where Devilo can wax poetic about simplistic ideas all he wants.
But in Concrete’s effort to put their ideas way out to the forefront this week, I’m still left with several questions. Previously, Emi was referred to as the “Youkai Princess”, but it seems as if she’s only a princess in a youkai community with many possible feudal leaders? Will we see more of Emi’s comrades and where do they all stand in these conflicts?
So what happens to all of Devila’s followers, like the sneaky elevator guy (and aptly-named) UpDown, or Devilo’s insectoid protector, Zumaman? Are they stuck in the mantle, or do they move to space with their leaders too?
I don’t really understand the need to bring water into space, nor their reason to attack the Apollo 17. Though the episode referred us to November of the 47th Era, Apollo 17 was actually launched and recovered in December of 1972. It was also the last manned trip to the Moon, so maybe there’s our connection?
Devilo seemed to be particularly interested in Kikko. Is there some connection between the youkai and Dark Kikko that is yet to be seen? I believe Kikko is from the “Devil Realm”, so will that be a factor in this?
I was also rather surprised by Devila’s seeming nonchalant behavior to this whole episode. It was mentioned several times that Devila was no fan of humans and the need to find her while her brother was out and about was prominent. And yet when she finally appears, she more than happily goes with her brother peacefully into space (albeit still attacking the Apollo 17 so? ). So which is it?
Also, this was one of the latest events in our timeline that we’ve seen so far. And yet we still haven’t seen any of Jiro’s potential allies other than Detective Raito and a tiny cameo from Judas. Will we get hints of the endgame, or will we have to wait for the end of the season?
The preview gives us a look at a new group of superhumans that we haven’t seen including Ichiu Wakamura or Human-Man. We also will see more from the Imperial Advertisement Inc as well. What did you guys think of this episode? I’ll see you all next week!
14th of Shinka Era: Gigantopitecus Gigantus found on an island in the Indian Ocean. (Episode 4)
December, 16 of Shinka Era: Americans capture an immortal superhero (later determined to be Minoru Hatekayama of the Immortal Family) during the War (Episode 9)
17th of Shinka Era: US Army brings Superhumans to fight the giant beast. (Episode 4)
19th of Shinka Era: An unspecified war ends. (Episode 1)
August, 20th of Shinka Era: The Doctor finds baby Jiro underneath the smoldering wreckage of the Enola Gay. (Episode 13)
29th of Shinka Era: In Tokyo, the doctor finds Emi and a naked Jiro (without left arms locks!) on a bridge after a beast attack. (Episode 4)
January, 34th of Shinka Era: Hiroyuki, the homeless boy, finds the baby Gagon.(Episode 4) At the same time, Jiro’s first encounter with GigantoGon and is saved by Rainbow Knight. (Episode 5, Episode 8)
March, 38th of Shinka Era: Daitetsu Maki incident, Rainbow Knight’s cover is blown and he dies. (Episode 8)
July, 40th of Shinka Era: Judas and the Diamond Eaters. Earth-chan comes and battles Judas. (Episode 7)
Januray, 41st of Shinka Era: The Bureau encounters Gross Augen for the first time. Earliest appearance of Jiro with the locks and bandages on so far. (Episode 4)
June 30, 41st of Shinka Era: Mountain Horses claim this is when they received their superhuman status at the Nippon Budokan. (Episode 6)
July, 41st of Shinka Era: Kikko joins the Bureau, Gross Augen leaves Earth. (Episode 1)
August, 41st of Shinka Era: Fuuruota joins the Bureau, and stops the bug species. (Episode 2)
August-November, 41st of Shinka Era: Beasts begin attacking and many Superhumans appear to defeat them. (Episode 4).
November, 41st of Shinka Era: Kikko and Jiro meet with Beastly Radio Wave. (Episode 4)
February, 42nd of Shinka Era: The robot detective and the female robot incident. (Episode 3)
April, 42nd of Shinka Era: Master Ultima returns from Mars. Beastly Radio Wave is exposed, Jiro activates his locks. (Episode 4)
July, 42nd of Shinka Era: Diving to find the released US Beast. (Episode 5)
June-August (Summer), 42nd of Shinka Era: Earth-chan stops Master Ultima from visiting Japan with his alien beasts. (Episode 7)
August, 42nd of Shinka Era: MegaGon with the Peace Movement. MegaGon goes wild and is stopped by Jiro. (Episode 5)
September, 42nd of Shinka Era: Explosion at the factory. The Immortal Family first investigated by the Bureau. (Episode 9)
October, 42nd of Shinka Era: Fuuruota joins the Mountain Horses as help. (Episode 6). At the same time, Emi meets with Ullr; Kikko and Judas battle Earth-chan and their conflicting ideologies. (Episode 7)
November, 42nd of Shinka Era: Angel Stars have their TV debut. Police and Public Security have endorsed Super Humans, while studying Superhuman Suppression drug, Neynorine. (Episode 6)
December, 42nd of Shinka Era: Kikko meets with the new doctor, Jin Nakayama. (Episode 12)
January, 43rd of Shinka Era: The BL Clan are asked to protect an artifact from The Eye of Lucifer. BL Clan leader revealed to be Daitetsu Maki. (Episode 8)
April, 43rd of Shinka Era: Mr. Jaguar fights the IQ and becomes a time paradox, proving his existence. (Episode 10)
June, 43rd of Shinka Era: Mysterious Knife Claude and the USS Antares. (Episode 11)
Later June, 43rd of Shinka Era: Chief Akita meets with the former head of the Ministry of Defense to discuss the revised Secret Functional Plan. (Episode 11)
August, 43rd of Shinka Era: Kikko meets with Myserious Knife Claude, reveals her true power and Claude reveals his identity. (Episode 11)
Later August, 43rd of Shinka Era: Golubaya Laika shot down, Kikko joins Claude and Chief Akita revealed as an alien. (Episode 12)
Later August, 43rd of Shinka Era: The Superhuman Bureau takes the fall for the Claude incidents (Episode 13)
October, 43rd of Shinka Era: The Student Protests and the Tanker battle in Shinjuku. Jiro and Claude battle. (Episode 13)
Early 44th of Shinka Era: Beast attacks and the craze over Beasts dies down. (Episode 5)
September, 44th of Shinka Era: Surveillance began on the Immortal Family. Battle between the Immortal Family and the American “Transformer”. Jiro’s not with the Bureau anymore. (Episode 9)
October, 44th of Shinka Era: At the Mountain Horses show, Jiro meets with Furuuota to discuss returning to the Bureau, but Jiro refuses. (Episode 6)
December, 44th of Shinka Era: Jiro breaks into the under construction Expo for Rainbow Knight’s helmet. The Fumers join him. Up to this point, Jiro does not have his scarf. (Episode 15)
45th of Shinka Era: Osaka Earth Expo mentioned. (Episode 6)
April, 46th of Shinka Era: Kikko finds and chases down Scarf Jiro. Scarf Jiro refuses to return to the Bureau. (Episode 1)
October, 46th of Shinka Era: The Galactic Inspector and Detective Raito team up to find the S Planetarian. Raito’s inner conflict about justice. (Episode 14)
November, 46th of Shinka Era: Superhuman freedoms are taken away. (Episode 13)
November, 46th of Shinka Era: Scarf Jiro saves Haruka Aki from both the Bureau and Taito Inc. (Episode 15)
January, 47th of Shinka Era: Incident at the Sapporo Olympics with the Three Birdmen. (Episode 16)
February, 47th of Shinka Era: Male robot returns to Japan. Robot detective is disillusioned with Japan, fights Scarf Jiro. (Episode 3)
March, 47th of Shinka Era: Scarf Jiro meets with Detective Raito after their clash. They are allies, for the most part. (Episode 14)
April, 47th of Shinka Era: Scarf Jiro and Judas break into Ikuta Laboratory to find Earth-chan. (Episode 7)
October, 47th of Shinka Era: Scarf Jiro and Earth Chan encounter Hyouma and Daitetsu Maki. (Episode 8)
November, 47th of Shinka Era: Devilo and Devila incident with the Public Security Force. (Episode 17)
August, 48th of Shinka Era: The bug queen confronts Fuuruota. Scarf Jiro emerges to calm the bug queen and comforts Fuuruota. (Episode 2)
25th Century: Jaguar goes back in time to stop the Advocates of Free History. (Episode 10)
Here we go, the second cour is under way! Let me know if I’ve made a mistake somewhere!