A short write up this week, as I’m pressed for time. We delve into the Vietnam War and its after effects this week, with the famed Gen Urobuchi presiding over the affairs.
Wow. What an episode. This episode drove us straight into the Vietnam War and into the horrors and tragedies that befell both soldiers and civilians during the fighting. The opening imagery evokes memories of Apocalypse Now’s opening scene, but it’s clear that our guest writer this week, Gen Urobuchi, got his inspiration for this episode from another American film about the war and its aftermath: the first Rambo film, First Blood. In it, Sylvester Stallone plays a war veteran/hero mentally tortured by all the trials he went through, who returns home only to be abused by local town police and driven from society. Sound familiar?
Here, our John Rambo is instead Master Sergeant Johnathan Morrell, an artificial superhero created from the results found at the Ikuta Labs just after the War, err World War 2 this time. If you’re familiar with First Blood, then the name Morrell will also sound familiar, because one David Morrell was the author of the initial novel. This Ikuta Lab was the one that Claude revealed to Jiro and the Bureau back in Episode 12 and is also where Jiro’s father, Dr. Magotake was working. Morrell though is haunted by the things he’s seen and also by the effects the testing has done on his body, direct parallels to PTSD. All of this leads to Morrell slowly breaking down mentally until the military decides to eliminate him to prevent further bloodshed.
The American military is clearly up to no good, and unscrupulous in their methods. We also get our first glimpse of Master Ultima this season, as the direct superior to our military leaders this episode. It also seems that Imperial Ads is also directly aiding the military in covering up their misdeeds and spinning them into rogue superhuman incidents.
While this season started off seeming like it would be a three way battle between Jiro and his group, the Bureau and Imperial Ads, it seems like Jiro and the Bureau will reunite and recruit superhumans to fight the military, Master Ultima and Imperial Ads. I can’t help but feel in awe of the people working on this show. The amount of historical research, planning and foresight to be able to create such a dense story both superficially and thematically is truly staggering. And the ability to take from many different writers, including our Gen Urobuchi this week, and still keep everything at such a high-level technically and writing-wise is amazing. There are other shows that may be entertaining me more this season, but from an intellectual stand point, I don’t think I’ve seen one as masterfully crafted as Concrete Revolutio, maybe ever.
Given that we’ve now done Vietnam, I wonder if we’ll ever do the Space Race. Or the Cuban Missile Crisis. Will Concrete touch on the Korean War perhaps, though we’ve sort of passed both already in timeline? Oh and what if we end with our alternate timeline of the Berlin Wall coming down? I’m fantasy booking sure, but I think it would be neat, and an interesting place to end.
Next week’s preview is voiced over by Michiko Tozaki, CEO of the Superhuman Securities Co, who I’m not sure we’ve seen yet, but I could be wrong. We also see Haruka Aki from Episode 15 in her superhuman glory, though for whom she’ll fight for, we’ll have to wait and see. See y’all next week!
17th Century: Koma heads out to explore Antartica. (Episode 19)
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)
March, 43rd of Shinka Era: Master Sergeant Morrell stationed in Vietnam and witnesses the horrors. (Episode 20).
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) Also, Human-Man emerges along with the Canada Goldenrods. (Episode 18)
November, 47th of Shinka Era: Devilo and Devila incident with the Public Security Force. (Episode 17)
Christmas, 47th of Shinka Era: Human-Man protects the Canada Goldenrods from Imperial Ads Inc. Bug Queen emerges from her chrysalis. (Episode 18)
March, 48th of Shinka Era: Koma is found frozen in Antartica and brought to Japan. (Episode 19)
August, 48th of Shinka Era: The bug queen confronts Fuuruota. Scarf Jiro emerges to calm the bug queen and comforts Fuuruota. (Episode 2)
September, 48th of Shinka Era: Koma returns to the Tokumatsuzuka Tomb, then confronts the Prime Minister, revealing a scandal. (Episode 19)
July, 49th of Shinka Era: Sergeant Morrell escapes. Jiro, the Bureau and the American Military give chase. Morrell is eliminated. (Episode 20).
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!