Did we really have an episode with zero time-skips? I guess we did. So, let’s talk about what this episode has been about, which is two things, the first of which I’m surprised I didn’t see coming, and that’s sports. The second is the relationship of the past and the present.
So, sports. This episode’s historic event is the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympic Games. Sports are an obvious topic to discuss when it comes to military, national pride, and the tension between nationalism and individuality. Wars have started over football in the past. Wars and hostilities have ceased for the sake of athletic competitions (and this is part of the legacy of the Olympic games in ancient Greece. And fascist regimes have, just like democratic ones, used these events to try and bolster national pride. All of these have very much been at the forefront here, which will be more relevant as we go into the second part of the episode.
(There’s an updated chronological timeline at the bottom of this post.)
The other thing directly relating to sports is the tension between self and group. You go there and compete on your own, and if you fail, sometimes others turn on you and blame you for not upholding your country’s honour. But if you succeed, it’s your country and compatriots that take the credit, even though it’s you who has had to make all these sacrifices, sacrifices of time and health and even one’s own person. You no longer are simply you, but you are the vessel for a nation’s hope, you are the symbol of its efforts of leaping forward.
And that’s how we move to the other thing this episode has been about. If the last two episodes had been about humanity, and how the show makes use of superhumans as a group as a metaphor for humanity, and then of Jirou as a metaphor for humanity, then this episode is finally spelling out what its own structure is a metaphor for. Its structure, and the things it chooses to bring forth. That would be, how you can’t let go of the past, how you can’t reinvent yourself without the past’s blessing and act as if where you’ve come from has no impact on where you’ll end up.
It begins with the voice of the nation telling its tool how the Sapporo Games symbolize the country moving past its “Post-War” state, how it’s leaping into the future. It even has them saying how “This will symbolize the erasure of the riots from 4 years ago.” Or rather, it’s a thing of the post, where it can be left and forgotten, and moved beyond.
But look at where we are. We are watching a show that’s nearly 50 years after the riots he’s speaking of, and that the show is made revolving around these riots is its creators screaming at us that we can’t move past them, that the past is still with us, still affecting where Japan is heading today. Heck, if we truly didn’t care for the past, would we be trying so hard to move past it, to forget it? Wishing to forget something is the surest proof that it remains with us.
And even if we look beyond the meta-commentary of how ConRevo as a whole is bringing up Japan’s past as still relevant for how it is today (and it certainly has some relevancy by mere dint of being brought up), then we can also look at the message most episodes of the show tell by their structure. How are ConRevo episodes structured? By time-skips. Why? Well, first of all, it enables the show to tell us complete stories, because if we see pieces of the story split over 24 episodes, 3-4 minutes at a time, it’ll all end up as jumbled. That’s true. But there’s more than that going on, there’s also how most episodes show us actions and their consequences. The whole series is about how one event can reverberate through the years and affect countless lives. We see the Bureau’s birth in sin as affecting its ability to perform its stated goals, and maintain trust.
Likewise here. Japan can’t move past the war, it can’t move past the riots, and it can’t move past its traditions,because the past is full of vengeful spirits, and you can’t simply get rid of old symbols for new ones. You can’t just take symbols while forgetting what they signify. “Everything for the nation!” they say, but it’s all about their honour, while they forget the nation that actually bore them to this age. You can’t let symbols be only symbols, but must remember that they stand for pacts people have made in the past, for people who are deserving of honour, of values that used to be valued. And these values were good enough to get you here.
It’s not a coincidence that this episode resolves by an appeasement and acknowledgement of the past. Not just Amato appeasing the elder god, but also the Three Birdmen who beg forgiveness from their predecessor. It’s all about tension between the past that cannot be left behind, and fear of the future, which must still be leapt into, one way or the other. It’s all about trying to be your own person, versus recognizing how you’re shaped by events beyond your control.
Iwashita (Ganba) thinks it’s the results that make the journey worthwhile, and ignores the value of the journey on its own. It’s unsurprising that Jirou and Jaguar’s conflict is unresolved, as each sees things from their own position, not trying to see how they create and are created by the other’s position. Neither tries to understand the other. One stands for “past”, and the other for “future”, but without bridging the two, there is no present.
Speaking of sports and symbolism, you’ll note how Jaguar and Kikko kept worrying about Amato making it, even going as far as to say, “He’s only human!”, but just like episode 14, Olympic athletes are a metaphor for superhumans as it is, they’re all about showing us the edge of human potential, and breaking our preconceptions of where they lie. “He’s only human,” but humans can do much more than we give them credit for. And that too is a big message of superhero media in general, and this show in particular.
P.S. This episode had really good music. Screenshot album.
Latest entries appear italicized, as per a request/suggestion made. New/Updated entries: January 47.
Note: Shinka Calendar seems to correspond to the Showa Calendar. Year 19 = 1944, or World War 2, etc.
- Unknown Time – Jaguar (Yoshimura Hyouma) forms the Superhuman Bureau. Episode 10.
- October 14 – Jiro’s father meets GaGon in the Pacific Isles, loses “Maria”, a native shapeshifter? A month after World War 2 broke out. Episode 4.
- December 16 – Mironu of the Japanese Immortal Family is captured by the American forces on Hawaii after his submarine is sunk. He joined the Japanese army in order for his family to avoid the family census. He’s been experimented on and tortured for decades. Episode 9.
- August 17 – GaGon faces off against American Superhumans in the Pacific Ocean. 9 months after Pearl Harbor.
- Year 19 – A war of some sort (World War 2’s equivalent). Referenced in episode 3.
- August 20 – Hitoyoshi Magotake finds baby Jirou in a crater in Hiroshima, with a shadow the dragon’s shape. Reference to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Jirou is “the child of the atom,” and a human weapon. Episode 13.
- November 29 – Invisible Kaiju appears, Emi chooses to appear as an adult, Jiro’s father finds him naked and unconscious. Episode 4.
- January 34 – Flashback sequence. Giganto Gon breaks Jiro out of the laboratory where he’s held. Jiro wants Giganto Gon to destroy everything. Episode 5.Robot-GiGantor defeated by Rainbow Knight who saves Jirou (Episode 8), baby GaGon meets his adoptive brother. Episode 4.
- March 38 – Rainbow Knight kidnaps Daitetsu Maki and other superhuman kids, to protect them and/or gain money for their release. Dies for it. Episode 8.
- Unknown Time – Jaguar (Yoshimura Hyouma) forms Infernal Queen, also known as IQ, or Advocates of Free History to better the future by removing evil. Episode 10.
- July 40th – Judas is part of the criminal organization The Diamond Eaters, confronts Earth-chan and vows to become good. Episode 7.
- January 41 – 6 months before Kikko joins. Grosse Augen first appears as a Kaiju vanquisher. Call for “more magic” instead of science within the Bureau is made. Episode 4.
- June 30th 41 – The Beatles play in Japan, their powers bring forth more superhumans, or at least open the potential for some. Mountain Horse group becomes superhumans. Episode 6.
- July 41 – Kikko joins the organization, Jirou goes against orders and saves Grosse Augen. Episode 1.
- Between July and August 41 – A month after Kikko joins, just before Fuurota joins. More Kaijus appear, various superhumans fight them off. We meet Earth-Chan and Kaiju-using robbers. Grosse-Augen “replacement” takes up the burden. Episode 4.
- August 41 – Fuurota joins the organization, kills the bug species. Kikko with the organization for one month. Episode 2.
- November 41 – 3 months after Fuurota joins, humans confirmed as creating Kaijus. Mini-GaGon and Kaiju-lovers introduced as Fuurota’s friends. Episode 4.
- February 42 – Bombing incident with android detective. Episode 3.
- June/July 42 – Master Ultima returns from Mars, Bureau leaders revealed non-humans, expose their own Kaiju-creating ring. Jiro unleashes his arm. Episode 4.
- July 42 – USA throw away a Space Kaiju’s remains near Okinawa. Kaiju-sympathizers grab remains and begin agitating against the establishment and the Superhuman Bureau. Episode 5.
- August 42 – Protests by students begin, Jiro forced to become a Kaiju, faces off against Mega GaGon. Mega GaGon killed. Episode 5.
- September 42 – The Immortal Family cause an explosion, which they emerge fine from, and escape, apparently to alert Mironu who has been missing. The Superhuman Bureau find out the Americans are aware of immortal Japanese, and they know they’re missing a member. Episode 9.
- October 42 – Mountain Horse group tries their luck as superhumans and quits it. Fuurota infiltrates the Sugimoto media group. Episode 6.Same time – The superhuman Bureau recruits Judas after his release from prison. Face off against Earth-chan and try to get her aid in changing public opinion to sway protests against Japan joining the Earth Defence Force (against evil space-men). Earth-chan is given the ability to dream. Ullr (Kikko’s familiar) plots with Emi. Episode 7 (References October 8th 1967 Haneda protests).
- November 42 – Mountain Horse band brings down Sugimoto Media Group’s plot to block superhumans’ powers. Dee of Mountain Horse band dies. The Bureau now knows of the Sugimoto group as their enemy clearly.Episode 6.
- December 42 – Kikko meets up with Nakagawa Jin, who researches superhumans and The Devil Realm, and who gives her special medicine. Episode 12.
- January 43 – Daitetsu Maki, now Otonashi Yumihiko and the other kidnapped kids (presumably) are an unregistered superhuman group, BL Club, who stage thefts by “The Eye of Lucifer”, Rainbow Knight’s old nemesis. Yumihiko and Jirou speak of morality. Superhuman Bureau is asked to stop opposing the FDE. Episode 8.
- April 43 – IQ (Infernal Queen) appear to take out the Superhuman Bureau who they deem evil for controlling superhumans, working with Americans, and lying to the public. Jaguar (Hyouma) #3 takes kills his #2 version, IQ’s leader, and his Time Patrol watch becomes the basis for the Time Travel research program. Episode 10.
- June 43 – USS Antares, a superhuman-powered submarine is brought over by the USA over to Japan. Turns out it makes use of enslaved superhumans. Phantom Sword Claude destroys it, revealing said fact. Jirou turns down an offer by Imperial Ads who say they only want human Superhumans. Protests and revealing to the public the American wrongdoings, a scheme to officiate Superhumans as part of law enforcement agencies is pushed forward by the former Defense Minister who’s behind Imperial Ads. Episode 11.
- August 43 – Kikko sees Claude killing medical personnel, turns into devil form, finds out she knows Claude.Episode 11.Immediately After – Golubaya Laika, a Soviet Superhuman who’s anti-war flies towards Japan, is shot down by the American-siding Master Ultima for passing over the facility where the Japanese and Americans experimented on superhumans. Jirou finds out his father framed and killed The Rainbow Knight who tried to save kids from being experimented on. Claude is revealed to be Jin, Jirou’s childhood friend, who was experimented upon. The Chief is revealed to be an alien who’s trying to help humanity ascend via superhumans. Kikko helps Claude.Episode 12.Immediately After – The truth of the Japanese-American Superhuman experiments is revealed to the public. The government tries to suppress said information. Chief Akita believed dead, Jin (Claude) and Kikko believed guilty, and are missing. Episode 13.
- October 8th 43 – American Fuel Tanker ignites protests by Japanese anti-war students. Episode 13 reference.
- October 21st 43 – World Peace Day (our world’s is in September 21st), Chief Akita kills and assumes the spot of the pro-Imperial Ads politician who can pass or deny the revised Superhuman Secrecy/Rights Law. Students go on protests against the government for the experiments. Government uses force to crush protests, Claude is revealed to be evil and Jirou defeats him. Emi suppresses Devil Queen Kikko. Earth-chan is broken. Rule-changes denied, and Jirou leaves the bureau. Episode 13.
- ~Year 44 – Kaiju wave of attacks dies down. Episode 5 reference. Likely a reference to the 990 days of the protests following the Haneda Protest ending. Episode 7.
- September 44 – Mironu of the Immortal Family is released by the Americans who follow him to try and eliminate the family. The Superhuman Bureau and Jirou try to defend them but are defeated by the American robot, the family survive on their own. Jirou clashes ideologically with the Bureau members. Chief Akita’s absence is noted upon. Episode 9.
- October 44 – Jiro tries to recruit Mountain Horse and they decline. Jiro’s quest is revealed as gathering superhumans to take on the Superhuman Bureau. Superhumans appear to be illegal. Fuurota goes and meets him. Episode 6.
- December 44 – Osaka Earth Expo setup, Jirou arrives and reclaims The Rainbow Knight’s mask, the supposed source of his power. Akita and the other Fumers have a disagreement, they fight, including fighting Jirou. The Fumers die but end up within Jirou to help him control his power. Akita reveals to Jirou The Rainbow Knight was a normal human. Episode 15.
- ~Year 45-46 – Osaka Earth Expo, relevance unknown.Episode 6 reference. Year 45, it is published that The Rainbow Knight’s mask is stolen from the expo. We know Jirou stole it. Episode 15.
- April 46 – Jiro is an enemy, ex-Grosse Augen helps him, Kikko declares love. Episode 1.
- October 46 – A space android arrives to capture the S Planetarian (which Jiro saved in episode 1), they make use of the Okinawa Return Protests to lay a trap for him and Jiro. Shiba Raito kills the android to “fix” himself and becomes a fugitive. Episode 14. We find that Judas obtained Jirou’s blood during this time, and used it to empower Haruka Aki. Episode 15.
- November 46 – Jirou takes on the role of the fugitive in order to protect superhumans. Episode 13 preview for cour 2. Haruka Aki, a former member of the Superhuman idol group Star Angel is killing spacemen to try and find the Fumers, to be able to go to space and reunite with her dead girlfriend. Jirou saves her from the Bureau and her former allies, then fights her. Jirou reveals to Haruka, Kikko, and Emi that The Rainbow Knight was a human. Imperial Ads reveal their plan to kill off Superhumans who are destroying the image they wish to create for Superhumans. Episode 15.
- January 47 (to February 47) – Amidst preparations for the Sapporo Winter Olympic games, a local elder god named Pirikappi is angry over facilities being constructed on its turf, turns population into trees. Emi gets possessed by elder god, a human appeases it. Humans can undergo “superhuman surgery” that increases their physical capabilities. Emi speaks of the troublesome elder godunder Tokyo. Episode 16.
- February 47 – Male android returns. Android detective now fugitive. Episode 3.
- March 47 – Two weeks after the androids incident, Shiba Raito and Jiro join forces. Episode 14.
- April 47 – Judas, Jirou, and Megasshin (fused android) more break into a lab to retrieve Earth-chan’s stasis/broken down form, vowing to return her to her former glory. Episode 7.
- October 47 – Jirou fights Yoshimura (time-controller, “Jaguar”), Restored Earth-chan intervenes, and then so does Daitetsu. Episode 8.
- August 48 – Bug lady comes back for Fuurota, he learns what he’s done, gets saved and comforted by Jirou. Episode 2.
- 25th Century – Jaguar (Yoshimura Hyouma) is sent back in time, as a member of Time Patrol. And as someone who tries to save superhumans, and as someone who tries to build a different future. Episode 10.