You know, this whole episode felt like one big homage to the tokusatsu genre, and if we look at a recent anime franchise with ties to the tokusatsu genre, it’d be Garo. We’ve had our knight in a crazy armour, the “monsters” she was fighting, a sword beam, etc. This is a love-letter to a simpler time, with simpler media. Or is it the case? You know Power Rangers? It’s been influenced by Super Sentai, and other tokusatsu series, and we all remember how the villain who’s redeemed and switches sides is actually a pretty common motif in these shows.
And this is obviously a big part of the theme behind this episode. Continuing directly from episode 16, where we discussed how the past can’t be ignored, or it will come back to haunt you, we reach this episode, where Jirou speaks in platitudes and tells Koma how she fit better in the past, where you could clearly tell right from wrong. And just moments before the show had Koma tell Jirou how wrong he is, I thought to myself how those lines are a betrayal to everything the show has been saying up to now, especially in this cour, and in this episode as well. The whole story with Asahi is exactly about how good and evil aren’t clear, and were never clear. Jirou is acting somewhat like a child, thinking there was no wrongdoing and tough circumstances before he came around, but that’s obviously nonsense.
(There’s an updated chronological timeline at the bottom of this post.)
Koma said she wanted to destroy the remains of Asahi and the evil overlord so no one will look up to her as a symbol and follow in her footsteps, but this is the same sort of misunderstanding that the show is trying to eradicate. You can’t destroy the past to ensure no one will follow its footsteps, because what you get at that point is people repeating it. Or so the story goes. And if you try to erase the past, well, we’ve been through this already.
Asahi and Koma’s situation is a clear mirror of Earth-chan’s episode. If Earth-chan is just, then is anyone who opposes her a villain? And if Asahi is a villain, then is anyone who sides with him one as well? He gave Koma an impossible choice, to side with him and “lose her justice”, which means to lose her status as a symbol of justice and protection for the people, or to kill him (or let him die), and lose sight of her justice because it’d be an unjust act. So, she did the only thing she could’ve, and ran away from the land of her “crime”, and the land in which she was still seen as a symbol of justice, though she felt she were anything but.
Everyone acts as if the past was simpler, or as if the Shinjuku incident were terrible, and so long we don’t get back to it everything is great, but look at last episode, and even the Devilo and Devila one two episodes ago, or perhaps just pay close attention to the small exchange between Jirou’s adoptive father and the man behind the Teito media agency, “What are you planning?” – “Planning? You’re asking now?” Because he’s already won, or nearly so. Things are not okay right now, and they are getting worse, as the government sells (super)humans to a private organization, to be used as a commodity, to shift public opinion. And as we watch Koma see on TV how the Shinjuku riots are directly linked to the escaped convicts. Public opinion is being turned against superhumans, and against freedom.
Things were never better, and things never will get better, unless you fight for them in the here and now. There’s no use going back to the past, because you can never reach a better place by running away, and you can never escape yourself, either. It’s not a coincidence that in this episode, after reaching this realization, the Bureau and Jirou finally join forces again.
Three small things I want to point out in addition to the above.
First, during the period painted in this episode (1973), Japan’s Prime Minister was Tanaka Kakuei, who indeed served in parliament since 1947, and ended up arrested and sued for corruption.
Second, you’ll note how there’s the implication that the demonic mutant forces were invaders, coming from Europe to Japan (though it’s insinuation, it’s possible only the names were given by the European missionaries), and this also echoes the hints of xenophobia and anger at American involvement surrounding the show.
Third, “Wars don’t end,” they just get replaced, was something somewhat raised in the Immortal Family episode, and also reminded me of Watchmen by Alan Moore, combined with the second point above, of finding an external force to unite the people against: Asahi, and now Jirou and the superhumans.
(Check out my blog or the specific page for all my write-ups on Concrete Revolutio if you enjoy reading my stuff. Also has an updated time-line per episode.)
Latest entries appear italicized, as per a request/suggestion made. New/Updated entries: 1600s, March, August, and September 48.
Note: Shinka Calendar seems to correspond to the Showa Calendar. Year 19 = 1944, or World War 2, etc.
- 1600s – Kage Koma sacrifices herself and becomes the Iron-Masked Swordsman to fight against an invading superhuman/mutant force. Falls in love with Dragon God Asahi who goes against his leader, Zess-Satan, and seals both. Travels to Antarctica and freezes for 300 years. Episode 19.
- 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 and Episode 18.Same time – Shiba Raito frees Superhuman criminals, one of them, a half-Devila tribeman kidnaps a bus. Superhuman Disease spreads, where a polluted mutated plant’s pollen turns people into superhumans. Episode 18.
- November 47 – A fire erupts in a tunnel, Superhumans are blamed for it, plans start to evict the underground Yokai and develop underground. Episode 17.
- December 47 – Devilo, brother to Queen Devila of the Underground Devil-Yokai tribe goes to the city. Government and Public Security plan to evict them to develop underground for November’s retaliation. Devilo and Devila leave for space, after draining a part of the world’s oceans to create an ocean in Space. Bureau and Public Security tensions reach very high levels. Episode 17.Same time (Christmas 47) – Daitetsu brands Jirou as “truly evil”, Tartaros Bug lady revives amidst the pollen and spreads them throughout Japan, Jirou protects a “selfish superhuman” and defies Public Security, the Bureau, and even Earth-chan. Episode 18.
- March 48 – Kage Koma’s frozen form is retrieved from Antarctica, and she is resuscitated. The Government sells her to Teito Media. Episode 19.
- August 48 – Bug lady comes back for Fuurota, he learns what he’s done, gets saved and comforted by Jirou. Episode 2. We learn after this incident he disappears and doesn’t return to the Bureau. Episode 19.
- September 48 – The Prime Minister tries to turn Kage Koma against Jirou to hide the rumours swirling around him. She tries to resurrect her old foe and love. Jirou and the Bureau combine forces to stop her, and she then refuses to return to her own time. The Prime Minister is revealed to have been a superhuman who mind-controlled people to stay in power. Episode 19.
- 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.