Let’s talk about contexts. The obvious context for this episode is the Vietnam War. It’s not the context for this episode alone, as the “Shinjuku Riots” also revolved around Japan’s involvement with aiding America in said war. In episode 17, revolving around Devilo and Devila, I drew parallels to how the Native American population was treated, which this episode references as well. The episode made use of the PTSD, no place to return to, and the way the war changes you, all of which had a big place in Hollywood films about Vietnam, but it is even more acrimonious of America’s involvement and nature than that, which is all about context.
I’ve discussed before how the whole show is in some ways a Cold War story, and about Japan’s honour, honour that was trampled by America after World War 2. This context is important, because there was a tendency by the two world powers to make use or get involved in the matters of other countries, then leave the clean-up to them. An example of that would be Afghanistan, where what later became the Taliban was supported by America in their bid to fight indirectly against the USSR. While there wasn’t as much “direct colonialism” as was seen by the Imperial Nations (including France and The British Empire) pre-World War 2, there was still the view that America was going to come in and “liberate” the people, give them democracy, whether they want it or not, and then leave them to handle building their country, with a ruined infrastructure, for their own benefit. The most recent example of this would be Iraq, in 2003, or some of the “Arab Spring” revolts of 2011.
(There’s an updated chronological timeline at the bottom of this post.)
Part of what makes something a moral judgment is that if you think someone else is acting immoral, you can’t just go, “And that’s fine,” but that you feel the need to rectify it. And thus, America’s self-styled and self-imposed position as “The World’s Cop” is a moral one. In the world, we can also see the discussion between Jirou and Daitetsu, and everything about Earth-chan, “If you’re against me and I’m just, you must be evil.” And part of the context for this episode has to be the current Presidential Elections for the USA, where “Make America Great Again” sounds to non-Americans as, “We’re going to tell you how you should handle your business, we’ll teach you what democracy is, and you’ll follow it, whether you want it or not.” And non-Americans, well, while it’s always comforting to have someone sort international problems for you, no one wants to be told how to handle their own affairs. No one wants to be told they’re backwards and don’t know what morality is.
Does all of the above sound extremely political to you? It should, but this show has been extremely political for its entire run. It deals with political matters, and invokes internal and international political issues, historical and current. To think the current political climate doesn’t factor into this show’s messages is beyond naive.
Now, let’s move beyond just the above, the nature of American involvement, and talk about some other things the show has been doing this cour in particular. The first cour was very much about the nature of superhumans, and superhumans as humans, or not. This cour is much more about the “non-human superhumans,” and about the supernatural. You’ll note how both Jonathan and the Colonel mention America being the “youngest nation,” because it was built by humans, and how they ousted the old civilization, how they threw away the country’s past, and its gods.
This should bring to mind episode 16, with the God of the Forest, in addition to Devilo and Devila again, or even last week’s episode. Concrete Revolutio is all about how one can’t just throw away one’s past, and how to ignore it is to bring forth ruin. This view of America as a country without a past is directly related to why its plans to decide the world’s future are doomed – those without a past, who don’t honour their obligations can’t possibly lead others forward, can they? It is this supposed separation of church and state that stops them from accepting that others aren’t backwards, but are perfectly happy with their current situation.
This view of the “other” as backward and primitive, employing the idea that it is inhuman, bestial (and the liminality of were-humans in particular) is unsurprising, as this gives the “liberator” the moral justification to march forth. But again, just like what Devilo and Devila taught us, it’s just lack of empathy and acceptance of others’ positions, experiences, and even different modes of existence as valid. But that’s morality for you. I mean, you have to remember what symbols mean, what they symbolize they’re not nothing. To make yourself into a symbol while rejecting the symbolism others hold is to deny their humanity while demanding they accept your own.
Another thing this should all bring to mind is the Fumers, from the first cour. Fumers, and the “non-human superhumans,” such as Master Ultima. This is about how aliens wish to tell the native population how to live their lives, because they know better, so they’ll steer things for us. The Fumers were clearly presented as an antagonistic force, even if they had “good intentions,” because they trampled over what humanity actually is, and over humanity’s right to self-decide. And here we have a Superhuman Colonel who is also standing in for “America” who declares that they are the next step in human evolution, and must bring this light to the rest of the world, even if it’d mean war. Another mirroring to show who’s “obviously wrong” here, except it’s just their own morality.
Before I finish this piece, I want to address one more topic, of why Jirou tried to save Jonathan, even if he might be an “evil Superhuman,” a concept raised in episode 18 with Human-man, when Jirou directly went against his stated beliefs up to that point, and even clashed with the Bureau and Earth-chan. This is because Jirou is the opposite of Earth-chan. Whereas Earth-chan can only view things in terms of acts and the direct reasons for each act, Jirou considers structural injustices, and how someone is a victim when they’re pushed to make a certain decision, and how they’re used as a tool by an uncaring world, betrayed by their “makers”, just as he sees himself.
Jirou is trying to live up to the ideal espoused by The Rainbow Knight, who was a human “superhuman,” and until he feels he can live up to him, by protecting others and giving them hope, he won’t consider himself to be a superhuman as well.
Latest entries appear italicized, as per a request/suggestion made. New/Updated entries: March 43, July 49.
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.
- March 43 – American (superhuman) forces fight locals, superhuman and otherwise in Vietnam. Sergeant Major Jonathan Morrell loses his sanity amidst the chaos and divine imagery. Episode 20.
- 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.
- July 49 – Jonathan Morrell, a superhuman created by the American Army to fight in Vietnam is not allowed to return to the USA and is detained in Japan by American forces. Escapes with the help of Jirou. American forces aided (and disrupted) by the Bureau try to capture him. He goes berserk and is killed. Master Ultima tasks the American forces to capture Jirou (dead or alive), but the Bureau stops them. Episode 20.
- 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.