Concrete Revolutio Episode 14 – The Metal Detective’s Ironic Quest for Simplicity

Post-Episode Write-up:

I touched upon this concept in my write-up for the premiere of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress last night, but shows that want to tackle philosophical questions often have to tackle the issue of telling us what the themes are early on, before it actually elaborates on them, and makes them fully-realized. ConRevo definitely is a show with a lot it wants to say (and you might want to take a look at the write-up I wrote for the first cour on that topic), so what does it do here? It doesn’t change the character this episode revolves around, Android Detective Shiba Raito, but it had presented it to us when our knowledge of the characters and the themes is much improved.

Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou anime Episode 14 notes - Shiba Raito is justice

“Wait, what do you mean, it didn’t change the characters? Shiba Raito is a totally different person now!” And I hold that he isn’t. This episode was so terribly ironic on so many levels, but most of all, his. It kept cycling around how Raito transformed and then didn’t, that it’s hard not to look at it and be a tad amazed. But, let’s start from the beginning.

(There’s an updated chronological timeline at the bottom of this post. Also, full episodic notes.)

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Concrete Revolutio Episode 13 (Finale) – When the Masks Come Off

Post-Episode Write-up:

This was quite the episode, and not entirely what I expected this to be. I was all but certain that we’d see why Jirou left the Bureau. Well, we knew from the get-go, to defend superhumans and because the Bureau doesn’t allow him to do that according to his beliefs, and episode 9 showed us that they didn’t part on bad terms, but this episode didn’t really show us a reason, within the show. Nor did it show us where the two sides became enemies, or even when Superhumans became so detested by the common population. The preview, furthermore, makes it clear we’re not going to simply jump ahead to after this whole thing, but that time-skipping, at least to a degree, is going to continue. So, this was interesting, and curious.

Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou anime Episode 13 notes - Politicians manipulating youngsters

How adults see youth.

Before we delve into the thematic breakdown, a few shorter points/asides: The V for Vendetta moment was interesting, and it’s also interesting because it stood for anti-fascism and anti-Cold War and suppression of information, both of which hover in the background of the show, as it deals with late 1960s’ anti-war movement, wars that were fueled by the Cold War. Another point is, man, Jirou and Equus really went all EVA Unit 01, didn’t they? And then the scientist creator-father wondering if his child-creation hates him. In a way, children are always Frankenstein’s Monsters, part your creation, part someone else’s, and part luck and the environment. The generational rift is a common theme in anime, and not just that aimed at younger people – it was a main theme in Shinsekai Yori too, for instance.

Well, final finally: Bad news, seems timeline updates will still be necessary in cour 2. Good news, you’ve got me.

(There’s an updated chronological timeline at the bottom of this post. Also, full episodic notes.)

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Journey with Kino’s Journey Day 2 – Hard Questions

Welcome to the second day of watching an episode of Kino’s Journey, talking about it, and talking about things related to it. This time on the menu, aside from discussions of morality, an aside on the nature of questions and discussions! Also, I’m dedicating this piece to Emily from Atelier Emily. Her blog is worth checking out.

Episode 2 – “A Tale of Feeding Off Others -I Want to Live-“

Kino's Journey anime episode 2 / Kino no Tabi anime episode 2 - Being alive

Is it just me, or did the head-slaver look like the “monk” from Princess Mononoke? Quite a bit, actually, and their characters are quite similar as well.

Questions Are Interesting:

Before we get further, I have a question, how many of you didn’t see where this will go from about halfway into the episode? I think the whole nature of the episode, and its title, and the fact this is a show more about human nature than random observations about nature, more or less told us it’d go something like that. I dunno, I think once they spoke of their “Homecoming Festival” I was sure. I did suspect them from the get-go, that they’d attack Kino after she caught the first rabbit. They just struck me as “off”.

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Haibane Renmei – The Communal Nature of Death and Rebirth

Haibane Renmei animeHaibane Renmei is considered an anime classic. A series from 2002 that sometimes shows its age, and uses an almost rustic animation-style, focusing on dilapidated backdrops and humble characters. It’s a parable, focusing on death, birth and rebirth, on the nature of forgiveness, and our part in the tapestry which we call life, which we call society. And as with many parables, it also has morals it wishes to impart.

Considering the universal nature of the messages, or at least of the situations depicted, you’d think we could all relate to the story, and I think to a degree we all can. It’s a story of what it means to be human, or at least their take on what it involves. It’s a story on what it takes to keep living, and how society forms behind us. And yet, I think how much one appreciates this show would depend to a very significant degree on what they bring to it themselves. I feel one’s reactions to Haibane Renmei are going to be more personal than most shows. Even if to a degree it’s always true.

(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that have risen in my mind as I’ve watched it. There will be spoilers.)

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