「やつらはいつでも笑ってる」 (Yatsura wa Itsu demo Waratteru)
“They Are Always Laughing”

I get the impression that Concrete Revolutio is sometimes trying to deliberately confuse us. Why else would they name a guy with electricity powers Freeze? Would they name the ice villain of Batman’s rogues gallery ‘Mr Shock’? There are rules about these things, guys.

A bit of confusion would fit the setting, I guess, because when we’re talking about the culture of the 60s we think of, of course, LSD. Well, LSD and rock ‘n’ roll, and frumpy hair; they feed each other, really. As in previous episodes, Concrete Revolutio actually does fairly well in capturing the spirit of the age and adding their own superhuman twist. It was a time of increasing civil consciousness, social unrest, and international instability, and on this backdrop there was a genuine belief—or maybe a general yearning to believe—that the power of song was going to save the world. Yeah man, we just all needed to chill out! Celebrate our common humanity. Word.

Likewise, the world of Concrete Revolutio is in a time of great change as well, and not just because the power of song is quite literal there . With superhumans already an open secret, it seems the government is planning to make ease them into mainstream society, or something. We saw their ill-fated PR campaign in the last arc, and we know from the flashes of the future that there comes a time when people openly acknowledge superhumans, not not exactly with the warmest welcome. As in all times of upheaval, it’s also a time of opportunity, which means that there are plenty of interest groups (some shadier than others) hoping to come out on top. And caught in the crossfire are a bunch of average joes who are way above their heads.

What Concrete Revolutio tries to do with this story, it seems to me, is to draw a parallel between superhumans and rock stars, and not in the way that The Beatles were superhuman (their superpowers: LSD and frumpy hair)). The Mountain Horse are mediocre in both lacklustre superpowers and their lacklustre performances. But the message is that mediocrity is okay too. The Mountain Horse have their sense of civic duty, they try a bit of rebellion agains the higher powers, they sacrifice one of their own, and they do save the day, but they’re not going to be the same tier of big damn heroes. And that’s fine, says Concrete Revolutio; you can be superhuman without being superheroes. And it’s the same with their music career. The Mountain Horse may never be big stars in either music or comedy, but making people laugh, even in a shady speakeasy in nowhere, is a worthy cause too. Y’know, faeries are born from the laughter of children and all that.

The power of song does save the world, every day, just not by triggering some global revolution, or fundamentally altering human nature so that we will be pacified forever, like some believed—not by superheroes. Right now, somwhere in the world, a song is making someone’s life a little brighter. And they are saved.




  1. Even when I don’t really understand what I feel from watching this show I know I do enjoy it. However I really can’t think of anything much to say about it, so I wonder how you do it! Enjoying the review as always 😀
    I thought Fuurouta was sort of cute here. And seems like there’ll be more Kikko next week?!

  2. Nice writeup! I’m still loving this show, and if it really is 2 cours then I can’t wait for where the show will take us.

    I’m curious as to the meaning of Fuurouta’s smile at the end of the episode. I’m trying to figure it out but I can’t quite get an idea. Fuurouta, being a Ghost, naturally loves playing with kids and makes them laugh (though he also does prank them to make himself laugh). The band was similarly goofy to make others laugh, but they want others to laugh, whereas Fuurouta may play around more for himself (not sure about this because I’m not familiar with the Japanese concept of a “Ghost”). So due to some reason Fuurouta is attracted to this band, thinks they’re very funny, and loves them. When he goes into the building to find Jiro, he’s pleased to see the band he likes again years after he first met them.

    Then there’s lots of messages about “Is it worth making others laugh if it means they laugh at you?” which I think has a parallel to “Is it worth being a Hero if the government doesn’t even acknowledge you / wants to get rid of you?”.

    Jiro obviously has different views on things than Fuurouta; at the end of the episode he dismisses himself and the band, noticing this, decides to mess around with him and it ends up making Fuurouta smile, as if he has come to some kind of peace or understanding.

    There’s gotta be some meaning to it but I can’t quite figure it out. But after reading your writeup about mediocrity, and after remembering Jiro question Fuurouta “Did you really want to join these guys?”, maybe the band messing with Jiro and making Fuurouta smile was a sort of victory for him. By succeeding in making Fuurouta happy, Fuurouta’s appreciation and support for the band (they are mediocre to others but he still loves them) is justified, while Jiro (who perhaps is on the side of “go big or go home”, since he has big goals in “waking Japan up”) loses out and is unable to enjoy the bands’ efforts.

    What do you think? XP

    1. I’m also excited to see that there is going to be an episode featuring Earth-chan! I was hoping to see more of her especially since she is in the OP but I wasn’t sure. We’ll probably see more of the Gigander Seven and others as well. I feel like at some point in this show, the story will become more and more “concrete” and linear, but for now they are still world building and exploring themes regarding the superhuman setting to create a base for the later, main story. Especially if it will be 2 cour.

    2. Fuurouta is the friend of all children! Making people laugh with slapstick is right up his alley. I’m sure part of him still yearns for that kind of simplicity, instead of the cynical conspiracies he keeps getting caught up in.

      I’m also looking forward to Earth-chan, but I’m a bit afraid that Concrete Revolutio is going to put her through the wringer. Because that’s what this show does.

  3. In a time where everyone is trying to put their take on the Watchmen idea, (The Incredibles, Gintama, One Punch Man, Gatchaman Crowds, Tiger&Bunny, Amazing Twins and ugh, Boku Hero Academia etc) mostly with trying to show the life and times of retired superheroes or superheroes past their prime or how either average people step up to the task or how superheroes are just ordinary people too, this is like a breath of fresh air, where instead of trying to be the next big thing or making a societal revolution, being who you are and content with your capabilities is a middle ground I don’t think that has been explored sufficiently enough.

    I think they did a good overlap with Fuurouta being the character whose perspective we’re following, an immortally young boy ghost certainly makes for a good spectator amidst the colorful cast of cyborgs, demons, aliens, time travellers.

    Although not too stressed upon, there’s also an angle here about herbivore males in Japan who have the stereotype of being looked down upon for being content with average salaries or unstable employment during that scene where he’s asked about when his next gig is for income and the episode which ends with the afterthought where Fuurouta and Jiro underestimate Mountain Horse’s conviction and pride for what he does, despite everyone else convinced of the fact that they’re laughing at him and not with him. Maybe that people we deem as pushovers deliberately choose to be that way and can back themselves up with a bite fiercer than their bark.

    How about you? What song would you say saved your life? You seem to be speaking from experience and I wouldn’t mind hearing some nice beats. I’ll share one of my own too. Nice write-up by the way, your analysis definitely reminds me of the introduction to Watchmen that cycles through events and changing society to the song “The Times They Are A-Changin” by Bob Dylan.

    Giorno Giovanna

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