「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.