「天弓ナイトをだれもしらない」 (Tenkyuu Naito wo Daremo Shiranai)
“Nobody Knows About the Rainbow Knight”
Oh hey, hello again, Earth-chan! I wasn’t expecting to see you again so quickly after you were shown to have run out your warranty last episode. I’m glad to see all the king’s horses and all the king’s men managed to put you back together again. Oh, I can imagine the troubleshooting helpline for that. ‘Have you tried turning your sentient mechanical satellite off and on again? Doesn’t have a power switch? Have you tried unplugging it?’.
Well, I’m quite fond of Earth-chan (she’s adorable even when she’s dying. Earth-chan plushies will sell like hotcakes), so I’m happy that she did turn out fine in the future, even though we’re shown none of the juicy details of what happened in the interim. And what’s this about? No idea. I’m guessing the story of how Jirou managed to recruit Earth-chan into his growing super team is going to be yet another one of those tales that Concrete Revolutio implies rather than tells—pick a derivative genre, folks—but it would be nice to see Concrete Revolutio start to string together its chronology, or at least fill in some of the holes (this episode once again ends with a cliffhanger fight). When it ends, I’d like to be able to sit back and look at Concrete Revolutio as a whole and appreciate its form in completeness.
For the present though, we have giant mecha, specifically something that mashes up series similar to the vintage Combattler V (Gigander 7, right, the ‘Juvenile BL Club’ or whatever… er…). But the thing is, the super robot genre has been deconstructed into very fine grains by now (y’know, shows like Evangelion, Bokurano), so what is there left to say? Concrete Revolutio actually leaves the mecha alone mostly (for which I’m glad; I love transformation sequences, and I laughed all the way through the one we got), instead plucking out the hero concept once again.
It was a very curious thing listening to Jirou give a monologue about ‘grey’ morality, because he’s always been one of the more black and white, straight arrow characters in a system that is very much grey. But I suppose he wasn’t talking about moral compromises, really, but more about how morality is not always completely clear. Case in point, the mystery of the Rainbow Knight, the compassionate kidnapper (or was he?), remains unsolved. The moral conflict, such as it is, seems to stem from the fact that the Rainbow Knight was at once an avowed ally of justice and also a criminal. Assuming the Rainbow Knight didn’t kidnap a bunch of kids just to get ransom money to pay off his mortgage (considering the kind of shady things the Superhuman Bureau and the government at large gets involved in, I wouldn’t put it past them to frame dissident elements for smooth removal) , ‘justice’ is split between doing the right thing, and doing the lawful thing. And thus the dramatic irony of the scene; Jirou, in making his spiel, is probably unaware that he’s working for a rather corrupt, or at least far more pragmatic than idealistic institution, even as he tries to do good. Meanwhile Daitetsu is more of a free spirit—he’s more or less guilty of fraud this episode, but he’s not beholden to any Superhuman Bureau, and he does manage to help now and then.
So, er, what was the message here? Anti-authoritarianism? A case for vigilantes? Whatever it is, Jirou is starting to realise that his ideals—which are the ideals of all the superhuman fiction crammed into Concrete Revolutio—are at odds with the world he lives in, and has to make sense of that. And indeed, we see in the ‘future’ that Jirou and the grown Daitetsu have switched places, with Daitetsu seeming aligned with the Bureau, and Jirou rogue. What straw is going to finally break the camel’s back for Jirou, to lead to such a future? There are lots of stirrings going on—something about kaijuu, the anti-alien DFE, shifts in superhuman law—and something is primed to explode at some point. That will probably be the even that brings all the various slices of Concrete Revolutio together. I hope the critical mass will be a suitable spectacle.