「花咲く町に君の名を呼ぶ」 (Hanasaku Machi ni Kimi no Na o Yobu)
“I Call Your Name in the Flowering City”
I used to really enjoy nature documentaries, and I suspect it was because the soothing voice of Sir David Attenborough made everything better. Sure, some gazelle could be getting mauled, or lion cubs dying of thirst, but Sir David would tell me, don’t worry Passerby, this is nature. It’s all good.
Yes, he addressed me directly, by internet handle, through the TV. What a great man.
There’s one thing that even the steady baritone of David Attenborough couldn’t make better though: cordyceps. I may live in Australia, where we have the most poisonous spiders, the most venomous snakes, the biggest crocodiles, the toothiest sharks, but nothing here is going to top the mind-controlling fungus. Bugs are already icky, but zombie bugs are leagues worse. So, these days? I don’t watch nature documentaries, and I can’t play The Last of Us. Instead, I blog anime, where it’s supposed to be safe.
This episode wasn’t actually about the plant-zombie apocalypse, even though I’m sure there are plenty of people who would want to watch that. As is often the case with Concrete Revolutio, I wasn’t actually what the episode would be about at all. Last week featured the Angel Stars, who didn’t have much role in the first season, and this week’s superhumans, the Three Birdmen are completely new, so they’re tabula rasa. At first, I thought it would be about doping in sports, which is certainly an interesting aspect of the rise of (often secret) superhuman abilities. I always wondered whether we should just allow all forms of doping and just make sports a competition between pharmaceutical company sponsors, but Concrete Revolutio was not too interested in that; superhuman athletes seem to be an accepted part of these alternate-winter-olympics, though how transparent everything is remained an unanswered question. Then I thought that maybe the episode was about traditional Japanese mysticism, which would be interesting too because Shintoism has a lot of gods and we might learn more about Emi, who’s part of that whole shebang. We got some of that, but mostly in foreshadowing for possible future events. Turns out, the main character of this story was actually this guy, who has no power other than being good at archery but abandoning it in favour of winter sports instead. He’s certainly not as flashy as the melodramatically costumed superhumans, but I still found his big scene oddly dramatic, even though it was notably mundane in a story featuring a literal god. There’s some good music in this episode, by the way; I enjoyed both the traditional woodwinds and the more flamboyant brass.
I suppose what this side story (and we can probably consider it a side story) does is remind us that, in the looming superhuman civil war, there are plain ol’ ordinary folk who are caught in the middle. In this clash of high ideals, this battle for the soul of the generation, all the brouhaha, there’s a native god who just misses her old rituals, and a poor mortal sap who just wants to ski.