「鋼鉄の鬼」 (Kōtetsu no Oni)
“The Iron Ogre”
Warning: this episode contains traces of NUTS. Shiny, giant NUTS. If you recall from episode 19, the scandal-plagued prime minister of Japan is suffering from sliding popularity, and as a last ditch effort has decided to show the public his NUTS. With the Middle East destabilising not from sectarian rivalry, but ancient djinni, no government can stand up to these supernatural threats without a full set of NUTS. But first, the CEO of Imperial Ads has to press gang some hapless women to ride his NUTS. Some superhumans, though, are not willing to let the state shove its NUTS down their throats, and are fighting back with a real kick in the NUTS. But, disaster! It turns out that manhandling these NUTS causes them to release a strange fluid. Now everything smells like dead fish.
Testicles. I’m talking about testicles.
My highbrow maturity aside, I think this week represents a turning point in the plot of Concrete Revolutio. While more high concept, standalone episodes have formed the majority of this show, it seems that they’re now all coming together. The references to past episodes are extend far beyond the recurring cast at this point. Just to name a few, there’s the incident surrounding the immortal family from episode 09, the combining androids from episode 03, the ghost of Claude rears its ugly head, and let us not forget the issue of Jirou’s kaijuu blood, which had previously been temporarily set aside for this second season. As Concrete Revolutio heads toward a grand finale (or, at least, runs out of episodes), this is the kind of step that needs to be taken. With so many individuals, their values and their viewpoints put on display during these 20-something episodes, we really do need an opportunity to view it all holistically. Even each member of the robot congress have sharply differing positions, though they all be machines and are supposed to be, in a very nominal fashion, allies. Megasshin was created to protect the peace, so they are a champion of order. Detective Shiba is an anarchist, and is diametrically opposed to Megasshin—just like they were in their debut episode. And we know that Earth-chan doesn’t concern herself with those high ideals—she simply responds to earnest cries for help. The disagreement between the robots mirrors Jirou’s own internal struggle. For all his talk of justice and doing the right thing, he never really stood on any solid set of ideals like the other characters in this show. Even the ‘bad guys’ in Concrete Revolutio have their convictions. Jirou just thinks superhumans, and so supports them. So when it comes to a superhuman civil war, where does he stand? It’s this indecisiveness, more than anything else, it seems, that Jaguar finds unforgivable. Is it really so bad, though? Daitetsu thinks that true justice needs be absolute, but only Sith deal in absolutes.
(In the context of the movie it was a stupid line and untrue to the point of irony, but eh.)
Good thing that there’s an actual dastardly scheme running behind the scenes that will give Jirou something more tangible to oppose. Imperial Ads is due to screen their anti-superhuman propaganda movie next week, which is certain to be bad news for Jirou and his merry band. This plan to wipe out all superhumans seems like it’d poll poorly with the actual superhumans, and maybe this is what unites Jirou’s broken group. As we saw in Shinjuku, superhumans are capable of putting aside their differences, from time to time, and nothing brings people together like an existential threat.
And here I thought you were talking about giant robots. XD
This is indeed a step up, when characters, plotlines and conflicts from previous episodes and seasons start coming together for what seems to be the grand finale. And up front is Jiro’s past and his weak philosophical motivations. When I saw the “robot congress”, I could almost imagine them as avatars of DnD alingnments vying for Jiro’s soul:
Megasshin: “For peace and for the nation! Choose Lawful Good!”
Detective Shiba: “For freedom and change! Choose Chaotic Good!”
Earth-chan: “To help those who need it! Choose Neutral Good!”
On the side of evil, I have to admire Imperial Ads for their pragmatic villainy. The robots work? Perfect weapon to defeat superhumans. They don’t and they’re poisonous? Well, the Prime Minister was becoming useless and maybe the PR disaster will make the Americans less eager next time. The superhuman rebels may attack now although NUTS are finished? A good chance to showcase how evil they are. Their strategy to divide and conquer (good superhumans vs bad superhumans, humans vs not humans) is also the way to go to avoid a superhuman union that could stop them.
Also, I’m beginning to think that although Doctor Hitoyoshi and Emi might be some of the shadiest characters in the series, Shady Is Not Evil (althouh not necessarily good either).
I do not think Dr Hitoyoshi and Emi are evil either, per se, but it’s hard to trust them, too. I’m pretty sure that, of the main cast, they hold the most secrets still.
True enough. There are more than enough hints that link the good Doctor with the kaiju and Japan’s pre-war experiments (and some post war experiments too).
Still, I think it’s because they are having appropriate foils this time. Imperial Ads is giving Hitoyoshi chances to prove he’s not as morally bankrupt as them, and Emi and Kikko are a surprisingly good duo which from time to time shows that they’re not so different (especially in everything related to Jiro and anti non-human discrimination).
As for their secrets, the preview hints we’re finding them out soon.
Hahaha, Passerby really went NUTS with his first pharagraph now.
Puns aside, I like how the series showcases the change that the majority of the characters – even some members of the ‘robot congress’ – has gone through throughout the years. For example Judas was quite an earnest fellow in the first season, and now he seems like a quite disillusioned underground doctor who doesn’t really care about the high ideals of the others around him. So I hope we will see more Kikko and Emi (and perhaps some change in their worldview, too), because they are pretty underused characters in the second season.
And I don’t think that it was a good idea to give Jiro one of those helmets that amplifies superhuman abilities. Even without the helmet he was one of the most powerful entitites with the kaijuu and the fumers living inside him, so it might not end well if his powers are further increased.
“For example Judas was quite an earnest fellow in the first season, and now he seems like a quite disillusioned underground doctor who doesn’t really care about the high ideals of the others around him”
I’m having Black Jack vibes from this new Judas. Which is fitting, given the setting and that he’s linked to
So, Jiro is this show’s incarnation of Godzilla?
A Godzilla bomb, even. A more literal Little Boy.
NUTS 1, 2 and 3 are reminiscent of Mazinger+Getter, Reideen, and Godam, respectively.