「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.