Concrete Revolutio Episode 8: Another Brick in the Wall
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In the future timeline, Jirou Hitoyoshi finds what appears to be a graveyard either or robots or cybernetic beings. Hyouma Yoshimura is waiting for him and expresses regret that Hitoyoshi had to see this. Yoshimura tries to use his stop time attack, but Earth-chan, now on Hitoyoshi’s side, takes the time-piece away. Daitetsu, a character we’ve not met so far, arrives with a huge robot, apparently buried under the carcasses of the fallen robots, and grabs Earth-chan.
The timeline shifts to what I think of as the present. Hitoyoshi, Kikko Hoshino, Emi Kino, and detective Raito Shiba are at the campus where a student protest has broken out. A police officer talking to Hoshino and Kino mentions how the students today remind him of students years ago during the “Daitetsu incident.” The Juvenile Investigators BL Club, a group of students who are unregistered superhumans, arrives with unknown intentions. Led by Yumihiko Otonashi, they attack the protesters. The Superhuman Bureau won’t act because the group’s not registered; the police won’t act because the group cooperates with the police. Their robot, Gigander, retrieves a student whose mother had asked the group for help, and they depart.
Later, the Club receives a potential customer who wants them to take the Eye of Lucifer, which used to belong to an evil superhuman who almost took over Japan multiple times. Shortly thereafter, the Bureau hears that the club’s been threatened by some force who wants to acquire the Eye of Lucifer. A old and now deceased superhuman, the Rainbow Knight, often opposed the Eye of Lucifer in the past. Hitoyoshi is a big fan of the Rainbow Knight, but the popular story is that just before he died, he took children hostage and asked for a ransom. Hitoyoshi doesn’t believe that story. Hoshino, meanwhile, is suspicious of Otonashi because she can’t find any record of his past.
That night, against the Bureau’s orders, Hitoyoshi stakes out the Club’s house. Shiba shows up, too, not wanting to admit that he was also a fan of the Knight. Turns out Hoshino and Fuurouta are there, also against orders. As they discuss what they know about the Knight, Hoshino confesses that she thinks the Knight’s death was a government coverup. We also learn that Hitoyoshi had watched the Knight die right in front of him.
The Eye of Lucifer seems to appear to steal the Crescent Gun, a relic from the Rainbow Knight. Otonashi and his friends capture the Eye of Lucifer only to find out it was a balloon decoy. The Eye of Lucifer and the Crescent Gun are gone. Otonashi chides Hitoyoshi for being a fan of the Rainbow Knight.
The scene shifts back in time to when the Rainbow Knight apparently kidnapped the children. Hitoyoshi asks Kino to use her powers to locate the children, because he doesn’t believe the Knight would do such a thing. He arrives on the scene just in time to find the Knight engulfed in flames. Heedless of his own safety, Hitoyoshi tries to remove the Knight’s helmet to see if he’s still alive and burns his left arm in the process. The Knight is dead. The police announce that they’ve found a surviving child named Daitetsu.
When the Bureau receives a threat that the Eye of Lucifer is going to steel the Knight’s helmet from Hitoyoshi’s house, the Club shows up to help keep guard. Hitoyoshi was surprised; he didn’t know his father had the helmet. The Eye of Lucifer arrives early and steals the helmet out of a supposedly impenetrable vault. Otonashi tries to catch him again but only gets the decoy.
That night, the Club’s eating outside when the Rainbow Knight arrives and tells them they’ve done a good job. He asks Otonashi if he’s keeping the real helmet in his coat. The Club attacks, but the Knight repulses them with what appears to be the Crescent Gun. The Club comes together to form Gigander. The Rainbow Knight muses that they’re able to form Gigander because Otonashi is a superhuman who’s power is to manipulate metal; and that Otonashi was also disguised as the Eye of Lucifer to steal the artifacts. Otonashi had hatched the plan when the man offered to sell the Eye of Lucifer. The goal was to flush out the Rainbow Knight, if he was still alive.
What looks like a glowing, almost formless ghost creates a huge earth golem that attacks Gigander. The Rainbow Knight saves Otonashi, only to put him into Hitoyoshi’s car. The Knight really is dead; Hitoyoshi dressed up like the Rainbow Knight to trick Otonashi into confessing. With Hoshino’s help, he had figured out something else: Otonashi was really Daitetsu Maki, the only survivor of the Rainbow Knight’s kidnapping.
The scene shifts back in time. The Rainbow Knight is bringing food to the kids he kidnapped. A young Daitetsu asks why he kidnapped them. The Knight apologizes and tells them that they all have superhuman powers. He asks Daitetsu if he wants to be a superhuman of justice, and the boy answers yes. The Knight says that he wants to protect people like him, as an ally of justice, and the kidnapping was the start of that plan. After the Knight’s death, when they rescued him, the police told Daitetsu that the Knight had demanded a ransom for his release.
Back in the present, Hitoyoshi uses Equus to attack the huge golem. During the fight, he asks Daitetsu why he wanted to find the Rainbow Knight. Though he remembers the Knight as a warm, kind uncle, Daitetsu wants to make it clear the Knight was evil — and that he’ll never become like the Knight. His reason? Justice and evil are supposed to be clearly different. Hitoyoshi says that he can’t be sure he can tell the difference so easily. Instead, he wants to be an ally of justice — like the Knight said to Daitetsu. Hitoyoshi shares that years ago, the Rainbow Knight had saved him from a beast. In gratitude, Hitoyoshi had said that the Knight was a superhero of justice. The Knight answered, “No. The best I can be is an ally of justice.” Hitoyoshi says that even if he can’t tell black from white or either from gray, he still wants to be an ally of justice.
Working as a team, and with Gigander’s help, the Bureau destroys the Golem. The ghostly light vanishes, and the Club wonders if it was the ghost of the Rainbow Knight. It wasn’t. Daishi Akita had called in help from a government superhuman to create the conflict. The price? The Bureau had to support Japan’s efforts to join the Defense Force of Earth.
After the credits, we return to the future, where Hitoyoshi and Earth-chan are facing off against Yoshimura and Daitetsu. Daitetsu wonders if Hitoyoshi being an ally of justice makes Daitetsu evil. He concludes that no, good and evil shouldn’t change that easily, and he attacks.
What I Liked
Just after the credits, the police officer offers Kino sour konbu. She tastes it and her eyes close and her mouth scrunches up. So what does she do? She takes two more bites. Funny sight gag.
When the Eye of Lucifer arrived early, Hoshino or Kino said, “Oh, yeah, he didn’t have to come at the appointed time.” It’s almost like the show was making fun of a trope it was using! Really, why would a villain keep to his time table?
The realistic portrayal of multiple perspectives and the effect those have on individual choices continues to impress me.
What I Liked Less
This episode decided that multiple time lines weren’t enough to keep me confused. It introduced multiple and concurrent dialogue streams. Twice. I had to rematch some scenes five or six times before I thought I understood the details — and then I still missed some! Just how hard does this anime want to make me work?
At its heart, the show seems to be telling the story of Hitoyoshi’s inner struggle as manifested by his departure from the Bureau. He seems to be pursuing a path that starts with a false certainty of right and wrong and ends with his acknowledgement that he doesn’t know. He could give up trying to tell the difference. Instead, he decides to do the best he honestly can. Earth-Chai’s story parallels his story. I hope they find comfort in on another’s support. $deity knows life is hard enough.
This episode introduced Daitetsu Maki, who started, as a child, with a clear idea of right and wrong based on his limited, child-like perspective. As he grew up and entered college, he clung to this perspective, even as he learned Hitoyoshi’s story. By the end of the episode, we find that unlike Hitoyoshi, Daitetsu Maki did not internalize the lessons Hitoyoshi has learned. He rejected them in favor of his confined world-view, which let him continue his battle against what he perceived as evil in spite of the life’s nuances.
It might seem contrary to the show’s theme to ask which of them is right, but I think it’s actually a fulfillment to consider the question. Acting without a complete understanding, especially when dealing out lethal force, is clearly not right. Hitoyoshi seems to have learned that, because after he left the Bureau, he seems only to act when he feels the need to defend someone. That may be an over simplification, and future events may change my mind. But it seems he’s learned the wisdom to know he doesn’t know everything, so he shouldn’t judge. Judgement can lead to premature death, among other unsavory conditions.
I’m assuming it’s too much to ask that Concrete Revolutio abandon jumping back and forth between multiple timelines? The series has such enjoyable philosophical and ethical questions that I’d really like to focus on those! Yeah, it’s probably too much to ask.
Reviews of Other Season 1 Episodes
- Episode 1: The Witch Girl of Tokyo
- Episode 2: Inside the Black Fog
- Episode 3: An Iron Couple
- Episodes 4-6: Missing due to a mysterious calamity
- Episode 7: Go Beyond the Sky and Stars
- Episode 8: Nobody Knows about the Rainbow Knight
- Episode 9: End of the Endless Family
- Episode 10: Mirage of Destiny
- Episode 11: Justice / Freedom / Peace
- Episode 12: Hakko Superhuman Crash Incident
- Episode 13: Riots in Shinjuku