Anime roundup 11/26/2015: Getting Warmer

Concrete-8 Concrete Revolutio #8 – Before practically anyone else, the Rainbow Knight and his archnemesis the Eye of Lucifer inspired kids everywhere to want to be superheroes. Until the day that the Rainbow Knight decided he had to kidnap a bunch of kids with superpowers and then somehow met a fiery death.

That last part, I suspect, was Jirō’s fiery beast. But there’s plenty more to explain. Was it part of Jirō at the time or was this when he picked it up? How did the Rainbow Knight find a list of kids with superpowers and what was he really up to?

Then the Eye of Lucifer retired and chose to live a quiet, law-abiding life until his family started to develop suspicions about his past, and who should he turn to for help but one of the former child hostages, Daitetsu Maki (whose given name can be literally translated as “Big Iron”). This allows for a little fun in an examination the ludicrousness of giant transforming robots.

Maki grows up a staunch government supporter who will eventually face off against Jirō and the rescued and rebuilt (yay!) Earth Girl. Fighting alongside him is Hyōma Yoshimura aka Jaguar.

In the first three episodes, we had stories focusing on Kikko, Fūrōta, and Shiba respectively, both before and after Jirō’s defection. Here we see a future standoff with Jaguar but have no corresponding in-depth look at him in any other time. There’s something very fishy– okay, slightly fishier than just about every other thing going on in this show– about the reluctance to fill in more details about him. And he might be far more important to the whole setup than has been hinted at yet. After all, he has some control over time, and this is an alternate timeline.


Kagewani-8 Kagewani #8 – Hey, would you look at that! Continuity!

Professor Bamba is hot on the trail of the monster from last week’s episode. He brings with him a geologist, who happens to be an ex-girlfriend, but unfortunately she vanishes in the confusion. In the grand tradition of fictional ex-girlfriends, she’ll probably reappear later to either be in peril to induce our hero to do something stupid, or to turn out tohave been working with the villains all along. And still induce our hero to do something stupid.

The latest monster has all the skills. In addition to finding its prey by vibrations, it can render itself invisible and camouflage its tentacles to look like fully dressed humans. And of course it can kill people horribly. Luckily Sarugaku has some serious funding– we’re now talking in the tens of millions of dollars– so it can call itself in for an airstrike.

Am I imagining things, or was Bamba deliberately favoring the side of his face with the scar toward the end? It seemed to react to the nearness of the monster in episode 1, and this is the closest he’s gotten to one yet…


Orphans-8 Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans #8 – After Orga’s boarding party manages to reach the bridge, Naze is sufficiently impressed to give up on Maruba and transfer his support to Tekkadan, at least for long enough to introduce them to the big boss.

It’s a long flight, so it’s time for some more exposition. Naze’s ship is crewed entirely by women, it turns out, because it’s also his harem. (Which appears to be able to churn out baby after baby without anyone developing visible signs of pregnancy.) Many awkward smiles are made.

The history of Gjallarhorn is finally explained. Once it was a peacekeeping force which stopped the war to end all wars, but it’s mutated into an instrument for preserving a status quo that benefits no one but the colonial powers. In the ongoing metaphor of the solar system as Africa, this makes Gjallarhorn the equivalent of UN peacekeepers who have become corrupt. It also explains why a military force would have to answer to auditors.


Utawarerumono-8 Utawarerumono: The False Faces #8 – Slowly the plot judders into motion as Haku and various friends are dispatched to infiltrate a decadent gambling den. Only, this being a medieval Japanese fantasy world, it’s on a pleasure barge and the gamblers are betting on secret underground fights between giant insects.

Cockroach fighting originated in China in ancient times, and so this scenario is slightly less bizarre than you might at first think. Still, giant insects. Giant insects with parasitic egg-laying habits, as it happens, which makes you not want to think too much about whether they were being bred in captivity.

After a satisfyingly destructive fight, Oshutaru shares a bit of his past and explains his motivation for creating a secret identity, leaving the viewer to guess at the still-unrevealed method he uses for keeping his wig and beard on despite whatever happens to him.

But all this suddenly becomes academic when Haku is “invited” through a magic portal to a secret realm inhabited by two other humans like him. Are there big revelations in the offing? I just hope “Tell me about your adventures” wasn’t the prelude to a recap episode.


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