Anime roundup 12/3/2015: Family Ties

Concrete-9 Concrete Revolutio #9 – After Jirō goes rogue, what could possibly put him and his former colleagues on the same side of a fight again, even briefly? Evil Americans with a pollution-spewing giant robot, that’s what!

In December 1941, part of the attack on Pearl Harbor involved the deployment of an immortal in a midget submarine. He was captured, experimented on in various creative ways, and finally sent back in 1969 as part of a gambit to capture the rest of his family. Just for a moment, the Superhuman Bureau sees the treachery world powers will engage in to gain control of superhumans– but since it’s some other world power, not Japan, it’s going to take more than that to bring them around to Jirō’s side.

This week’s featured guest superhumans are based on characters not from a superhero show, but a long-running domestic comedy called Sazae-san which fatures a young woman named Sazae (the equivalent of Sanae in this episode) living with her husband, their toddler, her parents, and her younger brother and sister. It’s been running continuously since 1969 and has produced several thousand episodes. And in all that time, no one in the family has aged.

Meanwhile, a couple things are now confirmed about Hyōma Yoshimura: Yes, he’s a time traveller, and yes, he’s been keeping that fact from the rest of the Bureau. (And, almost as an aside, it turns out there’s actual reason everyone calls him Jaguar.) With the next episode featuring the time police, it looks like his cover is about to be blown.


Orphans-9 Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans #9 – Frankly, this show is at its best when it steps away from the battlefield and stops worrying about what might be going on in Mikazuki’s head and instead focuses on Orga and his learning curve toward becoming a full adult. He’s coming to see himself not just as the commander of Tekkadan but the head of a family, with all the responsibility that entails.

So, to protect his family, he’s joining the Family. The “old man” who runs Teiwaz is an out-and-out Italian mafiosi stereotype, at least until things get very serious and he pulls out the traditional Japanese robes and sake utensils (that’s what sakazuki means).

It’s a huge moment when Orga secures Tekkadan a place in the overall power structure of the solar system. Now they aren’t just small-time operators who can be squashed by anyone without a second thought. But now they have the same enemies as Teiwaz whether they want them or not.

If they’re one big family, though, what does that make Yamagi’s crush on Shino, then…?

Meanwhile, Fumitan is still sending off her secret reports, and not to Teiwaz. Is she Fareed’s mole? Whoever she’s working for, she’s starting to look like she regrets working against Kudelia and the kids.


Kagewani-9 Kagewani #9 – Aha! Bamba’s scar was reacting at the end of last week’s episode. How inconvenient that it only acts up when the monsters are out of camouflage. It would be really handy to have something that could alert him about something which is only pretending to be human.

Then it turns out that the scar is a memento of a monster attack that killed his parents. Which means the monsters have been invading human spaces for quite some time now. If they’re well-established among humans now, is there anything that can be done? Or is it even necessary to do anything if they’re becoming more human?


Utawarerumono-9 Utawarerumono: The False Faces #9 – Well, I didn’t see that coming. Utawarerumono just flat-out pretends the end of last week’s episode didn’t happen at all and resets to aimless hijinks as Kuon has to deal with an awkward family reunion again and people are creepy at each other in the baths again and several characters stumble into the yaoi bookstore again.

A smidgen of new information arrives in that Arurū and Kamyu are ambassadors from Tuskuru. Tuskuru was the country founded in the first Utawarerumono, and the two young ladies and the tiger are characters from that story. So this is taking very soon after and near the events of the first game and series. Now, if things could just start, you know, taking place again, rather than rehashing jokes from the last few episodes, that would be great.


Quick programming note: I’ll be at Smofcon 33 this weekend, which is going to mean no commentary next week. Stay tuned for a special column instead!

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