Concrete Revolutio #22 – December 1974, and most of the principal voice actors get to play over-the-top caricatures of their characters, because it’s time for the lurid big-budget tokusatsu (live-action with special effects) version of the death of the Rainbow Knight. The movie is a huge sensation, and probably goes on to be picked up by a US distributor, given a crappy dub, and used in an experiment by the Shinka timeline’s equivalent of Mystery Science Theater 3000. (Which of course will involve actual scientists, an actual spaceship, and actual robots.)
But beneath all the scenery-chewing is the truth that Jirō was manipulated by those around him, the Rainbow Knight was trying to stop them, and Jirō did kill him. And ever since, Satomi has been working his way up in the media world so that he can get the truth out. Does that make him less of a villain? Well, he also seems to be intrigued by nuclear energy, and in anime political shorthand, expressing any appreciation at all for nuclear power is usually a sign of evil dictatorial warlike nationalist sympathies. But Concrete Revolutio has been all about getting into messy complexity, so maybe there’s room for nuclear energy.
On the other hand, Satomi’s opinion on what should be done about superhumans is that the whole business should be abandoned, regardless of any potential for good, and I doubt the show is going to come into full agreement on that one.
The final battle is coming down to Jirō versus his younger self– living on as Claude, as the mutations induced by his blood, and in the repercussions such as Satomi’s campaign against superhumans.
Re: ZERO -Starting Life In Another World- #10 – Subaru has had a robust savaging, but he did survive, making two whole episodes without him dying. Three, now. Good heavens, what has become of this show?
But he’s under threat of imminent death again, since apparently every single hellhound in the pack has put a magical marker on him that will be called in when they get hungry. This leads to Rem trying to singlehandedly (single-hornedly?) trying to remove the threat, potentially at her own mortal peril, which means Subaru must take action to save her.
Subaru is starting to confront the fact that “taking action”, for him, consists of speechifying and flailing around until someone more competent is sufficiently amused or alarmed to take care of the problem for him. This strategy fails him this time around when it turns out that Ram is not superhumanly strong. For once, he’s been forced to solve a problem on his own.
And solve it he does! Kind of. Now it’s him and two exhausted oni against a powerful shaman, which may mean an end to the current winning streak.
They say that one of the attractions of anime is that anyone can die, but even so there are characters you can be fairly sure are protected. One of the side effects of Re: ZERO‘s premise is that here we finally have a show where it can be a geniune surprise week after week when the hero doesn’t get killed.
My Hero Academia #10 – Yup, it’s for real. The League of Villains has assembled for a special party to welcome All Might into his teaching career, only to be foiled by the fact that All Might hasn’t really gotten the hang of prioritizing his educational duties yet. A lot of what happened this episode was obligatory shōnen fighting exercises, but All Might overdoing it on the heroism and then being trapped by the principal deciding to lecture him over tea is a special twist.
The obligatory fighting and commentary serve mainly to establish two things: Aizawa is a serious badass; and Mineta, despite being a irritating little coward with a boob fixation, does still have the kind of power it takes to have gotten into U. A. Academy. But he is still an irritating little coward with a boob fixation, and I hope he’s not going to stay a foreground character.
Tsuyu is a more interesting hero. She’s basically their equivalent of Spiderman, and one of the few students who already seems completely comfortable with her Quirk. While Izuku leads the charge and Mineta makes an important contribution, Tsuyu is the one doing a large part of the work in their escape, and gets no awestruck comentary for it. (Note also that last week, Īda needed Ochako’s Quirk to get him started and then got all the praise. I hope this isn’t the start of a persistent pattern in how the female characters are treated.)
Kagewani -II- #10 – Attempting any kind of scientific explanation in a horror show is like piling on the technobabble in a science fiction show. There’s no way to make it actually work with existing science and technology, so you just wind up digging yourself further and further into a huge awkward and inconsistent hole. Sometimes it’s best to just let things go unexplained.
It would have been best in this case anyway, but Bamba and Kai still trust Kimura, and so they keep handing him the information he needs to try to grab control of everything for himself. And speaking of bad ideas, the next move for the Sarugaku crew is to head for China. Or, in other words, to try to take their private paramilitary force into a large, paranoid country which has a particular dislike for the Japanese. How hard can it be?
Meanwhile, the survivor from Yunnan has an encounter with a monster that can mimic humans. We saw this once in the first season, at which time it was simply described as some monsters deploying it as a form of camouflage or bait. Now it’s been shown that the kagewani, at least, can retain the memories of people it’s killed. So is there enough of a personality retained that people can still be said to exist inside it, or is it just a more advanced sort of protection mechanism? In other words, could it be said that the woman’s mother was really speaking to her in the flashback, or was it the kagewani drawing on its absorbed knowledge to keep itself from being killed?
The Lost Village #10 – Everything I just said about science in horror, again.
So Nanaki Village was named for the power that dramatizes people’s psychological scars, but growing beyond them doesn’t help you either, because arbitrary rules mean that then your lifeforce is sucked away. And if you don’t have the scars in the first place, like Masaki, that probably still means something is wrong with you.
Masaki doesn’t come out of this looking good anyway, since Reiji has let slip that she actually has been visiting him on a regular basis after all. That and her furtive behavior in the second village suggest that she’s also answering to Koharun.
So what is Koharun up to? I’m inclined to think she’s genuinely interested in the Nanaki phenomenon, and has decided to use Jack, Hyōketsu no Judgeness, and others to try to manipulate or strengthen it for more observations.
And what of Valkana and the bus driver, who were last seen wandering in the fog like Mitsumune? Have they also been kicked back to the outside world? Neither of them were running away from their visions either, so maybe yes. Maybe a rescue mission is next?