jiro hitoyoshi

To All of You (Again) — In Defense of Concrete Revolutio’s Non-Linear Timeline

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This wasn’t the post I was initially going to write.

My original post dealt in more personal anecdotes, much like my first take on Concrete Revolutio Choujin Gensou. The series has always concerned itself with time, reorganizing it’s own chronology as it has seen fit. It was going to return to the young woman on the balcony, wondering just how her personal choices had led her to that specific moment. My experience with Concrete Revolutio was an extremely personal one due to the series shifting timeline from episode to episode.

Yet, Concrete Revolutio tackles many things, almost too many things to the point where the series is bursting at the seams with a myriad of ideas too large to fit into one series and too nuanced to be adequately addressed within such a small scope.

This wasn’t the post I was initially going to write, but it’s the post I feel compelled to write at this specific moment in time — in my own timeline that I, in this very moment, feel like I cannot change.

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Concrete Revolutio and Stating the Obvious

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“He states the ordinary, the obvious. That is how he moves people.”

-Emi Kino on Devilo, Concrete Revolutio, Episode 17

Sometimes, a simple statement is more powerful than the most eloquent of speeches.

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Concrete Revolutio and the Unsolvable Paradox: Super Jaguar and Detective Shiba

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Since its inception, Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou has dabbled with the concept of time — most obviously with actual time travel on top of playing fast and loose with chronology. The series has a myriad of reasons to watch: musings on heroism and justice, real-life complements to historical events and Japanese student activism, and strong emotional narratives that elevate Concrete Revolutio‘s characters beyond cut-outs for what they stand for.

In the painfully human fashion, what they stand for changes depending on context and timeframe.

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Media and Propaganda in Concrete Revolutio

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Present day journalism, advertising, and marketing has been forever altered by social media. Breaking news is found through Twitter updates while commentary is immediately broadcast from one’s fingertips into the ether on Facebook and Reddit, among other platforms. Previously, newspapers, radio, and television were the primary tools of broadcasting both breaking news and advertising goods and services with commentary reserved for the dining table, living room, or office water cooler. If you’re at all interested in the ramifications of the former, more immediate and current path for news and marketing, Gatchaman Crowds might be the series for you.

Instead of a social media focus, Concrete Revolutio‘s in-universe thoughts are filtered through an anachronistic setup that harkens back to these days of fedoras with “Press” and rows of desks with rotary phones visible through the haze of cigarette smoke. The Concrete Revolutio twist is that said phones are now flown to satellite girls by witches.

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To All of You: The Time of Concrete Revolutio

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I’ve never needed much sleep. Even as a child, sleep was an obnoxious fact of life that stopped me from doing things. However, as a child, I was unable to choose when I was supposed to sleep, and spent hours staring at my ceiling mind racing.

One of the many habits developed from this was placing life events into timelines. I would choose an event, say a family vacation I had specifically enjoyed, and count the days backwards to it.

“Sixty-three days ago, at this exact moment, I was at a sleepover at Diana’s house.”

With a starting point in mind, I then filled in the blanks from that point until the present day and organize my thoughts. This automatic filing of my own activities persists to this day. Even now, I sometimes wonder what watershed of events led to the particular moment that I’m living in right now.

Time is a weird, slippery thing that we attempt to define and quantify, but thinking about it from a personal perspective is horrifying enough to cause heart palpitations. The tiny decisions to do or not to do something add up, and it’s all too often only later down the road that we bother to look back and attempt to piece together how things happened.

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