Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke – 02

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His special, psychic power is that he installed Skype into his eyeball

I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you are wondering why I’m here writing about Zettai Karen Children when I wasn’t even present for the first impression post. I had erroneously assumed that I needed to have seen the first season to enjoy and understand this show, so it slipped under my radar entirely. That is…until Kyokai told me to give it a try. I obeyed and ended up enjoying it a lot more than a certain other show about detectives and hair that I signed up to write about. I wasted no time making the switch, and I don’t think I’ll regret it.

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I’m really enjoying what the show has been doing with psychic powers so far. Unlike just settling on random powers that could be explained as anything, the things espers can do are a lot more limited. You have to be more creative to explain things like flying or not aging since you can’t say “Well, immortality is just their superpower!”. While the explanations are really big stretches that probably wouldn’t work at all in real life, I appreciate the effort to try and remain scientific – even if it’s just pseudo-science. For example, Magi using his powers to rearrange the carbon in his hair to create wings shouldn’t actually make him able to fly. But do I care? No, because it’s really goddamned cool and it makes a bit of sense. That’s why he keeps his hair long. If someone gives him a trim, he’d be landbound. There are a lot more weaknesses and finer details to flying via psychic powers than just giving some dude the power to fly.

Then there’s Hyoubu Kyosuke, who can use his psychokinesis (PK) for pretty much everything. He actually is able to control his body at the molecular level, a bit like Magi. However, he’s not just changing carbon, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to extend his lifespan. The key is telomere. They don’t actually code for anything useful, but there has been a link shown between telemeres shortening and aging. It’s a crazy, but almost plausible explanation for his eternal youth. His power and how he uses it gives me a much better idea of who he is, and the same can be said of the other members. Although he acts a bit like a stuck-up kid, he’s actually old enough to be everyone’s grandpa, and probably a lot wiser than he lets on. Considering that they dedicated a whole spin-off series to this guy, it’s no wonder he’s not just a typical narcissist.

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Impromptu renovations with Hyoubu Kyousuke! Today we turn a window into a stunning balcony view!

He also says that he died before, presumably due to a gunshot straight through his forehead. He somehow survived an injury that should be, by all means, 100% fatal. In fact, he didn’t survive, but he died and then came back to life after his heart stopped. Interestingly enough, when I was quickly scanning through some articles about parapsychology (the study of psi powers such as PK, precognition and telepathy) I noticed that near-death experiences and reincarnation were both big topics in the field as well. Somehow, his death may be related to the awakening of his immense powers. Although becoming an esper seems largely genetics, perhaps all (or most) of the really strong ones had some sort of near-death experience or trauma. This doesn’t happen to everything, and it seems like his level of ability is particularly rare. No wonder he’s so confident in his power.

If anything, his ego isn’t inflated, but perfectly in tune with how powerful he is compared to the rest of the espers. I will never grow tired of him going into his Unlimited mode and warping his surroundings just by standing there and existing. As much as I like hand-to-hand combat in anime, there is something magnificent about being able to make a guy implode in a tidal wave of gore from a few blocks away. That whole scene unfolded in a way that completely betrayed my expectations, and proved that this show is intelligent enough to not always follow the most obvious route all the time. I thought Andy not being able to shoot the mafia leader would just result in Hyoubu going on his own killing rampage, but Hyoubu’s plan was a lot more nuanced than that. He may be described as “hot-tempered” by his engrish description when Andy researches him, but he’s not dumb.

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The limiter necklace he gave Andy is yet another plan, although it sends a mixed message. It says “I trust you as a comrade” but it also says “I can crush you at any moment now.” While Hyoubu uses his limiter to make sure he isn’t destroying the very ground he walks on, it’s given to Andy mostly so he can be near his new comrades and to make him more vulnerable. It seems like he’s forgiving Andy too quickly, but this limiter might actually be also a punishment of sorts.

However, despite making him prone to ESP now, he still doesn’t ask Yugiri to search his mind for any clues. I think he wants to find out who Andy is as a person in the normal way, which is why he’s testing the waters with him so much. Although Fujiura calls Andy’s power “useless”, it can actually make him invincible if used correctly. If he worked as a teammates with Hyoubu and supported him by defending all attacks – he’d be unstoppable. Well…more unstoppable than he is now.

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I imagine he’ll encounter some fiercer competition later on, and Hyoubu may start to rely on Andy so that he gets attached to PANDRA. People feel more like they’re part of a group if they’re relied on, and their individual efforts are recognized. It’s clear he wants him on the team for some reason, and Andy is slowly warming up to them. With the catchphrase “death to traitors” hanging above his head, it’s hard to tell what he will choose since he has to betray either his organization or PANDRA. However, PANDRA has a cute little girl and a squirrel, so they’re really winning with the sympathy trump card there.

Two episodes in and I already really like Hyoubu and his teammates. Even the flying squirrel manages to not be annoying! I usually think people with the power to use their booming voice to inflict pain on people is lame, but Fujiura’s use of soundwave control is quite the opposite. It’s extremely useful for covert missions to act as both a walkie-talkie that cannot be intercepted and to cancel out sound so they aren’t detected. Since he has such a fine-tuned control, it makes a bit more sense that his teammates can stand in the same area as him as he screeches and not explode like his opponents. I guess he’s resonating their bodies at the exact frequency to make them explode? Again – these powers are really cool, creative, and well thought out. Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke delivers on the action side of things as well as the story side as well. There are still so many secrets about PANDRA and its members that we don’t know…and want to know.

Bonus Screenshots:Show ▼

Preview: Yugiri unleashes more of her power and shows us who’s boss as PANDRA tries to get close to this princess lady. It sounds like they want to kidnap her, although I’m not sure why.

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A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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31 Responses to “Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke – 02”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    True! It’s shocking to see you blogging this OC because I expected Kyokai or Fosh to be at the helm since they Tag Teamed [K] which had its version of espers. [K], Code: Breaker, Zettai Karen Children, Mondai-ji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? and I hear there’s another Railgun on the way this year. What caused this Renaissance?

    You’re not alone about the first season. I wasn’t even aware there was one. This is completely new to me. Though I’m getting some serious Freecell vibes from Kyousuke. At least the guy has a loli to keep him company. He’s older than he looks. First off, what is he? (Just playing because I already heard the explanation). Second: Dude, that makes you double the cradle robber. What I hope is that he doesn’t full power. It’ll be boring if he always goes into Crusnik mode every episode.

    Two episodes in and I’m already liking Zettai Karen Children a lot more than Code: Breaker. First, there’s no annoyingly optimistic, “wanting to save everyone” Sakura Sakurakouji (Thank goodness), second, the story looks a lot more interesting and the characters have more appealing personalities. Especially their badass leader.

    • Overcooled says:

      No one else was actually covering it, so I just swooped in out of nowhere and took it. I’m glad I ended up finding something I actually like this season. Espers are the new trend now.

      Ah, so you actually know a bit about who Kyousuke is. I’m still completely in the dark about everything, and I’m afraid to look at info about season 1 in case it somehow spoils it.

      I dropped Code Breaker immediately because it was so boring. :/

      • BlackBriar says:

        With all the gore and destruction, this does seem like your kind of anime. Espers are what’s hot right now. I wonder what will replace it. Before this, it was dead people with Kore wa Zombie, Sankarea and Tasogare Otome x Amnesia.

        Yeah, I only know as much as the show is telling. It’s got to awesome manipulating your own cells to stay young. If you’re up to date on Shinsekai Yori, there’s a woman who is the most respected elder in the village and explained the she used the same trick to stay young. Right now, she’s 267 years old.

        I’m not sure but it feels like Kyousuke is already onto to Andy’s secret and is just testing him to see who he’ll ultimately side with.

        Hmm, Code: Breaker was below average. I kept watching for a sign that it would but sadly to no avail. The main girl killed it for me.

  2. Cytrus says:

    I’m in the same boat as you having never seen ZKC (I remember giving up on it after the first episode a long time ago) but enjoying this series. What I want now (except loli power, but that’s apparently planned for next episode) is some grand quest that would give the plot a more obvious direction. Andy and Hyoubu playing around each other is all fine and dandy, but it can happen at the same time as something bigger, right? There’s Andy’s secret target, of course, but it being secret it doesn’t do much for looking forward to new developments.

    • Overcooled says:

      At least you tried. That’s more than I did. At 51 episodes long, I doubt I’ll change that any time soon either.

      Hmm, I haven’t thought that far ahead since I’m pretty content with just getting to know the characters during these side missions. It would probably get boring with just that. There’s probably a larger, overarching plot going on aside from Andy trying to infiltrate PANDRA and Kyousuke toying with him.

      • Irenesharda says:

        I’ve been scanning through the original show and its mostly episodic so you really can pick it up anywhere. Also, for me it is pretty boring in that its mostly slice-of-life and the only good episodes are the ones Kyousuke’s in. In that show, Kyousuke is not so OP and he has limits, also you see his comedy side which they don’t show in The Unlimited. Also, you get to see a bit into his past. I’d say watch episode 8 and 20 to get a good start into his character. Ep 8 is his introduction, and also tells you who the Queen is. Ep 20 tells you about his philosophy, and flashbacks to his and Momotaro’s pasts. I’m going to go on a bit more to see what other info I can gain.

    • HannoX says:

      The first episode or two of ZKC are hard to get through. In my opinion it does get better. And while I know it’s realistic for 10 year-old girls to have romantic feelings towards an adult male who plays a big role in their lives, I wish that angle hadn’t been played up so much at times. If you can accept it’s being played up for comedic effect rather than it being lolicon pandering, you can get pass that. And it is meant as comedy since Minamoto strenuously denies any romantic interest in them.

      • Overcooled says:

        Oh gee. Romance already isn’t my thing, and then they make it worse with lolis. I don’t think I could get past that, especially since I’m picky with comedy too. I’ll stick with The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke.

        • HannoX says:

          It’s not really romance; it’s young girls infatuated with an adult male and with rather girlish ideas of romance. And while I was able to get pass that, it did leave me somewhat uncomfortable and ambivelent about that being used for comedic effect, especially as much as it was used. At least there were no panty shots of them. In fact, I can’t remember any panty shots of the adult women in it. But it doesn’t sound like your thing.

          • HannoX says:

            Oh, and while the lolis being infatuated with their supervisor played a big role, the series was mostly action/comdey. The inappropriate romantic feelings were only a part and not the biggest. At least it wasn’t bro-con unlike some animes.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Hahaha, the only time I think you’d willingly accept a romance is if there’s blood, violence and insanity mixed in. Though I don’t blame you because most romances aren’t entertaining.

  3. Thank you for blogging this show! So far at least, I think this show is vastly underrated in this current winter season. Everyone’s talking about the sequels(Chihayafuru,Boku wa Tomodachi) or Kotura san and this show is kind of just flying under the radar.

    When I try to get people to watch this they’re all “Isn’t that a spinoff? Don’t I need to watch the original story?” or something of that vein when the story so far has been pretty easy to follow.

    * Just saw an article from the mangaka of the parent story saying you don’t need to read the manga or have seen the first series.

    The characters and the world this show has presented to us have been very fun and compelling and I can’t wait to see how it develops!

    • Overcooled says:

      Hehe, well thank you for taking the time to comment and tell me that~ :3c

      I haven’t heard a lot of people talking about this show at all, mostly because of a lack of awareness. If more people just gave it a try then I think it’d be a lot more popular. The fact it’s a spinoff of something not a lot of people have seen makes it harder to convince people. Even I didn’t know I could watch it without having seen the original. It was only Kyokai who got me to watch it, but I’m really enjoying it so far.

  4. Kyokai says:

    I’m glad you picked this up. xD I’m definitely liking PANDRA crew even when they are brutal murderers. It’s almost like Jormungand on how the crew is crazy and their silver-haired boss crazier.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Yeah, I can see the Jormungand similarities but the leaders are opposites by gender though they share insanity. Koko was paired with a silver haired shota and Kyousuke is paired with a black haired loli. And both the shota and loli are dangerous in their own way.

    • Overcooled says:


  5. HannoX says:

    I’ve watched ZKC a couple times and you don’t really need to see it to follow The Unlimited. However, watching that you see that Hyoubu enjoys teasing an opponent (one in particular in ZKC). Perhaps it’s due to a sadistic streak in his character and perhaps it’s due to boredom or some of both. Living as long as he has and with his great powers he probably does this for entertainment. It wouldn’t surprise me if he hasn’t known almost from the first who Andy is and is toying with him. He may also be trying to bring Andy over to PANDRA’s side for real.

    They haven’t really said much about it here yet, but in ZKC Hyoubu was constently being accused of being a lolicon (especially by Momotaru, the flying squirrel) even though he never really did anything. They did provide another reason why he was always hanging around The Children, especially Kaoru. I imagine it’s the same reason why he’s so solicitous of the loli here.

    It’ll be interesting to see if they later introduce some of the other groups from ZKC, such as BABEL, Black Phantom and the Normal People. There were times in ZKC when Hyoubu and PANDRA worked with BABEL (the ESP police organization) against a common foe.

    • Overcooled says:

      Someone who has actually watched the original has appeared! Do you like the spinoff more or less than the original so far?

      I suspect that Kyousuke knows exactly what Andy is up to, but he doesn’t want to cause an uproar by having Yugiri find concrete evidence through her telepathy. That would make his teammates instantly reject him, whereas Kyousuke seems to want to use him by intentionally baiting him in various ways. I will never, ever underestimate this man because he’s shown as being so insanely powerful.

      Haha, Kyousuke’s only weakness is little girls then. I guess he had other lolis to take care of in the original other than Yugiri?

      I’m sure they’ll throw some more bones to fans of the original series without leaving newcomers in the dust. It may just be a few knowing nods, winks and brief appearances, but they really should to treat the fans.

      • HannoX says:

        With only 2 episodes of The Unlimited aired so far, it’s hard to say which is better. Plus, they’re quite different. ZKC was a comedy (although there was some heavy drama) and centered on three 10 year-old girls and their supervisor (who was frequently falesly accused of being a lolicon) and the physic law enforcement agency they worked for, BABEL. Hyoubu Kyousuke and PANDRA while the main antagonists did not appear in every episode and were not the only antagonists. The Normal People and Black Phantom were enemies to both BABEL and PANDRA.

        Hyoubu does seem to be attracted to lolis, but whether it’s because he likes little girls in THAT way or because they’re super powerful espers he wants to use or both it’s hard to say.

        Yeah, it’d be nice to see some of the characters from ZKC make an appearance. There’s Fumiko, the director of BABEL who was Hyoubu’s comrade and senpai from WWII and who also looks MUCH younger than she is. Another WWII esper who’s still around is a Comerican colonel who does look his age and whose physic powers awakened when Hyoubu destroyed the B-29 on which he was a crewman and his subordinates Ken and Mary. And of course there’s the 3 stars from ZKC: Kaoru, Shiho and Aoi and their supervisor Minamoto (the one who Hyoubu loved to tease in ZKC). But if any of them do appear I think it’ll only be briefly. The tone of the two series is very different so far and Andy appears to be working for an agency other than BABEL.

        • Overcooled says:

          Ah, so the original ZKC had a different tone/genre to approach espers with. I guess it makes sense that following the villain would mean a darker shift away from comedy and towards violence. On a side note, “The Normal People” is the most non-threatening name for an antagonist I’ve ever heard XD

          I’m going to hope that he just likes lolis because of their powers or in a fatherly way…So far he seems to be pretty normal about it.

          We’re more likely to see his allies than his enemies, I would imagine. Since they introduced a new agency for Andy, they probably have something different in mind. Since they said we don’t need to see the original either, they wouldn’t want to confuse new people (like myself) so I guess you’re stuck with brief appearances. Ah well, better than nothing.

          • HannoX says:

            The Normal People is an anti-esper group of, well, normal people. And while in ZKC they don’t succeed they are quite willing to murder espers (even children) and other normals as collateral damage. If they appear in The Unlimited they’ll probably be more effective given its darker tone.

            Hyoubu does have some fatherly feelings towards young espers. Besides the children shown in The Unlimited in the ongoing ZKC manga (which I’m slowly reading) it’s shown that he took under his wing some of the now adult members of PANDRA when they were children abandoned by their parents and society. So, yeah, hopefully he’s not really a lolicon, although in ZKC he never denies it when accused of being one. But given his nature it may amuse him to be considered one even if he’s not one.

      • HannoX says:

        Spamy ate my comment! Well, here’s a modified version of it.

        With only 2 episodes of The Unlimited aired so far, it’s hard to say which is better. The two series are different in tone. ZKC was essentially a comedy (although there was some heavy drama) focusing on three 10 year-old girls, Kaoru, Shiho and Aoi, and their supervisor Minamoto (the one whom Hyoubu loved to tease) and the physic law enforcement agency they worked for, BABEL.

        Hyoubu does seem attracted to lolis, but whether it’s because he likes little girls THAT way or only because they’re super powerful espers he wants to use or both was something never resolved in ZKC. However, it was clear that he wanted to use Kaoru (especially), Shiho and Aoi in a war between espers and normals.

        It would be nice to see some of the ZKC characters other than the members of PANDRA we’ve seen so far make appearances. But we don’t know what the timeline between the two series are. It’s possible The Unlimited is taking place a few years before ZKC. In ZKC Hyoubu was focused on Kaoru in the way he’s focused on Yugiri in The Unlimited. Did he switch his interest because something happened to her? It’ll be interesting to see if near the end of The Unlimited they try to mesh the two series.

  6. Irenesharda says:

    I am loving this series and it been a year or two since I found an anime that I really liked. I have never seen ZKC and I really don’t feel inclined to. Yet, as I watched these two episodes I fell in love love with this show and it’s world. I love the fact that the protagonist is an anti-hero who is not afraid to kill. You don’t know how rare that is getting to be in animes. I also am a big fan of the X-men and this show gave me so many nods towards that, which is probably why I like it so.

    Kyousuke reminds me so much of Magneto, from the fact that he was totally changed by WW2, to the fact that those events ended up shaping his hatred for normal humans and that he wants espers/mutants as the ruling class. Also, like Magneto, he too has a group of rogue mutants that are loyal to him and his cause. We are also seeing a world that hates and fears mutants…sorry, “espers”, and they do not have the same rights as normal humans making you sympathize with Kyousuke and his goal.

    Many have complained about Kyousuke saying he’s too powerful, however that’s the reason I like him. I think overpowerful heroes and villains are more interesting because now its not so much WHAT they will do to win but HOW. This is probably why my two favorite villains are Sephiroth and Aizen. I enjoy seeing the planning and how their minds work to counter their adversaries. I also like it sometimes when the good guys lose, especially in a show like this.

    Honestly I think that our silver-haired PANDRA leader already knows about Andy and is really playing/testing him. I think that he wants to see where the guy’s loyalties really lie and if he can turn him to his way of thinking. There were several clues in this episode, including the way Kyousuke would respond to Magi when the man questioned Andy’s motives, or the way he kept saying that Andy lacked self-awareness and that he would have to go all the way with them to see what their organization really was (…a family?).

    Our Japanese-American Andy will have to eventually choose between his old life and his new family. I can see this ending in two ways, but I do hope that in the end Andy decides to stay with PANDRA.

    I cannot wait for the next episode or the next review.

    • Overcooled says:

      ZKC seems to be bringing in a new crowd of people. It’s interesting! I hope it continues to be great, because going one or two years without finding a great show must be rough.

      I really like that Kyousuke is an anti-hero as well. It’s incredibly rare, since the main character usually has to be righteous and good. I thought a bit about X-Men when watching this as well since espers (people with powers) are heavily discriminated against, so rebel groups will form and butt heads over equality. Kyousuke’s PK is already slightly similar to Magneto’s power as well. I’m sure he could control metal using his esper abilities.

      I usually dislike overpowered characters (like Kirito from Sword Art Online), but it goes so well with Kyousuke’s character that I don’t mind it at all! My favourite villains aren’t actually very powerful, but I do appreciate what they’ve done with Kyousuke. He’s insanely strong, but he makes intricate plans and never lets down his guard. He still has to put forth some effort to survive. Like you, I’m pretty sure Kyousuke knows all about Andy and is just keeping his enemy closeby so he can watch him.

      Now that you bring up Kyousuke’s line about having to go deeper to see PANDRA’s true nature, I realize that sounds more like bait than anything. The deeper he goes, the harder it will be for him to go back to his own organization. I want him to choose PANDRA in the end too so he’ll stick with Kyousuke and his rag-tag team of AWESOMENESS :3

      • Irenesharda says:

        I have heard others compare this show to Sword Art Online. Is it a good show? I might check it out.

        True, my last big anime was probably Code Geass R2 and Hetalia, though I did watch two short shows last year: Level E and Site 6, but other than that, haven’t really found anything of interest. I really hope this one goes for more than the supposed 12 episodes.

        I love characters with intricate plans, and while Kira (Deathnote) was the first to introduce me to characters like that, Lelouch (Code Geass) was the one who solidified it. Kyousuke reminds me a lot of a cross between Lelouch and Gin from Bleach, which strangely enough I think is the voice actor for Kyousuke for this series.

        Andy has already seamed to bond to a degree as of the third episode, but I am worried since in the opening you can see him standing with Minamoto and Sakaki, even while Kyousuke and Yugiri stand above them. However, I won’t let that bother me and continue on.

        As of the third episode, this story seemingly is taking on an episodic theme, but I really hope that’s not the case, as I would like to see an overly plot through the series.

  7. Irenesharda says:

    I just realized that Andy is of course from the America and he’s working a group called USEI. Knowing my country as I do , I’m betting that stands for: United States Esper (or ESP) Intelligence (or Investigators). As much as I want to trust my government, in an anime I can almost guarantee that the USA are the bad guys.

    Andy is going have some hard choices to make.

    • Overcooled says:

      That certainly makes sense! America may always be the bad guy in anime, but Canada is always ignored. Hmm, I guess I prefer being ignored.

      • Irenesharda says:

        Tell me about it. I don’t know what Japan has against the US, but every time I see them portrayed in anime, they are either evil or rich and powerful but naive. I think I’d rather be ignored than see them continue to just use the stereotypes.

        Oh well, I guess we are different in many ways. I for one can’t stand any anime that has an overly pacifist character in it. And I believe in fighting tooth-and-nail for what you believe in even if it leads to war and death. I guess that why I have dropped so many of the recent Gundam series. I can’t stand the whining. It’s also probably why I like Kyousuke so much. He’s not afraid to kill to accomplish what he needs to do.

        • Highway says:

          I think that America is a safe bad guy for Japanese drama for a couple reasons. One, our relations are almost unbreakable, it would be really tough for Japan to do enough to annoy the US into being an enemy. Americans are actually pretty easygoing about being slighted. Heck, you can even name President Obama as the kinda bad guy (like Infinite Stratos does) and Americans wouldn’t care, and a quarter of them would probably agree.

          Two, Americans are a good foil for Japanese mannerisms. To them, we are stereotypically loud, brash, embarrassingly outgoing.

          Three, and this might be a really major one, tied in with #1, We’re not going to retaliate against Japanese people or companies. But they argue with China over some rocks in the middle of nowhere, and Chinese people start burning Japanese car dealerships and vandalizing company storefronts.

          America’s just a convenient semi-bad guy.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Tell me about it. I don’t know what Japan has against the US, but every time I see them portrayed in anime, they are either evil or rich and powerful but naive. I think I’d rather be ignored than see them continue to just use the stereotypes.

          A lot of that stereotypical concept was heavily used in Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse. If the story isn’t currently focused on the BETA, the actual enemy, it’s on how corrupt and arrogant America tends to be. And the lead male of the show is Japanese-American. A lot of grief was put on him for that particular detail and in his youth, there was a lot of disagreement between the two places of his heritage.

          • Highway says:

            To be fair: in that show, geopolitics pretty much froze in the early 1970s. So no matter what year it said it was set in, it didn’t really reflect our ficton’s attitudes of the analogue year.

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