The "Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor" appears suddenly on in-flight television as my plane hits turbulence approaching Japan and forms a perfect blend of the possibility of a mechanical disaster in the present with the environmentally progressive technology from the 1985 comedy Back to the Future. It looks so bright and warm on that suburban front lawn – a round, soft afternoon light – whereas it is 18% gun metal gray and getting cold along the Shakujii gawa. The foliage, of course, is also very different. What then might be the role of the blue down vest worn by the film's protagonist in altering the course of the upcoming past, or previous future? Protective insulation would no doubt be of use in navigating through time without contaminating one's own existence with flak from a deviant tangent. As well, that Mr. Fusion was based on a Krupp coffee grinder raises some interesting connections with the past – with the German company's study of barbed wire in the war between Russia and Japan. Would the stainless steel of the DeLorean DMC-12 sports car upon which Mr. Fusion is mounted shine in the trenches of Manchuria as it does in the Californian light? Would it have been more appropriate to call the Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor Mr. Mikasa after the Krupp armor and guns on the Japanese battleship of the same name? The pivot point of the gun barrel certainly does have a striking relationship to Mr. Fusion's logo. But above all, what is the relationship on my TV screen between the cutaway of the down vest's missing right arm and the tinted arc of the home energy reactor facing it? The tinting must be significant, though I am uncertain why.

Top image: Film still of the "Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor" from Robert Zemeckis’ 1985 film Back to the Future. Bottom image: Krupp gun on the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Mikasa battleship