First Look: Concrete Revolutio

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Anime Original by BONES
Streaming on Daisuki

Premise

In an alternate Japan, superheroes, aliens and magic users all exist and live among ordinary people, either hidden or in plain sight. Jiro Hitoyoshi is a member of the Superhuman Bureau, a secret government organisation dedicated to protecting these special folk and fighting those who would use their powers for evil.

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Zigg’s verdict: Baffling or Brilliant (or Both?)

BONES have a long reputation of making amazing looking shows whose stories are either terrible or non-existant, and while I’m not ready to tip Concrete Revolutio into that pile yet, it certainly could head that way. There’s a huge number of different ideas being flung headlong at the screen here, all way too fast and way too haphazardly to really make too much of an impression, and the result is something which certainly has bombastic wow appeal, but is nigh-on unintelligable. I love a lot of the concepts here, and the script seems to walk the line between self-parody and serious quite well. But there’s simply way too much story being told and not enough groundwork being laid, and while the dual time period mechanic makes for some interesting foreshadowing, it’s out of place in an episode where the viewer already has major trouble telling what’s happening when. I’d absolutely recommend everyone watch this, since it’s such an experience, but I think we’ll need at least a few more episodes to render anything approaching a fair judgement on it.

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Aqua’s verdict: Brittle and Derivative

I’m not certain how to feel about Concrete Revolutio. At first glance, it looks like nothing that’s ever been done before, but if you look twice, the realization slowly creeps in that several anime before it have done pretty much the same thing and several anime before it have done it better. At its worst moments, Concrete Revolutio seems like it is being made up on the spot, like three kids on a playground trying to one-up each other without any regards for logic or internal consistency. Why is Gross Augen such a danger when he explicitly uses bullshit time dilation to avoid collateral damage, for example? Concrete Revolutio could really use an audience proxy, but instead twists the knife even deeper by revealing that it has decided the only character with one foot in reality (Kikko) is apparently a magical girl now. Throw in some confusing flash forwards and a bunch of people nebulously scheming against each other, and you end up with a show that is surprisingly anticlimactic and thematically void.

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Artemis’ verdict: Confusedly Optimistic… I Think?

Okay, so I probably shouldn’t have watched this first thing in the morning, though to be fair I think I still would have been fairly confused even if I had waited ‘til after breakfast. This show had everything going on – and I do mean everything, from masked superheroes and transforming magical-girls to aliens and mecha… uh, knight things, all presented in a veritable riot of colours and sounds. It’s like the creators called a meeting and demanded everyone put their craziest ideas into a hat, and then ended up deciding to use every single one of them. On the one hand, the opening episode was all pretty confusing and out there, especially given the continually switching dual storylines throughout. On the other hand, nobody could possibly complain that it was lacking in energy. I’m not yet convinced that this is going to be my kind of anime, but it’s certainly got me curious enough for a second episode.

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