The “Concrete” Jungle

July 30th, 2017 in Concrete Revolutio by

Now, understand that it is not a misspelling, but it is called “Concrete Revolutio” (“Konkurīto Reborutio: Chōjin Gensō”, “Concrete Revolutio: Superhuman Phantasmagoria”). I couldn’t find a genuine reason for that, aside that it will stick in your head.

It is year Apotheosis 41. Now, this was a bit of a problem in trying to determine what the ‘actual’ year was, but by doing a little research, I was able to puzzle out that it is the year 1967. OK, the fashions do kind of look like Carnaby Street and we do have a Beatles-like band lurking about, but it could also be the Disco Era, with that line of thinking and dress. The Showa Era did not exist and we are dating this from 1926, the last year of the Taisho Era. Earth is currently home to superhumans and paranormal phenomena of all kinds, from aliens and magical girls to ghosts and transforming robots. However, official knowledge of these beings is officially kept under wraps by the governments of the world.

The Japanese government has quietly set up the “Super Population Research Laboratory,” or the “Superhuman Bureau,” to keep track of all superhuman beings in the country and eliminate them if they pose a threat to humanity. In the present, Bureau member Jiro Hitoyoshi finds himself recruiting new superhumans for the Bureau in the course of his job. However, five years later in Apotheosis 46, Jiro turns into a vigilante on the run from the Bureau while the rest of its members deal with the consequences of their earlier actions.

This is the second problem, as we jump around from this year to that year with little preparation, as if to let us know how things play out later on from a failure to act or act properly now. Yeah, let’s talk about the cast, eh? Left to right:

Daishi Akita. From the Ministry of Health, he harbors a deep secret.
Hyōma Yoshimura. Mr Jaguar, he is from the future.
Emi Kino. She is a half-human, half-yokai and has known Jiro for years.
Jiro Hitoyoshi. He has superhuman abilities, but isn’t considered a super human.
Kikko Hoshino. Your typical Magical Girl.
Fuurouta. This one is a ghost who can change form, but is childish, both in body and attitude.

There are a couple more folks, but this is, more or less, the core. Their plans are two-fold: the first is to make certain that superhumans stay in line and not scare the population. As you know, people panic easily and if they learn that there are a larger amount of these types out there, types that could take over the world with their abilities, people freak out, like at a Trump rally. The second thing is to see if they would like to join the Bureau and help in this fight to give all beings on this planet, enhanced and otherwise, the opportunity to live free, without being in fear of anything. Except maybe Trump. And that spider that hides behind the bathtub. Did you see that thing? It must be as big as a horse and…………sorry.

Although it is a good-looking series, the five-year time jumps get jarring, as you are not really ready for it and it serves no real purpose, other than to state that you should have followed your gut instincts earlier to avoid the more complicated issues of the future. But the series is rife with this. There are a lot of hidden agendas and crossed purposes, so you think you are doing things for this when you are doing things for that. I also felt that there was a lot of behind-the-scenes string-pulling to make certain you never found out the true truth.

Part of the approach is that it is a two-season run and a lot of things were left dangling in Section One that would get resolved in Section Two, like what really gives with Mr Jaguar and the real reach that Daishi Akita possesses. There is a real concern with his, as we do not know the extent of his power, but he has got some major clout. Otherwise, it’s just how the Bureau is trying to keep on top of things, lurching from one set of problems to another set of problems with the rather wild and wacky cast they have.

I have to give this a guarded review. I feel it would work best to await the second season and go for it straight through, as when you can chain a series together like that, a lot of the long-story arcs make a better sense and you can keep the continuity string going. We might even learn why Jiro is such a torn, conflicted individual.

 

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork           8 (Really mod and poppin’)
Plot                  7 (Too many unspoken truths)
Pacing              7 (Fight scenes can get out of control)
Effectiveness   6 (Year jump unsettles things)
Conclusion       5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service      2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall            7 (I can’t see the overall picture from this vista point)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Come work for us.