- Titles: Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou
- Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Yokai, Occasional Mecha
- Episodes: 13 + 11
- Studio: bones
What will the next step in human evolution be? Will evolution push our biological capacities even further? Will we unlock senses and powers we never knew we had? Or perhaps the future lies in technology. Maybe the fusion of delicate flesh bodies with sturdy mechanical constructs and powerful computer assets is the way to go? Or perhaps, the future we seek lies beyond the world we know. Deep beneath it and far above it, where ancient demons and forgotten gods reside. What we seek may be on another planet altogether. Something truly alien. The only thing that’s for sure, is that humans have a tendency to mess things up. And if we’re not careful, we might just end up exterminating ourselves while trying to take that next step!
I am so happy with that synopsis. Not that it’s particularly good but if you haven’t watched Concrete Revolutio you have no idea how difficult it is to summarize a show like that. Honestly, AniList did a really good job at it as well, I thought about just stealing theirs but I figured it would b better to challenge myself. That’s a mistake I won’t make again.
if you’ve been around these parts for some time, you’ve surely read my say that I am a big fan of Studio bones productions. Regardless of how I feel about the stories they chose to animate, I’m pretty much always impressed with the animation itself. And Concrete Revolutio is no exception. The designs are both striking and endearing. The backgrounds are varied and usually filled with action. There are impressive scenes of large-scale battles in which every inch of the screen has something happening. And these are not just for the climax, you get a bunch throughout the series.
Concrete Revolutio is a rich and vibrant feast for the eyes. Once you see it, you will never mistake those visuals again. I have a strong feeling that I will be able to recognize the characters long after I have forgotten what actually happens in the anime.
Story & Characters
And there’s a reason for that. A heck of a lot happens in the anime. Arguably, too much…
Do you want to watch an anime with superhumans, magical girls, hot demon queens, yokai, ancient gods, androids, mechas, kaiju, government conspiracies, aliens both humanoid and the take over the bodies of others kind, large scale military proceedings, idols, comedy troupes, mad scientists, time travel, ghosts, insect people, para governmental security agencies and private detectives? And let me make this clear, they are all in a single anime and I am skipping some. If you do, Concrete Revolutio has got you covered. Now that’s a great deal. You are not likely to find this much bang for your buck somewhere else!
I wanted to like Concrete Revolutio. I still do. In fact, I like a whole lot about it. Ok this is going to sound odd, I like everything about Concrete Revolutio but here’s too much of it. It’s like eating that one slice too many of your favourite pizza and now you don’t feel so good.
Just like there are so many genres and elements to the show, there are also a whole lot of themes. And they do get explored although there isn’t time to delve in too deep. The most obvious and blatantly repeated theme is the idea that justice is a concept that is both relative and evolving. There were some interesting thoughts about commodified justice (i.e. justice for sale or doing good because you’re paid and what that implies) as well as politicized justice (doing good to send a message or gain favour). These are lofty themes that I think deserve some attention. I found them interesting to think about and Concrete Revolutio gave me a bright action-filled background to set my musings to.
However, I found that as the episodes went by, and the themes, genres, elements and characters kept piling on, it started to be a bit much for me. I had to make an effort to keep everything straight and remember who is on whose side and why. There are anime that require you to focus to get the most out of them. In this case though, I felt the effort, and it wasn’t always pleasant. The pacing is a bit too erratic to make the experience smooth and with so much going on, you notice the bumps along the way.
And here’s the thing. In my opinion, if they had gotten rid of some of the plot threads. Like if they had cut the aliens out and the Kaiju and Imperial Ads stuff, then cut down the cast by 30% and dropped a few themes, which would have been necessary due to the plot cuts anyways, Concrete Revolutio could have been one of the greats! There is so much that works in this show. Just to be clear, I like the alien and kaiju plots. The Imperial Ads thread may have been my favourite. I was just using them as an example. You could take Emi and the Yokai out instead or Kikko and the entire demon aspect. It doesn’t actually matter what you take out but it’s too claustrophobic as it is, something needs to go out.
That or the exact same plot could have been stretched out for another 24 episodes. Easy! And it still may have been a bit cramped. I’m not sure, I can’t quite tell just by imagining it.
Despite this, I would still recommend Concrete Revolutio. Because there is so much (too much) to the series, I figure everyone will find something to like about it. But I also think everyone will find some flaws.
To me, Concrete Revolutio was an anime that could have been. And with bones’ gorgeous production on top of it all, I can’t help but morn the possibilities. It’s not the first time I felt this way about a bones series. I desperately wanted to love Un-Go and still do (for different reasons). But at the end of the day, I feel like Concrete Revolutio just bit off a bit more than it could chew.
You might like this anime if:
You don’t mind busy stories and you like bright colours!
My favourite character:
ok, there are soooo many. I really can’t pick one. Sorry. If you twist my arm I’ll say Ullr but I’ve probably already changed my mind.
- Every time Ullr shows up – take a sip
- Every time Jirou mentions he’s human – take a sip
- Every time there’s a Kaiju – gasp!
- Every time anyone says Grosse Augen – take a sip
- Every time Kikko gets jealous – take a sip
- Every time Fuurouta changes form – take a sip
- Every time Jirou blushes – awww
- Every time we see Earth Chan – clap
- Every time there are diamond sparkles – take a sip
- Every time there’s a time jump (in any direction) – get your bearings
- Every time Emi calls birds – take a sip
- Every time the Angel Stars perform – dance!
- Every time anyone says Justice – raise your glass but don’t drink
- Every time there’s a student protest – take a sip
- Every time we see blonde Shiba – put the shot down
- Every time anyone talks abut the next step of human evolution – oh bother
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.