Original anime is quite a rarity these days. Most of the shows that you encounter on a normal seasonal basis are adaptations of manga, LN, or VN, as things really only get an anime when it's really popular. And then you have original anime, where there is no source material and only itself in order to tell the story it wants to tell. So, thanks to Bones, we have Concrete Revolutio. A show that...you know what, fuck it, a single word cannot describe this mess.
Story: In a fantasy version of the world, there are beings that live among humans known as Superhumans. What are superhumans? Well, they don't just include humans with superpowers, they, according to the show's logic, involve things like aliens, witches, yokai, time travelers, cyborgs, androids, what have you. It is here where we follow the story of the Superhuman Bureau, a group of people who work to aid Superhumans and aid them in their plight of need.
Concrete...is a special kind of show, and that's meant to be taken however you wish. Following our group of superhumans, every episode of the show follows these characters as they go through a completely different storyline in almost every episode, tackling a different event and problem that has to do with the Superhumans featured in the show. The biggest problem with Concrete as far as story is concerned is that it's very, very, VERY badly paced and structured. Not only does every episode basically start a completely different story, but they go into different periods of time as well. The show bounces back and forth between the present and future (or...past and present; both of them work, really.) without really any warning. In addition, the show just feels like it's rushing itself. The show throws you right into the action and leaves you there to see what's going on as characters shout their definition of justice to their opponent, discuss politics, or what have you.
And that brings me to my next point, justice. Concrete tried to make itself into a show that talks about the morality of justice, freedom, and the rights of beings, regardless of what they are. (Just a little side note, the characters in the show even argue what a superhuman even is, with some saying that they're just humans with superpowers, while other's say it's everything NOT human.) As a theme, it's a good one. But as they say, great in theory, messy in practice. The concept of morality in this series is very in your face, as almost every line has to do with the rights or what have you. The problem is, that's all it really is, talk. The characters don't really do anything for this topic, relying solely on the plot to bring them another situation where they state their goals and hopes for the future which really in the end doesn't do the show any justice since it's all talk and no real action.
In the end, Concrete is what I would describe as an "incomprehensible piece of crap that doesn't bother to make sense of itself until the VERY LAST EPISODE", and even in the last episode it doesn't make much sense. (And that is my honest opinion.) With its episodic storyline that is so disjointed that not even the 'connecting' parts of the story really connect, as well as a philosophy concept that doesn't get off the ground period, this is a show that I for once, will not be watching the next season of, since there is more for some god unknown reason.
- Disjointed story
- Really bad pacing
- Concept of 'morality' never gets off the ground
- Why is there going to be a second season?!
Characters: Characters are also one of my biggest gripes in the series. Not just because they said that ghosts are physical and can apparently shapeshift into animals, objects, or what have you, but because there're just so many of them and none of them are really spectacular.
For once, I really can't pin down any of these characters for the sole reason of there's not really anything to say about them. We have the superhuman bureau, and then we have everyone else. As mentioned before, each of these characters in this cast has some sense of morality or view on the existence between superhumans and humans together. As such, there are a lot of sides and a lot of say in the matter, and these characters really just feel like puppets on a stage. I can't even pin the supposed main protagonist Jiro down because on one hand, he wants to protect all superhumans, but at the same time, he fights a lot of them and says he wants to protect the people as well which is rather conflicting.
For the most part, the cast of this series features side characters, as they take up the brunt of the showtime. (Another interestingly odd thing.) With every new episode, the show introduces new characters, primarily superhumans, and features them and their plight with every new episode that comes. As a concept, this show wouldn't be too bad with its episodic format, but because it's structured in the way it is, a lot of the motivation that the side characters have with each passing episode doesn't always make complete sense, and the reasoning why they do stuff is either unknown or is told in a confusing manner so much so that I question what their plan was from the very beginning. (They have a kid agitate the monster he was trying to say was a good guy, before promptly crying because it went on a rampage and he felt sad. Where is the logic in that?!)
+ Devotion to side cast
- One note cast. (Everyone's pretty one-note)
- Character motivation is confusing
Art: Produced by Studio Bones, Concrete bears a very different style of animation contrary to anime in general. Hosting a very bright and vibrant color scheme reminiscent to comic books and what have you, the artstyle for Concrete is very flashy and incredibly vibrant. It was done in a way that was actually really appealing to the eye since it reflected the fantastical world that they were trying to portray and it fit with that aspect of the show.
In addition, the art is very fluent. There really aren't any bumps with it, as the entirety of the show is well made, showcasing all of the superhuman powers, the crazy tech, and out of this world stuff that just looks fun to watch.
+ Great and unique artstyle
Sound: Sound is also an aesthetic to the series that I cannot deny has decent qualities to it. The OP of the series is this loud and blaring rock song that gives you this rush and excitement to it. It's what I think of as a good song and it's memorable because of its uniqueness.
The ED on the other hand is a bit of an odd choice. Similar to its respective OP, the song is a rock song, being very heavy in electric guitar, however it has this trippy feel to it that feels like you're on acid or having some drug trip while listening to it. And when you have those visuals in the ED as well...oh boy, that's quite the LSD nightmare.
+ Great and memorable OP
+/- LSD ED. (Its like a drug trip...)
Personal Enjoyment: Concrete is just that, concrete. Watching this show felt like being slammed in the face repeatedly by a slab of concrete. They're both painful to experience and for the most part you don't know why it's happening. As such, this show for me was quite the rage-inducer. Normally, whenever I review anime, I always watch future seasons in order to keep consistency. For this show however, that will not be the case, as the sheer amount of fucks I don't give for this horribly written piece of crap is not enough to constitute me to watch any more.
Did I like this anime?
What didn't I like about this anime?
Everything. Everything except the art and the OP is something I both despise and resent.
Would I recommend this anime?
Even though I hate it...personally, I wouldn't recommend it. The show itself is a fusion of the random storytelling (like FLCL) in conjunction with a theme that made the show try to take itself more seriously than it ever could've. As such, I can't even recommend this show as a time waster since it tries to take itself very seriously without the show really doing anything to build onto that theme aside from introducing new characters with different points of view. I'll say this though; Bones, you have failed me.