BONES, Mizushima, Aikawa… As much of a confusing trainwreck as the first episode of Concrete Revolutio was, there’s just no way I can do a First Impressions post on a show with that pedigree in digest form. But that doesn’t make it any less of a trainwreck, and for all their successes, both Aikawa and Mizushima know a little something about trainwrecks.
Some may know Mizushima-sensei best as the inspiration for the director character in Shirobako (yes, it was definitely him) but the guy has had a hell of a career – FMA, Hanamaru Youchien, Oh! Edo Rocket, UN-GO (which was written by Aikawa-sensei). He’s amazingly versatile but equally erratic, and erratic isn’t a bad word to describe this premiere – though it’s far from a perfect one. It’s a strange mishmash of themes and styles – even the character designs are all over the map – and the narrative is about as scattered as any I’ve seen in a while.
It’s interesting in its way, Concrete Revolutio. The art has something of the hyper-vibrant surrealism of Tsuritama or Gatchaman, and we have so many elements thrown together here – mecha, superheroes, aliens, mahou shoujo, ghosts. Frankly I was confused throughout most of the premiere, which seemed quite disinterested in explaining what was going on and why. I’m OK with that, but only if the flow is breathless and exhilarating enough to carry you along with it – and really, this wasn’t. By the end I was actually kind of bored.
There’s no way I can bail on Concrete Revolutio after one episode, because in addition to the talent level of the people behind it, it’s distinctive if nothing else. Most of the cast has yet to be properly introduced, it seems, and maybe somehow this disorder and disarray will begin to coalesce into something meaningful and interesting. I mean, I wouldn’t bet on it – but there’s just too much potential here not to at least give the series a longer look.