Am I crazy, or did that military HQ have the Eye of Sauron on top of it?
Comet Lucifer – 02
I was pretty close to bailing on Comet Lucifer for a while, but by the second half of this episode I found myself sort of enjoying it. I’m a long way from calling it a potential classic or anything, but I think there’s just a little something there – a bit of spark, a touch or charm.
What turned the tables? I don’t know exactly. I’d still say the whole thing is pretty silly and derivative (it’s ironic that “Ao Fukai” was mentioned, as there’s a definite Eureka 7 vibe being striven for). That falling scene was just absurd, and characters like Felia and Moura could easily slide into pure grating cuteness.
But… I don’t know, the B-part somehow won me over. I get something of the same straightforward charm I see in Symphogear here – a show that seems to really love anime and makes up for what it lacks in sophistication and elegance with sheer enthusiasm and earnestness. I liked the scene between Gus and Pack, and some of the nonsense back at Do Mon’s place had a real innocent likability to it.
I don’t know where this series is headed, but I think it has a chance to slide into that Majestic Prince/Argevollen slot on the schedule – the open-hearted and not too slick mecha series that stands as a kind of love letter to the old days.
Concrete Revolutio – 02
I’m quite baffled as to what to make of Concrete Revolutio. It very much seems like the product of a highly idiosyncratic director and writer being allowed a ton of freedom by the studio. The narrative is one of the strangest I’ve seen, for starters, jolting forward in fits and starts and leaping back and forth in time. Tonally the series is all over the map. What I don’t yet know (among many other things) is whether all that is intentional, or it’s just that the show is a mess.
At the very least, Concrete Revolutio is distinctive. It’s hard not to be reminded a bit of Gatchaman Crowds – both in terms of theme and execution – but that comparison only goes so far. There are at least bits of the premise starting to make a tiny amount of sense – it seems Jirou has become disillusioned with the Superhuman Bureau and quit at some point in the five-year gap in the narrative. The government relies on the bureau to keep a semblance of order, but refuses to acknowledge (or to allow anyone else to) superhumans’ existence. And his father is an important scientist played by Miki Shinichirou – and as we know, no series exists that can’t be improved by the addition of Miki Shinichirou.
Much of the second episode focuses on Fuurouta (Nakamura Eriko). He’s a ghost – which in this mythology means he’s a never-aging shapeshifter who makes friends with real children and plays pranks. He’s a member of the Bureau now, but the story of how he got that way is a rather horrifying one – he accidentally committed genocide against the “Tartaros Bugmen”, the former insect rulers of Earth who’ve been relegated to hiding in Japan’s forests in the modern world. When the current P.M. reneges on an age-old agreement to protect their habitat, they go to the Diet building to extract revenge, enveloping it in a black fog (a reference to a huge political scandal in the 60’s). Fuurouta – in an effort to ingratiate himself to the Bureau and be allowed to join – wipes them out with an ancient virus Jirou’s father brought back from an excavation of the bugs’ ancient capital.
Furrouta’s story is actually sort of interesting – he seems to forever remain a child emotionally as well as physically, and he’s crushed when he discovers what he thought was a simple good vs. evil battle is anything but. This sense of disillusionment driving Jirou and Fuurouta may in fact be the central theme of Concrete Revolutio once the story catches up to the present, but then it’d be foolhardy to speculate on anything with as scattershot as this series is at the moment. I’m curious, which is a good sign, but Concrete Revolutio is a long way from closing the sale.