Second Impressions Digest 10/11/15 – Comet Lucifer, Concrete Revolutio

Comet Lucifer - 02 -2 Comet Lucifer - 02 -13 Concrete Revolutio - 02 -8 Concrete Revolutio - 02 -11

Am I crazy, or did that military HQ have the Eye of Sauron on top of it?

Comet Lucifer – 02

Comet Lucifer - 02 -1 Comet Lucifer - 02 -3 Comet Lucifer - 02 -4
Comet Lucifer - 02 -5 Comet Lucifer - 02 -6 Comet Lucifer - 02 -7
Comet Lucifer - 02 -8 Comet Lucifer - 02 -9 Comet Lucifer - 02 -10
Comet Lucifer - 02 -11 Comet Lucifer - 02 -12 shot0001
Comet Lucifer - 02 -14 Comet Lucifer - 02 -15 Comet Lucifer - 02 -16
Comet Lucifer - 02 -17 Comet Lucifer - 02 -19 Comet Lucifer - 02 -20

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

Concrete Revolutio - 02 -1 Concrete Revolutio - 02 -2 Concrete Revolutio - 02 -3
Concrete Revolutio - 02 -4 Concrete Revolutio - 02 -5 Concrete Revolutio - 02 -6
Concrete Revolutio - 02 -7 Concrete Revolutio - 02 -9 Concrete Revolutio - 02 -10
Concrete Revolutio - 02 -12 Concrete Revolutio - 02 -13 Concrete Revolutio - 02 -14
Concrete Revolutio - 02 -15 Concrete Revolutio - 02 -16 Concrete Revolutio - 02 -17

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.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

6 comments

  1. E

    Both shows are alright, but its interesting to note that execution-wise Comet Lucifer is playing out like a B-grade Gundam while Concrete is a B-grade OPM… I like Concrete better though, its something pretty different and that ED seems to hint at something dark.

  2. G

    Concrete Revolution kinda reminds me of that bug series set in ancient times (sorry don't remember the name) where a group of people with different skills would team up to protect the city from giant insects..

  3. G

    I like Comet Lucifer. Some series are just meant to have fun with and be enjoyed. They are not out to win any awards or create social upheavel or any other earth shattering event. They are just made for us to enjoy and have fun watching.

  4. R

    One thing I really don't like with Comet Lucifer is that they are trying to hard to make Felia moe. But hey, that was one nice way to reveal Sogo's newfound powers. And I really like the OP for this one.

  5. C

    I really like Concrete Revolutio, and since you mentioned Gatchaman Crowds, I'm a big fan of it, too. I think the jumping narrative benefits it, and it's not like it's extremely confusing or anything. I find it really charming. I hope they'll be able to wrap it up properly, since it'll have only 13 episodes.
    Comet Lucifer hasn't grabbed me in yet. It has it's charm, but I just can't connect to it yet. On the other hand, I didn't really like Majestic Prince at first, but then it proved to be a sleeper hit that I anticipated every week. so I'll continue it for a couple more episodes before deciding.

  6. S

    I'm happy you're enjoying Comet Lucifer because I find it surprising that I'm enjoying it as well. I can attribute it to the show's charm too. There's just something so likeable about Felia and the other characters. I'm also liking Concrete Revolutio and I think it's unusual yet refreshing how the show is refusing to keep a straight timeline. It makes the story all the more interesting. I can't wait to see how everything would come together.

Leave a Comment