When it comes to intrigue in the best sense of the word, Concrete Revolutio may just be the best series of the season. It’s jam-packed with interesting ideas that practically force you to ponder them, and its muddle of a plot always reveals just enough of itself to make you yearn for more. And now, as we come to the close of the first cour (man, how I love typing that), the fog is starting to lift, and the picture is beginning to reveal itself.
I’m now more convinced that my expansion-contraction theory about this show and its plot will turn out to be correct. Last week’s ep may have been the most obstinately obtuse, but this one was the most generous with explanation – the seeds of Jirou’s departure from the Superhuman Bureau clearly flowered with the events that took place here. If the first cour will have been all about the dispersal of disparate plot elements whose connections were hard to discern, I think the second will be about tying them together.
What we now have confirmed is that Kikko is in fact a princess of the demon kingdom, walking amongst humans in order to find a mate (another “superhuman” who isn’t human at all). And that Akita is in fact not a human, but a space alien called a “Fumer” – a fact which is no doubt part of the impetus (though not the biggest part) driving Jirou to turn against it. And that Jin was in fact the other boy in the picture we saw last week – and that Jirou has lost his memories of that time.
That boy has emerged as a critical figure at the center of everything that’s happening in the critical Year 43 period of the series’ timeline, because of course that boy is Claude. And Claude perhaps more than anyone frames the difficult question Concrete Revolutio loves to ask about the ends justifying the means. Kikko – probably under the influence of a teacher with ulterior motives – comes to believe that Jirou is Claude, but Claude is clearly Jin and vice-versa. And Claude knows a terrible and painful truth about Rainbow Knight, a truth which seems more likely than anything to be a driving force in Jirou’s split with the Superhuman Bureau.
The other interesting element introduced this week is Golubaya Laika, a heroic figure from Russia who was unique in being a 100% superhuman who could exist in space (Laika, if you recall, was the name of the dog the Soviets sent into space on their earliest missions). After being betrayed by the Superhuman Bureau he crashed lands at a local high school in the midst of a student uprising, and dies of his wounds soon thereafter. Like Rainbow Knight – who “kidnapped” Jirou and the other children in order to try and save them from a life of being lab rats and casualties to “freedom” – Laika is a sacrifice on the altar of the greater good. And just what the greater good is – and what constitutes a valid course of action to achieve it -is clearly going to be a major focus of the third cour in the Spring.