ConRevo came as one of the biggest surprises I've experienced since I've started watching anime. A show I severely underestimated solely because it looked silly at first glance.
The show was a massive critical success in Japan but it failed commercially, an overlooked gem so to speak.
I loved most of my time I spent on watching the first season of Concrete Revolutio: Superhuman Phantasmagoria and here's why :
- S T O R Y
The plot of ConRevo centers around society and Superhumans with themes of discrimination, different moral compasses and justice.
If Superhumans are the one protecting normal people, then who is protecting the superhumans? Enter the Superhuman Bureau, an organization that studies and oversees superhumans, consisting of 6 people in total. They're the primary figure dealing with everything related to Superhumans, the police being left out of supernatural cases save for only one detective they have.
The show depicts justice as something that comes in many forms, it's neither black nor is it white. At the end of the day, justice is not objective, everyone can feel justified in their own actions depending on the perspective they have. Nothing is inherently villainous unless you do it knowingly.
These sort of gray morals make Jirou Hitoyoshi, the main protagonist of the show and the Superhuman Bureu's No.1 superhero, to start questioning the Bureau's method of handling and ''protecting'' superhumans, beings he idolizes.
The contents and themes of the story aside - the show is depicting it's events in an achronological order - meaning each episode constantly shifts time periods while packed to the brim with events. It's non-linear structure makes it hard to follow for some people but it shouldn't prove to be any trouble if you're even remotely acquinted with any work that presents itself in a manner like this.
- C H A R A C T E R S
All characters have unique and stylish character designs and are quirky in their own way.
Jiro is at a first glance - a professional guy who's only focus is his job but he has some really subtle fanboyish tendencies towards Superhumans. He doesn't know his own idea of justice, but he knows that he wants to be a hero and that's his conviction to push forward.
And then there are the rest of the Bureau's members, which consist of Emi, an attractive and sly Yokai woman who is supposedly in a relationship with Jiro who she seems to care a great deal for, followed by the witch Kikko, who is really just a Mahou Shoujo with a naive personality, she has a crush on Jiro ever since she first encountered him and he's the reason why she joined the Superhuman Bureau in the first place.
The rest of the colorful cast comes in the form of Fuurota, a ghost who has remained a child since forever, he's obnoxious but is a caring friend when it's the right time for it, coming after him is Hyouma Yoshimura, a man in his 30s better known under his alias ''Mr Jaguar'' - he's capable of stopping time and transforming into a humanoid Jaguar, he's a genius physicist and is the creator of Jiro's stylish car which transforms into a Mecha centaur.
And the last member of the Superhuman Bureau is Akita Daishi, their boss and the one responsible for strategising and overseeing their operations.
All of them have a certain layer of mystery to them (most likely left out to be explored in the second season) which makes us more involved with them by seeing more and more information about them slowly unveil.
- A R T & A N I M A T I O N
Concrete Revolutio looks simply amazing. The vibrant neon colors, comic dot shading and amazing character designs by Noizi Itou who is better known as the artist of series like Shakugan no Shana and Haruhi Suzumiya, as well as the character designer for the anime original ''Another''.
Needless to say, ConRevo's character designs are her best by an extremely large margin.
Complimenting the amazing art is the fantastic animation done by a lot of talented key animators including but not limited to :
Yutaka Nakamura (Cowboy Bebop The Movie, Sword of the Stranger, Soul Eater)
Norimitsu Suzuki (Star Driver, Soul Eater Persona 4)
Yasushi Muraki (Eureka Seven, Star Driver, Gundam)
and the newest animator one in the staff Kenta Yokoya (Captain Earth, Darling in the FranXX, Dragon Ball Super).
The animations is fluid, dynamic and varied. Thanks to the show's art style, a lot of different animation styles work on it which results in each key animator applying their own style without the fear of consistency, so the animation can get from extremely smooth with proper weight to it to an extremely snappy, dynamic Imaishi-like style.
As per usual with every Bones original, it's filled to the brim with sakuga.
- S O U N D
The insert tracks present in Concrete Revolutio consist of energy pumping techno and rock instrumentals usually with a slow build up and a strong impactful drop towards the main portion of the song which is perfectly timed with action scenes at all times.
It helps keep you on the edge of your seat, pumps you with adrenaline and makes you move to the rhythm.
- O V E R A L L
Concrete Revolutio: Superhuman Phantasmagoria is a great show severely misunderstood because of it's achronological order, dealing with relevant themes such as discrimination and morals in it's own way, sprinkled with some social critique and accompanied with great animation and sound. It's definitely worth a watch, but it's also definitely not for everyone.