The Superhuman Bureau is tasked with tracking down a serial killer targeting illegal aliens. With the aid of the sciencer folks that showed up mid/late in the previous season, Kikko and Emi hunt their prime suspect, a former member of the Imperial Ad Agency’s all-girl superhuman music group Angel Stars, to the underground superhuman medical practice run by Judas, the lightning-y kid whose rocky quest to go straight was a big part of last season’s Earth-chan episode.
Jiro, who had already been called in for assistance by Judas, and who appears to be operating on straight-up spite at this point, takes Aki, the keytarist turned alien hunter, and flees the scene. While hiding out in a partially constructed building, the two swap stories. Aki makes it clear that she’s been having a hard time coping with the apparent death of her SO. She had been dating the drummer for the Angel Stars, and the combined stigma laid on them by the agency for being superhuman idols in a same-sex relationship seems to have either driven the other woman to suicide, or driven her higher-ups to order her killed. When Jiro reveals the fate of Akita and the other Fumers, Aki’s interest in hunting aliens becomes all too clear…
If you haven’t mainlined the first season recently, you may wish to do so soon.
As Su said of the first episode, Concrete Revolutio is showing no signs of slowing down in its old age. Anyone who has been enjoying the challenge of keeping everything in this show straight is not going to be disappointed in the continued fragmentation and evolution of individual motivations.
In the same way, though, the feeling that the show is moving too fast for it to even be possible to maintain a solid grasp on the state of affairs continues as well. We barely see enough of the main characters to keep track of their worldviews – for the minor characters I find myself blankly nodding in agreement half the time. Akita in this episode is a perfect example, largely because I can’t remember what exactly the deal was with the legislation that didn’t get passed at the end of last season.
Those other two guys are mad at him, though (especially after he crushes their bodies), which makes it seem weird that they end up following suit with his final act to tame Jiro’s internal fire beast. I guess that decision would be partially based on how long they can survive outside of a living host body, for which we have less than no reference because Akita is only shown as possessing a toy car in the unclear time and distance between his previous host body being killed by Claude and his suffocation and possession of the politician.
Additionally, Jiro berates the Angel Stars at Judas’ place for switching sides during past controversies, but takes a significantly more positive view of the whole thing after only a few hours (minutes, to the audience). Aki laughs him off – she’d already said they’d just done what they were told at the time – but without a more complete picture of the events, I’m not sure what to make of the exchange.
I am still willing to give the show the benefit of the doubt for most of this – except the part about Master Ultima being a human/Fumer cross (I gotta draw the line somewhere). For that one I’m inclined to believe that Jiro was beginning to suspect that Aki was losing her grip and was just trying to keep the conversation going instead of correcting a detail that probably wasn’t relevant. I’m sure I’ll be proven wrong soon enough.
Anyway, before the episode ends – in the middle of a battle – Jiro reveals that the Rainbow Knight, his childhood hero who was framed for kidnapping and then killed in a ploy to justify the creation of the Superhuman Bureau, wasn’t even a superhuman, or even a regular human using super-technology. I suspect that what this means is that we’ll be getting some discussion in later episodes about what makes a human super.
The world in this show continues to be fascinating. Production values are solid (there is a bit of repeated animation in one of the fight scenes, but, given the degree to which this show is inspired by period shlock, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that was intentional). Some of the plot details could use some more care, but so far I’m still in for the long haul.