Rolling Review: Concrete Revolutio – The Last Song (17)

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Episode Synopsis:

A tunnel has collapsed, injuring many, and the media, at the behest of the government, is quick to blame it on superhumans.  Emi is immediately concerned for the demons that live underground – they generally don’t interfere with human affairs, but the humans probably won’t see it that way.  While she and Fuurouta search for Devila, queen of the demons, the queen’s younger brother Devilo has come to the surface to enjoy bipedal life one last time before he metamorphoses into his (massive, feet-less) adult form.  This sets the stage for a confrontation between the National Security superhumans, the Superhuman Bureau, and, of course, Jiro, over how to handle Devilo (and, by extension, the rest of the demons).

Review:

This episode was a bit of a mess, but there are a lot of interesting worldbuilding tidbits hidden among the flotsam. To begin with, though, let’s look at the plot.  The whole episode is in linear time order, and it tells a fairly simple story without a lot of jumping around: Devilo comes to the surface, plays around, gets caught up in the confrontation between two ideologically different branches of the government (and Jiro), and finally transforms into an adult.  What’s not as simple are the many plot threads that just seem to dangle once the main story is over.  It’s pretty clear that cute, guileless Devilo didn’t cause the tunnel collapse… so who did?  Why does the normally manipulative and mysterious Emi suddenly care about what humans think of the demons, especially when it’s pretty clear she has personal animosity against Devila?

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Why do you even care, Emi?

Even more strangely, Emi spends the bulk of the episode using a sentient multi-axis elevator (and, later, dragon-powered lava gondola) to search for Devila… but it’s all wasted time.  Devilo is on the surface already, and Devila can apparently teleport anywhere she wants, so it’s not clear why Emi & Fuurouta’s Excellent Adventure even mattered.

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You thought I was joking? (Alternate caption: All aboard the Innuendo Elevator!)

Where are the rest of the demons, since it seems like it’s just Devila and Devilo down there?  Particularly because, at the end of the episode, the two of them fly off to live in space and act as if that solves the bad feelings between humans and demons?

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You say that, but you’re literally flying into space, never to be seen again.

Why is the crew of Apollo 17 even part of this episode?

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You really must stop assuming I’m joking.

These don’t seem like the normal kind of questions Concrete Revolutio likes to leave around, teasing you to figure out their larger significance, and eventually revealing the answer later in the show – these questions feel like things that will never be answered, just stuff thrown in to serve the main plotline and discarded afterwards.  It’s a little disappointing.

That said, there are a lot of interesting nuggets the show throws us that do seem like they’ll get expanded on later.  Apparently, there’s a government-supported plan underway to colonize the deep underground.

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Kikko: Man, I really have to start reading the paper.

They are getting more and more heavy-handed with their attempts to control superhumans and expand their power.

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Woah woah back up.  You’re going to seize Demonland by force?  What is this, 1800s imperialism?

The members of the Superhuman Bureau for the first time find themselves directly opposing the National Security ninja squad, which seems like the first steps towards them coming around to Jiro’s point of view.

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Jaguar begins to see that Jiro might have a point here.

So while the episode itself may not be crafted to the finest specifications, there’s a lot to gnaw on, and a lot that will probably flavor later episodes.

In addition to all of that, the episode does have some individual moments that I simply have to mention.  One is when the Bureau and Jiro, reluctantly working together to stop the National Security guys, need transport, and fast.  People are in danger!  The city trembles!  HOW WILL THEY MAKE IT IN TIME?!?

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O….K

Now THAT is how you defuse a tense situation.  Just look at that ridiculous thing.

Another, very different, moment was when Devilo, finally fully grown, playfully leaves Earth behind to live among the stars, letting everyone know that humans are welcome to the underground – the demons don’t need it.  They have boundless space.

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It was very nearly poetic to watch understanding dawn on the faces of everyone left on Earth.  The Bureau, fighting to protect the demons from human attacks.  The National Security guys, fighting to bring the demons under their rule, to conquer and colonize their land.  Both sides now so petty, the stakes so insignificant.  It was a good moment.


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