Rolling Review – Concrete Revolutio: The Last Song (21)

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Episode Synopsis:

The Prime Minister barely holds on to power by leading the country through an oil crisis caused by rampaging monsters in the Middle East.  The American military develops a powerful anti-superhuman robot that uses the unbelievably toxic Bio-Destroyer liquid as a fuel.  Jiro’s blood is revealed to be capable of giving immense energy and growth to anything injected with it.  A mask modeled on Claude’s has been developed, which appears to enhance superhuman abilities and even let ordinary humans get in on the game… though it might just be a way to induce mind control on the wearer.  As many problems and revelations swirl around him, Jiro is also personally beset by a crisis of confidence in the path he has chosen, as his government turns against him and other superhumans.  And at the fringes of it all sits the Imperial Ad Agency man, stirring up trouble wherever he can and exacerbating any trouble that occurs naturally.  His objective – to rid the world of superhumans.

Review:

Thus far in Concrete Revolutio, I’ve generally been able to keep track of what was going on.  This episode was different.  So much is being thrown at the viewer, so many callbacks to events and characters that occurred many episodes ago, if not from the show’s previous season, and so many characters changing motivations and allegiances that my head was spinning by the end.  This episode is clearly setting up a large number of plot threads that should pay off in its conclusion, but the story of the episode by itself is almost incoherent.  It also didn’t help that for most of the episode, I was trying to remember who half of the characters on screen were.

Right at the beginning, the green-haired girl from Season 1’s IQ squad rides in on a motorcycle, crashes it, briefly interacts with Fuurouta (who now runs the neutral superhuman bar?), and then gets captured by Ad Agency guy (along with another former Angel Star) who sticks the mind control (?) Claude helmet on her.  Later in the same episode, Aki, the green-haired girl former member of the Angel Stars, is somehow on a mission with Detective Shiba to sabotage NUTS, the stupidly-named anti-superhuman giant robot… which is being piloted by Ad Agency lady wearing a Claude helmet, which she apparently does when she’s not running the Bureau?

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Seriously, did I miss something?  Why are you in charge of the Bureau?

Meanwhile, Judas is running around doing experiments with Jiro’s blood, Master Ultima is making deals with the Prime Minister, and friggin’ Megashin, of all random callbacks, is back in the picture fighting against Shiba (despite Megashin being devoted to stopping wartime robots like the one Shiba is fighting) – it took me most of the episode to even remember who Megashin was!

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I was completely baffled by what was going on here for quite some time

Here, have some more stuff!

Can we all just agree that missile-throwing genies look awesome?

What’s really crazy is how quickly some of these things come and go.  IQ Motorcycle Girl, after her seemingly important role right at the start, never comes up again.  Ad Agency lady is in charge of the Bureau in one scene, and is then discussing disbanding it with Ad Agency guy the next.  Aki, as mentioned, comes in from nowhere, gets injured, gets saved by Judas, and then is promptly ignored off-camera for the rest of the episode.  After the big battle with the NUTS robot, just about all of the participants from both sides are… hanging around talking on a rooftop as if they weren’t just trying to kill each other.

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“Boy, that sure was some battle last night.  Good game, everyone.”

Most of these events happen in the same timeframe, as evidenced (hopefully) by the lack of one of those freezeframe shots with a date change, but that almost makes things more confusing.

So rather than a clear idea of what’s going on, all I’ve really got are some vague feelings of where the show is headed.  The crackdown on superhumans by the government is intensifying (to the point they seem to be preparing to exterminate them), lead by a public perception campaign spearheaded by Ad Agency guy.  Jiro, for the first time in the show, is beset by doubt, as he has always advocated against attacking the government… but now the government is attacking superhumans.

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And finally, the truth of who Jiro is and why he seems to be at the center of all these plots is rapidly being revealed.  Careful viewers of season one won’t be too surprised, but it’s now very clear that Jiro is the living embodiment of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

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This apparently also made his blood something special, full of energy and capable of making things huge as a side effect.  It’s stated that this blood was used to create Mega Gon and some of the other huge monsters from the first season, personally linking Jiro to even more major events.

As a side note, since the atomic bomb didn’t explode, but instead produced a child, research into nuclear fission seems to have been halted.  Surely, this must have caused a huge shift in the timeline compared to ours (I wonder if Jaguar has any inkling of this?).  Somehow, this event seems to be what’s motivating Ad Agency guy’s hatred of superhumans… but I can’t even speculate why right now.  While I’m definitely intrigued by what the show is doing and where it’s going, let’s just say this episode is kind of a bumpy ride.


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