Concrete Revolutio 2 (and probably 3–I haven’t seen it yet) settles down after its nearly incomprehensible opening episode and starts introducing new characters and getting us used to their odd world. #2 at least is a better episode for the coherency. We meet Fuurouta, the child, a “ghost” as they call him, who can shapeshift and annoy people, as he rescues a rare bug, meets a nice girl, and helps destroy the black fog that has sealed off the capital, which turns out to be the wrong thing to do. The scene where the realization sets in is effective, possibly because he hadn’t made the connection between the fog and the cute girl, and that he was earnestly trying to do the right thing. But if it was the wrong thing, why didn’t Jiro and the others stop him from going in with that can of virus? Along the way we get some ground rules for the world they live in and the agency they work for, such as that every super-being has a rival out there, and the agency is there to protect the city without letting anyone know they exist. Not a bad episode. Sets my mind at rest. Now, let’s see how episode 3 goes …
Episode 3 does introduce a new character, but whether Shiba will be a permanent member or not is unknown, assuming that the final scene, where he and Jiro start to duke it out (tune in next week!) is actually a few years in the future. That might explain why Jiro now seems to have superhuman powers as well. That’s one thing that this show doesn’t do well: explain or justify its time jumps. Admittedly, it’s hard to set up well, and some shows, like Baccano!, did it partly to keep us off balance. I don’t know if Concrete Revolutio can use that as an excuse. Instead, I wondered who that blond guy was, and upon learning it was Shiba, got distracted trying to figure out why. A shame because otherwise the episode had some good things going on, like the consideration of whether robots engineered to be drawn to certain other robots can be called love (Kikko had the best take on this), and the concept of “justice,” which everyone in the show fights for, including the robots, but no one can agree on what it is. Oh, and whether humans transplanted into robots can be called superhumans. That’s a good one.
Well, I thought I’d get through Subete ga F ni Naru 2 and 3, but 3 isn’t out yet. It will surely arrive the second after I post this entry. Anyway, episode 2 is a bit of a mystery in that the mystery hasn’t appeared yet. Most of it is spend before, during and after the journey to Shiki’s island. Moe shows everyone how fabulously rich she is and comes on to Souhei again, and is again annoyed when he shows more interest in meeting Shiki than talking with her. Since we pretty much saw the same thing last week, I found the information about the island and the lab there more interesting, well, there’s a cross-conversation between Moe and Souhei and the young Shiki and … someone she was too young to be coming on to, where the girls’ desires mirrored each other though not their romantic approaches. Not sure why the show wanted to make a connection between the two girls, since the 19 year-old Moe is inquisitive but spoiled and willful, while 13 year-old Shiki is petulant and sort of feral. Unless they’re trying to explain the weird bond the girls seems to have.
Which leads us to the fake headache scene, where Moe shows her devious side in getting into the lab (perhaps to impress Souhei with her smarts and connections). It gets a little ridiculous after that. My explanation is that Shiki wanted to actually meet Moe and arranged the weird puppet thing because, well, she hasn’t had any contact with anyone for fifteen years, and that was after killing her parents, maybe. Souhei, the guard and the lab nerds think it’s an automated doll (there’s that word again), while it’s Moe who sees what it really is. While I wish there was something more going on with the story, I can’t say I’m not entertained by all of this, partly because it’s hard to tell what’s going on, only that interesting, smart people are interacting in a fairly realistic fashion. But I keep hearing there’s going to be a corpse. One of these days they might want to get to that.
Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shinken Shoutai 2 feels like they’re making it up as they go along. That’s even though the episode catches up to that first scene where Takeru was lying there in a puddle of blood and that weird girls says congratulations. But before that we learn that one of the platoon’s inept members is a relic eater candidate, or someone to partner with a supernatural force to make them really powerful. That’s what I meant; it sounds like they needed a way out of the upcoming plot point where Takeru’s about to get run through. Well, it IS a generic magic/tech fantasy anime series, so I shouldn’t be too surprised. On the plus side there’s a nice bit where Takeru agrees to forgo his humanity and partner with some being named Lupis, something that Ouka, for all her talk, has not been able to bring herself to do. Otherwise her face turn feels fake and contrived, and too quick.
One Punch Man 3, well, I’m running out of things to say about this show. OPM and Genos head off to the mad scientist’s lair (after we get some background on him from the cyborg gorilla, nicely undercut by the show’s wanting to get a move on, well, it was a boring backstory anyway. There, first Genos is defeated by Carnage Kubato, and then they try to set up the concept that OPM might have finally met his match. But while the show remains amusing as a whole, we already pretty much guessed that Saitama’s despair came from a more mundane source. This could be a problem. The show has done a good job of keeping the simple concept fresh through the mix of absurd villains and Saitama’s normality, but if they’re not careful the series might become too predictable. It was still fun to watch though.