Superheroes, Kaijuu, Super Sentai. All 3 have been long cherished by comic book guys and nerds alike around the world. But what if they were real? What if they existed at the same time in our normal day to day lives. How will we react? This is the world of Concrete Revolutio. An anime original by studio Bones. it was split between the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 seasons, running for a total of 24 episodes. Initially, when I picked up the first half, Concrete didn’t exactly impress me. It wasn’t awful, but the early episodes were not exactly a great first impression for what was to come. And what did come is probably one of the most underappreciated anime of the past few years.
The creators clearly poured their hearts and sweat into making this anime. It is full social commentary and critiques of a post-war japan that has superheroes living in it. Events and problems that are so familiar to us are change to included super-humans, Revolutio’sKaijuu, and Super Sentai. It seems no matter how advanced and “evolved” humans become, we will never get rid of our prejudicesRevolution’s
Concrete most powerful aspect has always been its narrative, and that rings true for The Last Song as well. The narrative picks up a few years after the events of season 1’s final episode, and things have changed for the worst. Jiro, now an outcast, seeks to find justice, truth and meaning in the contentious world of superhumans he lives in. each episode focuses primarily on Jiro and how he chooses to handle the superhuman-centric events he finds himself in. His former friends criticize his beliefs and his actions. He goes from having a strong sense of what is right to deciding he doesn’t know anything and is a monster. He is broken down and brought back up. It makes me wonder about the state of our problems and it is possible to live as a “hero” and have justice after all? The world is never black and white but gray.
The artwork is just as vibrant and unique as the first season’s, with no noticeable lapses in animation quality.
One of the main criticisms directed towards the first season of Concrete was that its story was convoluted and hard to follow. This was due to the episodes being set non-chronologically, and it was up to the watcher to piece the narrative’s timeline together. If you fall in this school of thought, then you’ll be happy to know that The Last Song has a linear timeline.
The Last Song has been a wild ride, and for the most part, it’s been very good. It’s caused me to think about the societal standards of Japan and the United States, past and present, and the fact that it inspires critical thinking about our world and to at things more carefully as not everything is as clear as one believes.