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Anime / Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou

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Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou (the subtitle meaning "Superhuman Fantasy") is a 2015 anime by Studio Bones, directed by Seiji Mizushima and written by Sho Aikawa. The second season premiered in 2016 and was titled Concrete Revolutio: The Last Song. A manga adaptation ran in Young Ace from September 2015 to July 2016, and its official website is here.

In a fantastic version of The '60s, Jirou Hitoyoshi is a member of the Superhuman Bureau, who strives to protect superhumans for the sake of the government. Five years later he is a wanted criminal who opposes the Bureau's actions with every fiber of his being. In a period of great cultural upheaval, can true Superheroes exist or are they just a fool's dream?

Concrete Revolutio is a very information-dense series, with each episode making heavy reference to both historical events and iconic fictional characters of the time, as well as how each is warped by the other's presence. This is a world where student protests are backed by Kaiju, and where G.I. Joe has PTSD from fighting in Vietnam. It's often summed up as "a more confusing, Japanese take on Watchmen".

Examples of tropes in Concrete Revolutio:

  • And Then What?: Magotake asks this to Touzaki in episode 21 regarding a plan Imperial Ads started — have a definition for superhumans and to combat non-compliant superhumans with super robots.
  • Alternate History: The Shinka Era, where the series takes place, is very, very heavily insinuated to be an alternate version of the Shouwa era (1926-1989). For example, the biggest historical nail is that instead of destorying Hiroshima, the atomic bomb became a baby Jiro. This resulted in Mankind to abandon Nuclear research and cause an even bigger oil crisis in the 70's. They still had a Vietnam analogue, albeit one fought against Youkai.
  • Ambiguously Human: A great many characters have their exact nature put in heavy debate as to what it exactly is.
  • Anachronic Order: The series has a habit of doing this a lot, switching from the first day some of the members join to when they meet with Jirou in the future when he's not part of the Superhuman Bureau anymore.
  • Animation Bump: The third episode has an incredibly animated (if short) fight scene at the end. Likewise, the final moments of the fifth episode are conspicuously well animated, despite not having much action.
  • Astro Clone: Among the many Retraux Expies filling out the cast, Earth-chan is a Composite Character of Astro and the Sputnik satellite - a super-powerful Robot Girl who lives in orbit, and can appear instantly in response to the cries of people in suffering. While she starts off as possibly the most admired hero in the setting, her nature as both a child and a robot causes her to see everything in black-and-white; she can't understand why humans tell lies, nor predict long-term consequences of her actions, which clashes horribly with the complex politics of post-war Japan. When on one occasion she gains the ability to dream, she sees herself as a human with a loving family.
  • Badass Normal: Rainbow Knight is revealed to be this in the second season. He was made out to be a superhuman so that the Bureau could be founded and protect superhumans.
  • Bland-Name Product: Horiz Ketchup - one of the Mountain Horse guys gets it on his head after phasing though his fridge.
  • Cliffhanger: Episode 13 ends, unsurprisingly, with a great many plot points unresolved. By the end, Jin has been defeated, but Jirou has left the Bureau and, with Akita's "death", the Bureau is in shambles. None of the flashfowards to later events are touched upon and the episode closes on giving the first major clue on Jirou's true nature.
  • Color-Coded Characters: In the second season's credits the main characters are occasionally shaded in a specific color.
    • Jiro is associated with red and pink.
    • Kikko is associated with blue.
    • Emi is associated with purple.
    • Fuurouta is associated with yellow.
    • Hyouma is associaed with brown.
    • Raito is assocaited with green.
  • Cool Car: Jiro's car, Equus. It has the ability to transform into a giant robot.
  • Complete Immortality: The family of seven (the Hatakeyamas) in episode 9 have this. They've been alive since the beginning of the earth and nothing can kill them. Not even destroying them on a molecular level.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Nearly every character introduced up to that point show up in Episode 13 during the riot in Shinjuku.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Many episodes, especially early on, focus specifically on a certain character. Over the first cour alone, we have Episode 1 (Kikko), Episode 2 (Fuurouta), Episode 3 (Shiba), Episode 4 (Emi), Episode 5 and to a degree Episode 8 (Jirou) and Episode 10 (Hyouma).
  • Death of a Child: It's stated that all but one of the children Rainbow Knight took hostage were killed in the incident. It's actually even worse than that; the children survived, but were instead experimented on and died in captivity.
  • Driving Question: Jirou's true nature, per Word of God.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Pretty much any Shouwa era trope is happily used to the show's content.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • While Jirou and Raito are bickering about the student protests in Shinka 43 at Kanda (episode 8), Emi, Kikko and Uru try out sour konbu strips while talking to a policeman, and they make disgusted faces. There are two foreground events that make this more obvious: the subs getting more crowded than usual and the box of konbu filling up the screen momentarily.
    • In episode 6, Freeze shocks a customer at a restaurant Mountain Horse is eating at while two other members of Mountain Horse are talking.
  • Foreshadowing: Lots of it.
    • At the end of the first ED, the appearances of the cast after the major Time Skip is briefly shown. A good eye will spot that Akita disappears from the frame, giving away his "death" in Episode 2.
    • In the opening, four characters who appear later in the anime all dash past the screen. At least 3 of 4 have been shown assisting Jirou after he becomes a fugitive, though it's unclear if this is also the case for Reiichi.
  • Genre Deconstruction: The anime shows just what happens when you have all sorts of super powered beings in a socially turbulent era full of Fantastic Racism, paranoia and very Grey-and-Grey Morality that very much clashes with the very Black-and-White Morality present in the time period.
  • Genre Throwback: The entire anime is basically one long love letter to Shouwa Era media and culture.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: Even going as far back as the second episode, the heroes are questioning whose side they're supposed to be on and why things aren't as simple as they initially made things out to be. In particular, since the Superhuman Bureau's job is to protect superheroes, part of what they do is fund the creation of monsters and villains, to bolster public support for superhumans. Though Jirou and Fuurouta are in the dark, a good half of the group only care about civilian casualties if they result in negative publicity.
  • In Spite of a Nail: They still had a Vietnam analogue, albeit one fought against Youkai.
  • Mad Eye: Jirou gets these in episode 4, when he's about to get squished by big GaGon.
  • Monster of the Week: Or rather Superhuman of the Week. Most episodes in the first half tend to be about a new Superhuman the Bureau investigates.
  • Mundane Utility: Kikko uses her witch powers all the time at her house to do utterly simple things like making breakfast or organizing her closet.
  • Not Wearing Tights: This show's a melting pot of superhumans, so some characters have got to have this trope.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The "ghosts" in this series are more inclined to play with kids, can have the ability to shapeshift, and don't age at all. However, they're not really mentioned to have actually died at any point.
  • Playing with Fire: Jirou, using his fist.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: Kikko's hair changes to a lighter shade of purple when transforming.
  • Shapeshifter: Fuurouta, as part of his "ghost" powers. It can range from turning into cartoony looking animals to turning into abstract beings like balloon creatures.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Fuurouta and Kikko have a habit of disappearing from the story when things get serious. However, this is averted when Kikko is revealed to be the demon queen to be, who becomes Brainwashed and Crazy due to Claude.
  • Shout-Out:
    • As a whole the series is basically a love letter to Shouwa Era Japan, and thus many characters of the week are based off pre-existing characters. This even extends to real-life events, with pretty much every major event in the show having some kind of historical basis. Makes sense, since this is an Alternate History set twenty years after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.
    • Episode 4 has Jirou use the term "kaiju groupie" (subtitled as 'beast groupie').
    • Episode 9 ends with the U.S. vehicles combining into a single robot that bears a striking resemblance to Optimus Prime. This is made all the better when Kikko magically assembles another robot from scrap to fight it, and this one looks exactly like Megatron.
  • Sizeshifter: Grosse Augen, a kind of giant alien. It can merge with a person and allow them to size shift.
  • Speculative Fiction: The genre of this work.
  • The Stinger:
    • Episode 7's post-credits scene involves Jirou and Judas breaking into a safe to restore Earth-chan.
    • The season one finale shows Doctor Hitoyoshi finding a baby Jirou in a crater, only for the camera to zoom out to show a massive kaiju shadow coming from the child. The date line then appears: Shinka Year 20, Hiroshima.
  • Temporal Paradox: Subverted. Hyouma believes this will occur when he kills his past self, but he survives, implicitly because his existence is tied to a Stable Time Loop.
  • Time Skip: Lots of them. The events of separate episodes tend to occur months apart. The entire first half of the anime takes place over a little over two years, and about three years subsequently pass after that.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Justified, superhumans are common in the series' universe to the point that many incidents are treated as normal by civilians.
  • Urban Fantasy: The show takes place in a world where any and all types of superheroes and super villains exist among the more mundane folk. Transforming mecha, ghosts, aliens, and Magical Girls are all over.
  • Who Watches the Watchmen?: At least this series gives us an answer. The Superhuman Bureau, which Jirou is a part of and later defects from out of disgust of their actions and a promise to cut himself from Kikko's life, tries its best to protect regular humans and the superhumans that protect them, but also take up the task of getting rid of the more unstable superhumans if need be. They're more of an underground group, and few have heard of them let alone rumors.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: Because there are so many superheroes and villains running around the place, Japan is always in some form of peril. America, Russia and Vietnam also are part of the equation, as shown by the nationality of some of the side characters.

Alternative Title(s): Concrete Revolutio