OP: 「割レル慟哭」 (Warireru Dōkoku) by ZAQ
「十一月の超人達」 (Jūichigatsu no Chōjin-tachi)
How to describe Concrete Revolutio to the uninitiated? Well, for starters if you’re checking out this intro post and wondering whether this is a show worth watching this season, I recommend that you first catch up on the first season of Concrete Revolutio first. THE LAST SONG is not a standalone sequel—something which may or may not have been obvious from the numbering starting at 14. This is a show that is quite strongly built on the plot that came before, and missing out on even one episode can leave you without a key piece for putting together the puzzle that is Concrete Revolutio. I don’t think any anime captures the spirit of the 60s in quite the same way as Concrete Revolutio i.e. through a genre mashup that ensures that it never gets boring despite the heavy social issues it weighs in on. Look, an alien robot cowboy elf detective! What other anime would play something like that completely straight? Or perhaps you just miss retro anime, in which case nothing says retro like pew pew flying saucers. Again, not a comedy, but just another part of what makes Concrete Revolutio awesome.
Even for those who followed the first season, perhaps a refresher may be necessary, because it’s been on break for an entire season and so much happened in the first cour that nobody can really be blamed if they’ve forgotten the details. The official website has a chronology, but if you’re as illiterate as I am that doesn’t help much. Thankfully, while the first cour of Concrete Revolutio had a tendency to skip around it chronology in the beginning, THE LAST SONG follows the trend of its later episode and is actually quite stable, content to just bookend one central flashback story. It also quite appropriately connected to the very first episode of Concrete Revolutio (y’know, the one about this guy), five years after, in fact, and seems mostly concerned with filling in the blanks left by the first season’s timeskipping.
You may remember Detective Shiba, who had a fairly significant role in the first cour despite being of the secondary cast, and will perhaps become more important in THE LAST SONG. You may recall that the episode about him was left on a cliffhanger, and finally it has been resolved, albeit in a fairly anticlimatic fashion. The guy lost. Too bad for him. But more interesting than the result of the fight is how they got there in the first place. Detective Shiba had always been quite the passionate law officer, but crazy knight templar was something else. This is the episode where we find out how the Shiba-bot broke as badly as he did.
Some of you may be familiar with Les Misérables, and will understand when I compare Detective Shiba to Inspector Javert, another uncompromising lawman. But Detective Shiba is Robot-Javert, and we know that robots, in the world of Concrete Revolutio, specifically have an absolute morality system. But Detective Shiba wavers. He supposedly a human personality housed in a cyborg body—does that make a difference here? You may recall that Earth-chan, the other sentient robot we care about, also had an issue with black and white morality. She learns to become more human, and is happier for it, because doubt is possibility, which allows dreams. Shiba started off human, and yearns to be more robot, because is uncertainty, which is terrifying. And arguably, both end up broken.
Looking ahead ~ the future is now
Other than Detective Shiba’s moral struggle, there’s lots of interest plot threads dangled in front of us this episode. The first cour was mostly to establish the reasons that lead to Jirou left the Superhuman Bureau and we should be fully into the meat of the story now. There seems to be something of a three way war brewing, though I doubt think the lines will be so clearly defined. In particular, it seems at this point none of the Superhuman Bureau have much enmity for Jirou, and would rather aid him over an alien robot. The ironic exception is Jirou’s foster father, who seems rather spiteful about the entire defection, even if the family maid seems rather pleased Jirou got his car back.
Still, whom to root for, and whom to trust? Jirou seems to be aided by the technicolour fumers, and while he doesn’t seem to be a dominated vessel like how it was with Chief Akita, do their agenda actually align, or has Jirou struck a faustian bargain? What’s this talk of the Radical Superhuman Revolutionary Force? Why does Kikko look so good with long hair? Questions upon questions. One thing I think I can safetly say for now: don’t trust Emi. If I’ve learn anything about Japanese mythology, it’s to not trust fox youkai. She may not necessarily be malevolent, but she certainly has her own designs. I envision her being the wildcard of this story.
ED: 「ALL-WAYS」 by 山本陽介 feat. 玉置成実 (Yamamoto Yōsuke feat. Tamaki Nami)