「デビラとデビロ」 (Debira to Debiro )
“Devila and Devilo”

I don’t ever really blame anyone for finding Concrete Revolutio confusing, especially for Western viewers, because while Concrete Revolutio obviously draws inspiration from Western comic books and movies) and folk legends), it is still fundamentally based on Japanese pop culture and, in episodes like this one and the last, Japanese mythology. If you’re not familiar with terrifying yokai sealed underground, or that catfish are believed to cause earthquakes, or Asian water dragons, the episode is going to look a lot like a lot of non-sequitur imagery that don’t tie together into a coherent aesthetic. This is before we factor in whatever old anime Concrete Revolutio pays homage to in any given episode, and whatever history they’re messing around with (all of which I’ll leave as an exercise to the reader). Without this broad knowledge, I imagine it’d actually be difficult to appreciate Concrete Revolutio in entirety, because it definitely is not going to slow down and explain itself to anybody. I’m probably missing quite a lot myself, which is uncomfortable to admit but almost definitely true. I think I say this every week, but Concrete Revolutio is packed to the brim, which is great for those seeking a bit more depth in their anime, but may ambush those who expected a light mecha action show. Give and takes.

It doesn’t help that Devila and Devilo seems specifically written to be confusing. It’s a story about tolerance, so Devilo needs to seem alien and inscrutable. Sure, he only states the completely obvious, but the obvious is also asinine, and is certainly not how humans communicate at all. And because he says only obvious things he can make a really sappy speech about shared humanity and whatnot, but how does that translate into practice? Is coexistence really so simple? Sure, Public Security were altogether bigoted, arrogant and stupid in this episode, and definitely deserved the punch, but beneath all that they sorta kinda do have a point. Devilo was certainly innocent, but innocence does not preclude being dangerous. Sure, Public Security was way too trigger-happy in their response, but what really is the rational to these underground youkai? They are so far above humanity that they are veritable gods, beyond our reach and understanding. Humanity is simply not equipped to deal with a relationship like this. We’ve been happy with being top dogs of Earth for so long, then along comes these someone who can siphon water off the planet to terraform the moon or something. And you thought the earthquake monster was bad. I can understand if these underground youkai trigger a flight or fight response. It’s a threat? Gotta send in the ninja police to kill it. It’s not a well-reasoned, diplomatic response. This is humanity’s allergic reaction.

For those of you who thought that last week’s episode felt too much like filler, you’d be happy to know that this episode does much to foreshadow future developments—which makes it even busier, but you should be used to the Concrete Revolutio pace by now. There is evidently a rift growing within the Japanese bureaucracy; the Superhuman still sort of sometimes tries half-heartedly to do the right thing (and usually fails), but there seems to be another faction (represented here by Public Security) who are much more law-and-order-purge-the-xenos about superhumans. So there’s definitely going to be a source of conflict there. But, perhaps more importantly, this episode continues on from last week and shows us more of Emi’s world, and her character in general. I am increasingly convinced that she will have a large role to play in the future. Something to think about: she’s supposed to be on the same ‘rank’, if not higher, than Devila. As this. That’s actually rather terrifying.




  1. Came into this episode expecting some explanation on Kikko’s origin, and got more Emi instead. Not that I mind. I decided a while back to just sit back and see what this show wants to give me this week without being impatient. It makes things much more enjoyable.
    The men with guns this episode felt really reckless. They even knew who Devila was, and probably knew how powerful the yokai are to some extent, yet still tried to do what they did. Humans can be such control freaks, huh.

  2. Public Security was rather evil here. They weren’t just concerned about security. No one proved that superhumans, let alone the devils from underground, caused the incident with the train, yet they were more than happy to demand lands from the devils to “colonize” the underground (in his own words). The fact that they were already planning and trying their superdrills beforehand makes it even more suspicious.

    But it wasn’t until I finished the episode that I realized why it sounded so disturbingly familiar:

    A light incident in a railway that didn’t kill anyone + no proof against the accused party but more than enough exaggeration and propaganda in the media + using it as a casus belli to invade lands that don’t belong to them = Mukden Incident.

    I don’t know if Concrete Revolutio was aware of that parallelism, but I wouldn’t be surprised. From pointing out the differences between the generation that knew war and the one that didn’t, to lampshading the troubling relationship between the Japanese government and the Americans, this series is more political than many others who seem more “serious”.

    1. They reminded me of 1960’s era police in the US. They were essentially using the argument that the superhumans are “different” so inherently “dangerous” and need to be “maintained”. They’re squeezing some pretty frank social commentary into the show which is good.

      1. I agree that there are other events that mirror it, not necessary Mukden, but certainly this sounds more sinister than a “mere” abuse of police powers. I’m thinking more of Gleiwitz and weapons of mass destruction, if you get my analogy, especially after seeing things like this:

        “Our orders are clear! The monsters below have caused the tunnel accident. As retaliation, the nation of Japan will demand that they give up the underground as a new colony!”

        Geez, even Hitler in his “let’s invade Poland” speech tried to be more subtle.

        It doesn’t help that they knew the underground was inhabited and that Dr. Hitoyoshi mentioned they had plans in motion to drill deeper even before this mess started.

  3. Is it weird that all I could think of when Devila was revealed was “finally, a character with titties!”

    These Emi-“centric” episodes are giving me a bad feeling. I hope this doesn’t foreshadow Emi being an antagonist. Or, hopefully, she’ll just get a Kikko moment and Jiro (and Kikko) will be able to bring her back.

  4. Concrete Revolutio and a handful of other series (I can count them with one hand) notwithstanding, the quality of most modern anime makes me feel that doing drugs would be safer, brain cell count wise.


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