One moment in Concrete Revolutio that symbolizes my issues with it

December 23, 2016

(There are spoilers.)

When Concrete Revolutio finished in the spring, I had somewhat mixed views of it. My views have only become more mixed and uncertain since then, and I can illustrate some of my qualms with the show by talking about one particular striking moment that has come to symbolize the show's core flaws for me.

Throughout the show, Kikko Hoshino has been not so much the protagonist (that's firmly established as Jiro Hitoyoshi) as our viewpoint character. She is one of the most innocent characters in the main cast and is often shielded from (and therefor surprised by) the darkness orbiting the other characters in the Superhuman Bureau. While she has a powerful dark side, she's only allowed to keep it briefly once it manifests in the show; afterwards, it is forcefully stripped away from her and she goes back to being a normal innocent person.

In the climactic fight at the end of the show, Kikko straight up kills someone. Oh, she doesn't wind up with blood all over her, the show's a bit more subtle than that; she consciously uses her power to teleport the evil bad guy into an energy-draining cell that will suck away all his power and destroy him (and she knows what the cell is and will do, as the bad guy just carefully explained that he was going to do this to Jiro).

Kikko doesn't react. No one blinks. This event is never referred to again. We briefly see Kikko later (in the show's epilogue), and she is completely unaffected by it. As far as the show is concerned, it's as if Kikko killing someone has no effect on either her or anyone else; it's trivial, not worth mentioning or thinking about. If Kikko was one of the other members of the Superhuman Bureau, sure, this would be perfectly in character; many of them are soaked in rather a lot of blood and wouldn't blink at another death. But Kikko is different; she is the innocent. You'd think that killing someone, and choosing to do so, would have some sort of effect on her.

Throughout the show, Concrete Revolutio neglected Kikko. She was our viewpoint character, but this merely made her into a mobile camera; it didn't mean that the show was going to give her more than cursory character development or much of a role in events. Her job was mostly to watch as things happened around her, not to be a player. Neglecting and sidelining Kikko was already one of the letdowns of the show; having her do something that should have a significant impact on her but then ignoring it was the icing on top.

(Using Kikko in the story this way was also something that CR indulged in periodically throughout its run; every so often, Kikko would show up to solve some problem or otherwise bail people out. At the time this often came across as a moment of triumph for Kikko, in that the show was finally giving her an important role, but I'm now not quite so sure of that.)

As I've turned Concrete Revolutio over in my mind in the time since it finished, this moment has become a symbol both of how CR treated Kikko in general and of how CR bit off more than it could really chew.

(This is a 12-days post.)

Written on 23 December 2016.
« The Ancient Magus' Bride is the one manga I'm definitely reading
How Flip Flappers tells us a lot about Yayaka through visuals alone »

Page tools: View Source, Add Comment.
Login: Password:
Atom Syndication: Recent Comments.

Last modified: Fri Dec 23 15:45:05 2016
This dinky wiki is brought to you by the Insane Hackers Guild, Python sub-branch.