Let me make it clear right now that Standing On My Neck does not tolerate style as substance on its own terms like the anime shown above in case you’re one of those people who think 2015 was an absolute gem of a year for anime. And it really disappointed me in this particular year because it was pretty much the year of the shonen/superhero (or super power in general) shows, two genres I’m not exactly big on by themselves, but I’ve been known to enjoy them when those genres were used as a means for larger issues, as Punch Line, Noragami, and Garo have shown. And who can deny the awesomeness of Daredevil and Jessica Jones when they arrived? Unfortunately, when they weren’t trying to use bright visuals to distract from the fact that they have nothing to show for it whatsoever, most of 2015’s superpower anime either took a page from the Ant-Man school of writing and suffered massively for it, or bungled the execution of their larger issues and ended up not faring much better.
On a side note, I’ve also recently been giving Star Driver another shot and it’s really boring me. There’s no overarching story, the characters are so fucking dull to the point that they make Superman look charismatic, the tributes to old-school mecha are not the least bit interesting at all, and I hate how much it wants to be Utena whilst completely missing the point on what made Utena a good show. So basically, like everything else Bones has released since the beginning of their time.
It wasn’t until Concrete Revolutio came along, slapped Charlotte, Jojo, Insight, BBB, Durarara, One-Punch Man and practically every other anime that aired this year (and Star Driver) across the face, lectured them on their failures, and then showed ’em how this sort of shit was done. What it isn’t is gimmicky, padded, and populated by a bunch of arrogant dickheads with no relatable flaws or purpose in the story. What it is is tight, multi-layered, rich in thematic value, and populated by characters who actually have arcs that drive the narrative.
Concrete Revolutio isn’t over yet and it’s full of spotty plotting, but I had more fun with it than practically any other anime in the last few years and I think the first half can stand on its own as a separate product the same way Eden of the East and Aku no Hana can (and if the season finale ends up sucking chunks, we’ll just have to promote my #2b to just plain #2…exactly as I planned), so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be my number one anime of 2015. Hopefully the show doesn’t let the praise get to its head and bungle things up in the future.