When I watched Dances with the Dragons (henceforth Saredo), I kept making comparisons to Concrete Revolutio…
Dances with the Dragons (Saredo Ryuu wa Tsumibito to Odoru) is an odd duck. It’s got something political going on under all those plot points, a pink-haired male protagonist and a motley crew that people can’t really keep track of if they let down their guard…hey, wait. Doesn’t that remind you of Concrete Revolutio?
One of Concrete Revolutio’s most distinctive factors is undoubtedly the anachronistic nature – the show will jump backwards and forwards between whatever years it needs to show something that resembles a linear progression of a storyline, with the show trusting its audience as it then becomes less and less linear to explain gaps in the audience’s understanding. Saredo obviously lacks this, so it’s hard to see where payoff lies for Gayus and Gigina, making things less rewarding in the long run.
Another of Concrete Revolutio’s features, albeit not as obvious as the bright colours and the crazy time progression, is that the themes used in the episodic stories are a lot more blatant than Saredo’s. This is possibly due to the more message-driven nature of Concrete Revolutio compared to Saredo’s more gore-as-entertainment-based story, but I think it’s actually more to do with the atmosphere – Concrete Revolutio’s spirit always seems to look towards the future, for better or for worse (with the exception of the Urobuchi episode regarding an analogue to the Vietnam War, which is as bleak as it sounds), while Saredo seems to be more oriented towards the present. Thus, it’s less about comparing apples and oranges and more about what each show has to offer in each department.
Furthermore, the intense need to build up a world around the main characters is aided by the fact Concrete Revolutio has its basis in the past and Saredo is going from scratch. Saredo keeps a tight focus on its protagonists and its villains plus the machinations behind the two groups, but without any basis in the world for the audience to cling on to, things just don’t make sense. However, in Concrete Revolutio, you can tell there’s definitely some roots in history buried in the story, even if you’re not familiar with what that history is. This makes it easier to find clues to put the pieces together, a game which I found extremely engaging as I watched week by week.
Mind you, these are just comparisons made from watching two episodes of Saredo and 24 of ConRevo, so I could be mistaken about how everything is. That said, there’s a reason Saredo wasn’t really covered for the spring season, and I chalk it down to these thoughts as to why.
Update: Turns out this is the Spellbook’s 200th post…it certainly doesn’t feel like I’ve written that many posts. Probably because I have enough posts to have normal blog operation until November 7th at the time of this comment…
If you have watched either of these shows, what do you think about them? If not, what’s your favourite anime which is told anachronistically?