It’s the Final Timeline! Du du dooo doooo! Thoughts on the finale, plus every event placed in perfect order. It’s been fun, Concrete!

Forgive me for disappearing for a few weeks on these timelines. Fortunately, these episodes have been relatively straight forward and uncomplicated in their placement in time. I just haven’t been in a good mood for writing about this show constantly. But now that Concrete has finally reached its ending, it would behoove me to give a final send-off to the show that I’ve written the most about in my time here at AniTAY. Some of my fellow authors might say that Concrete is synonymous with me, to which I have no response :D.

I watched the final episode and had some conflicting opinions about it, but decided to marathon these last 3 episodes together to see whether that would affect my perspective. And it did in a positive way, yet I still found the finale a little lacking. Looking back, the first season was a pretty surprising deconstruction of that tried and true shounen trope of “Saving the World for Justice” and what that actually means in a world where there is no right or wrong answer. After finishing The Last Song, it seems that the plan was for the second season to do a reconstruction of that trope but in a new direction, and it culminated in the last few minutes. Heroes don’t need to fight for Justice, Freedom, Peace, Family, Friends, or Love at all. Well, I mean they can, but that’s not the raison d’etre. Instead, heroes are those who instill hope for the people around them. Hope for a brighter future, no matter the circumstances.

While that’s a great direction to end the series on, the actual execution lacked a little oomph in my opinion, because of the last episode’s biggest flaw: It’s way too fast pacing. Concrete deserved the time necessary to fully flesh out its final conflict, and yet too many things seemed to happen in too short a time without the nuanced examination of themes that characterized much of its run. All of the characters from this season appeared in 5-10 seconds of cameo time, but that was not nearly enough to get us reinvested back into their reappearances here.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

But the bigger misstep was the confrontation between Kikko, Emi and Jiro and the subsequent final battle between Jiro and Satomi, the Imperial Ads Head and our true Antagonist. Emi has Kikko’s Devil Powers, do something with that! Play around with Emi and Kikko’s battling feelings for Jiro, and his regrets for his actions to both of them! Satomi revealing his similar birth circumstances to Jiro’s was just not expanded on in a satisfactory manner for me. And then everyone leaving for a new world, because of Satomi providing the biofuel/link necessary was almost a throw-away line.

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Really, the episode should have been split in two, so that both parts could have been fleshed out more. Have the final battle at Ultimapolis, bring back our characters and give them a lot more time to interact with each other, so that they aren’t cameos. Give our main trio of Kikko, Emi and Jiro more time to bring this three-way conflict to a grander place. End the first episode right when Kikko attacks Emi and Jiro steps in the way. Cliffhanger! Then the second episode has a much more fleshed out back and forth between Jiro and Satomi, both verbally and physically, and actually explain the “Other World” concept beyond a few seconds.

*END SPOILERS*

Do I sound too harsh? I admit I am, but with the bare bones of what we were given, this could have been a 10/10, legendary ending. As it was, things had to get compressed to fit such a short amount of time, and the lack of meat to sink our teeth into in this final chapter means that ending is closer to an 8/10. Which leaves me a little disappointed but hey, it was a fantastic series with the potential for a perfect ending but who knows why they cut it short to 11 episodes instead of the more normal 12.

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The epilogue itself was a nice sendoff to all of our favorite characters of the last 24 episodes. And I really liked the way the show ended Jiro’s story. If he lived, that would have been a huge cop-out, but if he died to be the anti-hero the world “needed”, it would have been a little silly given how gray the series was in portraying Jiro, the Bureau and Imperial Ads. Letting him disappear, but also stay a silent protector is a compromise I can accept and respect.

In any case, this is one of the more surprising shows I’ve seen in the few years of anime that I have watched. I remember watching episode 1 with people and spending the whole rest of my day making fun of how nonsensical and ridiculous it was. Fast forward 6 months, and Concrete is in my shortlist for Anime of the Year for both 2015 and 2016.

I’ll be working on the AniTAY Review over the next few weeks (hopefully) and maybe with a special guest. But until then, it’s been a pleasure following this series with the dozens(!) of you who have followed along with me. Hopefully we can spread the word out, but in the meantime, enjoy the final complete timeline, with every single screenshot I could muster!
(Events from Episodes 22-24 are in bold, I never posted their timelines)

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17th Century: Koma heads out to explore Antartica. (Episode 19)

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14th of Shinka Era: Gigantopitecus Gigantus found on an island in the Indian Ocean. (Episode 4)

December, 16 of Shinka Era: Americans capture an immortal superhero (later determined to be Minoru Hatekayama of the Immortal Family) during the War (Episode 9)

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17th of Shinka Era: US Army brings Superhumans to fight the giant beast. (Episode 4)

19th of Shinka Era: An unspecified war ends. (Episode 1)

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August, 20th of Shinka Era: The Doctor finds baby Jiro underneath the smoldering wreckage of the Enola Gay. (Episode 13)

February, 21st of Shinka Era: The future Imperial Ads Guy discusses the bomb with the Doctor. (Episode 21)

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29th of Shinka Era: In Tokyo, the doctor finds Emi and a naked Jiro (without left arms locks!) on a bridge after a beast attack. (Episode 4)

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33rd of Shinka Era (Flashback): Dr. Magotake (Jiro’s Dad) starts rebuilding the Gagon using samples of Jiro’s blood. (Episode 22)

January, 34th of Shinka Era: Hiroyuki, the homeless boy, finds the baby Gagon.(Episode 4) At the same time, Jiro’s first encounter with GigantoGon and is saved by Rainbow Knight. (Episode 5, Episode 8) We see Jiro follow GigantoGon out of the Doctor’s lab (Episode 22).

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March, 38th of Shinka Era: Daitetsu Maki incident, Rainbow Knight’s cover is blown and he dies. (Episode 8) In Flashback, Jiro sees the truth of the kidnapping. (Episode 22)

July, 40th of Shinka Era: Judas and the Diamond Eaters. Earth-chan comes and battles Judas. (Episode 7)

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Januray, 41st of Shinka Era: The Bureau encounters Gross Augen for the first time. Earliest appearance of Jiro with the locks and bandages on so far. (Episode 4)

June 30, 41st of Shinka Era: Mountain Horses claim this is when they received their superhuman status at the Nippon Budokan. (Episode 6)

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July, 41st of Shinka Era: Kikko joins the Bureau, Gross Augen leaves Earth. (Episode 1)

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August, 41st of Shinka Era: Fuuruota joins the Bureau, and stops the bug species. (Episode 2)

August-November, 41st of Shinka Era: Beasts begin attacking and many Superhumans appear to defeat them. (Episode 4).

November, 41st of Shinka Era: Kikko and Jiro meet with Beastly Radio Wave. (Episode 4)

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February, 42nd of Shinka Era: The robot detective and the female robot incident. (Episode 3)

April, 42nd of Shinka Era: Master Ultima returns from Mars. Beastly Radio Wave is exposed, Jiro activates his locks. (Episode 4)

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July, 42nd of Shinka Era: Diving to find the released US Beast. (Episode 5)

June-August (Summer), 42nd of Shinka Era: Earth-chan stops Master Ultima from visiting Japan with his alien beasts. (Episode 7)

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August, 42nd of Shinka Era: MegaGon with the Peace Movement. MegaGon goes wild and is stopped by Jiro. (Episode 5)

September, 42nd of Shinka Era: Explosion at the factory. The Immortal Family first investigated by the Bureau. (Episode 9)

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October, 42nd of Shinka Era: Fuuruota joins the Mountain Horses as help. (Episode 6). At the same time, Emi meets with Ullr; Kikko and Judas battle Earth-chan and their conflicting ideologies. (Episode 7)

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November, 42nd of Shinka Era: Angel Stars have their TV debut. Police and Public Security have endorsed Super Humans, while studying Superhuman Suppression drug, Neynorine. (Episode 6)

December, 42nd of Shinka Era: Kikko meets with the new doctor, Jin Nakayama. (Episode 12)

January, 43rd of Shinka Era: The BL Clan are asked to protect an artifact from The Eye of Lucifer. BL Clan leader revealed to be Daitetsu Maki. (Episode 8)

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March, 43rd of Shinka Era: Master Sergeant Morrell stationed in Vietnam and witnesses the horrors. (Episode 20).

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April, 43rd of Shinka Era: Mr. Jaguar fights the IQ and becomes a time paradox, proving his existence. (Episode 10)

June, 43rd of Shinka Era: Mysterious Knife Claude and the USS Antares. (Episode 11)

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Later June, 43rd of Shinka Era: Chief Akita meets with the former head of the Ministry of Defense to discuss the revised Secret Functional Plan. (Episode 11)

August, 43rd of Shinka Era: Kikko meets with Myserious Knife Claude, reveals her true power and Claude reveals his identity. (Episode 11)

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Later August, 43rd of Shinka Era: Golubaya Laika shot down, Kikko joins Claude and Chief Akita revealed as an alien. (Episode 12)

Later August, 43rd of Shinka Era: The Superhuman Bureau takes the fall for the Claude incidents (Episode 13)

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October, 43rd of Shinka Era: The Student Protests and the Tanker battle in Shinjuku. Jiro and Claude battle. (Episode 13)

Early 44th of Shinka Era: Beast attacks and the craze over Beasts dies down. (Episode 5)

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September, 44th of Shinka Era: Surveillance began on the Immortal Family. Battle between the Immortal Family and the American “Transformer”. Jiro’s not with the Bureau anymore. (Episode 9)

October, 44th of Shinka Era: At the Mountain Horses show, Jiro meets with Furuuota to discuss returning to the Bureau, but Jiro refuses. (Episode 6)

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December, 44th of Shinka Era: Jiro breaks into the under-construction Expo for Rainbow Knight’s helmet. The Fumers join him. Up to this point, Jiro does not have his scarf. (Episode 15)

45th of Shinka Era: Osaka Earth Expo mentioned. (Episode 6)

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April, 46th of Shinka Era: Kikko finds and chases down Scarf Jiro. Scarf Jiro refuses to return to the Bureau. (Episode 1)

October, 46th of Shinka Era: The Galactic Inspector and Detective Raito team up to find the S Planetarian. Raito’s inner conflict about justice. (Episode 14)

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November, 46th of Shinka Era: Superhuman freedoms are taken away. (Episode 13)

November, 46th of Shinka Era: Scarf Jiro saves Haruka Aki from both the Bureau and Imperial Ads. (Episode 15)

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January, 47th of Shinka Era: Incident at the Sapporo Olympics with the Three Birdmen. (Episode 16)

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February, 47th of Shinka Era: Male robot returns to Japan. Robot detective is disillusioned with Japan, fights Scarf Jiro. (Episode 3)

March, 47th of Shinka Era: Scarf Jiro meets with Detective Raito after their clash. They are allies, for the most part. (Episode 14)

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April, 47th of Shinka Era: Scarf Jiro and Judas break into Ikuta Laboratory to find Earth-chan. (Episode 7)

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October, 47th of Shinka Era: Scarf Jiro and Earth Chan encounter Hyouma and Daitetsu Maki. (Episode 8) Also, Human-Man emerges along with the Canada Goldenrods. (Episode 18)

November, 47th of Shinka Era: Devilo and Devila incident with the Public Security Force. (Episode 17)

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Christmas, 47th of Shinka Era: Human-Man protects the Canada Goldenrods from Imperial Ads Inc. Bug Queen emerges from her chrysalis. (Episode 18)

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March, 48th of Shinka Era: Koma is found frozen in Antartica and brought to Japan. (Episode 19)

August, 48th of Shinka Era: The bug queen confronts Fuuruota. Scarf Jiro emerges to calm the bug queen and comforts Fuuruota. (Episode 2)

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September, 48th of Shinka Era: Koma returns to the Tokumatsuzuka Tomb, then confronts the Prime Minister, revealing a scandal. (Episode 19)

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June, 49th of Shinka Era: Unnamed superhuman runs from Imperial Ads. (Episode 21)

July, 49th of Shinka Era: Sergeant Morrell escapes. Jiro, the Bureau and the American Military give chase. Morrell is eliminated. (Episode 20)

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August, 49th of Shinka Era: Jiro and Co. debate their actions and motives moving forward. First fight with NUTS. (Episode 21)

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Continued-August, 49th of Shinka Era: Jiro continues seeing his past through the NUTS helmet. Next day, the NUTS go berserk, leaving the superhumans to stop them. (Episode 22)

September, 49th of Shinka Era: Typhoon. Imperial Ads Head and his assistant, Michiko, dump the NUTS in the river. (Episode 22)

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December, 49th of Shinka Era: The Anti-Superhuman Movie is released to the public. (Episode 22)

July, 50th of Shinka Era: Okinawa Superhuman Expo. Master Ultima captured Beasts, Monsters and Yokai and turned them into biofuel. (Episode 23)

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October, 50th of Shinka Era: Emi confronts Master Ultima and kills him. (Episode 23)

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November, 50th of Shinka Era: Superhuman Violence Control and the Public Security Force merged to arrest all remaining superhumans. Dr Magotake reveals Jiro’s connection to the Bomb to the remaining Bureau members. (Episode 23)

New Years Eve, December, 49th of Shinka Era: Dr Magotake meets with Jiro for the last time. (Episode 23)

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50th of Shinka Era: The beginning of the End. Earth-chan, Detective Raito and the S Planetarian all fall. Emi declares Ultimapolis an independent nation (Episode 23)

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February, 51st of Shinka Era: Battle on Ultimapolis. (Episode 24)

April, 53rd of Shinka Era: Epilogue. Kikko and Fuuruota reminisce. (Episode 24)

25th Century: Jaguar goes back in time to stop the Advocates of Free History. (Episode 10)

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And that about wraps it up! Thanks to all of you who have been following along with me! Let’s hear what you have to think about the show now that it’s all over!