Black Rock Shooter (TV) Review

Hello there. This is review number seventeen. I am going to review an anime I have been dying to see. It’s Black Rock Shooter the series. I hated the OVA so I am hoping the anime can be a much better viewing experience. I’ll also get to see that girl in the black bikini bra and the short shorts fly around and fight people. It’s going to be awesome.

Huh? Only eight episodes? That’s weird. That’s the shortest I’ve seen on an anime series excluding OVAs. I recently saw Moshidora that butchered the plot with ten episodes. Can eight really be enough to give the series justice? Let’s read on.

Story

I realized when I first saw you. Your eyes are really beautiful. They’re the eyes of a girl who’s never been hated or hated anyone else. It’s not good to have enemies. But sometimes, you just end up with them. It happens. It happens to everyone so you should just accept it.

Your heart hurt, doesn’t it? But even if you feel like your heart was stabbed. It won’t start bleeding, freezing or oozing. Someone else…endures that pain for you. So it’s alright. Even if you get hurt or in pain, the one who is really hurt isn’t you.

Someone… takes the pain away from me. Who could that be?

The anime revolves around Mato Kuroi who befriends a girl named Yomi Takanashi. The anime focuses on their struggles as friends and the hurdles they overcome. Opposite that is Black Rock Shooter who fights with other super powered being in a world different from reality. It’s a world where its inhabitants carry the burdens and pain of the people from the real world.

Taking the Pants Off

The journey of Black Rock Shooter is truly legendary. It started with an art work that inspired a music video that was sang by a vocaloid that soon turned into an anime. A humble little seed grew into a very graceful tree. I know the back story of BRS and I originally adored its humble origins. When I first heard that it’ll have an OVA I was really excited. I watched the OVA and there was BRS in all her sexy goodness. The OVA lacked a crucial element though. It’s missing a good freaking story. I don’t care about the two girls who are fighting in real life and then their counterparts are mindlessly killing each other. I truly called the OVA an over rated piece of something.

I mean, Imagine you came to a room. It’s a dark room. You don’t know who owns the room or what is being stored there. You see two dogs fighting in this room. They bite, scratch and try to mutilate each other. You don’t know why exactly but the fight is too good that it doesn’t matter if the room is storing dead bodies or if the dogs are just plain rabid. That’s the feel of the OVA. It was over hyped that your expectations wasn’t met. Yeah, the fight between BRS and the other chick is awesome but crucial details aren’t mentioned. The story is built on sand that one passing wave could destroy it. I didn’t like the OVA and I value plot over anything else so don’t serve me spit and call it frosting.

When I heard that BRS will have an actual series, I wasn’t ecstatic. Firstly, its only eight episodes and I wonder if they can really accomplish something in that short of time. Well I gave the anime a chance and I was hoping for the worst. Seriously, I was ready to write this review and tell you just how horrible the anime is plot wise.

Yeah. I can’t really do that. The series was greatly improved from the OVA. The most important thing the series did that the OVA never even mentioned was the purpose of the other world. Remember? BRS was fighting with a girl in this dark post apocalyptic world and in their counterparts are having a disagreement real life. The series explained why they are fighting in a very detailed narrative. It took the entire eight episodes to explain it though but that aspect was so important that it’s enough to watch the series.

The fights scenes are still present here and they are as mindf*ck as ever. It’s really hard to hate two chicks fighting despite the reason being unknown. BRS alone is enough to keep watching the fights. Such a sexy fighter, I believe world peace can be achieved if all hot chicks like her fight in gravity defying matches.

The anime seriously expanded the story. It still borrows the characters from the OVA but they are given more focus and chances to develop. Mato, BRS’s counterpart, is the perfect lead. She is tough, determined and caring. She values her friendship and wishes for everybody to be happy. Her look is a toned down version of BRS so I really love putting the two faces side by side. BRS is bad ass. She is ruthless, strong and agile. Mato is different. She is caring and has a nicer look on her.

The other characters are greatly improved too. There are new characters here which mean there are also new characters BRS tries to beat up. Everyone in the OVA was carried over and given more purpose. Yuu, who was a minor character in the OVA, is now an important part of the story and her role is much bigger. The new characters introduced are also very nicely developed. There is the bitchy Kagari and the shady guidance counselor. These characters develop and becomes more rounded which is something I honestly think the anime couldn’t do. I mean, it’s only eight episodes. I’ve seen longer anime botch the character development so hugely that it brought the anime down. This anime doesn’t do that. It shines with its nicely thought out plot and its memorable characters.

I can imagine some people would just like mindless action with no plot. They are satisfied with the dogs fighting in the dark room. The action in the series was minimum but its sequences are still awesome nonetheless. Some people would prefer an anime that only focuses on BRS. That’s understandable but I believe the anime will be hollow. Not much plot can be achieved. The explanation behind the very existence of the other world will bring the enjoyment down though. Some people would find a hard time putting the pieces together in regards to the other world. There is no direct explanation to it. There was no genius who explains it all in detail. The viewers are tasked to figure it out by themselves. If you cannot grasp that little nuisance then the enjoyment factor will be greatly affected. Give it a hard thought, not all anime hands the details and spoon feed it.

I suppose I can tell you the details surrounding the other world but I don’t like talking about spoilers. Not with an anime as great as BRS. I urge you to pick it up because this anime is really well done and a great homage to that art work that inspired a music video that inspired an anime.

Sight and Sound

The action sequences is mind numbing. It’s all done in CG. The environment, the characters and everything else was nicely generated. I’m not a fan of CG but you can’t deny how awesome CG looks when it is utilized to its fullest. The fight scenes in the anime are so detailed and the characters move so freely. They move so freely that it looks like the fight scenes are very real.

The camera shot is also free flowing. It’s so crazy. The anime spins around, it zooms, it pans out and it uses different points of view. It really heightens the action sequence making them more impressive and more memorable.

The opening song was done by supercell and sang by Miku Hatsune. Black Rock Shooter that was included in the album of supercell. It feels funny but no other artists deserves to sing it. I mean Miku is BRS and supercell created BRS. It’s a great way of showing appreciation to them and also feels great for the fans hearing BRS sang in BRS.

The ending song was sung by supercell. It’s “Bokura no Ashiato”. It’s also a nice piece and fits the anime quite well with its acoustic touch. It completes the anime and enhances the experience.

Overall Score

6/10 “ I reviewed the anime. Not the OVA, the music video or even the game adaptation. That being said, the anime is great.”

The anime does a good job of presenting the plot and balancing it with its action sequence. It is a great anime with a deep idea of reality. Its symbolisms and philosophical aspects is a nice touch if you can scratch beneath the surface. It’s an amazing anime worthy of praise. I recommend it.

Thoughts~

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