A long tale of friendship filled with moe and action moments galore~
For many months, I have been pretty interested to figure out what exactly Black Rock Shooter was to be, an anime, or just an OVA. After many delays, the 50 minute long OVA of Black Rock Shooter had finally premiered! I’m still extremely confused on whether this will turn into an actual anime or not. I’ve already been intrigued by the many amazing fan arts done of this interesting character and her enemies, and the gorgeous, 100 dollar figurines that have been released for the series. An anime would surely answer a lot of questions the OVA raised, but at the same time, this does feel like it should be a one time thing. Anyways, just the whole theme, switching to-and-fro from the real world to the ‘otherworld’, and the gorgeous animation of this OVA really got me hooked, and left this impression on me that I rarely get from anime these days.
Black Rock Shooter was originally a song by Supercell, and featured the illustrations of one of their members, named Huke. Interestingly, Nagaru Tanigawa, the author of the Haruhi Suzumiya light novels, co-worked with Yutaka Yamamoto(supervisor of the project) as scriptwriters. A pilot edition came out before this official OVA around September of last year, and finally, the OVA has come out after being postponed for it to be expanded and improved.
Our 50 minute experience into two different worlds begins with an entrance into a dark place of mysterious rubble surrounded by water. We are suddenly engaged into a battle scene between Black Rock Shooter, and an unknown foe wielding a large sword.
We are cut off from the battle and whisked into the real world; Japan, at the house of new middle-school student, Kuroi Mato.
She is a cute, quirky girl, nervous as she enters her first day of middle school. We follow her on her amusing journey to her school, and her encounter with another girl coming out of her car by the entrance to the school.
She quickly finds the girl interesting and works up the nerve to talk to her. The girl is named Yomi Takanashi, a really quiet, mature girl who warms up to Mato’s quirky-ness. The two end up becoming good friends, embarking into so many moe middle-school moments.
But in between these moe school moments, we end up being transported to this ‘Otherworld’; a dark, melancholic place filled with rubble, and other strange objects and places. It is here where Black Rock Shooter is walking, traveling to a palace where her enemy lies.
We repeatedly keep swinging going back and forth, from the real world to this otherworld where a battle between Black Rock Shooter, and her green-eyed opponent, Dead Master, engages.
I really love the idea of switching worlds, no matter how annoying and nail-biting it might get; it’s a really interesting way to get you seriously hooked onto how these people and these two places are related. In the real world, we see the growth of a sweet friendship through many clichéd school moments. In the ‘otherworld’, we see the fierce and mysterious battle of two people; why are they battling, and how is this going to end?
I’m also really loving the animation for the battle scenes as well<3. It’s really smooth, and realistically swift with great action moments. And it’s not so fast to where you can’t even see who’s fighting who. Very excellent battling scenes indeed<3
However, there seems to be a little bump in Mato’s and Yomi’s friendship when their second year comes around, and they’ve been put into different classes. Quickly, I felt that bittersweet feeling that comes with one of these plot twists…this is why I don’t like watching anime with school drama, waaahhh. =A=;
To make things even worse, Mato starts to spend more time with a girl from her class, named Yuu, who is also the Basketball Club’s manager (in which Mato is in). Quickly, you can tell Yomi doesn’t really like the situation much. She slowly starts to fade away from Mato…
But the battle rages on in the Otherworld while a silent chaos is happening in the real world.
I’d also like to say that the weapons they use are extremely kick-ass too, as you go throughout these battle scenes. My favorite has to be Dead Master’s; that scythe and those demonic skull heads are something *A* Of course, Black Rock Shooter has got a pretty kick-ass transforming sword herself.
Back to the real world, the two girl’s friendship has deteriorated, and Yomi hasn’t answered emails from Mato, or come to school the next day.
But Mato suddenly gets an email from her mother, and she rushes home to two detectives who tell her Yomi hasn’t came home from school since yesterday.
No word of Yomi or what has happened to her appears, and Mato feels extremely guilty and worrisome. Suddenly she receives an email from Yomi, but nothing is written…and Mato takes off. She rushes towards their special meeting place, and finds the beloved keychain that Mato had given her at that same place. Cradling the precious trinket, it suddenly starts to glow…
We are quickly whisked back to the battle scene, where Black Rock Shooter has been chained.
Of course, our ruthless, non-talkative heroine frees herself, and does a dramatic walk to her ruthless opponent. Dead Master ends up stumbling over a cliff, but is saved by a bittersweet hug from Black Rock Shooter.
Dead Master is stunned, and starts aggressively trying to pull away from her, and when she is finally free, she falls off the cliff, turning into a pile of screaming ashes…
But who has taken her place in BRS’s embrace? The missing Yomi, now free of a raging villain who had taken her hostage.
Meanwhile, dear Mato has been whisked away as well to a blue, starry place where Black Rock Shooter appears in front of her, telling her, does she really want Yomi back? Mato gives a passionate confession; she doesn’t want her back, she wants to be and laugh with her again.
“Who are you?” Mato asks. And they merge, together as the Black Rock Shooter.
After the credits, and the pretty rockin’ ending song, the OVA ends with Yomi and Mato and Yuu together again, walking home from school. But it looks like Yuu isn’t too happy now…
~End thoughts: Overall, I think Black Rock Shooter was a very bittersweet story, especially with the ending. It went really slow, I mean, most of it was shots of their friendship building, but I was hooked from the start because of the gorgeous character designs and the pretty kick-ass battle scenes between Black Rock Shooter and Dead Master. Why those two were in it, and why they resembled the main characters so much really intrigued me, and that’s why I kept watching.
I also think it was a pretty unique twist to a sort of cliche school story. It’s almost as if Black Rock Shooter and Dead Master represent the inner demons of these girls and their battling between the transitions of the real world was the physical battle underneath the emotional one they had in the real world…at least, that’s my theory ^^;
The animation was wonderful, and as I mentioned earlier, the battle animation was pretty amazing as well. I couldn’t wait for the next battle clip x’D The music was also very lovely, and had great transitions; slow, mellow music for the school moments, and some good ol’ head-banging rock music for those tense battle moments.
Would I recommend this? Of course, but to people who are patient, and like a good mystery and thought process 😉 There wasn’t too much action, but like I said before, that isn’t what hooks you.
It was a long ride, but Black Rock Shooter was worth the long screencaping x’D Check out Black Rock Shooter and be intrigued~.
Now, I was asked to give a little paragraph about myself here, and well, hello! My name is Hoshi, and I’m one of the new writers here on Metanorn ^^; Other than this BRS review, I’ll also be doing Kuroshitsuji II, which is one of my most favorite series ever, and manga updates since I am a huge manga fanatic. Let’s see…I am a crazy fangirl at times, especially with Kuroshitsuji so you’ll probably be seeing that soon x’D I almost always prefer the manga over the anime, just because the manga doesn’t have those cheesy extra episodes, which I really despise at times *A* I’m a bit new to anime blogging so I hope I please you viewers out there. Thank you for reading, and hope we can get along! ^^