Remember: Big Red-Eye is watching you!
|Long time no see everyone! I’ve just been hanging here on the sidelines for a while now, waiting for Black Rock Shooter to blast its way onto the Winter Anime scene; though right now ‘blast’ probably isn’t the right word for this. Anyway, without further delay, let’s get this ‘colorful’ show on the road~!!|
|At long last we have reached the final series of this season, so should we give into all the BRS hype? I am not sure based of just watching the OVA… I keep my fingers crossed for no recap episodes! Because that would make us all go insane, but for the ones that did not watch that short OVA are in for a treat or maybe you will be confused?? Time for our massive first impressions on BRS! Enjoy.|
|Aaaaaaaa! IT’S HERE! I’m going to be honest here and say that I completely forgot that this was even coming out, but I’m excited again now that it’s here. Will this justify me spending all of my money on BRS themed merchandise? …Hopefully.|
|I was so looking forward to BRS last month, but when I found out it wasn’t airing until later in the season I felt a little let down. That doesn’t matter anymore though because it’s finally here!|
Starting off quite differently from the OVA that released back in 2010, Mato Kuroi, while staring at the scenery on her entrance ceremony day, gets bumped into by someone passing by and falls down. A girl, soon to be known as Yomi Takanashi, helps her up. Her ‘colorful’ appearance instantly attracts Mato’s attention for the rest of the day and she sets out to become friends with her. A remark of a book about a tiny bird that takes the reader to different worlds of color takes us to the other world where Black Rock Shooter resides, being watched by a red eye…
Mato tries her best to become friends with Yomi, but feels that she is being a nuisance. She manages to see her once again while waiting for the crosswalk to go home, but Yomi ends up coming up to her first after spotting her tiny bird phone charm. Yomi shows her the tiny bird wallpaper she drew for her phone and tells her that it’s based off a drawing from the dust cover of an earlier edition of the book. Mato asks to see it, but Yomi is hesitant. Seeing her eager face, she decides to take her to her house.Once there, Yomi strangely shuts the drapes before showing Mato the book. The two have a fun time together, until the doorbell rings. Yomi panics as her mother announces that someone named Kagari is here and brings her into her room. Kagari then suddenly tells Yomi that she brought this on herself…
The three gather into the parlor for tea and macaroons, where Kagari gives Mato all the ‘dirty-colored’ ones. When they go to play dolls afterward, she gives Mato the ugliest doll. Kagari makes it even more clear she doesn’t want her there by having her doll say ‘Go Home’. Mato soon leaves, scared and confused of Kagari and her actions. Later that night, Yomi apologizes to Mato through text, then listens through the paper cup at her dresser as Kagari tells her she belongs only to her…
Meanwhile in the other world, Black Rock Shooter enters an eerie, multicolored area (where a replica of Yomi’s house seems to be floating) and suddenly gets beaten down by a massive machine with six pointed mechanical legs. As it comes around for another round, she steps aside but is swept by the spikes on the wheels, grinded against a wall, then thrown before the machine lands on top of her. Macaroons start falling on her face, dropped by someone looking similar to Kagiri.
Back at school, Mato tries to confront Yomi, but is afraid she hates her. She goes to the counselor counselor tells Mato that her heart may hurt, but there’s someone who’ll bear the pain for her and that the situation will work out. Walking around the school, Mato finds Yomi in the art club and goes up to her casually. She stops her, saying that no matter how she hard she tries to become her friend, she can’t be one for her. Mato still tries to invite her to go to a festival, but Yomi continues to say she can’t, that she’ll end up hurting her. Despite that, Mato sternly says she won’t be. With a smile she tells Yomi they should have fun and see lots of things of many many colors together.
Black Rock Shooter continues her fight in the other world against the six-legged machine, bringing out her own weapon; a canon on her right arm. She jumps over the machine and aims at the Kagiri look-a-like just as she’s wrapped up in a slew of chains and held against a wall. Looking around, she spots Dead Master, the wielder of the chains, the same big red eye watching over her, and a large spike form from the machine before it jabs straight into her abdomen~.
What did I just watch?! Something fantastic that’s what! Right off we jump into some amazing eye candy with the appearance of Black Rock Shooter aka Mato in a short battle scene. And then back to school?! NOOOOOOO! Wait never mind we have to deal with the whole real world school setting…after all if you are familiar with the OVA that happened every time. I have always found the school part to be dull and boring, but I understand why it has to happen…the whole battle of two worlds and character interaction or should I say WTF YURI ALL OVER? I swear winter anime season has been all about the yuri…
Character wise Mato is cute, fun and sort of hyper (Time for some more Hanazawa virus hooray!)What about Mato’s strange encounter with that wheelchair girl? I mean DAMN THAT CRAZY GIRL! Whoa why was she was so mean to Mato? Up next we have Yomi’s character they changed her a bit…and by changed I mean GLASSES-MODE-ACTIVATION. Overall this first episode did a wonderful job setting up the world of BRS using great animation for the real world scenes and some crazy CGI for the other world. I will say I got some major Yumekui Merry vibes from the other “dream-like” worlds, not to mention the eye designs! In Merry I remember the eyes changing when the dream demons took over…
Well, I guess we can add Black Rock Shooter to the list of yuri themed shows this season. Though I guess the OVA and game were pretty yuri-themed as well, so this shouldn’t really come as a surprise. Ahaha I like how it was similar to the OVA with the random flipping between action and slice of life stuff (since it gives incentive for people to actually watch the story rather than just cutting to the end where the action usually is). Plus it seems they upped the action AND the storyline this round. Having to deal with a blonde yandere is much more interesting than just having Yomi disappear for no adequately explored reason. Not that I really care if they explore why the heck BRS exists in the first place here, but my point is that yanderes make things more interesting. It kind of looks like the theme of the action part of the show will be BRS vs. everybody else, so I’m wondering who their human equivalents are and how Kuroi gets on their bad side. …Assuming that the human and the colour worlds are connected.
…So uh, I’m happy that they used the original song and all for the ED, but whatever Append of Miku (…was it Vivid?) they used didn’t sit well with me. I definitely like the original voice/song better. While none of the rest of the music jumped out at me, the actions scenes did. I’m pretty sure they used a shit ton of CG in there (dem coat tails!), but however they did it made it work fabulously. …Though was I the only one who thought that BRS’ head looked too big for her body sometimes? Anyways, that aside, I love the slight changes done to the character designs. Maybe not Dead Master’s random veil (the megane are okay), but BRS’ boots look nice. Though I would like it if BGS would appear as more than an eye. Long story short, I found this WAAAY better than the OVA (and I liked the OVA quite a bit), even if it was just as vague and I’m looking forward to future episodes and characters!
I don’t know how I can be so entertained and yet somewhat disappointed at the same time! It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the original BRS OVA, and ever since the full series was announced I’ve really hoped it would succeed, but there were a few things that kind of annoyed me. One small issue I have with the first episode is the slightly altered character design for Mato. Her alternate-self still looks awesome, but her true-self might have a worse haircut than even Hibiki from Symphogear. The other thing that disappoints me is that the series will only be 8 episodes. A full 11-13 episodes would have been great, but I guess unnecessarily extending it with filler would have been worse if the story only really needs 8. Then there’s just the atmosphere in general, I miss the tension of the OVA between all the characters. We got a little bit of it with the girl in the wheelchair, but otherwise it felt too … cheery? … Maybe my fanboy is showing a bit too much and I’m just b eing overly picky!
Like I said, it was still very entertaining and I look forward to more! I loved the action scenes, and the fight between Mato’s other self and the wheelchair girl’s other self was excellent. The parallels between the alternate world and the real world are the most interesting aspects of the show in my opinion, and that’s all thanks to the characters. The story is still kind of meh, like the OVA’s was, but you can tell that they’re at least putting effort into making it more entertaining. Kana Hanazawa was as wonderful as ever and I felt she did a great job with Mato, especially in the more tense moments. Yomi’s VA too did a nice job. We only got a short glimpse of the other alternate-world characters, the hooded girl and the Gold Saw, so I’m hoping they’ll add even more action into the 23 minutes in the coming weeks because that was one of my favorite parts!
I had originally thought that the anime series would follow after the OVA, but it turns out I was wrong, ha! I’m glad though, especially seeing that they changed it up a little. Not only does it feel faster-paced, but there’s a more interesting, mysterious element to the storyline with Yomi having some sort of unbreakable connection with Kagiri. It won’t be just a nice, easy friendship for Mato and Yomi this time around. I knew they would keep the parallel concept, so when Mato got that emotional beating from Kagiri, BRS took a brutal beating from a Kagiri look-a-like, and continued to fight her after Mato’s strong declaration to keep Yomi as her friend. It seems that this time around Black Rock Shooter bears all this pain that Mato feel emotionally, but for her, it’s all physical.
I’m not sure if it’s the fact I switched to a different media player or what but the scenery for me was BEAUUUTIFUL~. It was so hard for me to cut out screencaps of the other world because I thought it was wonderfully crafted into this dark, yet colorful and eerie world that has this childish feel to it thanks to the smooth look of colored pencil (and the illusion to the tiny bird book). As for the animation, I thought it was decent. They certainly saved some quality for the action scenes, which were pretty intense and brutal (but oh so exciting to see). Overall I was pretty satisfied with this first episode, probably even more so than when I watched the OVA. One thing I’m hoping though is if they’ll actually explain this parallel to the other world, and if it’s something the regular characters will become aware of later on. The OVA seemed to try to, but it still hardly made sense (unless it did and I missed it). With that, I’ll see you all next week with an episode that will hopefully gives us a preview~.