Black Bullet – 10 – METANORN

Black Bullet – 10

Black Bullet 10-13

Sat here for quite some time trying to caption. I got nothing.

   “When we’re doing this, it feels like the fact that the Monolith with be destroyed in three days is a lie”

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Turning and Turning

Black Bullet 10-1

LOLi-Defender Approved. Forget that f&#@ing bear.

Well, thanks Kisara. Turns out that was misdirection. It took two days. Stinking wind, always with the eroding and the unpredictable patterns. You’re like how disease shapes history without actually taking any real part in it.  It felt kinda odd for both Kisara and Ren to go back to the class, but with the explanation that it would take their minds off the impending battle, it fell right into place. As a matter of fact that lulled me into a false sense of security. Surely nothing wrong with handing out a “What are your dreams for the future?” essay assignment. Right? For that matter, why take them to the Flames of Revolution monument? Or even remind them that they will go see the Genan Festival. Since both remind the people of the Tokyo Area that they did in fact win against the Gastrea, at the monumental cost of lives. To establish a sense of permanence with these girls, and to throw us of the path? Yep. But it succeded while I was watching. Death Flags from beginning to end. And I am one peeved skylion.

Black Bullet 10-7

Sorry, nothing clever to say here either

The Ceremony of Innocence

There are a few ways to cut this, the massacre of the Cursed Children class. The obvious way is to chalk it all up to cheap death to serve cheap drama, nothing more. There is some weight to that assumption, as you can probably pick your least favorite scene in that context as reinforcement. The Student Massacre late in Valvrave’s S2 is my choice. If you took the scene out, would it have changed much? I don’t think it would have there. So if we took out this plot point in Black Bullet would it have changed anything?  I very much think so because we have  to see it in the context of the show itself. We already knew that some portions of humanity had gotten just this craven. Since nearly the beginning of the show we have witnessed the police nearly murder another Cursed Child earlier, and then had that followed up with a killing of the anti-Cursed Children faction leader, the escalation is understandable and probably unavoidable. In Valvrave it was shock value, as it was all in full display. In Black Bullet, we get the scene in ellipsis. The massacre matters yes, but what comes after is the story we very much need to follow.

Black Bullet 10-11

Oh, kick some ass girl!

If we look at it thematically, I think it goes down to Enju. Nothing will erase this from her memory. Earlier she had looked forward to sharing her Magical Girl DVD’s with her class.  It’s fitting in how the mahou shoujo looks at the world with plenty of optimism and some sanitized violence, Black Bullet has become the complete opposite of that. At the barest level of storytelling, it’s a story of growing up for one character, and at a larger level, perhaps about society itself. I mentioned this in a previous post. When you save everyone, you don’t really get to pick and choose. That is what justice is. Or it could be everyone on fire at the same time. I think Kisara managed to talk Ren out of a full on Kaji Yuki rage storm in that moment. But will it last long? And how will his sense of justice work when a certain someone makes a return call? For the record I pity anyone that stands in Enju’s way should anything more happen. Or Ren’s for that matter. Who is he supposed to fight for? You fight for you and your’s first and foremost, son.

…while the worst…

Black Bullet 0-5

…any comments on why she burned this?

So we get into some deep background stuff the rest of the show. It can all come down to: Tendo-sama is a bastard jerk of the worst stripe. It’s not too unnatural to assume that the Minister for so many departments could calculate this sort of thing. A faulty monolith at a time when a larger bug comes courting. But other than just general bad guy shenanigans, what is he up to? The show has already given us full display of villain ball carrying bad guys that are jerks for only that reason, can that change here? But then, it looks like he has set Seitenshi to take the blame for everything. Citizens are already blaming her, and that lottery evacuation has already begun. I talked about the meat grinder last episode right? Let’s also take a look at how Ren defended the Blind Curse Child. Look how that turned around. Or since they blame the civil service now and put them on the side of the “monsters” who do you think did the bombing? (for the record, I have heard the LN is much more brutal…but having not read it I cannot say for certain) With this level of unrest, and this level of unthinking rage how are events going to unfold?  Things fall apart 

Black Bullet 10-3

OTP?

Troubles my sight…

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I would be remiss in not mentioning the growing connection between Kisara and Ren. Looks like they have the OTP status as of now; and a growing family to boot. It does make me wonder how both Enju and Tina would take that, but really, could Ren and Kisara love those two less? Could those two love them any less? How strongly will all of them fight for each other? This is an important part as we got Big Bugs impending. Stupid wind. Stupid disease. What did you folks think?

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun

Black Bullet 10-12

About

All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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49 Responses to “Black Bullet – 10”

  1. jimbobi says:

    Talk about paradise found and lost! I started thinking “What…a filler episode?” and went to being pretty touched with the kids essays and hyped at the development between Kisara and Rentaro. I must admit, I never saw the next part coming.

    I agree with Skylion that you can’t sum the massacre of the kids up as ‘for effect’ – it definitely fits in. I guess the fact that I’m a teacher and teach elementary students just about the age of the kids that were killed made this episode especially sentimental.

    For once I wasn’t thinking ‘Aaah more loli jokes’ – with the kids all wanting to marry Rentaro, that’s really how they think and that’s why the slaughter really saddened me.

    The effects of this on all the characters will be traumatic as well as empowering, yet once again it’s just like Rentaro asked, “Who are we fighting for?” The answer to that question I think will determine the direction the main characters head in the future episodes.

    What a tearjerker with a major cliffhanger! This is one show that isn’t growing cold towards the end of its run!

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    How many episodes is this show going for? From the buildup, it looks like it’s going on for another say… 14 episodes… AND it looks like it is going to end up like an RR Martin series.

  3. Wanderer says:

    (for the record, I have heard the LN is much more brutal…but having not read it I cannot say for certain)

    It isn’t translated to that point, but I have been informed secondhand by several sources of what happens to the children in the novels, and yes it is much more brutal, and personal.

    Show ▼

    The author is trying to make there be no question that humans are evil in this setting. Also I believe the author is a sadist who delights in nothing more than making their readers/viewers suffer by killing/torturing innocent people.

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      Are you sure that the author’s name isn’t really Aru Aru Marutino?

    • skylion says:

      It is good challenge to write a good villain. You have to be wary of the Villain ball carry, wary of the Idiot Ball as well. And, in some cases, you have to venture into some awful territory. And yet stay clean yourself.

  4. Irenesharda says:

    “Did you see them
    Going off to fight?
    Children of the barricade
    Who didn’t last the night?
    Did you see them
    Lying where they died?
    Someone used to cradle them
    And kiss them when they cried.
    Did you see them
    Lying side by side?

    Who will wake them?
    No one ever will.
    No one ever told them
    That a summer day can kill.
    They were schoolboys
    Never held a gun
    Fighting for a new world
    That would rise up like the sun
    Where’s that new world
    Now the fighting’s done?

    Nothing changes, nothing ever will
    Every year another brat, another mouth to fill.
    Same old story, what’s the use of tears?
    What’s the use of praying if there’s nobody who hears?
    Turning, turning, turning, turning, turning
    Through the years.

    Turning, turning, turning through the years
    Minutes into hours and the hours into years.
    Nothing changes, nothing ever can
    Round and round the roundabout and back where you began!
    Round and round and back where you began!”

    – “Turning” Les Miserables

    Skylion’s subtitle up there inspired this week’s quote (well, song) and it really does suit this episode. I wasn’t as shocked by the deaths of the girls here, in comparison with the on screen massacre of Valvrave. I could see it a mile away, and they had been building up to something really bad happening to them the entire episode. However, I have say this. The aftermath…that’s what really leaves the impact here, and really gives this scene a whole other level of meaning.

    Rentaro’s connection with his students and the Cursed Children in general was well established. To see him fall apart as he looked at their skeletal remains was heartbreaking. How he was able to identify every one of them, even though all that was left was bone. The look in his eye and the anger in his voice as he once again has to question what it is he is really fighting for here, and the audience has to agree in what does this all mean anyway? Everyone’s looking like scum, and you really just want to tell Kisara to shove it, and that she hasn’t seen what you’ve seen. And with the return of Kagetane next week, it looks like Rentaro will be facing some really hard thoughts and choices. Maybe Kagetane wasn’t that far off?

    However, it wasn’t Rentaro that stole the show, but little Enju once again. Despite having limited screen time, the emotions that this little loli can emote is just amazing. Her adorable admiration of Rentaro and how much she looks up to him. The scene of her trying to get a handle on a tragedy that her young mind is just not yet ready to tackle, and then seeing a sight that she will never ever being able to unsee. It really crushes your heart to hear her cries, to see her dead eyes, and her trying to make sense of the situation.

    As for grandpa Tendo, we all know he is a bastard, and the moment they suggested sabotage, I knew it was him. Yet, the question is why? This is the second time he’s manipulated a situation so that the monolith barrier would fail and the Tokyo area would be destroyed. But why? To what purpose? He says he has a hatred of the Gastrea and the Cursed Children, however, how does that equate to letting the Gastrea destroy the area? And is he responsible for the Anti-Cursed Children’s leader being killed or the civil officers from last episode? Or will that be the work of the returning Kagetane?

    I really hope this show gets a second season. There is just so many questions. Next week the battle begins, and who thinks that perhaps our theories were correct and Kagetane and Kohina will be the last pair on our team? I think Rentaro would be more amicable to working with them after this last episode. The two really aren’t that different really.

    • skylion says:

      All my headers this article come from W.B. Yeats’ poem The Second Coming, which I thought appropriate for the content of the show.

      Kagetane’s ideals are fine, but his methods are little better than the mob. But better the enemy you know. So yes, working with him and Kohina is very much a possibility.

      • Irenesharda says:

        It would be really interesting to go into Kagetane’s history and see really how similar he and Rentaro probably started out. From what we know so far, Kagetane sounds like he was a career military man, which means that he once had a sense of civil duty to his country. He was married with a child on the way when the war struck. Since he was in a secret outfit that eventually mechanized his entire body, he probably was away from his family a lot. The government that he was working for got rid of his whole team and more than likely disavowed him. His wife was attacked and infected by a Gastrea, which led to the birth of a cursed child, Kohina. I’m guessing that the mother either died or couldn’t stand the sight of Kohina and abandoned them. Since Kagetane was away from his family, Kohina probably grew up on her own until she was found by her father. A man who started off with a sense of duty and obviously still feels strongly about protecting those made less fortunate by the Gastrea, who was serving his country while trying to be a family man, at that point in his like Ren and Kagetane were practically equals.

        And then, like what is happening to Ren now, everything toppled down on Kagetane’s life and he lost everything, and on top of that faced the injustice constantly of the people he was serving under and the people he was trying to protect, basically throwing all that back in his face. Probably messing up his daughter’s early life so bad, that that’s why she’s insane now. And with no friend and his wife gone, he just lost it.

        As of right now, Ren has supports that Kagetane didn’t have, in Kisara, Enju, the lady doctor, and others, but with everything happening to him, you wonder will he ever hit the breaking point as well?

        • skylion says:

          Are we sure that Kagetane didn’t have the support we see Ren getting? That’s a pretty good backstory you’ve cooked up, but this sticks out a bit. And as for Ren? Is he really going to accept this support?

          • Irenesharda says:

            It’s possible I guess, but I’m trying to use what little was given to us with context to his situation. From they way they talked about it in episode 2, his military outfit was “gotten rid off” and he wasn’t even supposed to be alive, so I’m guessing all of his teammates and/or military friend are either dead or betrayed him. His wife is either dead or abandoned him and his daughter since she’s nowhere in the picture. We know nothing of any civilian friends he might have had, so there could have been support there, but I’m guessing not enough to stop him from going down the path he’s gone down.

            Also, Kagetane being older and probably having gone through more hatred and betrayal then Ren (I mean, Rentaro still has friends in high places, he still goes to school and live a normal life in his apartment, so he hasn’t hit that bottom yet) probably hit bottom faster and harder.

            For Ren to go through the same things, it would be like him being betrayed by the government and branded an outlaw, he married Kisara but she later dies, either from kidney failure or being killed somehow. Tina is found and killed by the Americans, and Enju is separated from him, and by the time he finds her again, she’s gone insane from all the physical and mental abuse she went through in his absence. And now the two of them are constantly on the run. Now if Ren could survive all that and not go down the darker path, it would be a true testament to his character. I think what would end up happening though, would be that he would eventually be somewhere in between. Not as extreme as Kagetane, but much darker than he is now.

  5. Wanderer says:

    *pokes at Spammy* Oy, do you have some sort of grudge against me?

  6. zztop says:

    Black Bullet’s author has admitted to being a fan of Urobuchi Gen’s works, so I assume this is why he keeps pushing the ‘bad things happen to good people angle’.

    • skylion says:

      Hmm, with all the Urobuchi/Okada despair going around, I wonder who will save us? LOL. I guess the question here is whether Black Bullet’s author is recycling or putting his own stamp on that style of storytelling.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Well, if he’s a beginner in following the Urobutcher’s methods of ripping people’s hearts out and stomping on them, he’s on the right track. What happened to Psycho-Pass’ Kagari is a good example.

      • skylion says:

        Well…read King. Or for that matter read Charles de Lint, who in the contemporary urban fantasy mode was riffing hard on despair and optimism.

  7. zztop says:

    Tina & Enju’s radio show:
    http://forums.animesuki.com/showpost.php?p=5142339&postcount=1242

  8. Irenesharda says:

    I just thought about it, but poor Enju, and I guess Tina now, have to find another school again. This is Enju’s second time in such a short time, and I don’t think another school in the city would take her. Maybe Ren could home school them? Though, I know it would be really hard, with the constant memories of their classmates hanging over them.

    • skylion says:

      I think they are both enrolled in the School of Bug Fighting. Sadly, there will be on onsen field trip.

    • BlackBriar says:

      If the city falls completely, there won’t be a reason for Enju or Tina to attend school anymore since their main interest was and still is socializing with others and making friends. The sickening part was that they had a place where acceptance was finally achieved only to have it taken away from them.

    • thorgriim says:

      Ya.. maybe Enju should be homeschooled at this point.. Bad luck with schools. First a normal school then a cursed Children school, Poor Enju. And for Tina I’d assume that was her very first normal school experience for a short time.

  9. JPNIgor says:

    Well, that hurt… A lot. And those girls, they kinda had personality, even though they were all introduced at once and showcased for two or three episodes. And I didn’t expect it at all, you see, I’m very bad with flags.

    But you surely did think it through. I didn’t associate anything with politics. I didn’t even understand why Kisara threw her investigation report on the fire. But it’s a valid point. I don’t think any normal person would go through all the work of going to the outer districts only to bomb a cursed children’s school. Besides, I really think it would be too heavy of a burden for anyone to carry.

    I just wonder if Enju-chan’s… “bug index(????? I forgot the name) had any negative effect with the shock from the massacre.

    • skylion says:

      Oh, indeed. An unwelcome punch to the guts and the heart. I’m pretty good with flags, but they did kinda sneak around me.

      It’s always about politics.

      I think you’re looking for Corrosion Index. And I think that degrades when they actively use their powers, it’s a risk.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Because they were Cursed Children, they were born with death flags raised. Whether their end would be brought about by human hands or their time limit remaining in human form. Knowing there were wishes for the future being made only made their passing more painful.

      • skylion says:

        But you really really really want to see that flag broken. If only this and another show could combine forces…

        • BlackBriar says:

          And that other show would be?

          • Wanderer says:

            Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara. The protagonist has the ability to see the narrative “flags” in people’s lives (literally sticking out of their heads) and change or break them completely.

            • JPNIgor says:

              Though he has some problems when it comes to death flags…

              The cursed children’s flag would probably be impossible to break, unless his powers would give him means to create some kind of antidote to lower the corrosion index.

      • thorgriim says:

        now that you say it..It is true the cursed children are born with death flags already..I didn’t really think about that, i mean its obvious, just didn’t quite click till now.

        • JPNIgor says:

          It’s just hard to see that flag when you see Rentaro living his every day life with the cursed children as if there was anything going on with them. If it was me, I would remember every single day that Enju-chan has no more than a year or two before she becomes a monster and look at her with a sad face.

  10. BlackBriar says:

    The death of the Cursed Children students was more than a possibility with all the animosity toward their kind. It still doesn’t make it any less gruesome knowing the fact beforehand. Even if it was the aftermath, their bodies covered like that was really saddening and it’s true about being attached to something only makes it far more painful when it’s lost. Most of all, the tragedy made Rentaro’s promise of protection to them go in vain. Like he said, the world is a cesspool. When the chips are down, in the end, which are the real monsters?

    I pity him because he defines himself following ideals and every day the world puts them to the test. “Is what you’re fighting for worth it?” Idealists are very sensitive. If not for that, a sure bet would’ve been that he would leave everyone to their fate.

    Rentaro’s pain of loss is deep to a degree but Enju’s is an abyss because she’s one of them so the impact is a lot harder as shown by that soulless look in her eyes. I haven’t seen the poor girl like that since the flashback of when she and Rentaro first met. I can only imagine how Tina is faring.

    The monolith’s acceleration in breaking down is easy to believe. A strong wind can grind almost anything and the wind’s been blowing the dust from the corrosion. And it would be leaving cracks for air to circulate on the inside, loosening the structure. So the monolith had exposure from the inside-out. If there’s a cause and effect angle to this, I’d say all these dealings with the Gastrea is the reaction to the actions of mankind, in many forms.

    • skylion says:

      It’s an odd thing. We equate shock with the brutality. I mentioned the Valvrave scene. That was pure shock value. But dead children, not seen by us, beneath a cloth is far more shocking. It exist in our imaginations, and that always imagines the worse on a primal level.

      Oh, don’t you think Kagetane had that same feel that Ren has?

      • BlackBriar says:

        Yeah, Kagetane most likely had the same feelings. It could be why he told Rentaro he didn’t know why but he took a liking to him and asked to join forces.

        I guess depending on how it’s done, seeing aftermaths of a tragedy can work as well as someone being killed in front of you. You mentioned the killing of the students in Valvrave as shock value. How, then, would you rate everything that transpired on Attack on Titan?

        • skylion says:

          …it was built entirely on shock value. No where to go but up! Or down, depending on the writing…

  11. thorgriim says:

    Like skylion put it, It puts their minds at ease before the upcoming battle. So it was like that for me at the start, with my mindset on “Oh we are back to the school thing are we?” So going into this episode I dismissed any surprised or even deaths.

    SO when the bomb bit happened it totally surprised me and caught me off guard, maybe that’s how the episode was suppose to come off like. It indeed sadden me, but for some reason wasn’t too much of an impact on me, kinda like “oh my really? wow…”

    Like Irenesharda says (which I enjoy reading your post btw hehe) Little Enju stole the show, Her running into that room, and hearing her cry, Ugh such a tug at the heartstrings I tell ya. This scene alone had more impact on me then the death of classmates. And Yes It really crushed my heart to see the state Enju, those soulless eyes when Ren shows up, poor Enju, School just bring bad times for the little loli. But to see her bounce back made me smile, I feel bad for the bugs now, or rather Enju next target! RAWRS LOLI SMASH!

    and that last Screen grab, Me and fosh both cheered and said something like “wooot about time Kagetane, We knew he would be back!”

    And the last bit.. Valvrave, Attack on Titan, Gai Rei Zero, Madoka Magica, have some of the memorial shock factors for me, However I like the Valvrave comparison Skylion, Nice pick. Now I’m thinking of that scene with Euphemia from Code Geass..suddenly..

    • skylion says:

      I’ve been, rather miraculously, void in the Code:Geass department.

      Yes, we really hella need some LOLi Smash next episode!

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