First Impression – Black★Rock Shooter

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~.

End Thoughts~

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~.


We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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58 Responses to “First Impression – Black★Rock Shooter”

  1. Overcooled says:

    Pretty much all of you agree that the other world is really nice to look at. So…do you guys also agree (or disagree) that the real world animation is kind of terrible? It’s not just because the characters were slightly tweaked to be uglier either…the animation genuinely looked low budget to me. D:

    Ah well…it was…alright…I guess. I love the parallel world idea connecting everything, but the real world plot is kind of…garbage. I’ll try episode two and see how it goes. Instant 10/10 if Mato stops being a useless women and punches the wheelchair chick in the face.

    Hoshi, wasn’t the BRS OVA your first post here at Metanorn or something like that? ISN’T THIS NOSTALGIC?

    • Hoshi says:

      ~I wouldn’t say it’s terrible, but the animation for the real world was definitely odd.

      Yeah it’s just a typical ‘Let’s be friends!’ school girl story right now. I’m hoping they actually make it more intresting. Honestly, when Kagiri was talking about giving Mato all the dirty macaroons, I instantly went, “OH HELL NO BITCH. I WOULD NOT LET THAT SLIDE.”


    • Karakuri says:

      Hmm, I think the real world stuff looks nice. I like the stylistic stuff of the other world better, but I wouldn’t say the real life world looks terrible.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Real world side is not to bad to look at, but IT IS SO BORING…I don’t really care about the real school issues for the girls! I just want freaking BRS WORLD <3

      YEP Real world "drama" is kind of fail and really forced, and all the yuri so far? Sheesh...Yomi and Mato get a room and get it over with xD Wheelchair girl is damn creepy.

      hohohoh Hoshi taking a time machine? Woooooooo!

      • BlackBriar says:

        The real world isn’t bad to look at but if it’s always in a school life/slice of life setting, it will get boring quickly. Hopefully not. I hope they put in a lot more screen time for BRS in the Other World in her fight against Chariot (Kagari’s alter-ego).

        Whoa, nice. Girls love on the first episode. We’ve been on a strong yuri streak this season. If Mato and Yomi get a room together, they should include Kagari. Who knows where that will lead to? Ooh, my mind’s really in the gutter sometimes.

        • Foshizzel says:

          I am all for Yomi X Mato but I would leave Kagari alone…she is all kinds of creeeeppppyyyyyy

          • Toori-chan says:

            I vote for Yomi X Mato. Kagari is such a creepy bitch. Yomi should just sack her already.

            • BlackBriar says:

              I’d ship Mato and Yomi together at any given time. I think the feeling of sacking Kagari will be mutual for anyone who gets within 10 feet of her.

            • amado says:

              forget about the real world for now and focus on the girls in the other world.

              BRSXBGS must happen! its obvious that they have UST.

        • skylion says:

          Welcome to Gutter’s Lounge, would you care for a draft beer or one of our fine wine selections?

          • BlackBriar says:

            LOL. Nice one, Skylion. Gutter’s Lounge, huh? Sounds like a popular place. It must be packed.

    • Toori-chan says:

      I heard from NHK World that Sanzigen is using CG to do all the animation and characters. Lookie here.

  2. Samantha Zan says:

    Wow, Black Rock Shooter. At first I was sort of skeptical about the idea, since I didn’t enjoy the OVA that much. As I thought the story didn’t really click with me, and the whole world of BRS there I didn’t understand quite why it was there.

    BUUUUUTTTTT this first episode has a better story and setting to go with it. I really liked the idea of how the BRS world is like a world that takes all the pain of our emotions that someone would take in real life, like Mato’s encounter with Kagiri. I thought that was done really nicely. Not to mention Kagiri is freaky as hell! 0-0. Thought I think her relationship with Yomi is really interesting though XP.

    I think this anime is going in the right direction, with everything going on, I really enjoyed it to the fullest X3. The only thing I think I like a tiny bit better in the OVA, was just the animation, since for me it kind of took a while for me to get used to Mato’s animation, since she looked more nuetralish in the original OVA.

    Oh and the opening too! I think it sound’s a bit weird, though I guess that’s just the Miku append >.>. I just listened to the original BRS song so much,so it’s just kind of unsettling for me to listen to, but I’ll guess I’ll get used to it eventually.

    • Hoshi says:

      ~It’s confusing for me too, hahaha. I do hope they actually explain it in this anime series. It would make it just so much better.

      I didn’t really notice the animation to everyone started pointing it out |’D It looks pretty decent to me, just those character designs kind of throw me off. I’ve actually never listened to the original BRS song, so I can’t comment on it…

    • Foshizzel says:

      Real world < BRS world That ED must have been so easy...copy paste "remix" a little and boom! You are good to go for BRS ending <3

      • Toori-chan says:

        True. They should spend some extra effort on the Real World as well.

        I’d rather say a little voice tuning on the original song and comes our ending theme.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    First things first. I was excited when I heard Black Rock Shooter was getting a series because I saw the OVA back in 2010. What bugged me was that it’s only 8 episodes long. It’s nostalgic hearing Kana Hanazawa play Mato again.

    After seeing the first episode, I admit I have mixed feelings about it. It went nicely, BRS’ world looks awesome but I’m concerned about the animation and the character design because it’s not the same as the OVA. Even more noticeable by the fact Yomi Takanashi has glasses and Dead Master has glasses and a veil on her head.

    BRS is pure awesomeness in Other World. Gotta love it when she makes her cannon come out of thin air. That was a brutal fight she got into. Being strapped against a wall and attacked by a mechanical drill leg is not a good situation. Not much time has passed and she’s already facing Kagari’s alter-ego, Chariot.

    Mato and Yomi meeting for the first time and it already looks somewhat romantic. Mato is pleasantly self-conscious, insecure and awkward which makes for a good laugh.

    Kagari is such a bitchy brat just because she’s a wheelchair bound girl is obsessed with keeping Yomi to herself, refusing to allow her to make other friends and showing hostility to anyone who might take Yomi away from her.

    • Hoshi says:

      ~I thought it would have at least 12, but for some reason, they’re only giving us 8…

      The character designs really threw me off (especially their hair for some reason), but I personally like some of the changes. Yomi with glasses is cute! The fight, while so horribly brutal for BRS, was totally awesome to watch. The Other world is definitely bad-ass right off the bat.

      I’m actually already shipping Mato and Yomi together. They are too cute together lol~

      • BlackBriar says:

        Having only 8 episodes feels like a big rip off for such a big hype. I hope there’ll be a lot of plot development to make up for the small number of episodes.

        Accepting Dead Master’s new look is gonna take some time to adapt. That fight’s gonna be great if it’s already so brutal. Seeing the screenshot at the beginning of the post, BRS has a lot of hardcore and hot looking enemies on the way. To be honest, I rather see more of the Other World than seeing the episode jump back and forth everytime. That can make it hard to understand.

        I have a feeling a lot of people will be considering shipping Mato and Yomi together. Like you said they’re too cute together.

        • Toori-chan says:

          8 episode would at least guarantee use no fillers but I hope that they won’t rush the story.

          Dead Master’s new look is so not appealing. I’m fine with the megane but what’s with the veil?

          • BlackBriar says:

            No fillers in any anime would be the ultimate relief. I agree with you on not rushing the story. That’d be such a waste.

            I guess Dead Master’s new look is some kind of test the animators are trying out. It’s not working out pretty well.

    • Foshizzel says:

      FK YA! BRS WORLD! And yessss summoning that gun in mid air was totally bad ass <3 <3 I want to see a longer fight thou...we were robbed of something amazing, but first episode I wasn't expecting to have my mind blown. girl has some real issues! But obviously she has control over Yomi, hopefully we learn what that really is xD

      Mato and Yomi = GET A ROOM ALREADY.

      • BlackBriar says:

        I wonder if she’ll also bring out her long sword as well. I hope BRS’s fight against Chariot will be worth the wait because it was getting good until it got caught in a cliffhanger. Sometimes the first episode would be good but the rest of it would suck. Remember Maji Koi Shinasai’s first episode?

        I’m sure there’s more to Kagari than what they’re showing. Even better, she’s voiced by Eri Kitamura. So right now, on the surface, I guess she’s just jealous of Mato and angry that she’s not wheelchair bound like her.

        LOL. Yeah, Mato and Yomi = GET A ROOM, LOVEBIRDS.

        • Toori-chan says:

          I really hope the Black Sword will be used in the during the fights. Switching from Rock Cannon and Black Sword would be really cool!!!

  4. anaaga says:

    Well, it seems that they’ll be getting a better plot than the OVA.

    The other world is definitely nicer than the one in the OVA, and the fighting scenes were fabulous. What I don’t like is the real world. The animation for the real world threw me off. I laughed so hard when the background characters were running on the hall. They didn’t look like as if they’re running, they look like as if they’re bouncing up and down very awkwardly. Their “running” was not smooth at all. Bad animation.
    Makoto’s character design is just bleh (I do like Yomi’s character design though). The background characters have messy faces (especially the shape). The characters’ foreheads look like a hill with a pine tree (the nose) next to it when they’re shown sideways. It’s just…ugh.

    It’s obvious that the budget went to the other world of this series. It is understandable since it needs more attention, but don’t ditch the real world like that. At least make it decent

    • Toori-chan says:

      Sanzigen are giving a lot of effort on the other world because majority wanna watch Rock fight than watch Mato’s school life. But I agree with you that it is unfair for the real world.

      Sanzigen are using CG to do almost every bits of the animation and they are trying their best to keep up with real life drawings without simply using auto CG.

      • anaaga says:

        LOLOL seriously why are they even doing that? Stick to auto CG if the real life drawing will just make the characters ugly pls

  5. Reaper says:

    The Other World looks way better than the real world in the show, though I guess there has to be a contrast between the two, of normal and…creepy awesomeness? Defs looking out for this one, since Kagiri wasn’t in the OVA, though she reminds me of a schizophrenic Taiga who hasn’t gotten any bento lately…
    Also with the other Black Rock Shooter characters, can’t wait to see them!

    • Toori-chan says:

      I can’t wait to see Black Gold Chainsaw in action instead of just the eye (creepy). There’s too big of a contrast between the animation works between the two worlds. Sanzigen needs to pay more effort to it.

  6. amado says:

    meh the yuri here went to that a bit too fast for it to be romantic. like forced. in terms of that part, I prefer the OVA including how the art/animation was. though the parts when it was in that other world was quite amazing and cool to watch.

    too bad that I dont really think BRSXBGS has a chance to happen at this rater… please pull that off!

    • Toori-chan says:

      Though BRSXBGS is really tempting but I wanna see how BRSXSTR goes around first (if possible).

  7. SPIRAL says:

    The new BRS is basically a re-telling of the OVA with a few new twists and lesser/worse artwork. Music quality wasn’t impressive but the only thing I liked was that we’ll get to see all the Deaths come together to fight BRS, which is a good thing.

    Other than that, I wouldn’t ever bother to watch this series. The Other World is the only thing keeping me in this show.

    • Toori-chan says:

      Though it’s pretty similar to the OVA but the story will be different so I won’t say it’s a re-telling. As for the artwork, you can’t help it since Sanzigen wanna do the arts using pure manual CG.

  8. Bob from Accounting says:

    Am I the only one who found the addition of Kagari irritating? It’s like they wanted someone overtly antagonistic in the series so they could recast Yomi as a poor little damsel-in-distress rather than the unwitting antagonist.

  9. tatsuya says:

    Black★Rock Shooter RULEZZ

  10. The_Magus_Killer says:

    Can someone tell me the plot of BRS? I don’t really understand why their alter ego are fighting in the other world if some of the real world characters get along.

    • Bob from Accounting says:

      Don’t hold your breath. The stuff you’re seeing in the Other World may not be happening at the same time as the stuff in the normal one. It’s still unclear what the hell is actually going on.

    • Toori-chan says:

      The story plot will be different from the OVA and the game so we have to watch it till we get it (somehow).

  11. Toori-chan says:

    IT IS FINALLY HERE!!! After weeks of grinding ANN for news since Winter Anime started, it is finally HERE!!! I was quite disappointed on Sanzigen for using CG for the animations but they seem to be dropping auto and doing everything manually get better quality *salute*.

    The story plot for the series have been altered compared to the OVA and new characters (or rather those who have less screen time in the OVA) are added as well. Looking at the cast list on ANN, there probably won’t be any conversation between the characters in the Other world.

    Almost every character had their changes than in the OVA. Some good some bad. Despite all the bad quality characters, the action scenes are definitely uppped quite a bit due to the max involvement of CG. (The summon of rock cannon was awesome!!!) I really enjoyed the battle except for the part where Chariot pierced Rock and blue-black blood gushes out. BGS seem to be staying out of the spotlight except the eye this episode around but hope some of her action would come soon. STR probably gonna pop out late as mato is ALREADY friends with Yu.

    Let’s just agree with each other that Kagari is a total BITCH. Here “Go Home” seriously annoys me when Chariot continuously repeats it. Can you just shut up bitch! You and your hospitality seriously spoils my day! I’m amazed that someone could make such a character. (Huke you are awesome)

    I really like how they ended the episode. Not the blood gushing part. Ugghh… The entrance of Dead Master and Black Gold Saw’s stare and the… Never mind… The point is that the ending is a good entrance for the rest of the series.

    The ending theme was really unexpected. Was that Miku Append? I’m so used to the original song that I can’t get used to this new one.

    • Toori-chan says:

      Great… Another super long comment… Well I can’t help it, I didn’t even know that I wrote this much. XD

    • Jrow says:

      I think the ED theme is going to be the OP, but you saying Miku Append does confirm my original thought that the song used here wasn’t the same as the original song. The original song’s ok, I just think the voice is a little too high-pitchy for my tastes; so I guess count me as one of the few that prefers the TV theme.

  12. skylion says:

    Karagi= Eri Kitamura= feed me all the dirty macaroons you got girl.

    • skylion says:

      In one week she goes from Cute (Miu in Papakiki) to Creepy (this girl) to Cursed with a Bee (Karen in Nisemono). They should make more Kodomo no Jikan…I miss her Rin.

  13. Moni Chan says:

    I’m gonna love this anime I know it.

    I wanna try Macaroons they look like colorful hamburgers… now i’m hungry -___-

  14. lvlln says:

    I recall everyone, including myself, being confused by this show being in the Noitamina slot, but this first episode showed me one angle where it makes sense: it’s a showcase of a very advanced usage of 3DCG in anime. It’s a spectacle, a tech demo that can appeal to anyone who likes special effects. The action really was spectacular, a step above the OVA.

    And the school story actually has some flavor to it, thanks to that disabled girl. OK, everything still feels forced, but definitely leagues above the OVA. And having the 7 more episodes to play with, the show has a real chance to have some fun with these conflicts.

    Ever since announcement, I was ready to pan this show completely, but the 1st episode has caught my attention.

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