Black Rock Shooter – 01 Review

Turn that smile upside down, give me some angry eyes and add an exclamation mark on the end and you have my reaction!

Black Rock Shooter – 01 Review

I haven’t watched the OVA for this series because I only found out about it on February 3rd, turns out you don’t need the OVA though and apparently you need to be a genius to understand what is going on once you get past the crappy character interaction and unnatural personalities of each, not to mention the bitch (literally) in the wheel char, you know the one: Kagari.

Episode summary:

The episode starts out with a nice cinematic intro of Black Rock Shooter (who is Kuroi’s fantasy world persona) in some fantasy world jumping all over the place and citing some poem which turns out to be from a picture book that is apparently one of the starting points for Takanashi and Kuroi’s friendship, along with that red wristband. Back to the point, after the intro we see the principle welcoming the first years to the school, Kuroi steps outside and is bulldozed over by some students running past. Takanashi helps her up and Kuroi spots her red wristband, she comments on how lovely it looks and is amazed that Takanashi made it herself. After school Kuroi meets up with some chick who I don’t know the name of because she isn’t even introduced (after some research it turns out that it’s Yu Koutari).

They chat and Yu comments on Kuroi’s apparent obsession in becoming friends with Takanashi, she mocks her but also supports her urge to become friends with Takanashi. We then cut to Takanashi’s home as she walks into her room and picks up those cup and string things you use to talk to someone else. Aside from the fact that the string isn’t tense (and it, therefore, won’t work) she manages to talk to some creepy girl who we later find out is her best friend: Kagari Izuriha. Kagari tells Takanashi that she “really can’t [become friends]” with Kuroi.

The scene abruptly ends and we move to Kuroi in her room reading this picture book: The small multicoloured bird. Her brother comes in and tells her to get into the bath and we move into a scene with Black Rock Shooter wandering through the unknown fantasy realm. Another abrupt end to the scene and we move to Kuroi at school talking to Takanashi about her name and what club she is going to join, Takanashi makes up an excuse to avoid Kuroi, as per Kagari’s demands, and goes to the toilet. Kuroi then walks with Yu in the hallway discussing God knows what and they pass the Morning Glow Consultation Office, as Kuroi reads the name aloud Saya (who we don’t learn the name of until later on in the episode, which is STUPID) pops up out of nowhere and offers the girls a coffee. They go in and Yu tells Kuroi that this is the counselling office. They drink and enjoy the coffee and then we abruptly cut to the basketball club.

At the basketball clubs gym we see Kohata (whom we also don’t learn the name of for ages) demanding the girls sprint as fast as they can in the gym and then around the school, they run off and we cut to the art room with Takanashi sitting there looking rather dull. She looks outside and spots Kuroi running around the school and comments “so pretty”.

Kuroi has a random conversation with Kohata because she ran too hard (even though Kohata tells them to run harder) and feels a little sick, Kohata suddenly informs her that she has to leave (oh good, just leave her. What if she is seriously sick?) and we then cut to Kuroi walking down the street talking to her (mum?) about tonight’s dinner. Coincidentally Takanashi is walking down the same street and spots Kuroi’s bird-picture-book-thingy attached to her phone, she tells Kuroi that she is familiar with the small multicoloured bird also and says that she has the original book with the best artwork. Since Kuroi really wants to see Takanashi’s copy of the book she is invited round Takanashi’s house and she admires the book and get’s given Takanashi’s red bracelet as well.

Right after she is given the bracelet the doorbell rings about 500 times and there is some knocking immediately after, it turns out Kagari has come over to visit. Takanashi now looks rather depressed and the second Kagari enters the room she tells Kuroi that Takanashi essentially put her in the wheelchair she’s in. Kagari then forces Kuroi to eat some macaroons and they then play doll house at which point ‘Kagari’ repeatedly tells Kuroi to “Go home!” after asking her doll how long this girl (Kuroi) will be here for.

Kuroi then leaves and runs home and starts crying in her room, Takanashi texts her apologising. We then see Takanashi in her room about to go to sleep when she picks up the string-phone and talks to Kagari who tells her that she shouldn’t have became friends with Kuroi because “she [Takanashi] is mine [Kagari’s]”.

We then cut to Black Rock Shooter walking through this fantasy world on the lookout for something, surely enough this gigantic spider robot comes flying out of nowhere and attacks BRS who gets slammed and pounded into the ground, the spider robot, which has Kagari mounted on it, repeatedly drops macaroons onto BRS while repeating “Go home!” in a demonic voice. The next day Kuroi is at school and Takanashi is avoiding her, Kuroi decides to go to the Morning Glow Consultation Office and Saya tells her that no matter how much the hatred from someone else hurts her, there is someone else shouldering her pain.

Kuroi, now sparked with courage, finds Takanashi at the art room drawing a bust, she then forces Takanashi, who lightly resists her prompts, to go to “The Festival” with her, Takanashi starts crying probably because she is touched at how persistent Kuroi is, knowing she truly wants to be her friend.

We then cut to the fantasy world where BRS continues to battle the spider-robot, the episode ends here, but not before we catch a glimpse of Takanashi’s fantasy world persona.


Well, where do I start. Apart from this being the most unnatural introductory episode in the world it was actually quite good, and by that I mean the intro was good. That’s it.

Seriously, the basketball team manager wasn’t introduced until 10 minutes later when Kuroi randomly says “Kohata-san” once, so not to mention the fact that we don’t know her name for a good 10 minutes we only find out in the space of 2 seconds. Nice introduction there. Furthermore, Yu’s name isn’t actually mentioned once in the episode. I had to check a wiki article on the anime to find out her name, what the fuck? WHO DOES THAT?! Oh, and this goes for Saya as well. Her name is only mentioned the second time we see her, stupid.

On top of these piss-poor introductions each characters motivation seems extremely unnatural. Wanting to become friends with someone after a 1 minute conversation about her cute red bracelet which contrasts nicely with her white skin seems extremely shallow and well… stupid. You don’t see me walking up to a metro with nice hair going: “Hey buddy, nice hair. Let’s become best friends for life, yo!”. I mean, sure these are girls but I haven’t known of any girl in real life which has became friends with another for such a shallow reason. Furthermore, each scene ends extremely quickly and you don’t even have time to find out half of the characters names before it ends and we abruptly move onto another which then repeats in the exact same format as the previous one. That is: random dialogue, abrupt ending, new scene.

I suppose the only good thing, other than the introduction, is the understanding of the fantasy world. When Saya tells Kuroi that there is someone else shouldering her pain we know just what the hell is going there, but why is that happening? Will there ever be communication or solid interaction between these two worlds? Is what limited interaction between them now one way? By that I mean, can Black Rock Shooter communicate with Kuroi through feelings just as Kuroi does to Black Rock Shooter. If not, what is the point? Is this just a really poor slice-of-life anime with some random fighting in another real so that the masters in the other don’t have to feel pain?

Also, why is this Kagari girl so agro and essentially paragon of evil. From the shots of the scene I take it that she lives across the road, otherwise why would Takanashi close her curtains? Surely she wouldn’t live in the same house since she is her best friend, and lastly she did knock on the door. Speaking of best friends, how is Kagari Takanashi’s best friend anyway? I take it once upon a time she was a normal girl who got into some horrific accident which was simply a mistake by either or both parties but has since become a pessimistic bitch who likes to control and exploit Takanashi’s guilt, I mean, what other reason could she have for doing that to Kuroi? For whatever reason she is a disgusting character I am sure it will be explained in due time (I hope, you know what is was like with the character names!), and I am sure it wasn’t Takanashi’s fault at all, or to the extent we are led to believe.

Lastly, Takanashi says that she drew the bird picture on her mobile phone but immediately after says that all the first edition books for The small multicoloured bird had that same cover. So… that is an epic plot hole right there. Unless Takanashi is secretly the person behind the artwork in the book. Another flaw is that each bird in the cover is exactly the same, so the bird which Kuroi is obsessing over is something she already has. They could’ve at least drew it slightly differently. There was also yet another blunder where the girls found their coffee extremely enjoyable in Saya’s office, despite the fact that Kuroi still needed sugar in it. Yeah… I think this shows either the type of people producing this anime or the carelessness surrounding the story. Either way, this is not good.

Note: This could just be an extremely ambiguous scene where Takanashi simply redrew the books artwork, I mean she is an art student. Somehow I am not convinced though.

If you can find a more ambiguous scene or plot hole, do share it.

Attention to detail, please.

I don’t know what is going on at all and I am not excited to find out, this isn’t gripping or interesting at all. I found myself wanting for this episode to end, badly and I guess that shows with the negativity of this review. Unless things pick up I fear this series will be a failure and put a stain on the company that produced it, and the author.

Episode rating: 2/10

About ツ.jp

Just some Australian who loves everything about Japan, especially the anime.

Posted on February 7, 2012, in 2012 Anime Reviews, Black Rock Shooter and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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