Black Rock Shooter 01 – Parallel Worlds, Parallel Angst

You will eat these macaroons, AND ENJOY IT.

The final show to premiere this season is here, the long awaited Black Rock Shooter! An anime spin off based on a song written by Supercell’s ryo inspired by huke’s enigmatic character art. Oh, Did I mention that the song was sung by none other than our very own virtual idol, Miku Hatsune herself?

Well now you do (and you didn’t even have to search Google)!

Things I’ve gathered from the first episode:

  • The story focuses on a young girl named Kuroi Mato and the hardships she goes through for friendship.
  • BRS tells the story of two worlds, the world in which the real Kuroi Mato exists and the silent, grungy universe where the cool and sexy Black Rock Shooter exists.
  • Black Rock Shooter is supposed to be a symbolic representation of Kuroi’s inner turmoil.

The anime is drawing parallels between Kuroi and Black Rock Shooter. BRS can feel the pain that Kuroi feels! She’s there to take the blow for her so Kuroi can go on and have the courage to face tomorrow!

The first episode puts Kuroi through incredible hardships. She wants to be friends with Yomi but wheelchair bound Kagari won’t let her. Thus, Kagari begins her passive aggressive assault by giving Kuroi ugly colored macaroons and an ugly doll to play with. Then she does this creepy thing with her voice and tells Kuroi to ‘Go home’.

Kuroi puts up a cheerful front but runs home and cries.

What.A.Bitch.

So what parallels were drawn between Kuroi and BRS?

In the dark and silent world of Black Rock Shooter, our twin tailed heroine gets run over by that creepy giant doll from Toy Story.

She gets impaled by the spike on its wheels and is smeared across the wall. Then, she gets macaroons thrown on her face. Later we see her chained down and a giant drill pierces her chest.

Uh…

…Is it just me or is this just a tad overboard? I understand that Kuroi has never felt hatred towards anyone nor has she had any enemies, but BRS has taken it to a whole new level of exaggeration. Even if one were to take it as a SYMBOLISM™ this is pushing the boundaries of what I find acceptable. It’s a lot like how I feel towards Inu x Boku SS. These characters are supposed to be sympathetic but it just makes them look like vapid, ungrateful whining teenagers.

Plot and storytelling aside, chances are that I’m one of the few people unhappy with the CGI here. Last week there was a feature of the anime on NHK’s Imaginenation on how the effects were achieved. They really wanted to make these parts of the anime look as natural as possible, but this didn’t work for me as well as I hoped it would. huke’s character designs feel very organic, they’re not clean or simple. The consistency of the models end up working against the aesthetic BRS seems to be known for.

I also find that Hiroyuki Imaishi’s techniques probably don’t transfer that well to CGI. He, again– has a very organic and dynamic style. He’s an amazing animator, but I’m not impressed with what I’ve seen in BRS. It lacks the usual energy you can find in his work. Nitpicking aside, this is still so much better than what’s out there– funny CG cars and trucks.

BRS isn’t terrible but it isn’t brilliant either. It sits somewhere down the middle as far as first impressions go. The series needs to go further than ugly dolls and macaroons if it wants to be taken seriously though. Right now it feels very juvenile, the bird metaphors don’t help either.

Bottomline: Decent, but thank goodness it’s only 8 episodes.

What gruesome method of torture will she go through next?!

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4 Comments

  1. Ah, yeah, the picture-book for children about a bird exploring the worlds of colours ^^ … The whole colours-thingy in the episode wasn’t really necessary, i think. Then again, everything in this episode is so straightforward and obvious that most of it seems kinda silly.
    And Kagari has made this episode way scarier than any Another-episode until now, I think. Especially since no one really commented on her behaviour but the music made it seem like she just waited for the chance to kill everyone in the room.

    I really didn’t like the episode. The basic story is okay, I guess, but to me it seemed like the series is taking itself far too seriously for the kind of shallow story it wants to tell.

    • The universe huke has come up with is pretty interesting, but there’s nothing being done with it. I don’t see the need for introducing a highschool plot to a franchise that has little to do with highschool melodrama.

  2. Hey! I would suggest watching the OVA before this, if you haven’t done so already, to get a better outlook on the story.

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