Black Rock Shooter – 01
OP: 「ブラック★ロックシューダー」 (Black★Rock Shooter) by supercell feat. 初音ミク (Hatsune Miku)
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼
「あとどれだけ叫べばいいのだろう」 (Ato Doredake Sakebeba Ii no Darou)
“I Wonder How Much Longer I Have To Scream For”
The Black Rock Shooter anime is finally here and the most notable difference from its 2010 OVA counterpart is that our heroine “BRS” — alter ego of Kuroi Mato (Hanazawa Kana) — gets subjected to a lot of gruesome beatings and takes them all without so much as a whimper. It’s almost as if the producers are trying to appeal to sadists who’ve fantasized about roughing up BRS and breaking down her stoic and resilient image. As such, the anime they’ve produced can range anywhere from sadistically alluring or downright unpleasant to watch depending on who you ask.
At the moment, I fall somewhere closer to the “sadistically alluring” end of the spectrum, as the screenplay and choreography of the action sequences are a pure treat — one of the main reasons I was looking forward to this anime — and the punishment that BRS endures helps accentuate the intensity of the battles. What’s more, it packs a lot of punch to see BRS chained down by Deadmaster — alter ego of Takanashi Yomi (Sawashiro Miyuki) — and then get absolutely impaled by newcomer Chariot — alter ego of the extremely creepy Izuriha Kagari (Kitamura Eri). We then see BRS scream out in anguish but not make a single sound, adding to the overall effect. The flip side of course is that it’s excessively violent to young girls, which if Higurashi no Naku Koro ni has taught us anything, can actually make things more difficult to watch. (Unless of course, you’re a sadist.)
Story-wise, it turns out the TV series is a retelling of the OVA rather than a sequel. This time around, BRS and Deadmaster’s fight in the other world is not because Yomi is jealous of Koutari Yuu (Asumi Kana), but because of the aforementioned creepy newcomer Kagari, who’s very controlling of Yomi and won’t allow her to have any other friends. Much like the gory fight sequences, the change-up is much more disturbing — so much so that I found Kagari’s polite yet clearly disdainful attitude toward Mato scarier than anything I’ve seen in Another so far. Kagari giving Mato all the “dirty-colored” macarons was more than enough to sense the hostility in the air, but giving her a relatively ugly-looking doll to play house with and repeatedly telling her to “get lost” took it to a whole other level. The sight of Mato trembling and the sound of the soft yet deafening music sent chills down my spine, and at the same time, impressed me with how dark and twisted of a series we have here. The “Kotori Tori Iroiro no Iro” book that both Mato and Yomi like augments the creepiness to a certain degree too, because we hear Mato reading some lines from it when BRS is getting brutally mutilated.
To offset all that, we only have school counselor Irino Saya’s (Noto Mamiko) words of encouragement, which seem to suggest that BRS’ battles in the other world are a representation of the pain that Mato feels in her heart. From the sound of things, if BRS doesn’t give up, then Mato won’t fall into depression. Where things go from here should be interesting, since Yuu’s alter ego Strength and Kohata Arata’s (Numakura Manami) — edit: or Saya’s — alter ego Black Gold Saw are slated to join the fray. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like either of them will be siding with BRS — not if the opening sequence is any indication. In any case, this was a great start to the series, which befitting has the supercell song that started it all as its opening theme (used as an ending here).
Watch the Preview!: Streaming ▼