Black Rock Shooter – 08 (END)
「世界を超えて」 (Sekai wo Koete)
“Crossing Over the World”
For the finale to one of the biggest sleeper hits of the season, I’m not sure if I particularly enjoyed the note things wrapped up on. Maybe the finer points were lost on me but I expected something much, much larger.
With BRS and Yuu’s battle finally reaching its climax when
STRength decided to take matters into her own hands, I didn’t expect things to make such a huge 180 as both Mato and Yuu started their own internal battles. For starters, it was really surprising to see Yuu of all people lose her confidence and bad-ass demeanor at the drop of a hat. I mean, after being introduced as someone who had their mind completely shattered due to emotional stress and chose to live a life of endless fighting instead of trying to face reality, I expected her to have a little more spirit in her!
And don’t get me started on Mato’s battle with BRS. Besides being terribly over-dramatized in the beginning when Mato asked BRS to share her pain with her, what purpose does it serve to watch Mato get beaten to a bloody pulp? I mean, I can understand if this was an over the top type show but it just felt really out of place. Not to mention that if you try to symbolize BRS’s actions, it’s almost like saying someone’s subconscious was beating themselves up — even though the whole purpose of these alternate beings is to shoulder the pain the real person is experiencing!
On the other hand, the second half of the episode managed to redeem this finale for me. While I would have preferred for STRength to survive, it wouldn’t have made much sense for her to be on the outside now that the real Yuu has finally come to terms with reality. But even more so then Yuu coming out of her “shell” I loved how all the girls from the previous episodes finally regained their lost memories. Not only did it finally give meaning to all of the hardship they originally experienced but I hope I wasn’t the only one who was really happy when Kagari, Yomi, and Mato were finally able to become friends with one another.
With everything in both worlds apparently squared away, let’s square away this post by starting the final impressions!
For a show that started midway through the season and only had eight episodes, I’m still amazed with how good it turned out to be. Amongst all the original offerings that also finished this season, I can honestly say that BRS probably had one of the more satisfying endings. And while I say that with a bit of reservation since I have to compare it with something like Guilty Crown, I’m still very happy with the series as a whole.
For me, BRS came off as a show that dived deep into the idea about people and how they struggle as they try to live life. By personifying an individual’s problems in the form of an alternate persona that shoulders all the burdens in one’s unique world, BRS was able to take an abstract idea and give it a form that was not only interesting but really fun to watch. Not to mention that instead of solely focusing on the negative aspects of an emotional burden, it snuck in a very heartwarming message in the end. At least, that’s how I interpreted it when the worlds or “hearts” merged together — meaning that instead of trying to shoulder one’s burden individually, they had the support of everyone else who can merged together with them — essentially making friends.
In terms of the characters, this television adaptation gave the characters some much needed backbone. Unlike the OVA which only had time to focus on Yomi / Dead Master, I really enjoyed getting to see the other characters like STRength and Black Gold Saw get some well deserved screen time. If there was anything that did disappoint me, it would probably how the series handled Kagari and Yuu’s individual stories. With the former getting way too many episodes and the latter getting not enough, I think we all would have enjoyed getting to see more of Yuu’s past which would have helped bring out the emotion that I’m sure we all wanted to feel during those final scenes.
Overall, I think Black Rock Shooter is a show that everyone should watch at least once. With its use of symbolism and the small messages that are scattered throughout the series, there’s always something for you to keep your eye out for (Like STRength’s missing shadow!). Combined with a strong seiyuu cast that were able to flesh out the characters through emotion filled yells or screams of pain that got the hair on the back of your neck to stand to the amazing music that only amplified the emotional in every single scene, Black Rock Shooter turned into one of the best shows of the season. At times, it’s hard to imagine that this show was spawned from a simple drawing, which had a song written about it, and then gained enough popularity to have not only at OVA but a whole television series created about it.
So if you haven’t watched Black Rock Shooter yet, I strongly suggest you give it a shot!