OP: 「ブラック★ロックシューター」 (Black★Rock Shooter) by supercell feat. 初音ミク (Hatsune Miku)
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼
「夜明けを抱く空」 (Yoake wo Idaku Sora)
“The Sky that Embraces Dawn”
If you’re not watching Black Rock Shooter simply because you were never caught up in the hype of Huke’s original character, I strongly suggest giving it a try. The anime combines beautiful cinematography with fluid animation in carefully choreographed fights, features amazing performances by Hanazawa Kana, Sawashiro Miyuki, and Kitamura Eri backed by a fantastic soundtrack by Supercell, and depicts a unique story that has some surprisingly dark and gruesome undertones. Very stylish, very refreshing. Potentially a must-watch show. The dialogue-less yet gruesome battles in the alternate world continue to impress, as does the directing by Yoshioka Shinobu who clearly has a vision behind a lot of the scenes. Special attention is paid in the use of camera angles, which goes a long way in bringing out the emotions of the characters and the emphasizing the mood of the series. From an artistic standpoint, there’s plenty to like about Black Rock Shooter, but it goes a step further by providing an untypical high school story that’s a lot creepier than its OVA counterpart.
Starting with the general idea from OVA as a basis, Okada Mari’s story puts a much darker and more unsettling spin on it, depicting how Kagari awakened a darkness in her heart from choosing to play the victimized role and continuing to guilt trip Yomi ever since a childhood car accident. At the same time, we have an ominous air of suspicion surrounding the school counselor Saya, who on further consideration from this week’s preview, does appear to be Black Gold Saw. (It looks like Arata is another girl in the alternate world.) Then there’s Yuu, who hasn’t shown any forms of jealousy that would give rise to Strength, but has the cliffhanger from the OVA serving as some indirect foreshadowing. What all that translates to on screen is much better than it actually sounds, as the drama feels very real at times and is really easy to get absorbed in. It helps that the characters themselves don’t feel like they fall heavily into any stereotype, hence why the staring seiyuu have been able to give some standout performances unlike the roles we typically hear them in.
Setting-wise, I love the constant feeling that there’s a dark force at work behind the scenes — almost like a curse that possesses people — which sets the atmosphere for the series and provides almost psychological thriller-like vibes at times. There’s also a lot of metaphorical/symbolic dialogue and scenes that go a long way in showing that this anime wasn’t only produced to milk existing Black Rock Shooter fans. The series has substance and a clear direction, making it a worthwhile watch for all fans of anime and even those who don’t typically watch the medium. Simply put, Black Rock Shooter has enough going for it that anyone looking for a good “show” should be able to enjoy it. I was quietly expecting some great things after seeing the promo video and it’s already pleasantly surprised me in more ways than even I anticipated, so if you’re not watching already, I suggest giving the first episode a go. It’s almost guaranteed to spark some interest, whereas this second episode will probably reel you in completely with the scene at the very end. Powerful, powerful stuff.
* If I were to make an early guess, Kagari was freed from the evil that had possessed her heart, much like Yomi was in the OVA, and the scream was from the death of Chariot.
* Full-length images: 05, 09, 10, 17, 26, 30, 35.
ED: 「僕らのあしあと」 (Bokura no Ashiato) by supercell
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼
Watch the Preview!: Streaming ▼