OP1.5 Sequence

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)
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「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 Sequence

ED: 「僕らのあしあと」 (Bokura no Ashiato) by supercell
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Preview

Watch the Preview!: Streaming ▼

90 Comments

      1. Ani_Bee’s comment makes a lot of sense. The change in design reflects the change in the setting. My hat’s with the group that prefers the original design, though. The scythe is all changited now, too. To me, the smooth simplicity is gone and there is a lot of fluff on it.

        I guess you could say there’s a little “fluff” on Yomi, too ;P.

        Kumakaori
  1. Hmmm, what the hell is gonna happen when your emotional facade or “persona” dies? Is the palm top tiger(looks and acts just like her) “broken” spiritually now but perhaps this’ll lead to her new resolve on living for herself without existing off pity? Damn good adaption. My bud doesn’t like the parallel with the fighting… I don’t get that guy! The Gatling gun transformation was sick!!!

    KRILL
    1. Yeah. I thought she was trying to suicide or something when we heard the struggle. Then we were faced with that confusing ending.

      I can’t wait to find out what the hell happened.

      Chuam
    2. Thought that Kagari died too thus causing something in Yomi.
      But Kagari didn’t.
      Like how the ep ended with a WTF feel.

      On reading, I would go with Divine’s guess.
      But somehow is killing the avatar also kills off the feelings or something?

      Theres still more to be known about the significance of the ‘dream avatars’ and the ‘dream world’.

      iron2000
  2. I’m really liking what I’m seeing over here and I wasn’t even a huge fan of the OVA to begin with. The grim and gruesome undertones works extremely well and gosh, where do I even start on the beautifully choreographed fights? BRS is turning out to be such a sadistically awesome treat.
    Plus, we have more drama to look forward to with Black Gold Saw and the supposedly evil school counselor finally joining the fray and that can never be a bad thing right? 😉

    Seishun Otoko
  3. I loved this ep and I will watch this show to the end. I like it for the originality the awesome fight scenes and the unique characters while thrilling us awesome symbolic battles that imho- alleviate any melodrama and give it more substance and appeal.

    BRS badass level really soared in this ep with the gun transformation into what heavy weapons guy would call-“Spinning Minigun of Killing”

    I don’t know about you guys but my level of sympathy for Kagari never rose above zero. She played the villian too well. Also after BRS chopped off Chariot’s head and it reverted back to the real world I thought that Kagari had died as well. They pulled that off nicely.

    Roguespirit
  4. God this show is amazing. Yandere Kagari is creepy… and even creepier when her ‘heart’ died and she went silent. What I want to know is why everyone is obsessed with Dead Master? Kagari wanted Yomi as a slave and Kuroi wanted her as a friend, but I see no reason why Black Gold Saw would want her. Now, I wonder what kind of clash we will see against BGS/Saya in both worlds?

    Avalanche
  5. I love the battles so far, I can’t imagine what’s it going to be like when all the characters join the fray. It’s going to be a real battle royal.

    Was it me only or was Kagari even more creepy than Misaki Mei in Another? Besides the violence and grimness, I didn’t expect there to be some horror in this show.

    Allnighter
  6. Since I always liked the whole BRS concept, I looked forward to this show since it was announced. However I never expected it to exceed my expectations like its doing right now.

    Also I really like the ED, it fits Koeda’s voice more than GC’s new ED.

    xephx
  7. I swear, for the whole time (especially the part when Yomi and Kagari fell silent and Mato was knocking on the door like crazy), I thought Kagari would kill herself, further straining the relationship between Yomi and Mato. Furthermore, the decapitation of Chariot also seems to suggest that Kagari will be “out” of the story.

    I am not sure how it will go from this point now. But it does seem that Yomi and Mato will have a good relationship now. However, after all this chaos, I think it will take a LOT of justifications for Yuu to flip on Mato yet appear not lame to the viewers.

    suff
  8. Jesus, I watched this yesterday and was greatly surprised with such dark themes!

    Kagari continued to impress, most of it in that hospital scene. Her screams and faces were so refreshing for an anime show. And those battles, the violence…Jesus! That scene where spikes stick out from Kagari’s shield and impales our dear heroine…Just wow!

    I’m really digging the fact the plot moves forward, and quickly. There’s a lot of stuff happening in these episodes, whereas many other shows use one whole episode to end it on a cliffhanger…Black Rock Shooter has like 5 of those in one episode. Characters become very likeable when they are going through so much and so fast.

    Simply put, brilliant work. If only Japanese anime school dramas were this entertaining…A total must watch!

  9. i liked the OVA but im liking the series even more.

    i know there’re alot of pple out there who are quite against the current character design but i personally prefer this over the OVA. though huke’s original concept is still awesome as always.

    frankly speaking, i really thought kagari killed herself but with yomi’s expression as she opened the door, seems to foreshadow something.

    c2710
  10. Seriously what’s up with Yomi blaming herself about what happened to Kagari? I mean it’s a pure accident, Kagari herself is the one to be blame for running off like that so much force drama. I don’t really like the idea where BRS is just a persona or a dream but I think that Black Gold Saw is not that eyebrow senpai, I think she is that female teacher because BGS seems to be able to see everything that happened with that big eye thingy that always pop up everywhere. And the female teacher always listening about other people problems meaning that she can “see” everything about a student and give advice/manipulate the student. They are kinda similar right? And I don’t like to think that eyebrow senpai is BGS because she’s TOO different from BGS. If that senpai is really BGS my image about BGS will be completely ruined.

    kurochan
  11. Wait why did gold saw appear this episode? It looked like she came to save Chariot but we all saw what happened there. So maybe Chariot is still alive or something or gold saw had some reason for letting her get killed by BRS instead of being sucked in by that hole that appeared. Sigh so many questions….can’t wait see what happens next episode.

    poseidonhands
  12. Damnit BGS, we were getting somewhere!! Then again, I think that was sorta the point of her butting in: Yomi and Kagari were on the verge of a breakthrough, Yomi and Mato were connecting, hell BRS and Dead Master were practically working together! Overall, things were going TOO well. Definitely thinking Saya is BGS alter-ego in the “real” world, she just fits more than anyone else introduced as of yet.

    That cliffhanger was friggen brutal! Would’ve been one thing to see Kagari all “dead-eyes” after BRS had to end Chariot, but that smile was just… what?! Is she better? Worse? Amnesiac? ANSWERS WANT!!!

    I love this show! XD

    Aex
  13. Sure it’s stylish, but BRS isn’t all that great. While the fight choreography and cinematography is pretty cool, the CG can be pretty clunky, while the aesthetics outside of the spirit world aren’t very good. Plus, outside of the alternate world, the story comes off as melodramatic and without flow. Plus, if the alternate world is just a representation of what’s going on in the actual world, I’m going to be very, very disappointed.

    So while BRS certainly has stylish fights, the story and narrative is pretty bad. I really, really want BRS to succeed for the sake of restoring the good old “noitaminA-brand of quality,” but for now, BRS is just a stylish popcorn flick.

    Oh, and it’s only been 2 episodes, so I’m going to give it some time.

    Click
  14. Divine I’d like to thank you! I was one of the people who didn’t get caught up in all the BRS hype but since you suggested watching it I went ahead and gave it a try! to my surprise it was actually very enjoyable to watch! thanks again Divine! 🙂

    Daniell
  15. I was a little put off by the sheer amount of pretentiousness. Its like watching .hack//SIGN without the slightest bit of subtlety. The whole drama was really like “THIS IS HER PROBLEM! LET’S US SCREAM OUT HOW F***** UP KAGARI IS! SHE’S CREEPY! DO YOU GET IT NOW!?!?

    Its also pretty funny that with all the screaming you’d think one of the hospital staff would come in and tell them to shut up. They’d have to be disturbing all the patients in the floor at that point.

    Still I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy this episode. The action choreography is excellent and the bizarre setting gives some interesting visuals in the battles. In particular, I loved the scene where BRS used a Gatling Gun to counter a barrage of macaroons. Just saying that aloud sounds incredibly retarded but it actually looks awesome when animated. Overall, I did like the idea of contrasting character relationships with the BRS battles but I could really use a lot less of the screaming.

    fragb85
    1. 1. We don’t know
      2. We don’t know
      3. Because she can be

      Ain’t it great?! XD

      But seriously, Mato is trying to be friends with Yomi, a girl she met at school except Yomi is being guilt-tripped into basically servitude by Kagari because of a car accident. While these three are trying to resolve their issues, the crazy fighting of the girls’ “alter-egos” is going on in the “other world”, which really is anyone’s guess as to how it’s connected to the “real world”. The basic set-up of this show is a mystery that right now is putting “Another” to shame with just the sheer lack of information.

      Aex
    2. 1 – Mato meets cute Yomi. Mato wants Yomi. Kagari, psycho yandere already have Yomi. Battles in the center of the mind (maybe) insues. Kagari is creepy.
      2 – Dunno. My bet? All wants to have hot lesbian sex with Yomi. And BGS is a troll.
      3 – She’s not a loli, its just DFC.

      Rincewind
  16. i agree conselor saya is BGS because her eyes is gold or red?
    btw i still dont understand os other world here… is other world is the world of emotion of the real world because everything seems connected with feeling of the chara of real world…

    White Rock Shooter
  17. At first I thought the alternate world was a bit like the Illusion World in Clannad, where events in that world seemingly looks unrelated to the main narrative, only for it all to come together at the very end.

    But it seems the connections between the BRS alternate world and Mato’s world are more directly connected sooner than I expected.

    I’ll go with Divine’s theory that Chariot is Kagari’s evil alter-ego which has finally been vanquished by BRS, but it seems Yomi doesn’t seem too happy about it.

    Kinny Riddle
  18. Can someone explain to me the link between BRS vs other characters with the real world characters?

    Yes I get the emotional/whatever metaphor being played out here. But seriously the questions of who, what, where, how, why, when of BRS and the other fighting characters are unanswered.

    Dude
    1. The Other World can mean a lot of things, but it’s commonly accepted that it represents the struggles within Mato Kuroi’s heart. That being said, here’s a list of the run-downs of characters.

      Mato Kuroi (being a pun of a blackness) is Black Rock Shooter.
      Her rival is Black Gold Saw (depicted red) – unknown or as DIVINE says, Sayo the counselor.
      Yuu = Strength (depicted white)
      Kagari Izuriha = Chariot (depicted as gold)
      Yomi = Dead Master (depicted green)

      Basically, all these characters fighting represent the struggles Mato and her friend’s are going through their hearts, and it’s somewhat up to Mato/BRS to help her friends out esp. in that scene where Dead Master cries out “Dasukete” (“help me”)

      1. Personally I still think it’s a genuine parallel world influenced by the “real” world, but not in anyone’s heart. That’s just me though.

        Need to wait until Mato and BRS meet. If they never do, then I’ll accept it was all purely metaphorical for Mato.

        Aex
  19. https://randomc.net/image/Black%20Rock%20Shooter/Black%20Rock%20Shooter%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2023.jpg
    BLACK ROCK GATLING GUN!!!

    I swear I almost nerdgasm on that one. I was like “WTH!?!” when I saw them macaroons “blot out the sun”. Then she switched to gatling gun and blasted anything going directly at her. Shit! Badass over 9000!

    @The_Magus_Killer

    1. What is the plot of this anime?
    > Young girls resolving unusual issues with the power of friendship and a battle in their dreams.

    2. What are the motivations of the important characters?
    > Friendship. I guess Mato likes Yomi.

    3. Why is BlackRockShooter so ero-loli?
    > Uhh… Erololi where? We haven’t seen naked loli yet….

    The Moondoggie
    1. Ero-loli doesn’t mean necessarily naked to me. BRS/Mato is just OOZING with sexiness. Seriously, look at that jacket-hoodie, black bikini and blue-flaming eye! And those weapons! XD.

      But someone clarified that BRS/Mato isn’t a loli in the first place, but a DFC – which is actually better. =)

      The_Magus_Killer
    1. I get the feeling that Black Gold Saw is going to be the “Final Boss” in this series. With Yuu/Strength being manipulated by her. the fact she was looing down on things in the very first episode means she’s much more connected to the alternate world.

      Ani_BEE
  20. Thank you, I finally found a review that’s not ripping into this anime for being an “overly dramatic yuri love triangle”.

    I personally am totally loving this show and all the metaphorical fighting ^_^

    neko
  21. I really love the psychological factor of this show. Both the fights and the psychological horror is very intense.

    The way I understand it, these other selves are the most prevalent aspects of the characters’ personalities: Mato’s resolve to save Yomi, Yomi’s inner cries for help (or perhaps the way she really wants Mato to save her) and Kagari’s obsessive possessiveness. So my theory is that these other selves simply exist due to the conflict between the characters driven by these prevalent parts of their personalities. So if the “avatars” of these parts are killed, that would “kill” that personality trait. Which is to mean that in this case, Kagari’s possessiveness of Yomi was “killed”. And if Black Rock Shooter were to die, that would mean the “death” of Mato’s resolve.

    HenDarou
  22. “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.”

    That’s me. You often somehow manage to interest me in shows i wouldn’t have picked up on my own.

    outcast
  23. Ok people, start who thinks Kagari is one of the more twisted characters you´ve seen in anime recently, because you´ve got to admit the girl is damaged beyond salvation. She takes pleasure in destrying Yomi´s life so that she would chain to her alone, so in a sense Death Master´s chains are not truly her weapons but the simbol of her imprisonment by Chariot (Kagari). Using guilt to manipulate is the oldest and most repulsive trick in the book, reason why I find a little hard to belive Kagari could redeem herself for her past behavior so maybe that´s whre the supernatural element kicks in.

    haseo0408
  24. The school counselor Saya speaks like a veteran of the ‘dream world’.
    The prime candidate to ‘be’ Black Gold Saw.

    Ok, so BGS interfered to get DM to safety and let BRS have a chance to finish Chariot?
    Or is the seperation of BRS and DM something darker and BGS gave Chariot a chance to finish BRS?

    Looks like next ep will reveal more on BGS.
    Mato and Yomi still not friends?

    Somehow this series reminds me of Persona.
    Will Saya be an Adachi? 😛
    BGS seems like a savior to those little people in the preview though.

    iron2000
    1. Getting DM to safety doesn’t really fit since Chariot was on the ropes. If anything it seemed like BGS just wanted to separate DM and BRS so the fight wouldn’t stop, aka no happy endings when either BRS or Chariot dies.

      Aex
  25. I am one of the few who was never caught up with the hype that is BRS (all I know is the Nendoroids are popular). Then I read the first few lines of this post and decided to give it a try. While the show’s setting still feels rather bizarre to me, it’s definitely absorbing and entertaining. Thank you Divine for the recommendation!

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