「運命の子供たち」 (Unmei no Kodomoutachi)
“Children of Destiny”

Three episodes in and I think Black Bullet has finally overcome all the things that had me doubting it after its debut. With the focus on the action but still taking the time to highlight the little things like social stigmas and the problems of people who go on power trips; I thoroughly loved everything in this week’s episode.

Promoters and Initiators Part Two

I brought this up last week but after watching the last few scenes of the episode, there’s just something I have to talk about — the importance the whole Promoter and Initiator combo. I got some really good comments on the question and I think Senju’s short introduction combined with Rentaro’s sentiments solidified the notion that deep down, these cursed children are simply young girls who are trying to figure out life.

While I wish we could find out what a contract behind a Promoter and Initiator entails, I can see just how important it is to have someone older and more experienced in this game called life. The thing is, I can’t fathom how girls like Senju could ever build up respect for their Promoter when they’re treated like absolute trash. The only thing that I can even think of is maybe the act of adopting an Initiator is viewed as such a gracious act that those feelings of gratitude are able to overcome being treated like shit?

Anyways, I really love how they’re going about this and I hope by the end of things we’ll see some sort of change. Be it small or large, I believe people like Rentaro can move things forward with their heart and ability to show some compassion to the very girls who are preventing the collapse of mankind.

Kagetane and The End of the World

Now that we know the single thing that could unleash a wave of destruction onto the entire Tokyo-area was in that suitcase, the only thing left is to see Kagetane attempt to use it. I say attempt because it would be a little ridiculous for the world to end just four episodes in. That and, why wouldn’t you be guarding something that dangerous with enough manpower to overtake a country?

Seriously though, it makes you wonder why he wants to summon something that could literally destroy everything humanity has ever created. We know that he wants to create a new world for the strong but from the looks of things even the cursed children aren’t completely immune. So what do you do if you get rid of all the doctors and researchers who are trying to create a cure for the thing? If anything, it sounds like everything will just turn into Gastrea if he gets his way.

Looking Ahead

I knew there was something special about Rentaro! Even though it remains to be seen just what that crazy doctor did to him, its nice to know that he apparently has some insane healing abilities in addition to that nasty right jab of his. Sort of reminds you of a certain sect of the population doesn’t it? Anyways, we’ll have to wait at least until next week to see just what Rentaro’s made of. See you then!




  1. Rentaro is getting on my nerves a bit with his self-righteousness bit, dude needs to reign it in, and certainly not take it out on that other cursed kid (just because he cares so darn much). and the Gastrea threat reminds me a bit of Nausicaa and the Sea of Decay. I’m definitely more fascinated with the Gastrea at this point. also, I’m guessing the big promoter gets killed by Kagetane. he’s just no match. plus he’s dumb.

    a box like Hippo
      1. because he cannot beat the Bad guy and his Little girl so far. Perhaps they play the “rescue the little girls from being Tools”, and then with the Team play they can defend him

      2. Preferably Senju will be freed once her Promoter gets killed by Kagetane, then she goes off to do something not related to Rentaro. She can show up once in a while to help out on missions I guess, but no need for a harem to start. Nor do we need a grumpy Enju.

        a box like Hippo
      3. well don’t know if this should be considered a spoiler but I assure you none of those situation
        will ever happen in this anime, the author is pretty much the second coming of gen-urobutcher or
        kill em’ all Tomino if you know who those guys are

      4. Don’t think there will be much of a harem going. Enju’s the confused daughter of the family (I am very sure that she’s confusing daughterly affection for romantic feelings, which can’t be faulted considering that she’s been an orphan for the first 9 years of her life). Rentaro is beleaguered single dad. He’s trying to woo Kisara into becoming the mom.

    1. In the manga this entire episode was cut up into different chapters. It did a better job a t pacing to be honest. The part where Kagetane practically kills Rentarou in this episode didn’t happen until Chapter 8 of a series of 30-50 page chapters.

  2. Hmm…I dunno…the episode seemed to rush a bit to me. Goes from Rentaro still searching for Enju to her just showing up at school to them coming to some sort of understanding and finding the Case to Rentaro suddenly almost getting killed by Kagetane and now back on the Case again.

    Probably just me though.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if it’s some sort of “imprinting” between Promoter and Initiator or something.

    1. You’re not the only one. I thought this episode’s pacing was actually worse than the second one, though admittedly the second episode was really good so that doesn’t say much. The climax to Enju’s situation was executed well, but everything after that just felt too out of place. Personally, “waking up and being told that the situation has progressed to so-and-so” isn’t one of my favourite exposition devices, and felt forced.

      I don’t want to say I feel this should have been spread across more episodes, because there were no problems with the density of plot. Rather, it was the presentation, how the plot was distributed and how the transitions and atmosphere was handled that felt kind of off.

      A great series, but not really looking forward to the next episode after a plethora of death flags >,<

  3. Pretty awesome episode
    I dont know how Rentaro survived that but it was definitely amazing
    Despite it being short, I enjoyed the scuffle between him and Kagetane
    I gotta say even though people hate the cursed children, I love them lol. Enju is amazing but I definitely feel for her.
    I find Kayo to be rather interesting and I want to see what happens with her but Shogen on the other hand, that guy is a bastard and I have no problem if he is killed lol. I mean after all, he was the reason two people that were sent on this job were killed.

  4. The thing is, I can’t fathom how girls like Senju could ever build up respect for their Promoter when they’re treated like absolute trash.

    Her Promoter is probably just a tsundere.
    Show Spoiler ▼

  5. after digging up some info on the LN, all I gotta say is prepare a lot of tissue and bucket at your
    disposal cuz this is going to be one hell of a downer story, seriously this anime is infected with
    the Gen-urobutcher virus lol

    don’t know if I should drop this or not since I love the action but hate the downer story

  6. this show has definitely picked up from episode 1. im loving the social aspect of the cursed children and how they are pretty much the unsung hereos who everyone gives two shits about.

  7. I agree that this was a better episode, but as others have mentioned, I also think it was a bit rushed/overly compressed at times, particularly the scene at Enju’s school. Rentaro runs to Enju’s school, maybe a minute of total dialog, then jump on some helicopter and off to do battle.

    @Takaii: The thing is, I can’t fathom how girls like Senju could ever build up respect for their Promoter when they’re treated like absolute trash. The only thing that I can even think of is maybe the act of adopting an Initiator is viewed as such a gracious act that those feelings of gratitude are able to overcome being treated like shit?

    I agree that respect is a bit hard to fathom. My overall impression of Senju’s situation is one of acceptance (“is what it is”), and perhaps even a small amount of gratitude as strange as that may seem. The options for Cursed Children AFAIK are Promoter, manage to join the “Cursed Child Center” run by the old guy, or take your chances on the streets like we saw last episode, and hope you don’t get caught (and shot) by the police, stoned by a mob, etc. Her Promoter leaves a lot to be desired in terms of child rearing, but the alternatives may well be worse.

    That and, why wouldn’t you be guarding something that dangerous with enough manpower to overtake a country?

    LOL, yeah. That’s one of those illogical things that turn up in all sorts of anime/novel/tv/movie stories. Instead of actually destroying or at least encasing in 10ft. of reinforced concrete then dumping in the center of the the Mariana Trench/ jettison into the sun/etc., let’s just keep the evil talisman/death-god idol/armageddon device/etc. around as a memento. Surely no evil person/being could possibly steal it. >_> Before this is resolved, I’d really like a sentence or two explaining why this thing was kept around rather than destroyed.

    Even though it remains to be seen just what that crazy doctor did to him, its nice to know that he apparently has some insane healing abilities…

    That’s another thing I’d like explained. I’m reserving judgment, but my fear is that his “Wolverine-like” powers of recovery are more plot armor (plot medicine?) that anything else.

    Random comments:

    – For what exactly do you need a triangle ruler this large? Seriously, I don’t recall anything like that at my school.

    – Is anyone else a bit grossed out by the food eaten by “crazy doctor” Sumire Muroto?

  8. Since I didn’t read anything about the series before, I automatically assumed it would be 2-cour show. 22+ episodes. With the weirdly fast pacing I decided to look to see how many episodes we’re actually going to get, and realized it was probably going to be 1-cour.

    This is quite annoying, because I do feel like the source material has a lot more to offer than what’s been shown. This is one of those stories where I actually like everything. This has really put a damper on my expectations of the series. I’ll still watch it, but it really could’ve been so much better. I’m glad the manga at least is telling the story pretty well.

    1. @baubo: This is quite annoying, because I do feel like the source material has a lot more to offer than what’s been shown.

      I can sympathize empathize with you on that point. Sadly, even a 2-cour run may not turn out to be a solution if enough LN source material is available and the director (or whoever) decides to adapt 2x the source material.

      I’ve read a little of the manga (about to this point – holding off on the rest until the anime ends) and I liked the series. Nice to know the manga is doing a pretty good job of adapting the LN. If the LN gets Eng. TL, I plan to read it in the future.

      1. I’ve never read the manga. But if you feel like it’s paced well, then it’s paced well. I’ve never been one for requiring “faithful” adaptations. If anything, some things are better suited for reading and some things are better suited for animation. I’m all for artistic license.

        In fact, I would not have even brought up the pacing issue if others weren’t already discussing it. But the fact that people who never read the story believes things are being skipped, that’s an issue.


        spoiler about my prediction on pacing
        Show Spoiler ▼

      2. IMO that would be more proper pacing and get all the important stuff in. Although I’ve rarely seen such things happen with adaptations. Perhaps this is sort of a gimmick in Japan where they try to get the watchers to buy the LNs or something. Which sucks for westerners since this not a readily available medium except for fan translations.

        I’m semi-blessed in this regards because I’m bilingual in Chinese and can read the Chinese version.

      3. @baubo: My comment about the manga vs. LN was based of what you posted before: “I’m glad the manga at least is telling the story pretty well.” I had assumed you read both. Seems I was mistaken about that. I haven’t read the LN (little has been translated) so I cannot say as to how well the manga adapts the original source material.

        From what I have read of the manga, I do think the anime is too fast-paced/cuts too much material. I felt more of an emotional impact and a better understanding of the story from reading the manga than I have watching the anime thus far. Wouldn’t be surprised if that is even more so compared to reading the LN.

        As for your spoiler, I have no idea where a “good stopping point” is for this story. However, I do agree with you that adapting at a pace of 3 episodes per typical/”standard” LN volume is almost certain to cause problems. Sadly, that level of pacing seems to be more frequently used lately. Frankly, even 4 episodes/LN volume may often not be sufficient.

        IMO, 5 episodes/LN volume is a good general rule of thumb for a typical/”standard” length LN. For example, both Log Horizon and Mondaiji-tachi adaptations followed that pacing, and while not all inclusive, I thought they did a pretty good job of conveying the full story. That being said, 6 or even more episodes might be necessary to cover some LN volumes.

        IMO that would be more proper pacing and get all the important stuff in. Although I’ve rarely seen such things happen with adaptations. Perhaps this is sort of a gimmick in Japan where they try to get the watchers to buy the LNs or something.

        FWIW, I replied “empathized” rather than “sympathized” b/c what’s going on here is happening with at least two other shows I’m watching this season – Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei and Hitsugi no Chaika. Right now, MKnR pacing = 3 eps/LN and a critical part of the story just got left out (one big reason I suggest you read the LN if you are dropping MKnR anime). Hitsugi no Chaika is on super-sonic pacing. LN volume 01 was “covered” by the anime in TWO episodes. In terms of the manga, 19 chapters in three episodes = a bit more than one manga volume per episode. Unreal.

        I wonder as well about the rationale behind such high-speed adaptations. Seems to me like an awful expensive way to advertise the LN/manga. Are the LN/manga profit margins that large to justify the risk/expense of anime adaptation as “advertisement”? I’d rather the focus be on maintaining the integrity of the story than a summary adaptation which covers more of it. Quality over quantity.

      4. Yeah, I don’t read mangas of LNs I’ve already read. Tried a few times, but never could get into them. Animes I’ve had a lot more success with even when I know the story. There’s something about seeing the characters you like “brought to life” that you don’t get with mangas.

        As for Mahouka, I tried to get into the LNs and couldn’t. The LN was just boring the hell out of me so I dropped it a while ago. That’s why I was hoping the anime would help. Sometimes I would watch an anime and that would spur me to look for the LN if the story seemed interesting. One of the first LN I bought was Kure-nai because I liked the anime so much.

  9. Oh man, and when i thought that this show couldn’t be any worse, this eps came in and told me how godawful it could be. The pacing was extremely tight, so tight that they’re allowed to skip certain plot points and cram many scenes all at once at lightning speed which made the eps feel so disjointed, as if i was missing many things in between. This one also failed to build the drama and tension. You know? I seriously don’t think that having a heartbroken girl who just got trashed by her friends to join a mission out of sudden is a nice way to get the viewers build our sympathy towards her. There’s just no time for that! And you know what? Rentaro got himself stabbed in the groin and shot all over his body, and yet shrugged it off in mere three seconds later in hospital was very forced. OK, given their medical advancement at the time, it doesn’t sound implausible. But the fact that it occured in mere three seconds afterwards got me almost laughing, because fail drama is best to just laugh at. Oh, and the last 5 minutes or so almost made me fall asleep. Senju’s backstories and whatnot just didn’t sound convincing. I didn’t even know who Shogen was till i rewatch previous stuff and realized that he’s a guy who only briefly appeared on eps 2. Practically no reason to care.

    OK, 3 eps rule is accomplished and i’m done with this show. Not even Masayuki Kojima in charge of directing can save it for me. Next will be Mahouka, since that show has been just absolute bore.

  10. Rushing thru the light novel like a bullet train~ ;_;, also the manga added quite a number of original scenes to make it more “feels” (which actually worked very well in my humble opinion), the anime is adapted from the light novel.

  11. man… i thought the animators are like having some LBM during the production, rushin the pace of adaptation and in one go, next episodes would cover kagetane vs rentarou “the rematch”.

    but either way its good… its good… kagetane has long been an asshole and i cant wait to see his ass getting sent to hell and receive some hardcore beating so the fast pacing is just fine for me.

    The Last Idiot
  12. Well the scene, where Rentaro fall into the Water… I know that he will survive, because he is the MC together with the Girl. And they wont die the MC just in Episode 03. So the “Shock” effect was not there

  13. I’m a little bemused by how positive the negative comments are being received.

    Not saying they aren’t justified, of course. I just realised that the series at the very beginning has thrown us viewers into a very deep end – An apocalyptic setting with a ‘do or die’ situation at the get go. I would say most viewers aren’t really ready for that kind of quick development, and my first thought that came when the inevitable big showdown that will happen comes in episode 4 is “That’s fast. Too fast.”

    Maybe the anime makers were pressed for time or budget. Whatever the case, the story isn’t being fully fleshed out and it’s a shame, really.

    But I do like how they followed up on the issue with the discrimination against the Initiators instead of leaving it hanging there. The scene that I wanted got in as well – where Enju’s best friend actually avoided her – but it’s kind of a waste to see a following scene in the source material with her and Enju being cut out due to constraint of some kind. That would have made more impact.

    There is a reason why Rentarou got back up that quickly and if one puts in some effort to do a tiny bit of research it wouldn’t feel that much of a cop-out. My concern with Black Bullet is that it keeps falling short of expectations for both the first-timers and the manga/novel readers to end up being an ‘almost there’ show. There’s a supposed grit and grimness portrayed in manga and novel and are missing here and would have made the series really awesome.

    Don’t be mistaken – I like the show still, and am glad Takaii actually picked an optimistic view of how the series is slowly starting to turn out. Just keeping my fingers crossed to see how they will do the battle between Kagetane and Rentarou and how the emotional scenes will turn out.

    1. I guess because a lot of us actually see the show for what it is. Don’t get me wrong, I also like this show…to an extent…but there’s just a lot that’s irking me about it and honestly it wouldn’t be as bad if these issues weren’t brought up in the 1st episode review. Because now I do an eye-roll every time “plot-dialouge” comes up so casually to the point where it seems obviously scripted. (like the start of this ep the way those two were talking to each other in the lab, it felt like they broke the fourth wall and waited for the show to actually start with a director telling them to begin talking about “the plot”). I guess this is a thing I’m going to be saying a lot now but:
      “People need to learn to take off their rose-colored glasses”

      1. I get you, and I do agree with certain parts on plot convenience. Only thing I’d say is I don’t have a pair of rose-colored glasses on my desk. :p

        I think knowing that a show has its flaws but knows there are some positives to it that’s still worth watching is a balanced view. Much as you’re sick of people wearing those horrendously rosy glasses, I despise it when people put on pitch black shades to look at a show and go, “Oh, it’s just another typical show in that genre with zero originality, I’ve seen this before blah blah.”

        With my mini-rant over, I’d also say it would be nice if they at least correct certain glaring flaws such as the pacing and add in content that has more emotional impact on the viewers. Basically hoping the show will improve as it goes on.

  14. Rentaro could use half of Tatsuya. Seriously kid, simmah down a bit, and you’ll come over as much more likable and less grating.

    I do like the cast, though. Enju is quite likable (part of me wants Enju to stand aside when the bratty children are attacked by Gastraea), Kisara is great, I like the Sensei… so I’ll stay on board.

  15. Good episode. Overall, very nicely done, but yes as many of us have said, it was still fairly rushed, which I guess could be dismissed with some awesome action and tension this episode brought. Now I have not read the LN yet, but I have been keeping up with the manga, and although I have no idea how fast the LN goes, I have to say the manga does a better job at pacing the story for everything to sink in. For me, I felt if I hadn’t read the manga, I probably would be confused at some part of the story, but maybe that’s just me. Overall, still a very enjoyable episode, and really looking forward to the battle with Rentarou and Kagetane( don’t want to spoil anything). The monologue with Shougen in the manga was really good, and I’m looking forward to see how that’ll play out, that was definitely one of the best moment in BB, along with the current fight in the manga!

    BTW, 3 episode in, enju still as HGNNNN as possible XD!

  16. I feel as though they are throwing the climax at us already and throwing all these feels at me while i’m kinda sitting here going like: Yeah, your situation sucks ass, I feel for you, but I’ve only known you for 3 episodes now so, I kinda don’t care enough yet. I don’t know, seeming a little bit rushed to me. But I do still love Enju :3

  17. Absolutely atrocious pacing. I really don’t see how i’m supposed to feel bad for Enju when we are barely given any time to let it sink in. The whole Rentaro and Enju moment after the dumb school scene had me rolling my eyes the entire time and only reinforces the fact that the discrimination is only being used to give more appeal to Rentaro’s character. They could really take lessons from Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei which had a MUCH more realistic take on the matter. Imo discrimination should never be used in such a crude manner just to make us like a bland lead character.

    And it looks like the loli harem that i was dreading seems to be coming together with Rentaro of course being the only nice guy around in the organization to these girls.

    Oddly enough with everyone else just being about as uninteresting as possible that somehow makes me appreciate Kagetane’s generic villainous antics. Mission accomplished?

  18. Maybe i am a cold-hearted human being. But all the melodrama about the lolis being neglected by society and being used as weapons made me feel nothing, maybe its because it doesn’t require you to be a weird cross-breed species to be neglected in the real world and be used as a weapon. So yeah, i wasn’t sold on that. Then again, maybe it’s because it is anime. When i read this in the manga i was less of an asshole. I guess the black and white and dialogue boxes make a bigger impact than hearing a seiyuu with a moe voice cry about her life. All in all in the aspect of feeling for the characters, the manga did a better job.

    On the plus side all that just lasted for half of the episode, otherwise i would have lost it. And i have to admit that when there is action in the series i find it interesting.

    1. It’s more impactful in the manga because they took the time to make the implications sink in. The emotions are also alot more raw in there as well. The anime episode is just too rushed. We didn’t even see the part where Enju cried about not knowing where else to go or that big dude turning out to be a big softie deep inside.

  19. It’s annoying how sometimes the 3 episode rule doesnt apply. I admit, episode 3 did well on getting my interest back, but that’s all that it did.

    I never read the LNs nor read the manga, but even I can tell that there are tons of material that was cut off.

    Oh well, I’ll just have to see if Black Bullet will be able to rise to the hype, or fall horribly flat in its face like Magical Warfare did

  20. Okaaaay. That episode got me confused. Enju ran away from the last episode right??? What happened to the running away thing??? (I thought I watched the wrong episode. -_-)

    Pickled Cucumber
    1. She came back and attended school again. Didn’t you notice that she was in the Cursed Children Center all along? Also, Enju’s homeroom teacher contacted Rentarou that Enju had returned to attend school so it’s not like he knew she’s coming home.

  21. I love the episode but I have one simple observation: how the hell did Rentaro survive that punishment!!!??? He was shot 3 times by a high caliber gun, crushed by a mgnectic field, stab twice by katanas and just to be sure thrown to the bottom of a cliff! 1 day and 3 hours later he gets up and goes to battlefield again! Do they have a magical elixir to cure wounds faster in that world or Rentaro has some sort of healing factor? Don´t get me wrong, I´m glad he made it through and I´m sure he´s nowhere near 100% full power but still.

    1. While not directly explained, there are a lot of hints that lead us to assume Rentarou has special powers of some sort (augmented body like mincemaker said i suppose). The sensei made a comment about how what she did to him before could never be forgiven. So the first surgery must of given him some special powers but at a great cost, one that hasn’t been revealed yet.

      I feel like the episode was a bit jam packed because they wanted to capture the viewer’s interest right away and maybe get to the meat of the story, they might slow down the pace starting from now on?

  22. Ep 04:

    What the Hell is this about? Episode 4 feels like the End of Black Bullet. As if they want to bring this very fast behind them. But with your fast Forward, you destroy my pace of build a Connection with this Anime..

    You just left me very confused, and not understand a thing, behind. Why not started with Ep 05, right away? Oh, you needed Ep 1-4 for build background?

    I bet 5-end is fast forward , too

    You lost many got changes to build connection with the Viewers..

    No, i dont like this fast forward style. no sir


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