「黒の銃弾」 (Kuro no Juudan)
“Black Bullet”

Since I’ve already spent the past few episodes moaning about the awkward pacing, let’s just jump straight into all the cool parts about this one. Because if there was anything this episode did well, it was how it unleashed a barrage of nonsense at us. And who says nonsense has to be bad?

Rentaro is the new Edward Elric

Sure it’s not the same as Winry’s automail and Rentaro is actually missing his right leg instead of his left but how can you not just get a bit giddy when you see that awesome prosthetic in action? Making up for his lack of alchemy ability by having some low-tech Iron Man Mark I levers to activate things, I think the clockwork/steampunk lover inside of me was picturing a bunch of gears and mechanical parts spinning and turning as Rentaro unleashed a barrage of pain onto Kagetane.

But just like Ed and his quick to act mentality, I can see some serious issues behind some of Rentaro’s actions during this episode. Let’s just temporarily ignore the fact that he’s got augmented body parts and the ethical questions they’re existence raises. What I’m concerned about is the content of the gunk that he injected into himself to prevent himself from bleeding out. While there’s not much we know except that the AGV drug gives someone gastrea-like healing abilities at the risk of turning into one, who’s to say that user won’t also have to worry about the virus slowly eating away at them just like the cursed children? And that’s because…

Enju Is in Trouble

It blows me away that scientists can create a drug that can give humans gastrea-like abilities but can’t devise some sort of cure to help both the cursed children and people who have been infected by the thing. Anyways, amongst all the things that happened this week (which I’ll get into in a second) I was probably most concerned with Enju’s current infection level. Seeing how they killed off the only other character who evoked any type of emotion from me, I will throw an absolute fit should Enju end up going out the same way Senju did.

Pacing and Story Woes

Okay, there’s no way I couldn’t talk about the how the story was paced this week. In what felt like an attempt to get through the Kagetane arc as quickly as possible, a lot of the emotion that I was expecting to feel just wasn’t there. No empathy for Kagetane and his somewhat noble ambitions, no empathy for a daughter who just lost her insane father, and no empathy for Rentaro ripping off his own god damn arm to save an entire city. All things that could have been the perfect catalyst to create a sense of balance amongst all the action.

I suppose I should be grateful that Senju didn’t get completely shafted. Even though we only met her last week right before the episode ended, her existence felt like a breath of fresh air. I loved the way she highlighted all the good things in Rentaro while helping develop the notion that there society needs to change how they view the cursed children. Which is probably why toward the end I felt a swelling in my chest as Rentaro had to kill one of his few precious friends.

Looking Ahead

There’s good things and bad things about this show but that could be said about almost anything, right? Here’s to hoping that this introductory arc was just trying get all the information out in as few episodes as possible in an attempt to create something beautiful with the remaining ones. I personally would love if they’d flesh out the obvious social issues as well as HOW THEY’RE GOING TO PREVENT ENJU FROM TURNING INTO A MONSTER.

See you next week!




  1. So far all your viewpoints on this title have been pretty on par with my own!

    Despite all the crazy pacing issues, I am still hoping that the rest of the episodes will be worth the watch. I’ve heard a lot of things about this series only being 13 episodes long, which unfortunately could mean a lot more of the source material will be cut out. 🙁

    Overall I’ve definitely enjoyed what I’ve watched and I hope to see Enju make it out alive despite her days seemingly being numbered.

  2. I have to admit, that gastrea looked so beautiful, with all those eys and alternating colors.

    In all honesty, I think would have wished for the Kagetane fight to have lasted for a while so that we could explore his character while getting some epic action, but it did not wreck my watching experience and I enjoyed how the scenes played out in general. But now, I’m worried about Enju and how Rentaro will act when Enju might become a gastrea creature…this is going to be heart-breaking.

  3. Sadly, the pacing was MUCH worse than it was last week. I found myself wondering to myself, “WTF is going on?!” at a bunch of points.

    Kagetane is defeated so quickly. I can forgive the general method (Rentaro’s varanium limbs) since we were already informed that something was done with Rentaro last episode, but if that was always the case, why not use the varanium limbs the first time around if it could just devastate Kagetane like that after seeing what he could do earlier? It makes the whole bit of Kagetane so effortlessly owning Rentaro just last episode feel completely unnecessary. I mean, is there some kind of limit to how much Rentaro can use them or something? No explanation.

    And it just felt a bit too convenient that there just happens to be a railgun capable of knocking out even a Class Five Gastrea sitting a short distance away after one appears…speaking of which, I was a bit bugged by the total flip-flopping in attitudes Rentaro showed. He was SO gung-ho and confident in fighting Kagetane minutes before and defeating him, yet suddenly is reduced to a whimpering, indecisive mess that requires Enju’s assistance when it comes to aiming and firing the railgun, then right after, is showing total confidence in confronting Kisara’s grandfather.

    And speaking of THAT, what really just came completely out of nowhere for me was the whole bit with Rentaro and Kisara’s grandfather, Kikunojyo. When the heck did Rentaro have ANY time to think about any of what he pointed out to Kikunojyo? Not to mention how could Kikunojyo release the Class Five Gastrea and when?

    It also felt like some unnecessary attempt to shove Rentaro down our throats as one of the ONLY decent (and/or smart) people in the WHOLE area in making others take such overly-drastic measures like risking the destruction of the whole world JUST to say, “See?! These girls are bad!” to those around them and, to us viewers, “See?! Everyone except this ONE guy are total blind, narrow-minded a-holes!”

    1. In the light novel is explained a lot better how they got the leads that pointed out Kikuknojyo´s participation in the incident. You have to understand something about this old man, he´s insane as hell, maybe even more that Kagetane, he was counting with Rentaro and the other Civil Security Officers for killing off Kagetane before a Stage would make appearance.

      Even if Tokyo Area was destroyed that doesn´t represent all the world, there are another 5 cities protected by Monoliths in Japan so the goverment could just scape there but his goal would be fulfilled it, nobody would dream of given the Cursed Children humans after knowing one of them help the summon Scorpio to destroy Japan´s largest Monolith city; worse yet, after the information got leaked the public opinion is against the poor girls more than ever so he got almost what he wanted.

      Why didn´t Seitenshi executed this guy? They only have circunstancial evidence and the only one who could point the finger just off himself. Also, Kikunojyo is the only competent advisor Seitenshi has, Yeah he´s that useful, killing him would leave her without a great ally to mantain order in the Tokyo Area.

      1. Yeah, I had that very open feeling impression, like there were HUGE holes in the anime that the source material most likely covered themselves. It makes me wonder if it’s really due to poorly thought out cutting of the material from the anime version or if they’re just trying way too hard to get people to go out and buy the LN.

    2. Dude you have NO idea how long I’ve been saying that same exact thing. It’s such a cheap use of discrimination to give appeal to an otherwise bland character. I really just don’t approve of painting most of society as complete idiots who have no sympathy these children. If people are crazy enough to perform at circuses after the lions have already mauled them TWICE I think there would be someone willing to give these kids a chance.

    3. ITA

      it felt way too rushed and half the scenes started out abruptly. I almost thought the beginning was a dream sequence up until they showed the higher ups watching it on their screens.

      and yes to the Rentaro/Kagetane fight scene. Don’t really need to rehash how ridiculous that was.

      also that was another thing that bothered me about his confrontation with Kisara’s grandfather as well. when did he conclude that more than likely scenario he accused him of? I felt like I missed something until I realized they just skipped it or sth.

      a box like Hippo
  4. Now THIS is pacing issues.

    No level of high quality art work can save an anime that cant deliver its story. I’m sure the loli that Rentaro shot was suppose to make us feel some righteous loli fury…. but it fell flat on its face so badly that my lolicon rage meter didnt even react.

    Oh well, might as well keep it going and see if it can pull a 180 on us

    1. Well I felt really sad for Senju, the moment someone treated her like human for the first she fell pray to the virus but they should have used this episode for the fight with Kagetane and then dela with Scorpio and Srnju in the next, that would have brought more sentiment to the scene.

    2. Yeah I felt the same way, I was thinking of dropping this after reading some spoiler from the LN and how depressing the story will be but with how fast the plot moves in the anime i barely felt anyhing,
      the only part that actually hit me pretty hard is when Kagetane’s daughter helplessly calling out to him
      but not so much when Rentarou had to kill Senju since we barely know her that much.
      So i guess might as well continue watching, hell i have a feeling they’re going for an anime original ending with this show with so many materials being cut.

      1. They skipped out on the whole bond part, which was… I don’t even know why they did it. THey could have easily included 2-3 lines about how Sougen actually does care about his initiator.

        Sora no Kaze
  5. That bike is all the proof I needed, the gastrea must be some sort of biological weapon experiment that went horribly wrong and the 11 Stage 5 Gastrea are the original test subjects for the Gastrea Virus. They must reatin some of their memories so that bike could an important object from Scorpio´s past, it would make sense to how they appear from nowhere and why the Stage 5 are outside of the evolutionary chain of the virus, they are the origin, something like Alex Mercer in the Prototype game.

    1. that’s a solid theory. I just thought the bike was to show that the grandfather just sent them out on wild goose chase so they could unleash the Gastrea. but your theory is more sound. the Gastrea must be cursed children once their corrosion rate sky rockets, hence the bike being used as bait to get them to show up.

      a box like Hippo
  6. This felt like going through the comic book class I took in college again. The instructor told us to make a story in in 4-6 pages with a beginning, middle, and end for one assignment (being the person I am I refused to do some cheap/lame oneshot without good content). I had to jam so much content in there even I felt no emotional attachment towards the characters I created….same applies here. Like I don’t get why they would rush this series? People seem to enjoy it a lot but if it keeps on rushing ahead like it has done so far, the negative feelings towards it will only grow larger.

  7. … Hmm, I was expecting this fight and stuff to last 2-3 episodes at least from the manga. Let alone, they remove tidbits such as how Sougen, actually HAD A HEART for his partner and is a boss!!! He still wants to keep fighitng, despite having a sword in his back. While Enju leads him, he talks about how fighting is great, for the both of them (Him with brawn vs. her with brain), because away from all the fighting, they suffer from all the discrimination no matter how much they try. Sougen is effectively saying to be “used” so he can justify her existence and show the world how wrong they are. (this is also major fuel for Rentarou to basically start kicking some ass). With regards to the actual battle, I was also expecting… something much longer… but I’ll list that in my spoiler in stead.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    I… I don’t know how they figured out the pacing, but I guess they really want to get onto the next Arc that badly…. Like really badly…Which happens some times, but I don’t think it was worth rushing the entire first arc just to get there, especially the finale of the arc which has so many thing revealed and such.

    Now Shoujen just some apparent douche, we get to learn all the secrets literally in one episode (Which is like, basically saying, HEY GUYS, we don’t know how to keep the first arc interesting enough, so we’ll just spoil you everything in one episode, and jump to the next arc, which should be 100 times better!) Yeah… we got the wrong studio to work on this show >.>…

    Sora no Kaze
  8. Haven’t seen this episode yet but Kagetane dies? Depending on the flow of the story I actually support cool antagonists though they may be crazy and stuff rather than pathetic protagonists. Let Tokyo be destroyed and the story continues from there.

      1. Show Spoiler ▼

  9. Sadly, have to agree with Takaii and others regarding what I consider the worst pacing for the show yet. I swear, Black Bullet and Hitsuga no Chaika are in some secret competition to see who can cover the most source material in the least amount of episodes. Combine that with multiple WTF moments (which may be due source material rather than adaptation issues) and this was my least favorite episode thus far. Not good.

    In what felt like an attempt to get through the Kagetane arc as quickly as possible, a lot of the emotion that I was expecting to feel just wasn’t there.

    Exactly my thoughts. I was shocked at how the the fight appeared to be treated as a nuisance rather than a climatic end. Rentaro got pawned by Kagetane what, two, three times before, and now for… reasons, dismisses him with little effort. Not what I expected or wanted.

    It blows me away that scientists can create a drug that can give humans gastrea-like abilities but can’t devise some sort of cure to help both the cursed children and people who have been infected by the thing.

    Personally I would have preferred Senju to survive even if she’s relegated to off screen retirement. Probably a minority view, but despite relatively little screen time overall, I still had a favorable impression of her. Without question the frenetic, staccato pacing didn’t help, but one becomes inured to emotional impact when characters start dying left and right. All things in moderation. JMO.

    Back on point, her Gastreafication didn’t bother me. IMO, that was set up (foreshadowed?) by the whole daily shot routine we saw before. Her Promoter viewed her as a tool so I wouldn’t be surprised if the two were not diligent in that regard, and the stresses of combat simply tipped the viral balance. At least that’s how I viewed it.

    As for the Gastrea inspired healing drug, I feel compelled to mention that according to the subs I watched (Horrible), there was a 20% chance of turning into Gastrea when used. I counted five syringes used simultaneously by Rentaro. Last I checked, 5 x 20% = 100%. I suppose it could be 20% each time no matter the amount, but my point is that was it REALLY necessary to go so over-the-top (“OTT”) here? JMO, but I think using one injection would have worked just fine without all the OTT theatrics.

    And yeah, the WTF moments. Many of them have already been posted (*shakes fist at HalfDemonInuyasha for posting first* :P), but a couple others.

    – Not only was the giant, near-light speed (>_>) railgun conveniently nearby, but it also functioned remarkably well for being abandoned for AFAIK about a decade. Just add ammo and you’re good to go.

    – Speaking of ammo, probably me nit-picking since I read a lot of WWII military history, but substituting an extremely poor ballistic prosthetic limb, varanium or not, for what is essentially some type of cannon shell or giant bullet (800mm) broke credibility for me on multiple levels. Aiming the railgun is the least of your worries with that type of “ammo”. Too OTT for my tastes and there are several other more credible, if mundane, ways to have something go wrong if you need to add tension.

    – The whole end with Rentaro and the old guy (forget this name) didn’t sit well with me either. Again, the story is pushing things to far IMO. Initially, I was willing to buy into the “General public think Cursed Children = monsters” plot line. HOWEVER, it’s just too hard to buy into 99.99% think that way when it’s pretty damn clear to viewers that cursed children are innocent victims of a viral infection before they were even born, not to mention the fact that they are the the only effective means of Gastrea control apart from Level 5 Gastrea. Again, some moderation would do wonders here IMO.

    I’ll give a pass on Rentaro figuring it what really happened (though that was abrupt), and even calling past debts even so as not to put a well deserved bullet into the old guy, but the old guy’s “excuse” still rankles with me. A LOT Of people died over the past decade or so (like Retnaro’s parents, hint), yet few if any other survivors feel compelled to risk dooming humanity in order to exact revenge. Again, just too OTT/pushing things too far for my tastes.

    Getting long so I’ll end with this. I had fairly high hopes for this series even if my expectations were moderate. The past three episodes were less than desirable, largely due to frenetic pacing, but palatable at least. This episode, however, for me was a significant step down. I’m not planning on dropping the show, as I still like the set up and some of the characters (Enju primarily). However, I truly hope that going forward, future episodes are markedly better.

    1. It gets more depressing when you consider that it´s already confirmed that the show will only 13 episodes, I hope they don´t butcher the source material too much beacuse this an amazing story that deserves better than a rushed adaptation.

    2. Chaika has much better pacing than Black Bullet, by a pretty significant margin. At least Chaika can be understood for the anime-only viewer, with Black Bullet though the major points of conflict and suspense are rushed through so fast that it makes one wonder just what the main battle is going to be.

      This seriously needed to be a 24 episode run.

      1. @Pancakes: I’m sure a 2-cour run would potentially be of great help though that could be said for any number of LN or even manga adaptations. However, IMO as MKnR shows, a 2-cour run doesn’t guarantee anything. This show could get a 2-cour run and simply just try to cover twice the source material (if available). I’m assuming that this episode = end of LN volume 1. If LN volume 2 is a self contained arc, then seems to me the answer is to simply cover TWO LN volumes in a 1-cour season. Been done before.

        At least Chaika can be understood for the anime-only viewer, with Black Bullet though the major points of conflict and suspense are rushed through so fast that it makes one wonder just what the main battle is going to be.

        As for Chaika’s pacing being “much better”, I disagree. Frankly, I’d rather NOT know what the main/final battle is going to be several episodes or volumes earlier. Makes for a more interesting and entertaining watch/read that way. At least for Black Bullet I’ve got a pretty decent understanding about the main characters. By comparison, Toru (Chaika) is tissue paper thin in the anime adaptation, and it’s not the source material’s fault.

        Chaika’s current pacing is TWO episodes per LN volume, or ONE episode per manga volume. That’s simply horrendous pacing. Period. I’ve read comments elsewhere that use the description “butcher” for Chaika’s adaptation as well. The anime cut about two whole manga chapters worth of background story for the MC alone so far.

        There is about as much depth to the characters in Chaika’s anime adaptation as reading the CliffsNotes version – and it does create WTF moments. For example, WHY he is willing to help her on what would seem to be a sure path to war (and it’s NOT simply because he’s bored and/or needs a job). Of course that’s not the only thing that’s been cut. It’s unreal. The anime can’t even take 20 seconds to explain Chaika’s stilted dialog. LOL

        Granted JMO, but BOTH adaptations are cutting too much material and going too fast. Sadly, as I noted above, IMO they are not alone in that regard this season.

      2. There is never any guarantee of success, even with two cours, but the additional time would at least have allowed for a better fleshing out of important points being quickly glanced over. Ironically similar situation as Mahouka right now all things considered.

        I think you misinterpreted my point about the main battle bit though, I never intended to mean that we should know what it’s going to be right away; likely my fault for not explaining my opinion better. IMO, the central conflict should be gradually led into (with a hint or two dropped here and there beforehand) to better build up tension and continually drag the viewer/reader further in. Black Bullet, however, in the rush to reach a specific point in a single cour seems to have done away with this necessity, leading to a sense of disconnect where it’s unclear what’s important and what’s secondary. Take Kagetane for example, I’m pretty sure most anime-only viewers like myself considered him the main antagonist and certainly did not expect him to drop dead 4 episodes in. There needed to be more time for this climax, better construction of Rentarou and associated characters to create a sense of attachment and thus shock once the conclusion was reached. Additional time would have also allowed for a better shift into the next arc and removed the sense of “WTF is going on?” many viewers had this episode.

        As for Chaika I am biased as I’ve never heard of it until now. The pacing works for me personally because I never expected it to break any molds nor be removed of plot holes/background info that are dealt with by the LNs (as you have described). For all of its defects though, Chaika is still better than some other similar shows this season, Blade and Soul being one of them. Sadly just another case of YMMV.

      3. It feels like opposites with Black Bullet and Chaika with the animes to me.

        Black Bullet isn’t too bad with the characters (at least Rentarou and Enju), but the plot just feels so rushed and disjointed and really pressures people to keep up or buy the LN to get what’s going on a majority of the time.

        Chaika feels the other way around. The plot doesn’t feel so rushed so far (again, never saw the source material, but I’m sure a lot more is explained there) and I’m able to keep up with the general gist of it, but we know next to nothing about the characters, primarily Toru and Akari, their backgrounds, and what their deal is with their transformations and such, so it’s really hard to care about them as, at the moment, they feel like secondary main characters while Chaika feels like the only main character. I can at least feel for Chaika with her wanting to find her father’s remains to bury them, but Toru and Akari feel like nearly blank slates.

    3. I share your sentiments. The manga had me so excited with how well the first few chapters managed to grab my attention and just keep me wanting more.

      The anime adaptation thus far has been rather lackluster. It’s a shame but I don’t think there’s anyone who can disagree :/

      1. @Takaii: It is a shame. Wish the LN was translated (at least a few volumes) so I could read that and fill in the gaps. If it’s any consolation, I’m still planning to ride this one out with you. 😀

      2. The sad part is that generally, most anime are fansubbed and are done really quickly. For mangas, there are still many manga that are not scanlated and are not always “up-to-date”. So if you’re lucky, the anime is a superior adaptation and you can enjoy it. If you’re unlucky, the anime is the horrible adaptation yet no one wants to translated the manga or the source so you have to stick with the anime.

        I still remember how many were upset at how Chrome Shelled Regios or Legend of the Legendary Heroes were adapted.

        In this case, I would not say that the anime version of Black Bullet was horrible, but there is definitely a lot to be desired. There are things that it does well and others thing that they decided to rush too much. I mean, seriously they could have just focus on the battle between Kagatane and Rentarou this episode so that they could adapt as much as they can from the source and then focus on the aftermath and the giant zodiac gastrea next episode! That would helped a lot! Unfortunately, you can’t really choose how much money they should put into an adaption. I think that Mahouka this season is actually one of the luckier adaptation that obviously have a lot of money backing them. Black Bullet not so much… but still much better than the atrocity that was Mahou Sensou.

      3. I agree too.

        They should have used a 6 episode / novel formula instead of the current 4 episode formula.

        Quite a few shows have suffered from the 4 episodes / novel formula this season.

    4. I also found some issues that weren’t explained clearly enough.

      Like how Sougen got that huge sword stuck in his back and apparently DIDN’T NOTICE.

      Like why Rentaro would use 5 syringes of AGV when they have a 20% chance of turning him into a Gastrea. Unless either Kagetane or the Gastrea 10yrs ago struck him “there”, and he thought it was worth the gamble…

      But my biggest gripe is with the railgun. I get it being outside of the city (radiation issues, potential terrorism, Gastrea are attracted to humans). What I don’t get is why they didn’t proof it against interfering with external access. Or that it’s accessible to anyone on-site with a phone compatible with microUSB (4-digit PIN, of course. Wouldn’t want it to be too accessible).

      Also, it’s supposed to be a last resort thing, why has doesn’t it have ammo?
      Do piercing type missiles work better against Stage Fives than explosive type missiles?
      They knew Rentaro defeated Kagetane when his signal was lost. If they had his signal and could track his location, couldn’t they have supported the other Civil Officers better?

      Why does manual targeting have two crosshairs – sinking Rentaro into despair?
      Why does Sougen even use a sword?
      How does Seitenshi even keep her clothes in perfect condition?
      How much EXP does Rentaro get for effectively killing Scorpio with a rocket punch?

  10. If anything, it’s impressive how Takaii was able to churn out so many things to talk about. While in truth, this episode can be easily summarized into “Nonsensical stuff occur for 20 minutes straight and we audience are expected to just roll with it”.

    1. This is why I don’t like the anime. It is taking out stuff that completely changes how the characters appear. They made Shougen to be a total asshole to make it look like the only person to treat Senju as a human being is Rentaro when it is not the case at all. I might as well drop the show right here but I’m giving it one last chance next week.

      Show Spoiler ▼

  11. Pacing issues, lack of empathy for characters – I would add to that list Kagetano coming down from boring invincible anti-villain to punching bag for Rentaro – still one of better action series this season…
    What I liked: the way Enju eased up Rentaro’s tension when firing the gun. She certainly knows her love declaration can be only played off as a joke, and used this to make Rentaro smile, and therefore relax. She’s clever for 10 year old, aside from being all-powerful Initiator and super cute… Give her a few years and she will be lovely woman – if they don’t kill her off before with the risisng infection levels before, that is. Speaking of which, all those girls are ticking time bombs, not in the gastrea infection itself sense, but they eventually will grow up, and at least some of them will find partners. Is gastrea infection passed down to offspring in the second generation too? Ooops…
    What I would love to see: at least few of Enju’s classmates coming down to her defence, when she had her cover blown – or the authorities giving her a hero’s welcome to acknowledge her role in taking down the level 5 Gastrea…

  12. I just knew that blonde girl was going to die, she was the only one out of the cannon fodders that had any depth to her. As for Shogen, glad he went out like a punk although I am surprise by how easily he was taken out.

    I do wonder if his daughter have been capture and dissected or she fled.

  13. Adaptations will ALWAYS have issues. Adaptations have always been something that is used as a supplement to the source material. As a result, viewers that are not able to read or view the source material will always be at a disadvantage since what they can view or read will be their “source” even though it’s only an adaptation.

    Black Bullet also has a manga adaptation. The scene in the anime where Rentarou had his stomach blasted through with Enju crying evoked a lot more feelings in the manga (already been scanlated to this point) where you feel very very bad for Enju. In the anime, you still feel bad but not as much due to the adaptation trying to cram everything into the first 12 minutes. Yet, the manga was only another adaptation of the light novel.

    This is why when I heard that MF Bunko was going to adapt 5 light novels to anime, I was really happy yet nervous at the same time. This prove to be true because Mahou Sensou (Magical Warfare) was horribly adapted. Another light novel that is part of the 5 light novels to be adapted is Madan no Ou to Vanadis. It’s a light novel that has well developed characters, battle of wits, battle tactics, battle strategies, and more. The manga adaptation of it while had great art, suffered for “lower quality” battle tactics and some of the battle of wits were not present. As you can tell, the manga however was a good supplement to the source as it gives you a visual aspect to it but at a certain cost.

    Fortunately, Madan no Ou to Vanadis light novel have been translated up to the most recent volume but this does not extend to Black Bullet. Therefore, for the viewers who do not understand Japanese, the anime is all we’re going to get as our “source” which is rather unfortunate since Black Bullet had a lot of tragedy, tearjerker moments, and also quite philosophical (which a lot of have already been removed from the anime).

    1. It’s becoming clear that some of these shows are basically done to (A) give people a “preview” of the LN and (B) get LN fans to buy the DVDs at ridiculous prices just to support the author.

      Not a bad idea, but utterly shafting the western viewers who lack access to the source material.

    2. Oh yes. It’s almost a given that source material would almost always be better than adapted versions. Also mande me remember that there are so many things that novels and books can convey that TV shows simply just can’t because of time constraint or budget issues. That’s reasonable considering the difference in cost, but still horribly unsatisfying when you see a much loved source material get butchered and give people all kinds of wrong impressions about the story.

      I love Madan no Ou to Vanadis to bits and I agree with you on the manga and LN perspectives, even on feeling excited yet apprehensive about how things will turn out (even went through in my head how I would want to pace the anime were I the director). I’m guessing most LN readers feel that way.

      On the other hand, you have awesome adaptations like Oregairu and Log Horizon, so it’s really a hit-and-miss thing and dependent on who’s directing the anime. Gonna keep my fingers crossed on Madan no Ou!

      1. I personally enjoyed the High School DxD anime adaptation and that is coming from one who read all the novels. To me, DxD successfully got the base plotline and built up the characters as we expect from the novel in two short seasons. Yes, plenty of explanations/scenes were cut but cuts and things were rearranged, but the changes completely made sense. I guess it also helps that they chose to adapt 6 eps per novel. Oh well, the anime studio and director always plays a big role.

        Well, back to the Black Bullet episode on hand…It’s always sad to see such wasted potential due to pacing. The budget was there for the animation and character designs, yet story gets thrown out the window…Anime is supposed to be the ultimate form of story telling, yet shows adapted like Black Bullet turn out to be nonsensical trailers spanning 12 – 13 episodes…

        Sorry, not trying to ranting, but this spring season had a few more disappointments than expected…

  14. ok… we are getting to that tense, ENJU TO A FREAKIN MONSTER plot… s!ht man… i can’t take that. (oh well… i still got shiro from no game no life anime)

    if my fast paced reading is right and i havent skipped some important parts, even after volume 4, which would be the extent of the cover of this anime, Show Spoiler ▼

    The Last Idiot
  15. Alright that dumb fight with Kagetane had me laughing the entire time. Is there a reason Rentaro didn’t reveal his arm and leg powers before this? He was quite literally on the verge of death if i’m not mistaken earlier. Then he uses all the syringes and it’s like “Ok now I’m stronger. Let’s fight again!”. As if there wasn’t even a risk to be had at all! Afterwards Kagetane turns into some masochistic Jehovah witness.
    Oh man that killed me. Can’t say it wasn’t entertaining though.

    I’m also confused as to why the last hope for mankind is just sitting in forest very much unmaintained and unguarded. How is the thing even operational? And if someone was maintaining it why wasn’t there anything loaded into it? I think it mentioned something about a leak? But that would just go against the idea that someone was looking after it. They should have that thing fully protected and maintained considering someone evil could just waltz in and blow up the thing. Lucky Kagetane didn’t find out about it eh? And of course it’s pretty stupid that it was conveniently laying near by.

    All that said though I did like the scene where Rentaro had to shoot the kid before she turned into a Gastrea. I’ve always been a sucker for zombie flicks that have conclusions like that so it managed to pull my heart strings abit. If only she was a more developed character it would have had much more impact.

    The scene with the old man made me scratch my head a whole bunch. The audience has absouletly no idea how Rentaro figured all this stuff out and it only comes off as confusing.

    To add to that it’s really REALLY stupid that Rentaro didn’t get fully promoted considering he beat a guy who pretty much killed the entirety of Promoters/Cursed Children they sent in and stopped a giant monster that could have easily destroyed the world.

    What more do you want from the guy? Even if i don’t like him he still deserves MUCH more than that.

    This is one of the reasons why i hardly read any manga/LN’s anymore. Because when you come across an adaption that absouletly dashes your expectations with crappy pacing it stings much more than it would for an anime only viewer.

    1. That’s the thing. So much have been cut out that things don’t make sense anymore. The things you pointed out are actually explained.

      Besides, the railgun is not exactly “unmaintained and sitting in the forest”. It’s more of a political tool that has not been prepared to be used yet but soon. Basically a secret weapon not for the use against gastrea only but as a threat to other countires and cities but just not yet prime time for it to be revealed until it had to be used due to the emergence of the level 5 gastrea. Of course, all of this is cut out.

      Also Rentarou does get rewarded but politics will always have a reason to down play his achievements to the public. It’s actually a good thing for his safety though.

      “This is one of the reasons why i hardly read any manga/LN’s anymore.”
      But wouldn’t this be rather unfair for the source? The author does not have much power over the matter in how it’s adapted. If someone decides to do a crappy adaptation and you decided to completely skip it just because of that, it would hurt.

      1. If i come across a show that’s like this then that’s generally what causes me to go and read stuff to see what massive amounts of info were left out.

        I’m talking about the case of reading new stuff. I’ve personally been through many experiences where I’m really getting into a good manga and jump for joy once it’s finally adapted only to have it butchered in the worst way possible. This isn’t he original artists fault yes but generally speaking the animation studio still has to show the content to the original creator at some point. Though i suspect that they don’t really care to much since they have a schedule to keep up with. The only instance I’ve seen so far where the writer was dissatisfied with their adaptation was Magical Warfare and that was pretty recent.

      2. They don’t really have much of a say. If I remembered correctly, the author for Break Blade was in a similar situation where he apparently just said “forget it, you guys are on your own” about the recent adaptation. Of course I have not delved into it so I don’t know all the details but cases like these do happen.

  16. this episode was pretty bad imo. they pulled out all the tropes with this one.

    that fight was a total ass pull. why did Rentaro choose that fight to reveal he was bionic rather than the two previous times he fought Kagetane? just for this fight of course. and those parts really wouldn’t have saved him when he got run through and shot in his regular body last episode. then they served up a a nice macguffin for him to inject himself with so he could win. though is Kagetane dead? probably not.

    then he’s got to go fire a rail gun that’s conveniently out of bullets so he can pull off his arm and use it to save the city. what?! besides feeling randomly abrupt, his arm and bullets are not the same thing. but it works, whatever. time to go shoot a kid outside after she tells him they’ll always be friends. wow, at being exploitative.

    then he points his gun at the grandfather, pointlessly threatening him, shouts, and wanders off. he needs to stop doing that, shouting about justice and all that, since he’s not really a character, just a cipher for outrage. rinse and repeat.

    and then it’s shown Enju is getting closer to her corrosion state. I guess I should’ve seen that one coming since this whole episode was very trope worthy.

    I guess I’ll be driopping this though I’ll give it one more episode maybe.

    a box like Hippo
    1. His reasons as to why he did not use his bionic before was *sigh* also cut out from the adaptation.

      Well, just enjoy what the anime has to offer. If you’re at least interested, try reading other adaptations if you can to see if it’s better for you. The source won’t be available unfortunately although there’s a lot of summaries and spoilers on the light novel thread on AnimeSuki if you’re interested in all those answers.

  17. This would’ve been so much better if it was 2 cour or instead of adapting 4 volumes, do 2 instead since Black Bullet is a heavy light novel, 6-7 episodes per volume would’ve been sooo goood instead of cutting a hell lot of stuff.

    Can’t believe they skip this at the ending

    Show Spoiler ▼

  18. Well…4 episodes in and the most prevalent issue (no prizes for guessing what it is) has yet to be fixed. I’d say Black Bullet looks to be the Overhyped show of the season or the biggest letdown.

    Very disappointed with the fight. The process was anticlimactic, and it really did feel like the show was simply going through the motion with the entire episode. Sure, some parts of the action were flashy, but they changed the killing blow on Rentarou with…that? Talk about a letdown.

    There were still some good parts, and I have to agree with Takaii on Senju. Despite only being in the spotlight for a couple of episodes, she invokes more emotion in me (speaking of which, I’m also disappointed with how they handled Shogen) than most characters. one realises that the Initiators don’t just differ in their abilities, but also in their personalities, their way of living, their life philosophies and stuff that reminds us of that one sensible thing Rentarou has been emphasizing on – They are human.

    The fact that Tendou is using his power to stop Seitenshi’s plan to give equal rights was just…utterly short-sighted and stupid. That said, it highlights just how deep hatred gets for the Initiators and the Gastrea, a fact that would have probably been well elaborated in the LN but not the anime.

    I’m still following this, at least to find answers to the same questions Rentarou asked near the end of the episode, as well as how Enju turns out and the aftereffects of the AGV used on Rentarou’s body. If there’s one thing really positive to say about that, that is the four episodes in this first arc has drastically lowered my expectations for an awesome show, and perhaps I might even get surprised in the near future.

    And thanks for keeping up with this Takaii. Appreciate it. 🙂

  19. It’s sad that the pacing is nearly butchering this anime. The Kagetane arc could have made for some great emotional moments and better setups for the future, but that would have needed a minimum of 6-7 episodes.

    I’ll still keep watching. Its not necessarily bad but compared to the manga it falls short, badly.

    Too many Adaptions are crammed into 13 episodes which really need 26 atleast. This one is just another victim of that. 🙁

  20. https://randomc.net/image/Black%20Bullet/Black%20Bullet%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2023.jpg

    Yes you should take that as a proposal. I would =3

    But seriously, good lord that “execute” scene was difficult to watch. Had it been grown adults or whatnot I wouldn’t of had any issues. But something about finishing off a little girl is just… so unsettling and emotionally taxing.

    I don’t believe Kagetane is gone either. If you finish somebody off only for them to vanish, in this case sink to the bottom of the ocean, you just know they’re not gone for good lol.

    P Ko
    1. It´s like when you defeat Ganondorf in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, how many of you think he´s really dead? No sir, he´s just one evil statue wating the right moment to get back at world in general and two blonde heroes in particular.

  21. lol, fastest punch ever just recorded: railgun speed

    Anyways, hate to say it, but I’m very disappointed with the anime regarding the kagetane and rentarou since I’ve read the manga. I highly recommend people to read the manga. There will be no spoilers at all since the anime rushed so hard they already overtook the manga. The manga’s fight is much better.

  22. There’s so many more questions I have after this episode:
    – Why was Rentaro so weak in the beginning episode 1 if he had those cybernetic enhancements? Was that just pointlessly concealing his true power for a drawn out climax?
    – Is Kagetane dead? Usually kicking someone into the water doesn’t mean dead.
    – If they had a railgun that could disintegrate Stage 5’s, how the hell did humans lose to the Gastrea to the point that they are in an Attack on Titan walled in situation?
    – How is that old rusty rail gun still perfectly functional?
    – Did they get paid? Hell, for killing an enemy that massacred a good proportion of the city’s civil fighters AND killing a Stage 5 monster, Rentaro’s agency should be rewarded a set-for-life fortune so they never have to worry about rushing for time-sales again. If the story freaking fines them for damages or something, consider this shit dropped…

    1. For your questions, mind that I have read the summary of the L/N Black Bullet, so some of the points can be wrong during the summary
      Show Spoiler ▼

  23. >Seeing how they killed off the only other character who evoked any type of emotion from me, I will throw an absolute fit should Enju end up going out the same way Senju did
    I god, how much I quote this! Kayo was one of my fav chars out there. I already took for a given she was joining Rentaro’s party as a ranged pg!! Damn!
    Anyhow I don’t think actually Enju will end her life like that. I get a weird Eureka7 vibe from there and … given how they often portray cursed children as the new future of humanity, couldn’t it be that this ‘erosion’ process could end not into a gastrea monster but some enhanced human being? That’s just a guess or wishfull thinking none the less. Let’s see if I was prophetic or dumb later!!

    And, about pacing. There’s a manga of this too, but… it suffers from exactly the opposite pacing issues as the anime: It’s too slow, full of dumb angst and development is quite stupid. Check out Kagetane vs Rentaro fight for example. It make less sense in the manga as it’s developed as an excalation of useless powerups. The fight is won by Rentaro’s strenght of will alone for the sake of Enju.

    1. Well,

      Rentaro wins the Fight against Kagetane with a (not so) Surprise attack. Renatro shows him, he is the Boss!!!


      Alert! Alert!, Level 5 Mob summoned!!!. Hae? Kagetane is defended, but anyway. The Big Gun that can take it out is right next to you. Enjoy!!!!

      After the Years, the Gun is still functionally… Well, dont mind it to much. Dont think on the small things.
      Oh, in the Startup Sequence all was Green. Then suddenly a Error appears!!. No Ammo!!!, no more Remote Control!!, even Radio is failing!!!… DRAMA!!! not

      It was clear that he would put some of his Limbs in this Gun. Because they are the same Material that the Gun needs. But then CPU AIM Control fail!!… Switch to Manual targeting!!!… DRAMA!!! not (because if he would fail, the Anime would end with Episode 4, right?)


      Suddenly he stands in front of this Old Men, and know everything. WTF? He can read peoples Minds!!!! Hes a Mage!!! not


      To many “Cuts” in one Episode. I bet original this end was made with 12 Episodes in mind. But suddenly someone came into to Studio “Screw, this shitty end!. I want a World’s tomorrow!” (Code Geass. All Hail Lelouch)

      To much Main pillars compressed into only 1 Episode!!!…
      My Mind exploded with Tears, and so i dont understand a thing…

      1. So what? I can agree that this episode contains such information they could have made three episodes indeed, but how such a manga, that, conversely adds a lot of unnecessary stuff and wastes plot devices like water can beat that? Neither of those is made well enough IMHO.

  24. I find it amusing that people can rag on pacing being too fast instead of the usual case for shonen shows, which is often too plodding. While I’m still trying to wrap my head around the plot’s implications, I kind of like the heady, breathless feeling Black Bullet’s breakneck speed is giving me.

    Also, was I the only one laughing when they realized that the friggin’ gun was out of bullets? I mean, who does that? Their military is shockingly inept.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *