Possibly the highest anticipated series of the season, if not the year, Black Rock Shooter arrives fashionably late to noitaminA’s timeslot – and definitely was this wait worth it as the action only begins to spiral up.
We can’t help but start by mentioning this series is ridiculously stylish – aesthetically and in all else, it carries so much unique flavor not found elsewhere, a highly avant garde experience much in thanks to the unreal skill and unmatched technique of Huke, the artist responsible for the very inception of Black Rock Shooter. And as his creation comes alive in a now fully featured anime series on a critically acclaimed network slot, noitaminA, expectations were not achieved – they were abolished, completely decimated by a display far too transcendental to scale in words.
Kuroi begins her first year of highschool in a fairly airheaded manner, glancing around and labeling items within her mind with a single word based on their color or another specific trait. Childish indeed does this seem – yet in all fairness, she’s a female, and incidentally a rather cute one with short twintails who honestly does look quite delicate and cheerful like a little kid.
As she prances around with her thoughts scattered all over the place, focusing on nothing more than random objects, she bumps into two other girls rushing by – about to get slightly upset over it, yet a third female approaches her and interrupts the sentiment. A megane clad bishoujo, Takanashi Yomi, comes to offer her hand to our heroine – and whilst our heroine doesn’t take it, out of surprise not spite, she takes a liking to this nice girl who offered to help her up and begins chatting with her.
The two don’t immediately hit it off as friends – rather, there remains a seeming unknown tension in the air on part of the megane bishoujo. As Kuroi then later wanders off to who knows where, she’s approached by another girl who appears to be a good friend of hers – the two go on to explore a bit around the school and check out some clubs, before Kuroi ultimately heads on home.
It’s worth mentioning in respect to the visuals two things, for a bunch of girls in seifukus, they all still boast individual characteristics – with the hair mainly being a highly differing aspect amongst them, and even varying greatly than that seen in most other anime artwork for that matter. Affixing attention now on the visage, the characters faces are not constructed in the typical manner as most anime – it is hard to pinpoint what exactly all the details are, yet the eye shape is one very prominent facet, as is the mouth.
Every girl has quite a gorgeous smile in this anime as one will see, and that’s simply as its illustrated with curves all so well. Yet there exists attributes even more subtle than that, however immensely potent nonetheless – look below to the image of the girls drinking from mugs, their eyelids slightly dip in, it’s miniscule a feature, but these intricacies are what set apart a desert and a paved road, embedding a sense of vitality within the animation rather than have it be bland. And this all will be most well seen once the series starts getting fired up in a few.
Kuroi whilst on her way home crosses paths with Takanashi – yet Kuroi needn’t even say much as once Yomi notices a strap hanging from Kuroi’s phone which comes right out of a book she loves, she’s too excited to keep treading on as if she didn’t see it. The two learn that they’re quite fond of the same children’s literature piece – and from there on, even though Yomi has been hesitating for a good while it appeared she was becoming too close to Kuroi, not as a person, but as a friend, she invites her over.
Enjoyment is had to a great extent as they discuss and share, however Yomi panics as another party arrives – one who appears to have invited themselves. A katawa shoujo who looks almost as if a blonde haired, wheel chair restricted rendition of the also sickly Kasugano Sora from Yosuga no Sora. Whilst this blonde doesn’t look particularly bad a person upon her entry, it’s takes nothing but eyes and ears to immediately conclude she’s not quite right in the head – nor personality-wise either.
What relationship this wheel chair equipped girl has to Yomi, we don’t know – yet Yomi is worried, and the girl noticeably is trying her best to scare off this intruder, our heroine, who wants to become Yomi’s friend. One will quickly come to understand Yomi has been isolated for a good time as this girl drives many others away – proving cruel to our heroine as well, making her feel like unwanted trash. Kuroi does become down over it, not much a shock there – yet a visit to the school’s counselor restores her spirit enough to ask Yomi to join her to a festival.
Now while this is a great turn of events, elsewhere, in another realm, some more discerning incidents are occurring – the Black Rock Shooter herself is traversing a land dream-like and no matter whether she tries to run or fight, she’s being gruesomely assaulted by some sort of mechanical craft.
Don’t think merely that as the colors are vivid, it’s not any less gristly – Black Rock Shooter gets stabbed, gouged, smashed, crushed, and most disturbing of all, unforgivingly bored into with cold steel by a hefty blade as she lay helpless with livid blue blood gushing forth as if someone were drilling through her like rock for water. Scenes like these keep popping up, interceding every now and then for a reason we’ve yet to know – however it’s as if this dimension is physically recreating the emotions of reality, whilst also foreshadowing tragedy to come.
Black Rock Shooter is Yomi, a distinction apparant by her signature blue – similarly within this other realm will one be able to spot the unfriendly blonde attacking Black Rock Shooter, and the still megane wearing Yomi, or “Dead Master” idling off in the shadows. There is also a fourth entity, one who glows with red – Black Gold Saw, yet who could this character be besides perhaps, Yomi’s friend?
For a start, this is definitely thunderous – action erupts, plot ensues, and scandals are starting up, all to streamlined aesthetics of standard animation and CG, intermixed so flawlessly, the transition is truly seamless, and sounds which certainly do more than incite the appetite.