An elemental workshop.


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.

7 Comments

  • Seven says:

    This show reminds me slightly of Lesbogear Symphogear – the female relationships and modern visuals.

  • alan says:

    i was really waiting for this anime, now i have all the animes i wanted to watch this season ^_^

    • Seven says:

      As do I, this has to be the most cramped season thus far – something significant releases on every day save for Wednesday, and even then there’s at least Recorder to Randoseru on that day.

  • Ah, finally. My most anticipated anime of the season has at last come, and not a moment too soon. Some part of me can’t help but feel our Japanese friends take some measure of enjoyment in keeping their most brilliant works out of our reach for even a moment longer.

    Indeed though, BRS met all of my expectations, our main heroine well on her way to achieving the coveted title of Azure-Haired Flaming-Eyed-Savior.

    By stark contrast however, Yomi’s so-called ‘friend’ has earned my disdain as a seemingly vile little girl with a personality brazen and self-serving enough to test even the most reserved of individuals. Yet behind it all, one cannot help but to wonder why it is she is so obsessed with Yomi. Is this merely familial obligation or does something deeper run between them?

    Casting such aside for the moment, I can safely say that BRS has near something with which to offer all manner of anime fan and otaku alike. The only real shame here is the time in which we must endure to lay our eyes on the next thrilling episode.

  • Am I the only one unfamiliar with this hype and expectations for the series? I have never heard about it, only saw images every now and then, only to have then link to me to only one OVA about it (which I haven’t even watched, though started to watch this new[?] series).

    Though, obviously, I can’t deny the amazing visuals and the great expectations for the link and explanations of these “other(?) world” characters with the “real(?) world” counterparts. It certanly provides a lot of “Oh, that means that she feels like that and the other one means like the obstacle and OH what? Isn’t she meant to be like her friend? What it means?!”

    It looks amazing as everyone seemed to pray it would be, yet I’m still unfamiliar with the feeling.

    • Seven says:

      Black Rock Shooter is immensely popular much in part to its origins.

      Some years ago, an artist now renowned and well known, Huke, made an original illustration featuring a character entitled “Black Rock Shooter”. Ryo of the music group Supercell stumbled upon it and was so fascinated by it, he decided to make a song by the same name using Vocaloid’s Hatsune Miku for the vocals. Huke then provided visuals for the song’s music video which went on to become a hit. At that point, it was pure fan adoration which allowed Black Rock Shooter’s fame to spread phenomenally, and ultimately, an OVA was devised, games, manga, and now this anime series.

      Basically, it’s simply the end result of sheer creativity, and many who loved it which led to this series’ immense fame.

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