Posted by psgels on 2 March 2012 with categories: Winter 2012 Kaleidoscope

Well, since this was the best BRS episode so far I might as well dedicate this week’s kaleidoscope entry to Black Rock Shooter and share some of my thoughts on it. This really is a show that symbolically links stories together. It’s not just the battle world, but there also is the picture book about the bird that keeps returning, and this episode also showed a brief scene of a class that was about literary analysis (or “the protagonist in this book died because… etc”). That could have been very good, really.

My big issue with this series is: why? What does everything boil down to in the end? Unfortunately, the answer to that seems to be forced teenaged emo. The entire plot basically revolves around this mentally deranged character. I can live with that, but the reasons that pushed her in the situation she’s in now… I failed to buy them. The blond girl is one thing, but that teacher in particular is just a walking plot device.

Emo of course doesn’t have to be bad. I’m personally a big fan of Narutaru (or in any case the anime of Narutaru, having not read the manga), which also was a very dark show about teenagers and the issues they can have. The big difference between the two lies in the build-up: Narutaru first created relatable characters and showed scenes in which… they weren’t actually emo. Yomi however, is poorly fleshed out to me: all she has been doing in this series is be mentally depressed. In fact, every character in this series is very one-sided. They’re more plot devices than actual characters and their issues are all just so simple when you boil down to it.

The only interesting character really is the main character, because she is the one who links everything together, in a much more extreme way than usual. She connects all of the different stories together, she is the only one who knows all of the other important characters well. Everything in this series revolves around her, and even the things that don’t at the beginning, end up doing so because of how her symbolic character in the other world ends up fighting everyone.

In this episode things got interesting, as all of these different stories started to intertwine. I admit, I did not expect Yomi’s part to be resolved this early. At the very least the show still seems to be building up to something, so let’s hope that at least that part of its buildup will be good. I adit that I liked the action and the soundtrack in this episode.

I can understand what Mari Okada is doing: the OVA was so dull, something had to happen to it to make it actually worth watching as a full fledged TV-series, and if the build-up was better then this episode actually would have worked really well, however I do think that she took the wrong approach. This type of characterization definitely isn’t her best, and I also believe that the characters in the action world should have… actual personalities and characters. I don’t care if it offends the fanbase of Black Rock Shooter. The creators are already raping the fanbase of Noitamina, so why stop there?
Rating: (Enjoyable)

14 Responses

  1. meow says:

    One thing about Black Rock Shooter. If someone were to ask me what it was, I think I would have a hard time answering. It has multiple incarnations, first as a Hatsune Miku Vocaloid song, then as an OVA, followed by a PSP action-shooting-rpg game and now an 8(only?!) episode tv series. Each under different creative direction, each with their own(?) stand-alone story. I’m pretty sure this TV series, apart from sharing some of the same characters, is, at best, a parallel world version of the OVA story. And I’m not even sure what a fan of this “franchise” would expect from it, other than the visual image of Black Rock Shooter herself. (Interesting how she’s depicted wearing a cowl now, to cover up her Hatsune Miku-like twin-tails?)

    I am seriously having a hard time figuring out what this story is about. Up til this episode, I wasn’t even sure if the dream world and reality were even connected or were just some bizarre visualized representation of things happening in reality. Reminds me of when I was first watching Suzumiya Haruhi’s scrambled up story and wondering whether there actually were any real aliens, time travellers or espers or were we just getting trolled.

    And I seriously doubt if Yomi’s part is truly resolved, if what we see now of Kagari is any indication.

    • Sei says:

      It was an otaku-pandering franchise to sell more figures and singing programs. The thing is..I wonder why the heck could it get so big? If it actually got a story, it would be understandable…This series itself is very pandering, too. What is with cute emo lesbian schoolgirls?…Why, why? Really? At least the first Yu-gi-oh series has somewhat a decent story before the card games got too big for the franchise to handle.

      I’m sorry if I sounds offensive to BSR fan or fan of those voicaloid things out there. But really, this season just raped NoitaminA for me.

      • Juno says:

        As an artist, I love HUKE’s artwork. And Black Rock Shooter’s character designs are great. Great enough to warrant me buying so many of the figma figures, which are some of the best-designed figmas I own, and a few artbooks. As for the stories, they all have so much potential, but I can see where they fall apart. I’m not sure if they’re being “milked” like a big franchise or extensive fanservice would, but I do see enough effort being put into TRYING to make deep stories, so I respect that, at the very least.

      • Alterego 9 says:

        I don’t particularly care about Vocaloid, but saying that a show that’s direction you don’t like “raped NoitaminA” sounds overtly melodramatic.

  2. Andmeuths says:

    The anime of Black Rock Shooter is one of those stories which has a very intriguing premise, with excellent potential behind it. Unfortunately, the writing falls flat, and very, very short of what could be done with the premise as it stands in Episode 5.

    Somehow, I get the impression that this anime lacks a certain sense of focus, of decisiveness, and as a result meanders of into a painfully over melodramatic mess that we are suppose to regard as reality.

    Of course, if the writing had consciously referenced to the artificiality of the over the top nature of the melodrama here, then Episode 5 will be masterful mid-season denouement, instead of the first really good episode so far.

    • meow says:

      I think it might be a little too soon to say whether the writing has fallen flat yet.

      I think what’s happening is BRS was originally just a song and a piece of art. Maybe a nicodouga music video. Both the song and the character design got wildly popular but there wasn’t anything solid behind it. Fans demanded backstory so one had to be conceived around this character on the fly. Different storytellers got involved and each had their own ideas about where to take this character and so it got a little incoherent. I’m thinking that this TV series may be based on source material from the OVA, with some ideas on how to expand it into 8 episodes.

      I’m not sure if BRS is the only popular character. I’ve seen premium figures out there for Dead Master and possibly Strength and Black Gold Saw based on the OVA. Curiously, I think a character that strongly resembles Strength shows up in the PSP game too, even though most of that cast is vastly different from the OVA and TV series.

      About the emo-ness of all the characters, I figured there has to be some kind of connection between all that high-octane combat the BRS world characters are engaged in with their school world counterparts. You can’t have the BRS girls doing all of that while everything is passive and normal in the school world. I do agree that some of the things happening in the school world are kinda over the top but there’s where the BRS world and the school world connect.

  3. citizenofulysses says:

    Just a small side comment — I love your blog and all (one of the few I can actually bear to follow), but rape jokes = totally not cool. I know it’s not a huge deal and it’s just one sentence, but still, not cool and it kinda trivializes some horrible things. Just wanted to stop by and say that!

  4. RABUJOI says:

    I can imagine Misaki Mei, a girl whose class pretended she DIDN’T EXIST, would look at Yomi’s plight and say “Big whoop, you’re useless. So go goof off!” ;)

  5. RABUJOI says:

    My motivation for giving the series a try was very simple: the OVA looked really badass and featured an intriguing concept, and I thought it would be nice to see it expanded into a series where more life could be breathed into it.

    It’s already done that, so I’m satisfied, even if I had to dial back unrealistic expectations. It’s no masterpiece, but nor is it dog food. My mistake with BRS seemed to be making it out to be more than it was.

    I was actually unaware BRS series represented some kind of cynical, hastily-developed, committee-bred, otaku-pandering calculation, but whether that’s the case or not, I think ignorance is bliss in this case.

  6. inkka says:

    I don’t understand at all why Black rock shooter was so popular.It come from some famous Vocaloid music and its character design for that song is unique enough.That’s it…Right?

    Well..End of that BRS famous topic,Talked about the BRS tv anime.This is surely one of the most stupid teenager EMO stuff that I ever seen.Most of character(except the main one) go absolutely crazy in too little stuff.both their character development and the way that their problem end are really get on my nerves here.Especially Yomi,she is such an insane one.The way that they portray her problem was much worse than OVA in my view. Well thanks to some parallel world’s action here.At least it make the emo stuffs look more interesting…

    Although in ep5 the staff at least try to explain about suddenly don’t care sister antic of Kagari.But it still can’t change the fact about Yomi’s character development. It was too bad now.

    Anyway I watch this to find fault here and there.And sometimes I rather enjoyed those crazy stuff anyway.With 3eps left.I will watch it till the end for sure.I want to see how it will end too.Especially when we see that the story start to come together in Ep5.

  7. riddlekiller says:

    I’ve got to agree, as much as i love Black Rock shooter, the anime didn’t work out for me. I preferred the OVA. The anime was just too rushed. There were too many emotions that were happening at one time and it was all so fast. I couldn’t relate to the characters and for some reason the story felt like it was going through a washing machine and being spat right out.

    The whole show feels rush, which is such a shame, simply because if done right, this show would have rocked. However, they only have 8 episodes…so they rushed through it. I rather they do 8 seperate OVA’s then rush through an anime. Nothing is worst then rushing through the story because of the time line.

  8. hoiut says:

    I really liked this anime up until episode 6. Why? I could think of it as one giant, overblown extended metaphor. (See my thoughts here: http://randomc.net/2012/03/10/black-rock-shooter-06/comment-page-1/#comment-794818 ).

    But now? None of that. My suspension of disbelief has ended, as it seems to have gone the oddly cliched route of spirit ghosts. Or something. Bah.

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 06:18 PM)
    But I’ve heard complaints about the fanservice of rea not making sense considering her past/background and I’m inclined to agree.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 06:16 PM)
    Ha, and once again another shounen ruined by not being a seinen manga.
    @Aidan: Sometimes..sometimes I feel its the fans that should be writing these things instead…well the good ones =P
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 06:05 PM)
    @K-Off, Potentail for Rea to go berserk and starting a zombie apocalypse? Or at least enough to have her slowly lose her mind and chiro having to resort to more and more desperate measures to protect her and stop her from hurting others. There was plently of potentail in the premise, just that the author didn’t have the balls to take it that far.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 05:51 PM)
    Wasn’t awful now by any means but I’d rather stop with it before any good memories of it get ruined =<
    I think I'm just fed up with these shounen comedies/dramas and pandora hearts is also the last time I take a chance on a shounen fantasy show.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 05:48 PM)
    Although as a whole sankarea never really geled together for me, series of genre clashing and a master of none, there were little pockets of interest and the art was good and moments did feel like something more. Some of the fanservice, comedy also felt misplaced.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 05:42 PM)
    @Aidan: K-off said it went downhill after the island arc. I also forgot it was ending.
  • k-off
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 05:26 PM)
    @Aidan Potential? I’d like to know what you ever saw in a premise like that…
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 05:22 PM)
    @K-Off, It had potentail in the begining but since then it’s been a series of “Oh snap! Shit’s gotten dark….oh wait never mind” moments
  • k-off
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 05:19 PM)
    @Aidan I also dropped it before I knew it was going to end, and I haven’t felt like picking it up since. The series was never good.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 03:42 PM)
    @Emma, why did you bother dropping Sankarea? It just ended.
    Not that it was a good ending by any means. Feels like the series has been trolling me from the begining. All those promising hints to go dark and it doesn’t ever deliver.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis- 03

Okay, so this episode didn’t focus on Leone and Amira’s adventure. Instead, it focuses on building Kaisar’s character and it does so a bit awkwardly. This episode takes Kaisar and puts him into an overly bombastic situation in order to tell us about Kaisar’s past family problems, but it was so out of tone from […]

Gugure! Kokkuri-San- 03

This show has a great cast, but some chinks in the armor are starting to appear in the comedy. So far, this anime seems to lack a consistent tone, which shows through just how hit-and-miss the comedy is. It attempts to mix elements of light and dark comedy along with slice-of-life and tries to excel in all three […]

Psycho Pass 2 – 02

Episode two continues right where episode one left off and progresses about how you might have guessed. Akane chases the mysterious villain pulling the strings, getting only cryptic responses from Kitazawa. Shimotsuki confronts Akane with her misgivings about Akane’s handling of the arrest. And we finally get some subtle hints towards Kougami’s existence and how his disappearance might […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 02

The stage is set, the actors are in place and the curtain is rising. So I can say this episode’s title was certainly apt. Unfortunately this week we have no bombastic fight scene to ogle and instead we get a heavy dose of info dumping. This is not the most exciting of episodes but the […]

Grisaia no Kajitsu – 02

The grisaia visual novel was by no means perfect. In fact if I was to summarize it as concisely as possible I would deem it a mixed bag. Some great moments but quite a number of bad storytelling decisions. Still there was hope for this anime adaption. After all the Steins Gate adaption managed to […]

Parasyte-the Maxim- 02

Before I continue reviewing this anime, let me put up a disclaimer: I will be discussing the anime of Parasyte, not the manga. If you want to talk about spoilers, I recommend you go to a site that will talk about those things. Don’t be an ass and discuss spoilers down in the comments, because […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Grisaia no Kajitsu, Trinity Seven and Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de

Grisaia no Kajitsu Short Synopsis: Our protagonist joins a school that has five troubled girls in attendance. AidanAK47’s impression: Grisaia has all the elements to cause many to write it off as a typical harem anime. Protagonist who only wants a ordinary life? Check. Joins school with several female beauties? Check. Panty shots? Sigh…check. The […]

Akatsuki no Yona – 02

In the first impression I said I didn’t expect Akatsuki no Yona to succeed if it went down the serious drama route. However, after watching the second episode, I’m starting to think I might have been wrong about that. There were still a lot of moments that felt corny or derivative to me, such as the stand-off between Hak […]

Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis- 02

This episode devotes its entirety setting up the characters as well as the journey coming ahead, and it does so very well. Here’s the thing-this season, we have a ton of shows packed with great style, animation, and direction, but none are as stylistic as Shingeki no Bahamut. I remember a few months ago when I watched […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]