Posted by psgels on 23 March 2012 with categories: Winter 2012 Kaleidoscope

So you can call me crazy, but I actually liked these final episodes of Black Rock Shooter. Sure, it was rather sappy and all, but despite that, I liked the direction that the plot took, finally relating the Black Rock Shooter world and the real world together, and creating an interesting setting based on that. Mato also became more interesting as she separated from Black Rock Shooter (and was basically out of the picture being unconscious, allowing the rest of the cast to play out).It’s still full of teenaged angst, but I felt that that angst was much better than in the first half. It actually was about something: about being scared to face reality.

Based on that, I really can’t lump this together with the worst of Noitamina. It obviously is nowhere near the best, but at the very least the creators didn’t turn it into a gigantic flop. It’s certainly better than that m ind-numbingly boring OVA. Library Wars? At least this show had a beginning, middle and conclusion. Jyu Oh Sei? At least this series didn’t overpace itself. Guilty Crown? None of the characters here is as bad as the cast of that show. Fractale? Hell, this show actually did something with its setting.

In the end though, this remains a series where the creators should have put more thought into how to make it work, especially due to that first half. The worst character in this series is by far Yomi, and this show dabbled way too much into her uninteresting angst. The teacher also needed more work. Yeah, she got an explanation and I have no problems with her part in the story, but that still doesn’t make me buy her really weird behavior in the first half.

The action of this series also made up for a lot, because this was genuinely good, compared to the dull action sequences of Guilty Crown. The only shame is that everything had to be in 3D CG, but ah well: without it the creators would never have been able to animate as much as they did here.

My request to Noitamina now is: keep experimenting. You tried to dabble into teenaged series for a while. Now, let that go and start to focus on different series with yet another target audience. Tsuritama and Appolon? Keep that direction going. Don’t just suddenly announce K-On 03 or Shana 04 for your Summer Line-up.
Rating: *+ (Great)

7 Responses

  1. Oroboros says:

    I agree with your remarks, on the whole.

    A beautifully rendered series that kinda missed the mark with excessive melodrama in the mundane world.

    Dollars to donuts, had this show focused on that otherworldly reality alone, but expand on the characters a bit, and not worry about exposition or anchor in our reality, then some of its potential would’ve been realized.

    The ambitions were there for the taking. Too bad the creators settled for less with tropes (middle schoolers angst). :(

  2. Juno says:

    I have to admit. It was fresh enough for me because I haven’t seen teenage angst in an anime in a long time. I wonder why…

  3. Jay says:

    This did not fail me. So astonished.

  4. Alterego 9 says:

    I think, BRS got way too much flak for beeing misunderstood as an otaku-pandering show, a betrayer or noitaminA’s ideals.

    In fact, Vocaloid, Miku, and the BRS franchise are all famous enough in Japan, that it’s almost even “mainstream”, but at least popular with young, trend-savvy people, way beyond the 2ch dwelling audience. Unfortunately, here in the west, only otaku know about ANYTHING that happens in japanese pop culture, so it was hard to see BRS as an attempt at broadening anime’s horizons to normal people, even if it honestly tried that, even more so than a typical josei or shoujo show.

  5. meow says:

    Did somebody just call me an otaku? ^^;

    I still think BRS is kind of a miracle story about an artsy sketch and a vocaloid song going so viral it actually rated an anime as one of it’s many adaptations…a Noitemina one at that.

    I wonder if the producers originally planned for the anime to come out like this and were trying really hard not to be too predictable or did they do a hard turn halfway somewhere due to popular demand…

    The first part and the second part are a little hard to reconcile for me but it definitely turned out pretty well in the end.

  6. Spinarakk says:

    Well it looks like so far, noitaminA seems to be done “experimenting” with “otaku-pandering” shows and has gone back to stuff similar to it’s old days, seeing as neither Tsuritama nor Sakamichi are getting super hyped up, and that Moyashimon season 2 has been announced for July.

    And I didn’t mind BRS. I really like the character designs of the other world girls and that HanaKana voiced the protag is a definite plus. And the amazing battle sequences. The rest of the drama part was all right I guess.

  7. Lazy says:

    “Don’t just suddenly announce K-On 03 or Shana 04 for your Summer Line-up.”
    How about Moyashimon S2?

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 01:06 AM)
    @K-off: good pics for the Gugure wire-up btw, now apply this newfound eye for aesthetics to the Bahamut reviews in the future.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 12:59 AM)
    People’s attention spans are incredibly limited, you have to get to the point and hit ‘em hard.
  • afgm
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 12:59 AM)
    It’s a very delicate balance to find the happy medium between High School English Essay and water cooler chat.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 12:57 AM)
    @afgm: I think the consensus is in favor of much shorter posts, not less yet even longer ones.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 12:56 AM)
    @afgm I agree. Perhaps he can do them in groups of 2 though, because he can keep his long reviews while moving his attention away from the wordy bits a bit more.
  • afgm
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 12:53 AM)
    I feel that’s a good compromise.
  • afgm
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 12:52 AM)
    @Ninjarealist: I like the depth of your reviews, however I think you would be better served doing reviews on episode groups rather than individual episodes. Episodic reviews rely a lot on speculation, however over the span of 3-4 episodes you are more likely to make observations that are relevant. I suggest doing abridged episodic reviews and doing progress reports every 4-5 episodes that go more in depth. That way you will have a larger body of evidence to support your arguments.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 12:44 AM)
    Not that you don’t have to restrain your longer thoughts on these shows realist, by all means include thoughts that are too long for a review in a shoutbox discussion or the comments section.
  • reaLjustified
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 12:31 AM)
    300-500 words should be perfect. I don’t care about the rating system myself.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 12:31 AM)
    @reaLjustified Thanks for the criticisms. I will definitely take your opinion into account. I can see now how my point about Psycho Pass 2 being thematically a lot different than Psycho Pass 1, could have come across as confusing or esoteric when preceded by the introductory sentence you took issue with.

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