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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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:46 PM)
    With synecdoche it has the benefit of Hoffman’s performance and to get it you just have to “Feel it”.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:45 PM)
    Adaptation is one of those films with Nicholas Cage where you really wish he’d do more of, I wasn’t expecting that to go so off the rails near the end.
    Being John Malkovich, I dug the crazily creative premise.
    Anomalisa felt so human that the characters are puppets you can easily forget that.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:42 PM)
    @Bam: I really want to use Urotsukidouji as my reasoning for why more messed up stuff should be adapted, namely kara no shoujo but the industry will just never be that hardcore anymore.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:44 AM)
    In a world where Urotsukidoji gets 3 series of OVAs there is nothing you want to make that is too risqué or edgy that nobody would want to pick up. I get a small startup trying to push their fist film out, but most big Kickstarters are ran by bigname talents that already have a string of hits on their resume. C’mon, just have some faith in your work, it’s just crazy to ask for money upfront.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:37 AM)
    SuperMario: I assume you mean Charlie Kaufman’s new film, in which case he already did pretty much whatever he wanted. Have you seen Synecdoche, New York and Adaptation? Now I’m a big ran of the man, but this creative control card gets a bit overplayed. The Under the Dog producers claim the same thing, but looking at their trailer it doesn’t look like anything that Japanese studios don’t already greenlight.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:01 AM)
    for me though, I only pay for projects that I’m certain to watch (and have to pay for it eventually), so I don’t see the point not to “helping” them out. It’s all the same for me.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:58 AM)
    @Bam I think the core concept is 1) with Kickstarter, many projects that otherwise never could have made is get supported here and 2) creators have more artistic control over their project. Take Amonalisa for example, big studios was very hesitate to fund the film, because of the commercial failure of his first film, but he insisted to get crowdfund and we have one of the more creative animation output last year.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:53 AM)
    A lot of the tech stuff is things you will never use twice; like a smartphone microscope attachment. they’re usually pretty shifty with it too. Yeah I’m sure it takes the price of a house to make a video series about sexism in videogames- right? And it takes almost a million dollars to make a 4 level indie game with three guys- seems legit. Must be pretty nice to basically do business with zero chance of failure.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:47 AM)
    I just don’t get the core concept of why I should pay for someone else’s business endeavors? They’re going to reap the benefits, they usually have money, let them pay for it. I get it if it’s research, or some strange art project for the sake of the art, but movies, games and anime that are going to get a commercial release? I swear people are so easily bamboozled.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:21 AM)
    @Kaiser:I have been supporting Kickstarter for a while, but not for games or movies, but for animation projects. I think it’s worth it. But like Bam, Aiden and K-Off said, sometimes it gets a bit muddy. For movies for example there are a lot of projects that was just ideas… and ideas alone are not enough.

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