Warning: Long-ass post w/ 95 screenshots, view at your discretion.
Best anime of the year so far? Yes. BRS > Average Miku? Perhaps. Better than Disappearance? Maybe… Needless to say, Black Rock Shooter: The Animaton certainly did live up to it’s top notch standards. So naturally, a review post like this follows by.
Summery: The original video animation of BRS revolves around Mato Kuroi, a girl with a sweet naive and innocent personality and is rumoured to have slight moe charms, but that’s another story. The OVA begins with Mato effortlessly waking before her alarm clock had even went off, and prepares the usual Monday morning duties like a typical Japanese Schoolgirl does on their first day in Highschool, namely the opening ceremony (note that the school Mato goes to appears to be all-girls, so no petty romances abundance!). There, just before walking into the gates, she sees a naturally collected girl come out of a Yakuza-risque black car. Mato tails her from behind throughout the ceremony and during class (appears to be in same class) until she had obtained enough guts to walk up to her just before their first period, she learns of the girl’s name as Yomi Takanashi, but first mistaken of her family name as “Kotoriasobi” (oh Kanji!). It was then they began to become close friends, even to start to walk to and from school together days later after finding out that they’re close neighbours. As the two become more friendly, they decided to join a after-school club like as any other Japanese school students does. Mato does Basketball since she’s apparently so good at it, influenced by Mato’s talents, Yomi decides to do Volleyball as it’s a little less rough than Basketball, and the fact that both clubs take place next to each other in the gym. Several days later, after going out shopping and stuff, Mato shows Yomi her “special little place” that’s the veranda cliff with a nice view of the whole town and gives her a little phone strap she brought earlier on, also matching it to hers. After an abridged clipshow highlighting the rest of the two bestfriend’s first year at highschool, the plot skips all the way to the first day of their second year.
Note that the plot delves into several long and short juxtapositions switching from Mato and Yomi in “The Real World” and Black Rock Shooter herself and Dead Master in “The Other World”, where in “The Other World” is simply BRS and DM duking it out with BRS’s canon blaster and blade and DM’s Ded Scythe inside a gothic cathedral of some sort.
This seems familiar…
Mato has super awesome secret stalking skills.
Erm… all azns?
I feel so awkward.
The only close interaction between Mato and Yomi in this OVA…
Copying answers can never be so serious business…
Report cards -3-
Their attempt at bringing a Keionbu reference.
Their friendship seems all the more better as the two discover upon the class listings boards that they’re not in the same class as in the first year. This saddens them deeply now that they don’t have as much time together. Nevertheless, they vow to heavily spend break, lunch and afterschool with each other, that is to Yomi’s expectations when she sees when walking over to Mato’s class that Mato is now becoming more friendly to her Basketball Coach-leader, Yuu. This makes Yomi even more depressed now that she’s given the impression that she’s been replaced, even much so that Yuu joins the gang when walking home from school, where Yomi is pushed to the back while Mato and Yuu are spitting it out with their basketball. Nevertheless, the two “rivals” meet and appears to get along with each other, much to Yomi’s circumstances. The plot turns for the worst now that it appears, after Yomi’s strange behaviour as to appear not to show up school, appearing to walk straight home during Volleyball Club and Mato’s slight vision of Yomi with a dark sinister aura that it turns out that Yomi goes missing! After having detectives at Mato’s home prior to Yomi’s disappearance since Mato is Yomi’s close friend, Mato goes into emo and grieve mode thinking it’s her fault with her distance to Yomi that she went missing.
And thus, the two worlds collide.
Have a taste of my cero- er I mean Canon Blast!!
Your Mato partially nude fanservice shower scene- DENIED!
Oh… trolled ;_;
Seeing Mato crying… ;_;
Trying to contact her through emailing to her via phone and waiting for a reply, Mato’s efforts seem to had pay off the moment she receives a sudden weird black mail reply from Yomi. The moment Mato see this she rushes out of the house and knew where she was going (on her bike): her favourite place she had shown to Yomi during their first year at the veranda cliff top-thing. Arriving at the scene, Mato sees something sparking as it <a href=”“>pierces through the heavens, discovering it was the phone strap she gave to Yomi at the start! (Note that the strap Mato had brought had a star resembling the BRS trademark.) Suddenly, the phone strap enlightens and engulfs Mato through a mysterious portal to some place in the sky, it seems.
There’s a lot of bed scenes in BRS…
PEDAL! PEDAL! PEDAL TO THE MEDDLE!!
I wonder if they sell this strap IRL…
Nothing like like a good ole hug eh?
After the scene in The Other World where BRS appears to have defeated Death Scythe, showing her “true form” as it seems to be none other than YOMI TAKANASHI, BRS takes Yomi and escapes out of the collapsing Cathedral (as it appears BRS and DM had battled too rough…) and (putting Yomi somewhere unknown) hovers down before Mato, who is confused as to where she is, but disregards the fact and places seeing and reuniting Yomi as her top priority. BRS asks Mato if she wants to save Yomi, but Mato appears to don’t give a damn about saving her, but simply wanting to see her once more, while emitting a strange blue flaming aura in the process. Mato questions who on earth is she, and as BRS reveals her true identity to her, the two merge as one, and recites them as the “Black Rock Shooter”.
And so… they finally meet.
I knew they both looked the same.
S- S- S- SEQUEL!??
My thoughts: My tl;dr thoughts after BRS ended; “WTF IS THAT IT!??”.
Truth be speaking, I am kind of disappointed and left a little betrayed after so much anticipation I put into this since there was so much publicity put out there before the release (*coughdannychoocough*), and I had actually expected more to BRS than what was actually presented.
One thing was the length; 50 minutes. Kind of long for people with a short attention spam, Katanagatari-like, seems insufficient for BRS in terms of the “plot” (not too progressive it seems) 50 minutes (2 typical anime episodes) seemed a tad too short for me and believed some on the lines of an hour or half would had suffice.
Second thing was the characters, sure it’s BRS, and Black Rock Shooter is the main star of the OVA, but was it? My team of observing scientists states that 82% of the time was focused onto Mato Yomi, while the rest was devoted to the epic battle between Black Rock Shooter and Death Master, heck 7% of the rest was devoted to the longass ending credits. So my point is I guess Black Rock Shooter wasn’t really the star of an OVA with her name on it, just some friendship quarrel and problems between two normal teenage Japanese highschool girls with no significant development and progress. at. all.
Three was the stuff that wasn’t -in any way- fully explained and left a mystery. Who the hell was that dude standing off a cliff in The Other World and what was his purpose of appearing? Why did Yomi actually went missing? What was the meaning/relationship between the two worlds, and BRS/DM and Mato/Yomi for that matter? What did the epilogue scene mean after the credits with Yuu acting all down with her eyes merged into her bangs? So many questions left unanswered. But my guessing on the relationship between the “Real” and “Other” worlds is that (if you look closely and think about it) Mato resembles Black Rock Shooter while Yomi resembles Death Master.
As for the mysterious cameo character I have a hunch that Yuu has a relation to him- or her for that matter. Things like this were all just left in the void that it appears the producers had planned for all this to leave it up the end-viewers to develop their own assumptions, or even maybe a sequel OVA to tie up all loose ends is being planned, but that’s really unlikely so.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Needless to say, Black Rock Shooter was an alright anime in its stance, great animation quality, nice line of voice actors/actresses, but lacks the purpose of storytelling, the epic battle action scenes the PV heavily depicts, seemingly it’s main selling point and and literally- lacks the Black Rock Shooter.