Black Rock Shooter Anime: First Impressions

Black Rock Shooter (Anime)

Although I was tempted a few times, I never bought into the whole Hatsune Miku x Black Rock Shooter figurine craze. Sure it looked cool, but it lacked enough substance to really draw me in. I'm still surprised that there was enough demand to create an anime based purely on the character design and after watching the first three episodes, I'm still on the fence about it. I never saw the OVA, but may consider doing so sometime soon.

Black Rock Shooter follows the high-school life of Kuroi Mato, a seemingly normal highschool girl who ends up befriending girls with some overly dramatic circumstances. In the first arc, she meets and befriends one of her classmates, Takanashi Yomi, who carries a great burden in life. Helping her overcome this burden is no small task, and I actually felt uncomfortable the whole way through.

The second arc with Kohata seems to be a little bit more plausible, but also becomes a bit more involved with the underlying magical layer of their universe. Which brings us to the big confounding mystery of this anime ...

Black Rock Shooter intermittently skips back and forth between a strange, dark world and a real one, using highly stylized battle scenes and sometimes frenetic pacing to visualize the emotional turmoil of the moment. Sometimes these visions are shared between the main character, Kuroi-san, and others around her.

It's still to be revealed whether or not this alternate reality is figurative or something more real and sinister, which is kind of neat for the time being. Has anyone seen the movie Sucker Punch? It's almost exactly like that, but if it continues the way it does in that movie, then I'd be really disappointed.

Dark and disturbing imagery? Yes. Interesting? Maybe. I'm going to reserve judgement on this one since the last time I came across something like this, I rushed ahead and called it crap - well, Puella Magi Madoka Magica ended up on my candidate list for anime of the year for 2011. Not saying it'll happen again for BRS, but who knows. That school counselor of theirs seems to have a Kyubei-like agenda, after all. Whether or not they can pull off an amazing plot twist that'll elevate this one to another level is something that we'll just to wait and see.