Ahad, 13 Mei 2012


Black Rock Shooter 

Oh my God, don’t make it sound so easy! That’s obviously all the story this series has to offer!
Black Rock Shooter 01 – You Can’t Choose Your Family
So, Black Rock Shooter: Scariest horror-series of the season, I would say. That sister is simply nuts, I’m not surprised if she starts speaking backwards and gets a voice like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan The Barbarian. Seriously, I can’t blame Takanashi for wanting to keep people (including her parents) away from her home with that kind of sister. And did I mention that she’s frigging nuts? This creepy sister is a control-freak as well who tries to tell Takanashi how she should live her life. But she doesn’t talk to her sister face-to-face becausethat’s something normal people would do, no, she uses a sort of tin-can telephone. Anything more of this weird stuff and this might turn into Twilight Zone. Well, not like the series already has its own Twilight Zone… sort-of.
Kuroi meets this girl and wants to be friends with her for some mysterious reason (hint: it has perhaps something to do with fate or whatever…). Takanashi, though, can’t be friends with anyone because she has a creepy sister who’s also a real mean bastard. But secretly Takanashi wants to be friends with Kuroi, too, and she brings Kuroi home. Her sister isn’t happy, not one bit and she scares off Kuroi at first but the fishy Saya who’s the school-counselor tells her someone somewhere else gets hurt for her which is the kind of mysterious explanation that only makes sense to the audience (yeah, meta-fictional humour, very funny…). So Kuroi goes to Takanashi and insists on continuing the friendship. Takanashi starts crying since she actually had no friends up to this point which makes her kinda uncool but her sister is a good excuse for her dull character.
Meanwhile somewhere else a girl gets hurt for doing nothing against a creepy creature looking like the creepy sister.
Considering her… ‘social skills’, that’s actually rather good advice.
So, most interesting premise ever, right? Kuroi wants to be friends with the anti-social girl who despite that got the whole meganekko-package. No problems there because “ditzy girl” actually already has a friend who offers her substantial advice without ever playing any substantial role in the plot. The real trouble is Takanashi’s sister who is one hell of a mean bastard. Believe me, this series has more horror than any Another-death-scene. This creepy sister is like the epitome of evilness, actually it’s written right on her face or at least the soundtrack gets all creepy every time she’s saying something.
Okay, let’s start from the beginning: It starts with the usual visual action we all knew we would gonna get but we also get one of those pretentious introductions like the one from Ano Natsu (stupid long-winded way of saying that the main-chara likes filming) but BRS’s intro is even worse…
The tiny bird flies in the blue sky.
The sea reflects the blue of the sky.
The blue reflection is the sea of the sky.
The sea of the sky cries blue tears.
Among those blue tears, the tiny bird flies.
As we later find out, this is from a frigging children’s picture book about colours (Well, it certainly sounds like that…). And apparently it’s a big deal because it has multiple editions and people can actually talk about it without feeling stupid. So, colours are also a big deal in this episode. Kuroi can’t seem to shut up about colours and the creepy sister also has a slight problem with colours. So, yeah, this series makes a big deal out of nothing practically. The colours are either used as obvious metaphors for the weird action or to just sort-of hav it in there (like red in The Sixth Sense) to make things sound poetic and important. This series has this pretentious way of trying to sound clever and poetic when it’s not. Black Rock Shooter may want to talk about some lofty ideals and talk about the soap-opera-version of life but that doesn’t mean they can get poetic. The usual moe-tropes of letting Kuroi talk like a member of the K-ON!-cast is more than enough to deliver the message. Black Rock Shooter should try to stay on the ground, lie down and hope that this is low enough for the stuff the series actually can do instead of what it dreams of doing.
Wow, I bet those are the kind of eyes even Jesus must be jealous of. No, seriously, actually it’s just a very dramatic way of telling her that she’s the usual ditzy genki-moe-character. This series should really stop to sound so serious and dramatic all the time, it’s really not that kind of series.
Like the OVA the fights and the slice-of-life-parts are still rather unconnected even though there are some parallels for some inexplicable reason. It’s not quite clear what kind of setting we are talking about here but at least it seems like this time the series will actually try to build a connection between the two worlds – which is more than what the crappy OVA can say of itself. But visually the fights in the OVA were more impressive than in this episode which tried to do the visual allegory stuff but I guess it’s obvious that it’s no Penguindrum or Utena. There was some shock-factor of Kuroi, I mean, the heroine, whatever, being attacked and injured by this… thing. But there was no blood and she stood up after some time unhurt so no idea why anyone would include the scenes in the first place besides showing off how this character gets hurt.
Probably it tried to build a connection to the real world where the real action happens, right? But the slice-of-life is boring. I mean, as far as introducing a story goes this has to be one of the worst episodes of the season. I think it’s all about these battles in the other world in the end but while hinting at the supernatural secrets very obviously there’s no clear world-building. There’s no proper characterization either for that matter. This episode just rushes to the juicy story-moments of making it obvious where the bad guys are, the good guys and who knows more than they let on. This episode’s slice-of-life felt like showing off elements of the story instead of an introduction to it. The plot is also really quite ridiculous. Two girls want to be friends but one of them has a creepy sister – now that’s good drama, right? I believe that makes “You can’t choose your family” the only real poetic message of the episode. But the problem is that it’s obvious, far too obvious. How can this obvious straightforward premise get any interesting development? This story is just so incredibly shallow, I guess, in the end the only reason why we sit through the stupid slice-of-life is to get epic battles in that weird parallel dimension full of unused ideas for Ikea-furniture.
There’s no really interesting story to be told and the characters are generic and one-dimensional. The slice-of-life-parts are plain boring. If you want to sit through this series then it’s because of the battles happening… somewhere else. But those can’t offer much when they try to be smart with useless symbolism. So, not really sure what’s there good to say about this episode… Ah, it’s better than the OVA since this series apparently actually has a story to tell… sort-of. I’m not sure I actually want to talk about that weekly because seriously there’s not much to talk about except that it’s at its best when it aims low and stays in generic territory.
Episode-Rating: 3/10

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