Its February third meaning the highly anticipated Black★Rock Shooter series aired today on the noitaminA block. I expected the series to follow up on what happened at the end of the original OVA, when Yuu starts to act weird, but it did not. Instead you are thrown into a world with the same characters as before but with subtle differences.
The episode starts in the “alternate world” with Black Rock Shooter fighting against an unknown red-eyed opponent. Meanwhile, in the human world Mato Kuroi enters junior high school. She takes an interest in a girl by the name of Yomi Takanashi. They quickly become friends due to common interests. One day Yomi invites Mato over too her house. A girl in a wheelchair by the name of Kagari Izuriha also comes over to Yomi’s house. Kagari acts hostile towards Mato because she wants to be Yomi’s one and only friend. Mato becomes frightened by Kagari actions and goes home and cries. Meanwhile in the “alternate world” Black Rock Shooter follows a trail to a strange area where she is attacked by a large mechanical scorpion-like creature. A girl who resembles Kagari also known as Chariot, pilots the creature. Back in the real world Mato talks to the student counselor about Kagari. Feeling better she invites Yomi to come to a festival with her. Back in the “alternate world” Black Rock Shooter tries to counter attack against Chariot. She becomes bound with chains by a woman known as Dead Master and then the episode ends.
There were many minor differences between the OVA and episode 1. It doesn’t start where the OVA left off but retells the beginning story with a twist. Black Rock Shooter is not only fighting Dead Master but also a new character by the name of Chariot. Yuu is barely seen throughout the episode despite her large amount of screen time in the OVA. At the end of the OVA she starts to act the same way Yomi did right before she was possessed. I figured the series would focus on Mato and Yuu’s relationship instead of a retelling of the story. More differences include the fact that Yomi is no longer in the volleyball club; she is now a very good artist who spends her days afterschool at the art club.
(She is the daughter of the devil…)
Three new characters where introduced in the episode, two of which are important. Chariot, is Kagari’s dark persona that lives in the “alternate world.” We don’t know much about her but she rides a giant scorpion that looks like it would be straight out of Code Lyoko. Kagari as a character is frightening; she is a creepy control freak who wants Yomi all to herself.
The animation is great in an unconventional way and is the episodes strongest feature. The “alternate world” is full of interesting shapes and structures mixed with lots of blues and blacks. As I said when I reviewed the OVA it looks similar to the witch worlds of Modoka Magica, without all the cutout features you find in that series.
The first episode’s weakest aspect is its story; it doesn’t really have much of a plot. It’s a typical slice of life anime interlaced with scenes of action. The core story is Mato trying to become Yomi’s friend and not much more. The funny thing is that Black Rock Shooter may be the most frightening anime of the winter season; Kagari’s role in the story makes me shiver. She is a devil and completely breaks apart Mato mentality.
Overall I liked the first episode, what it lacked in story depth it made up for with great animation. I hope the series develops a stronger plot and develops the characters further. I have high hopes for this series and I hope it stays strong.
Thank you for reading!
Sincerely your Xana
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