First Impressions – Black Rock Shooter (now with a footnote!)

Well that was… It was a thing. I’ve never seen the OVA or the Miku videos or listened to the song or whatever, so this first impressions will reflect that. I’ve got an unusually large amount to say, so let’s skip the wit and get on with it.

I’m going to be completely honest and say I wasn’t expect much from this series at all. First off, I’m not the world’s biggest Miku fan and since BRS is basically “What if Miku had a giant cannon arm” (to my knowledge), I didn’t see myself paying too much attention. Sometimes it’s good to be wrong.

The overall quality’s pretty nice. Everyone looks pretty normal (except Kagari, who I’ll get to in a moment). I’m not the biggest fan of Kuroi’s design, though. She looks… Well, she looks all kinds of dopey. I mean, it fits her, but I just don’t care for it. Also, Yuu reminds me of Hibiki from Symphogear, which makes me happy. Speaking of Symphogear, the humor (at least between Kuroi and Yuu) in BRS is pretty much like in the aforementioned series. It’s got that sort of awkward, dopey character and a more ‘straight man’ one. It’s like manzai, except Kuroi’s not a complete idiot!

So… That’s the real world. But what about that weird, alternate dimension that answers the question “What if Evangelion’s trippier moments and Symphogear had a horrifying baby?” I gotta say, that’s probably the highlight of the episode right there. All the weird, out-of-place, acid trip stuff going on makes it absolutely fascinating. Not entirely sure what the meaning of the place is or why it exists, but… Well, hey, I like surprises. Also, it’s filled with giant doll corpses and (surprisingly good) CG machines that rival Masakaki from [C] in terms of creepiness and unnaturalness.

So, I said I’d get to Kagari, right? Might as well tackle that (and other speculation) now. First, I’m totally calling Kagari as the creator of that weird, bizarre otherworld. If not the creator, then at least the one calling the shots in that place. I mean, she completely took down what I’m assuming to be Kuroi’s otherworld self without so much as breaking a sweat. Oh, and it makes perfect sense. In the real world, she seems to be sickly and weak. I mean… If I had some weird otherworld to go to, I’d totally be as badass as possible in there. Also, I fully expect Yomi to become horribly injured or die or something. Something to get Kuroi… uh… doing whatever it is one does in the otherworld. Mentor the main character, then either lose your powers or die or something. It just seems perfect for her. Again, I could be totally wrong because I’ve never seen anything BRS-related before, so hey.

Despite all the good stuff I’ve said about the series, it’s still very much Miku. The ending theme? Miku (or something that sounds incredibly similar). The opening theme? Probably gonna be Miku. Insert songs, assuming the series will have them? I’ll eat my hat if it’s not Miku. So… yeah. Don’t expect me to talk too much about the music unless something is either really good or not Miku.

Anyhoo, that’s it for me. Decided to adopt a new schedule (because you fine folks deserve it). Sunday’s my day off, so I’ll be back Monday with some more cool stuff. If you like what you see here, then please feel free to hit the subscribe button on the side or get in touch with me using the information on the contact page. A special thanks goes out to r/anime for bringing huge discussion into yesterday’s Outlaw Star retrospective. If you haven’t stopped over there, go do so right now. As always, thanks for the support and have a good’un.

Edit: My apologies for sounding a bit… let’s just say stupid… in this post. A lot of my information was wrong, as I decided to go in completely blind (which means without research outside of knowing that BRS was a thing). I’d like to thank everyone in the comments and on reddit for correcting me on what I screwed up. I hope this screw-up hasn’t lessened anyone’s enjoyment of the posts here too much.

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16 Responses to First Impressions – Black Rock Shooter (now with a footnote!)

  1. I think Kagari only has power over Yomi.

    Although the series might be different to the OVA, the other world is simply there. Kagrari probably isn’t the creator but influences it.

    I thought the world would be created by experiences had in the real world. Sort dreams based on real world experiences. Kagari’s other world self might only have power over Mato’s because that’s the same situation as in the real world.

    So the other world might have been created by everyone in that world.

    Oh and the most important first impression is, that bitch made Mato cry, she deserves to die.

    • >I thought the world would be created by experiences had in the real world. Sort dreams based on real world experiences. Kagari’s other world self might only have power over Mato’s because that’s the same situation as in the real world.

      I like that interpretation of it all. Would you say that the otherworld is real (in the sense of being an actual ‘dimension’) or could it be more of a metaphorical thing?

      • In my blog i said it’s similar to alice in wonderland, especially the horror video game
        I’ve never played it… but i’ve seen enough videos to support my view.

        It’s sort of like asking if your own dreams are real, you might not find out if the world is real, but the only thing that matters is the experience is real. Especially since your dreams are either “fun” for your mind or they are trying to guide you in real life.

        Metaphorical works, it shows the pain mato really feels from Kagari taunting. Although the counseller was saying things that would make her feel better, she said someone else is taking her pain.

  2. Err…..

    Opening theme is Black Rock Shooter by supercell (feat Miku). You know, that song.
    Ending theme is Bokura no Ashiato by supercell, sung by Koeda.

    I think you’re stuck on the Miku-ness far too much.

    • Admitted. Someone bugged me for weeks to listen to the song and watch the OVA, despite knowing I can’t stand Miku. I am a bitter man with a grudge.

      • The song *really* has little to do with BRS. She was created independent of Miku; the song was just a tie-in to launch the character with. It saddens me that people think BRS is a Miku spin-off when it’s really nothing of the sort.Try to forget that the Vocaloid is there; I did, and got a great OVA in return.

      • Really? The one time I don’t research this stuff before posting… (granted i wanted to go in completely blind, but hey)

        And yeah, I’ll be perfectly ok with forgetting that the Vocaloid was there. Was wondering why BRS didn’t look a damn thing like Miku in the beginning…

  3. Robert Tene says:

    First of all the protagonist in the other world IS NOT Miku. You seem to seem to give this anime a hard time just because you dislike Miku. But anyway, you can also say that its similar to Symphogear beacause of the paralel world but it is in no way copying it. Evangelion? Well, the paralel world is Evangelion because of the atmosphere it has.

    But im glad you gave it a chance and tryed it out. Will you continue watching it?

    • >protagonist of the otherworld isn’t Miku

      Note the “to my knowledge” bit. And to my understanding, BRS was originally Miku in a funny outfit with a burning eye.

      Also, I’ll probably end up watching it unless it gets supremely dumb or boring, like I do with everything else.

      Rule of thumb: If the last episode aired a month ago and I still haven’t posted a final impressions or review, then it’s safe to assume I’ve dropped it somewhere along the line.

      I really wish that wordpress’s Edit button was a bit more noticeable.

  4. tsurugiarashix says:

    Haven’t seen the OVA? Would say that isn’t wise, but does help put some information into perspective despite some off the differences.

    • I never watched the OVA because I mistakenly thought that BRS was Miku + gun, so it never interested me. Then I talked to some buddies (and checked out some blog posts on the first episode) and said “Why the hell not? If I don’t like it, I’ve wasted 20 minutes, nothing too big.”

      Would you recommend me just finishing up the series, then OVA, or watch it whenever I can?

      • zenoob says:

        Er, watching the OVA is not mandatory… At all. It’s just a waste of time. There like, no goal with this OVA besides showing what Ordet Studio (i mean, animation etc…). The story is crap, it’s not worth watching it. If you liked this version, why not, but otherwise, no.

        (PS : note that I’m NOT a Vocaloid hater. Just trying to be objective)

      • zenoob says:

        Crap, forgot some words :
        I meant “what Studio Ordet (yes, I was wrong with the order of the words too… sadly…) can do”

      • Oh, damn. I didn’t realize that comment didn’t auto-approve. Sorry that you didn’t see it for a day or so.

  5. Leap250 says:

    Came into it pretty much blind as well, for pretty much the same reasons as you. Didn;t watch the OVA as well since I didn’t know anything about the story, save for Miku having black hair and such. I don’t think it takes that much away from the experience though.

    My take on it, a bit edgier than I expected it to be, especially the brutal beatdown of Mato (or so I assume she is) got. I choose this over Symphogear.

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