Final Impressions – Black Rock Shooter

I came into this series expecting nothing. In fact, I expected even less. I don’t like Miku, so I figured an anime based on a PV for a song would be pretty horrible. But I managed to pull through. Was it better than I expected, or was the series barely worthy of a ‘meh’? As expect for this kind of content, I will be discussing spoilers for the entire series.

I’m glad to say that if nothing else made me happy while watching this, that the art did. Everything (aside from a few derpy looking moments that were barely on-screen) looked fantastic. Of particular note was the Otherworld and its characters. Everything was crazy and bright (or dark) where appropriate. It even handled my biggest problem with anime, CGI, really well. It didn’t look weird or out of place or because the animators have trouble drawing cars. From what I saw, the CGI was kept to the Otherworld, which fit because… Well, it’s a strange, alien landscape, so it needed a strange, alien art style.

The music, however, wasn’t anything special. I would be hard-pressed to remember any of the songs that weren’t Black Rock Shooter, which I wasn’t terribly fond of at first. It ended up growing on me, though, but that may just be ‘I’m kind of sad that this is over’ feelings talking. Also, the song played during the final ending (where it showed various scenes throughout the series) was quite nice, too.

But what about the narrative? That’s what we’re watching this for, right? Well, if any of you follow me on Twitter, you’ll noticed that I mentioned that I was ‘kind of pissed’ and ‘kind of satisfied.’ Yeah… Let’s talk about the narrative so I can bitch a little. I’m perfectly fine with the Yuu that Mato knew being Strength, that was a nice twist. I’m perfectly fine with BRS being a pretty terrible force/villain/twisted form of ‘good’ or whatever, that was pretty damn cool. I’m fine with Mato suffering through BRS’s physical pain while in the Otherworld, because that was a nice role reversal. Ya know what I’m not fine with? I’m not fine with the last thirty seconds of the series.

Now, this is a post for a muse sometime later down the line, but let’s consider the Otherworld as a metaphor for a coping mechanism or escapism. The Otherworld girls fighting and suffering physical pain is indicative of the real girls’ mental or emotional pain. The original Yuu (the one that Saya knew as a girl) ran away from the real world because she couldn’t deal with it, right? And she kinda-sorta gets better in the end, which gives her some nice development, yeah?

Then why in the hell would the writers think it’s a good idea to bring back the Otherworld girls to shoulder more pain for the real girls? I mean, I could accept it if the girls were weaker or the fights were implied to be less terrible than before, because it means the real girls are dealing with more crap on their own. But it doesn’t. It completely crushes a lot of the development made over the series, which basically amounts to ‘Hey, life sucks, but you need to deal with it and not run away or make someone else deal with it for you.’ The fact that the Otherworld girls came back to keep on fighting tore my opinion. The real world ending was satisfying. Kagari wasn’t a bitch anymore, Yuu (the real one) grew up emotionally, Yomi moved on, and the basketball girl got with her mutual crush. But the Otherworld ending… I’m gonna go ahead and say it’s for the purposes of an ambiguous ending so we may get a sequel sometime. That’s it.

Overall, though, it was a good series. It’s definitely a feel-good show. I liked it well enough that I hope we get some kind of localization or maybe even a sequel if it’s done well. Just… stop watching when the credits roll.

Anyway, I’ve bitched enough for now. Feel free to complain with or at me in the comments! I’ll be back later today with my version of the Liebster Awards (I hope). Tuesdays will try to be all about champion impressions because I’ve got a backlog of about eighty dudes left. Wednesday is the same as usual, as is Friday. Thursday… I may get out a first impressions or review or something, or I may end up doing a muse on the Otherworld is coping theory. As always, thanks for reading and have a good’un.

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