Black Rock Shooter is a song by Ryo, also known as the leader of the band Supercell. The song is sung by Hatsune Miku, and
the song gains mass popularity to the extent that when the OVA was announced, it was said to be the 'best' OVA we would
have this year.
BRS, or Bull-Random-Shit, is one of the greatest letdowns in Anime history this year, aside from Angel Beats!. I was literally pumped up to watch this for the whole day. I downloaded it yesterday, and throughout school I kept telling myself to watch it the moment I got home. I was expecting an hour of mind-blowing goodness, an OVA I would never stop talking about. I was already a little fan of the song, as well as the art, but not to a great degree. Nevertheless I was excited for the OVA.
Here comes disappointment.
BRS is about the yuri-ish relationship between two friends, Mato and Yomi. I’m not kidding. The first 40 minutes are just slice-of-life, occasionally interrupted with random fighting scenes. Mato makes friends with Yuu, and spends a lot of time with her, causing Yomi to become jealous and literally disintegrate into black dust. In the end, Mato receives a SMS from her, cycling to the park in the middle of the night and finding the phone charm she and her bought.
A huge beam of light strikes her, and she is sent to the world where Black Rock Shooter resides. She breaks out from the chains, frees Yomi from Dead Master by hugging her, and saves her. The end.
What. The . Fuck.
For the first 80% of this OVA, all we got to see was typical school-life antics between two girls, a common, if not over-used trope in Anime. From the very start it would be fucking obvious who’s who, seeing as how Yomi immediately brings to mind Dead Master. Not to mention all the completely unrelated fighting scenes, which the audience are expected to watch without question. Why are they fighting anyway? Who knows, who cares, it’s Black Freaking Rock Shooter! Is that how we really think? Then immediately plenty of questions are brought to mind. There’s this loli kid who shows up in BRS world, probably Yuu’s persona. Why is she there? Why did Yomi turn evil? Better yet, where the hell are they?” Where is this place they are fighting, anyway? I would have shut up if I got some poor reason like ‘a dream world’ or something in the OVA, but nothing. Absolutely nothing. SO many questions, but nothing resolved.
Not to mention the ending sucked. In the last 8 minutes or so, I was still confused. Thankfully, the director ‘threw in a way to link all the questions together”. All I knew was that Mato is Black Rock Shooter (if that wasn’t fucking obvious already) , Dead Master is the ‘evil’ side of Yomi, in my opinion anyway. Still doesn’t explain anything. Heck, I’d watch a 5 minute battle OVA between the two and still come out the wiser. So in the end, the story was not told in chronological order, but that solves nothing. That still solves nothing.
Who can honestly tell me that the show made sense? Logical sense, I mean?
The show is also full of lesbians. Okay, fine, full of good female friends. And by good, I mean bad. Really bad. Mato seems to be your typical innocent moe character, much like the characters from Marimite. She gets a few good friends, and then hangs out with other people, resulting in aforementioned friend becoming jealous and evil and whatnot. Yomi kinda sucks as a friend. Simply because Mato has another good friend, she gets jealous and whatnot. Not to say this isn’t normal behaviour, or that this isn’t common acceptable teenager-like behaviour, but it appears that all the girls in the show are that weak. Yomi and Mato get back together again, leaving Yuu in the lurch and probably leading to some kind of a battle between BRS and Strength, or what they tell me her persona’s name is. It makes me think that BRS is some kind of super-violent student counselor or something, who breaks into people’s subconscious to fight the demons within. Hey, that’d be a great story. I can write stuff too. Take that, Ordet.
Given the style of plot movement, character development would have been crucial, if not essential for success. That’s exactly where BRS OVA suffers. Due to its poor direction, its characters don’t get developed sufficiently. We don’t feel attached to the characters at all. You know you’ve succeeded when the audience feel some nuances of attachment to a fictional character. For instance, people liked shows like Clannad and whatnot because they could relate to them , making them feel all the sadder. BRS is as successful in this area as a chicken trying to fly after being shot off a cliff. If the characters would die, I wouldn’t feel nothing. Okay, maybe except for Mato because of Moe Power (TM) but otherwise no.
ART:This is where BRS shines, or looks less fail than the other segments. BRS’s art is superb. They know how to work this properly. From the recurring imagery of gravestones, chains, and whatnot to the checkerboard tiles in BRS’s world, we have this feeling of desolation. Of desertion, much like what I assume, we were supposed to feel for Yomi being ‘left out’ . The real world was also much more cheery compared to this world, being made up of mostly light blue and pastel colours, much like the sky on a good day.
The BGM was okay, but too slow-paced for my interest.
A story about two friends, Mato and Yomi. Mato takes on the persona of Black Rock Shooter to fight Yomi’s demons. Your standard tale of school friendships and action/fantasy. Nevertheless, quite a letdown, given the great amount of hype and speculation.