Kana HanazawaMiyuki SawashiroMisaki KunoBlack Rock Shooter
Black Rock Shooter (2012 TV series)
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2012
Director: Shinobu Yoshioka
Writer: Nagaru Tanigawa, Shinobu Yoshioka
Actor: Airi Sakuno, Kana Asumi, Kana Hanazawa, Kazusa Murai, Megumi Takamoto, Misaki Kuno, Miyuki Sawashiro, Naoki Makishima, Naoko Sugiura, Takashi Nagasako, Tomoko Nakamura
Keywords: Black Rock Shooter, anime, SF
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 8 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=11318
Website category: Anime early 10s
Review date: 2 February 2023
black rock shooter
I don't think it works as well as the OVA. It's more fleshed out and has stronger reasons for what happens, but it's also more firmly based in the cool-but-dumb Otherworld where Black Rock Shooter spends all her time fighting. That's not a good thing. "There are no ambiguous feelings, only combat," says someone in that world. Unfortunately, that's true. It's cartoonish nonsense that looks cool for ten seconds, but soon gets boring.
The basic story's unchanged and I enjoyed the first six episodes (of only eight). Mato and Yomi are roughly the same as before, but Yuu's a far more rounded character. Here, she and Mato are already childhood friends, so seeing them together isn't uncomfortable. If Yomi feels sidelined... well, that's just too bad. The "jealous possessive friendship" theme is being pushed even harder than in the OVA, but no longer with any sense that the victim might have a point. We feel sorry for Yomi, yes, but the Mato-Yuu friendship was there long before she arrived and she's got no excuse for suddenly feeling snubbed in that.
Then there's the monster known as Kagari. Bloody hell. And an evil school counsellor. The feelings being examined are even more twisted and painful than in the OVA, but without unsettling grey areas. Nice people are getting played and tortured by scumbags, although the latter might end up getting redemption too.
The real-world stuff I liked. It's got some powerful scenes, messed-up viewpoints and nastiness... but it's charming and even funny. Kagari's school debut, for instance, is a hoot.
Then we hit the last two episodes.
I don't care about the Otherworld. Sorry, I don't. It's abstract and silly. The violence can get Looney Tunes and the never-ending fights are meaningless. The show wants to give them meaning, admittedly, and it's pushing lots of handwaves into a big pile of bollocks and nonsense... but nope. I don't buy it. It's just something cool to let the animators have fun. The script wants us to believe stuff that would be significant and heavy if we could take it seriously, but I couldn't.
Indestructible girls fight, as always. For nearly an hour. (That's more or less the combined running time of two episodes, after all.) Zzzzz.
Warning: I might be in a minority here. This series clearly has fans. They'd think my dismissal of this show's conclusion was shallow or stupid, or something. But sod it.