Black Rock Shooter - Sadistically, Beautifully, Engrossingly Brilliant
By Gemma | 29 Jul 2018
Black Rock Shooter is a media franchise based on characters created by illustrator Ryohei Fuke in 2007. The original illustration inspired a song titled Black Rock Shooter by Supercell in 2008. After a year it had been viewed 2.2million times. It also received manga additions, a 50-minute video animation, a video game, and an 8 episode TV series (being reviewed) which uses the previously mentioned song as its opening theme -- all these happened between 2010 and 2012, and overall were very well received.
Black Rock Shooter is a relatively short anime, with only having 8 episodes, but they are filled with a lot of stuff. The plot starts in a high school with our main character, Mato Kuroi, who takes an interest in her classmate Yomi Takanashi, a shy withdrawn girl. Mato tries to befriend Yomi but is at first ignored and Yomi takes no interest in Mato. This is until Yomi sees a charm hanging from Mato's phone. This charm, and what it belongs to strikes a powerful friendship between them. There's also areas of yandere to this anime when Yomi’s childhood friend comes into it, she becomes obsessed with Yomi and doesn't wish to share her. We also have the alternate universe where our Black Rock Shooter makes an appearance, along with various other wonderful characters and a lot of fighting ensues. This all sounds a bit mish-mash and confusing as to how these two completely different plots come together right? Well, in fact, Mato in this Alternate Universe is the Black Rock Shooter and what happens in the Alternate Universe has an effect the real world.
Due to this animes uniqueness, and its wonderful two characters in one persona, I'm going to explain some about there alternate universe selves -- rather than writing about the real characters -- starting with the infamous Black Rock Shooter.
Black Rock Shooter - Mato
She is our main character in the Alternate Universe, and she is a total badass. She features in the game, manga, and all other adaptions but in the anime, she is far more brutal than in all other media. She has spiky short hair which adds to her attitude, usually wears a hood, and can be identified easily with her striking flaming blue eye -- which always stands out and looks wonderful. She wears a sort of biker getup with shorts, a bikini top, and a jacket. She sports a katana, and a huge cannon gun and she is pure strength. She battles without fear without, and consequence. The fighting scenes are just mesmerizing as is the artwork for her. Compared to her real-world counterpart, Mato, you would not believe they were one and the same, as they are polar opposites.
Dead Master - Yomi
Well, these names are certainly interesting and unique.
Each character in the alternate universe just stands out so much, not only with their name but also how they look and behave. Dead Master wears a typical gothic lolita outfit. She also has bangs and stunning green eyes -- the one thing I can't get over is just how striking the eyes are on every character are. Dead Master uses chains and a scythe as her weapons in the alternate universe, and again is the complete polar opposite of her real-world counterpart, Yomi.
Chariot - Yomi's childhood friend
Chariot just looks completely evil. She wears a crown on her head, wears claw-like gloves, and her shoes... well... they have wheels on that can be used as weapons, but mostly uses a sword and shield to fight. She has bright yellow eyes but she is very cold -- some of her gazes can pierce the heart when she looks at you. She is brutal and loves to inflict pain and hurt people in the other realm, and at one point gets very sadistic by beating up Black Rock Shooter. This is due to events in the real world as Chariot is Yomi's childhood obsessed friend, so you can understand why Chariot beats up Black Rock Shooter so harshly as it's a reflection on the real world.
This review is shorter than most due to the short anime length, and anything further would spoil the anime. The CGI is wonderful, the art style is superb and eye-catching, the story, in all its strangeness, is gripping and kept me wanting more. Trying to work things out, like the way it all fits together, how there is no 'real' fighting in the real-world and that it's all done in the alternate universe. This alone is such a refreshing change to see, and the pure polar opposites between the characters of both worlds are wonderful. If you like strange anime or psychotic characters, and brilliant art styles, Black Rock Shooter is definitely an anime worth spending your time on and experiencing.