Black Rock Shooter was a huge letdown for me.
I loved the song sung by Hatsune Miku and when I heard that there was going to be an anime (albeit just an OVA), I got excited and had high hopes.
The OVA features a girl called Mato, who's the generic chipper female shoujo anime protagonist, which is oftentimes fine. She meets another girl on her first day of school called Yomi, who seems rich but a bit shy and distant. They become friends, and I won't say anymore so as not to spoil anything, but what's left to spoil is no big loss anyways.
Throughout the entire OVA, it's cut every few scenes with scenes of Black Rock Shooter intermingled. The viewer is left confused at what Black Rock Shooter is pursuing, but doesn't mind it because he/she believes that it'll all be revealed to them in a clear and mindblowing revelation. And this revelation never comes.
I speak for many when I say that when the OVA ended, I was left bewildered. And not in a good, mindscrewy way like with Serial Experiments Lain. I was just very very confused, and I had to piece it together on my own, with the help of Wikipedia.
The story was typical and cliched. It's a bit of a fantasy, but this isn't expanded on either, and it's unrealistic how Mato and Yomi act so normally after the whole ordeal. It was all quite predictable.
Enough of bashing the poor OVA and moving onto its good points, the animation and art was excellent and smooth. Some great angles and backgrounds during the Black Rock Shooter cuts. The voices were fitting and the soundtrack (which obviously included the original Black Rock Shooter song) was also excellent.
Sad to say though, that such great animation had to be brought down by the monotonous and predictable story.
Warning. This review contains spoilers for the first episode. You have been warned.Review has been edited now that I know it was only one episode thus changing my opinion entirely.
Being a vocaloid fan, I was quite stoked when I heard of the stirrings of an OAV based on Black Rock Shooter. BRS was already visibly a fan favourite and I did somewhat wonder why there was going to be an OAV of BRS rather than the Vocaloid crew themselves but hey. It sounded like a good idea so... why not? Might turn out to be pretty awesome. Let's give it a shot.
Runthrough: Right from the start, we're given a heavy fight scene between Black Rock Shooter (BRS) and... someone. All of a sudden, we cut to a girl named Kuroi Mato who wakes up and starts her first day of school. After orientation, she meets a girl named Takanashi Yomi who she soon becomes fast friends with. We're not told the connection between BRS, her rival and these two girls though the visual similarity is quite obvious. Mako and Yomi's story is played out parallel to BRS wandering this endless wasteland in search of her rival/nemesis/what have you. Of course, with these fight scenes running alongside a nice slice-of-life school story, it makes you slightly curious as to what sort of connection the two have with each other. At some point, they seem taped on but perhaps there is method to their madness. The storytelling team should have probably made a connection sooner. Fans of BRS won't mind though, I'm sure. The fights look plenty awesome though and there's a lot of eyecandy to go around.
It would've been better if they told a complete story. Unfortunately, it starts strong and ends very weak for me. There was a lot of potential with telling a complete story for Mato and her connection to BRS which the anime fails to address. Near the end, you're hoping it wraps itself up but you're left with more questions than answers. Nothing really resolves itself apart from the fact that the whole cycle is just going to repeat. We don't know why, we don't know where these ladies come in. We just know it's gonna happen again. Finding out that this entire thing was only one episode was a great disappointment for me.
Visuals: Beautiful. The scenes with Mato and Yomi are rather nice, the colors are clean and crisp when you compare them to BRS' world of black and goth and wasteland. (I use that word a lot here). IMO, though, BRS' world is far more visually appealing. The backgrounds are absolutely delicious, beautifully textured things and IMO, the best part of this entire venture, visually speaking. Character designs are rather somewhat typical... and you can tell that these girls are connected to BRS in some way. Mato looks like BRS because of her twin ponytails (not as long though.) and abundance of clothes with a black star on them. Mato looks familiar, too. It might be just me but BRS looks like a boy in a bikini from lack of... erm... assets.
Final Verdict: Disappointing. The tasty backgrounds and animation don't make up for the fact that the story is incomplete and doesn't resolve anything at all. They fail to make a connection and the end seems plastered together. All in all, you're left with a feeling of "Wait, that was it?" and scrounge around to find more but fail to. Would've been good but unfortunately, it kinda falls flat on it's face.
damn i was already hyped to see it when i saw the trailer to it i must of have watched it over 100 times now i will try not to spoil it but man it good it's like that movie Inception well not like it but u really need to watch ever second of it but my friend (Remy) who is maybe more then a bigger otaku then i am but who care he told me that he liked it but really did not think it was going to be big, i still think it was good the only thing i have with this ova is that were is the Miku Hatsune's song Black Rock Shooter yeah i know you hear a cover of it but i really wanted to see it with the ova but who cares in a nutshell very well done i have to give it to them they made a good story in 55 min and i know that any one can do a good story in 55 min but it's really good
All in all before I actually go into any type of 'review', it should be noted that I can honestly sum this anime up in a single word...
Which, coincidentally, is the same exact word/expression I was left with at the end of those 50 minutes.
To be frank, I'm not sure there really is one. I mean the first two thirds of it hint at a plot forming, but unless I'm a lot more dense than I thought....I didn't catch it. What I did catch was a couple of high school girls become friends, a few montages about their happy go lucky school days, and on the other side a loli in a bikini and goth-esque scythe wielding rich girl type battling it out all the while forgetting they had vocal cords.
Moral of the story? uhhhh.... Remember, if you befriend someone in high school always be mindful that in another dimension there are dopplegangers mundanely battling it out at a pace comparable to that of a volkswagon beetle in a world devoid of communication..maybe?
Animation & Sound
Nothing special in the least, but it would only be spiteful to say it was poorly done. It wasn't unique, rather, you may have seen this style of drawing in quite a few series you have watched. I will admit, I did find the second worlds backdrops and end of days, apocalypse style setting well done. Other than that, the character designs, music, voice acting and the rest are something I'm sure that by the time I wake up tomorrow, I'll have forgotten entirely since I've seen and heard the same in other series that were much more interesting.
Then again, it may not even take that long as even while I'm writing this I can't clearly remember any of the dialogue or background music.....
If you don't mind being brain dead and utterly lost for 51 minutes take a stab at it. If you wanna see a loli in a bikini with a big a** gun strapped to her arm bouncing around, this is the show for you. Now, if you plan on watching something that has anything remotely close to a story, something that invokes any kind of emotion other than feeling completely empty inside by the end of it, or something that can at least last 24 hours in the depths of your memory, move along.
The story was good, but trying to fit so much into one episode was just waaay too much. At the beginning, one second you would be watching a slice of life kinda thing, and then the next second it would just go to two girls in another world fighting each other. Extremely confusing much? At the end, you figure out how they are related, but a big question still remains: who the hell is BRS? You don't get any detail on that...zero. *spoiler* And if that isn't good enough, suddenly Yomi goes missing, and then we find out that she somehow got to the other world and was beating up BRS because of what was happening in this world and blah blah blah-WTF?
I honestly don't know what to think of the animation. At some points, I think the animation looks competely awesome, but next thing you know, it's just plain crappy. That's all I have to say on that matter.
The voice acting was good, then again, I'm not good at judging Japanese voice acting, so excuse me if it's actually terrible. xD Anyway, is it just me, or did they not use the BRS song sung by Miku, for the BRS anime? Seriously? Can't they fit two and two together, or are they really that retarded? If you're gonna make an anime about it, shouldn't they at least use the fricking song? Honestly...
Characters...for all I know, there's "School Girl 1", "School Girl 2", and "School Girl 3". I'm really bad at remembering character names, but because it was just one episode, I did not get a lot of time to remember them. I knew close to nothing about all of them, other than the fact School Girl 1 likes to go to a place overlooking her town, School Girl 2 moves with her family a lot, and School Girl 3 is an annoying little brat that School Girl 2 is jealous of. Amazing, right? They're the characters that make me want to sarcastically say, "How original".
The story originated from a song, so I can't say it's good point is being original. Confusing, unoriginal, poor animation, no character developement...do I really need to go on? Overall, it's garbage, crap, not even good enough to be flushed down a public toilet. Don't watch it. It's a waste of time. :T It you want a story watch the MV for BRS. That's way more interesting than this shit.