Black Bullet Episode 1 Notes

April 8th, 2014.

Abandon Grimdark, Obtain Comedy and Lolis

Looking at my notes, I seem to have been excited for this show for the same reason I was supposedly hyped about a mixture of Mahou Sensou and the upcoming Rail Wars! – a slightly darker dystopia, with covert ops and such, and a focus on politics – that’s mostly Rail Wars! though. This show seems more focused on the supernatural aspect ofpowers, and of crushing your enemies.

A species of parasites, humanity in tatters, a feeling of oppression and suspicion reminds me of Christopher’s Moeller’s Iron Empires graphic novel. Well, let’s see what we’ve got, the preview promised tasty action.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Grimdark!:

Black Bullet Episode 1 anime notes - Mangled SWAT cop

1) Stadium shelterserious war.

2) Welp, those vulture-moths are huge. So much for aliens going all Goa’uld and inserting themselves into humans, unless they’re going to surprise me and these are just the super-carrier fighters.

3) “If you do not want to die, then survive!” – That’s some “People die if they are killed” level shit.

4) Gastrea in a small apartment, so guess we do have infiltrators :) Woot!

5) I have to say, military/police in anime is so completely worthless unless they’re the main characters – they go in and engage the enemy against orders, and don’t notify their commanding officer even… you know why they’re so ridiculously bad? So the main characters could step in and be cool, or they’re there as “redshirts”, to die in order for us to see how brutal the world is.

6) See? Brutal.

Which makes the juxtaposition to this “enemy” who just killed the two SWAT members even more stark, which is the goal. Nothing like a top hat, Mr. dandy.

7) Some Matrix/Bourne level shit, kick-ass music as the fight goes on… cool beans. Not a fan of having to declare your move while you’re trying to move and fight as quickly as possible.

1) Comedy!:

Black Bullet Episode 1 anime notes - Aihara Enju covered in white sticky stuff...

1) Villain! “Little old me? I’m just the one who will destroy the world.

2) Little girl! Wearing colourful clothes! I assume the talk of “fiancée” is one sided. This is anime, and we need our comic relief relationships, right? >.>

3) Chalks a few more lines under the “Brutal World” heading.

4) Oh, anime – “What is this?! It’s all sticky!” exclaimed the little girl! Going from a moment of brutality to a colourful monster assaulting a girl clad in a colourful way, and assaulting her with white viscous fluids. Yeah, this show is definitely about the fun romp, rather than true psychological horror. Or at least to ease us in.

5) Ok, the little girl who is much more of a badass than Rentaro here and completely annihilated the big bad monster in melee just kissed the older Rentaro on whom she has a crush and then acts all innocent. It’s adorable.

6) Ah, I see. I thought the “Initiator” would unlock the true fighter’s true potential. But he’s only there as a leash to her. A leash, a collar, a wedding ring? I wouldn’t be surprised if the Initiators are taught to imprint upon their Promoters and form emotional attachment to them.

7) Oh, anime. Well, this fanservice isn’t anything I’m not used to, but it’s still amusing how much they emphasize it.

8) This is why you don’t send kids to do adults’ work. Honestly, all these shows where we send kids to defend humanity, it was only a matter of time before the kids were put in charge. And no, worlds where all the adults have died don’t count :P. Still, they’re all government employees, what is this nonsense? Guess it’s more anime humor, heh. Well, the police did take badly to Rentaro’s appearance and two of them died overhonour. Talk about bad blood.

9) Kisara and Rentaro know one another from childhood. Post-war orphans? Did they get powers together? Hm.

3) Cute and Brooding: A Juxtaposition of Flavours:

Black Bullet Episode 1 anime notes - Aihara Enju and her winsome smile

1) At least our brooding hero knows he has a hot button, and what it is, and doesn’t blame others.

2) Hungry Midget, Brooding Hero! This is Index ;-)

3) Cute. She talks in sexual terms, because she runs in an adult environment, but to me the vibes are of a chick and the person (or shoe) it imprinted on. He’s her caretaker and guardian, and one who treats her as human.

4) It’s cute when the show makes fun of itself on its own. Hm, this reminds me a bit of Unbreakable Machine-Doll now, but cuter.

5) Ok, we’ve got ages. Rentaro is 17 years old, and Enju is 11 years old. Enju-chan is adorable.

6) Huh, so it really is somewhat like Shingeki no Kyojin. Everything seemed normal, but they’re actually on an island, metaphorical even if not literal. They keep within walls they had erected, because there are monsters outside, and the night is long and dark. Enemies without, and considering anyone can become a host, enemies within as well.

7) “These girls are the curse the Gastrea had inflicted upon humanity.” – Interesting. Is it because they’re ticking time bombs and at some point they’ll transform? Is it because they “robbed” the children of pregnant women? A reminder that they are not entirely human? I wonder, I’m sure we’ll get some more revelations here. Guess Enju-chan is closer to being ten, then again, we don’t know how long that “war” took place.

8) Yeah, erecting these walls isn’t something you can just do immediately. They had to maintain control for a while for that.

9) Preview asking “Are you even human?” – Are you, Rentaro? Is Enju-chan? Is anyone, considering you can all become Gastrea? Hm.

OP thoughts – The vocals in the beginning and end made me think of the great first opening of Shingeki no Kyojin. The OP was very vibrant in terms of colours and hues, and then upbeat in its music – not the sort of OP for a dark and somber show, but something much more fitting for a light action show, and just as I thought so the song picked up again and made me think of the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun OPs, which I really like. Well, maybe we’ll have a more light fun romp on our hand!

Post Episode Thoughts:

Black Bullet Episode 1 anime notes - This world we live in.

This was a silly little show. It sure aimed more for the fun, and less for the serious. If it did aim for the serious, then all the fan-service, fan-service jokes, funny faces, or flat-out jokes somewhat robbed it away. If anything, it reminds me of Toaru Majutsu no Index, which could be serious when it mattered, but wasn’t a very serious show overall.

Yes, we’re definitely going to delve into darker things, such as humanity, killing children, rejection, coming to terms with the past, etc., but we’re not there yet. Enju-chan is adorable, can’t really say otherwise.

All in all? A popcorn show. Seems like it’d be entertaining enough. Take it or leave it. I doubt we’ll truly get much more in terms of depth, but I like such shows as well.

The music as solid, the animation and art-design as well. If you want to watch what is often called “popcorn shows” (action without a lot of depth, not actually a negative term), you could do so much worse, and it might yet go more serious and somber.

Return to the Black Bullet Episodic Notes page.

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