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[Black Rock Shooter OVA]
AKA: ブラック★ロックシューター
Genre: Fantasy / drama
Length: OAV, 60 minutes
Distributor: Currently unlicensed in North America
Content Rating: PG-13 (Violence, skimpy dressing)
Related Series: Black Rock Shooter TV
Also Recommended: Ga-Rei: Zero

Black Rock Shooter OVA


Kuroi Mato is about to starting her first year in junior high school. On her first day, a refined girl with an odd family name strikes her eyes - Takanashi Yomi. The two girls couldn't be more different, but soon form a close and fast bond. However, during their second year, they were put into separate class and each having different clubs, they soon begin to drift apart. Their friendship is further strain when Mato's club manager, Yuu, shares the same class and spends more time with Mato. Elsewhere on an alternate world, a black bikini-clad female warrior with blue fire shooting from her eyes is engage in a battle-to-the-death with a green-eyed witch. Wait a minute... didn't Mato have blue eyes and Yomi have green eyes. I could tell this was coming. Remember the old adage, two's a company, three's a crowd...


I think I remember mentioning somewhere that it is extraordinary hard to strike a balance when trying to compress thousands of volume of anime or manga into a 60 minute movie. In Black Rock Shooter, the reverse seems to be true. I wish they have made it into an 12-episode anime instead or a minimum a 3-6 episode OAV. On the optimistic side, maybe it will end up like Blood: The Last Vampire, where it spawned 2 seasons worth of Blood+. But I hope it will not make the same mistake in creating a boring spin-off without the bite (no pun intended) of a much-tamed Saya.

Black Rock Shooter is very sly in drawing its audience into the show. Its like an extended teaser because it ends with a cliff-hanger by revealing the name of the character (i.e. Black Rock Shooter) right at the end. The anime relentlessly teases the audience by advancing the battle scenes in an alternate world between the two leads (one of whom obviously is Black Rock Shooter while the other looks suspiciously like a possessed Yomi), simultaneously advancing the story between the friends. The battles get more ferocious as their friendship comes to a strain. The correlation between the warriors in the alternate world and Mato and Yomi's world is always hinted but the creators did not really quite confirm if it is THE Mato and Yomi dishing it out in the alternate world.

SPOILER ALERT!!! Whether you choose to read on or not is entirely up to you but I think for a 60-minute anime with the graphics nowhere as impressive as Blood: The Last Vampire, you might actually want to think twice before blowing your hard-earned money on it.

I'm probably over-analyzing the ending, but the final scene where Black Rock Shooter fuses with Mato makes me mad. So. What is it? Were they two separate entity in the first place? Or Mato was Black Rock Shooter in her past life? For an anime this short, I thought the creators could have taken some time, like 5 minutes maybe, to explain a little more. After all, they have already spend some 30 minutes on the "normal" world and another 30 minutes on the "alternate" world. Gosh, they must have suddenly run out of filming reels.

And unfortunately for Black Rock Shooter, the only other anime that I have seen this short was Blood: The Last Vampire, and when viewed on Blu-ray...oh, Production IG really takes my breath away! On the other hand, the battle scenes from Black Rock Shooter felt like cheating. Black Rock Shooter...or Mato, uses a gun so I guess I'll have to forgive all the light shows flying around. When Yomi starts tossing the scythe around, it immediately zooms out and a lot of the character details are lost. Granted, the action was fast and furious, but a little more attention to details, please.

The background music was surprisingly good. The smooth and relax melody generated by the guitar played during the scenes when the 2 friends are enjoying happier times, or the piano score that plays when their friendship suffered a dent. As usual, two of my favorites, Hanazawa Kana and Sawashiro Miyuki aced the main characters.

I probably would have enjoyed this anime more if it had been a little longer and had some form of explanation. After all, Yomi and Mato are rather easy to identify with. Friends can drift apart when interest or class change. During those tremulous teenage years, the insecure may withdraw into themselves. It takes attention and sensitivity to notice when people close to you change.

It's really not too bad for quick entertainment since they tricked you quite early in the beginning by drawing you into the intrigue. Just don't think or expect too much. — Diane Tiu

Recommended Audience: Lots of big scythes, heavy guns, and collateral damage, but no blood is actually spilled.

Version(s) Viewed: digital source
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Black Rock Shooter OVA © 2009 huke / B★RS Project
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