On the first day of junior high school, Mato Kuroi happens to run into Yomi Takanashi, a shy, withdrawn girl whom she immediately takes an interest in. Mato tries her best to make conversation with Yomi, wanting to befriend her. At first, she is avoided, but the ice breaks when Yomi happens to notice a decorative blue bird attached to Mato’s phone, which is from the book “Li’l Birds At Play.” Discovering they have a common interest, the two form a strong friendship. In an alternate universe, the young girls exist as parallel beings, Mato as Black★Rock Shooter, and Yomi as Dead Master. Somehow, what happens in one world seem – My Anime List
Based on 14 review scores:
It’s hard not to shower Black Rock Shooter with praises. This is an extremely good looking series with an unconventional story and an unconventional art direction. At 8 episodes long it maintains a good pace and tells an engrossing and complete story. The continuous jumps between the real and emotional worlds insure that you won’t be bored by either one of them in the long run while the metaphors and symbolism provides plenty of replay value. Black Rock Shooter is a prime example of what an anime should be. It combines an intriguing story, a strong emotional experience and a unique art style to create one perfect masterpiece.
Mage In A Barrel
Black★Rock Shooter is a highly recommended show. It’s a message worth telling, filled with hope. It refuses to shy away from the painful realities of life, but also refuses to be overcome by them. Throw in wonderfully done writing and epic, purposeful action, and you have a show that is an incredibly worthwhile watch.
Anime News Network
Because of its origin as a fan-driven, mixed-media frachise, there’s always the risk that a full Black Rock Shooter series would turn out to be a messy, incoherent bunch of ideas. But this bunch of ideas—a character, a song, a premise—ends up as a satisfying story in itself, with down-to-earth elements tied in to a more fanciful sci-fi setting. The main characters’ tumultuous relationships provide something to emotionally connect to, so that even when the ending goes overboard with pseudoscience and philosophy, Mato and her friends are still worth caring about. The animation has its glitches here and there, but is a wonder to behold during the battle scenes, with unforgettable images that won’t be replicated anytime soon. So don’t discount it just because the franchise has been marketed to within an inch of its life: as a TV series, Black Rock Shooter is a work of substance and truth.
Overall, I really like this show. Sure, its characters are middle-school girls, i.e. often obnoxiously histrionic, and the show lacks even a basic understanding of subtlety but its fights are enjoyable, its themes are interesting and the story from beginning to end is fun without being flimsy. As a show that is shorter than most things Peter Jackson has made in the last decade, I think this is worth your time and I give it my recommendation.
My Shiny Toy Robots
At only eight episodes, Black Rock Shooter didn’t really have the time to perfect itself. In this time however it manages to establish its real world characters and their traumas (some more believable than others) reasonably well at the expensive of making the “other world” characters mute figureheads. While in some respect this is indeed what they are, the level of depth between the five is varied. It is nice to see characters other than Black Rock Shooter and Dead Master take centre stage though, and it is arguably Yuu/Strength that steals the show.
The action in this series is really sweet. We definitely were in for a treat in the animation department this past winter-season: Nisemonogatari, Milky Holmes 2 and Black Rock Shooter: these three series looked past their conventional animation, and really tried to do interesting stuff with their visuals and their visual direction. The action sequences in this series are really intense and well directed. Most of it is done in 3D CG, so that takes a while to get used to (because they don’t blend in too well at times), but it’s a sacrifice that was worth it, because otherwise the creators would never have been able to put as much movement in this series as now. The soundtrack complements it all well. I’d almost say: go and watch this as a multimedia experience. This is really a show where the visuals are as important as the story and characters. The emo is a bit annoying at times, but overall, it could have done a lot worse. It’s not the disaster that Fractale or Guilty Crown were, in any case.
My Anime List
All in all, I think Black Rock Shooter could have been much, much more. All of the flaws I have pointed out can all be traced back to the writing. If this show had a different writer, I think a lot of the problems with this show would not be as frustrating as they had become. Sure, the angst will still be all over the place, but at least it won’t be Mari Okada Angst. I give Black Rock Shooter TV my personal MAL rating of 5, which should have been a 3 if it wasn’t for the cool CGI.
For as great as the action is, Black★Rock Shooter (TV) relies on a narrative that isn’t the easiest to follow, and as such, may confuse some who end up watching. From a yuri standpoint, there’s obvious subtext, but when the shit starts hitting the fan, the yuri is forced to take a backseat and it never really recovers. Great for action fans and aficionados of psychological anime, B★RS (TV) requires attentiveness, but rewards observant viewers with a very competent and worthwhile experience.
Overall, it is a pretty solid anime that I’m glad to see has a whole series being aired currently. It needed a lot more time to explain things and develop the characters, because as they sit, they seem like they could be very solid with just a bit more work.
Overall, BlackêRock Shooter isn’t exactly what I was expecting. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since I still enjoyed the show, but I can’t help but feel that it would have benefitted from a full 13-episode run as opposed to only 8. Although the school-based characters aren’t particular noteworthy and the exposition is rather spotty, the link between the two worlds is an interesting concept, if a tad underdeveloped (I’ve been intentionally vague about it since it might be considered a somewhat significant spoiler). That, and some of the setpieces used during the fights are downright awesome.
Black Rock Shooter Overall is one of the better animes of this year. This series shines through its short, great action sequences and well played out character conflicts. The series is a spin-off but it also uses the same characters from the OVA. The only real flaw of this series is the story. It flows through character Arc’s similar to a manga series. Although understandable it’s very confusing at time. The last few episodes are the most well played out, taking an interesting twist and bring closer. In the end I felt satisfied, a great ending to the series. The series also uses CGI as opposed to the traditional approach. Although its good CGI and it fooled me at times, I had a very mixed reaction. But at the same time it felt right because the action in Black Rock Shooter is very large and fluid, most traditional animation cant pull something like this off without using a large amount of their production budget. Overall, Black Rock Shooter is a decent anime. It improves greatly over the OVA. From including the Song by Supercell and Hatsune Miku to not leaving you with lingering questions. If you liked the OVA, you’ll definitely like this series as well.
The Nihon Review
For a show that barely reaches the hour mark, B★RS would have worked if it knew how to strike an impact on the viewers quickly, one way or another. I will give credit for how genuine the friendship between Mato and Yomi feels, but it isn’t enough to save the show at all. B★RS ultimately fails with its lazy writing and below-average animation, resulting in a cynical product that feels more like a mere promotional video rather than an actual OVA. It’s a boring and wasteful anime that I personally feel even Vocaloid fans wouldn’t appreciate, and would have spent time better playing with the music software instead.
The Otaku Judge
Black Rock Shooter boasts some impressive CG animation during its action scenes, but it’s sadly wasted on this series. The cast are mostly likable until they go off the deep end and lose their minds. Kagari’s mental instability is due to a traumatic childhood event, but the rest of the characters don’t have a good reason for breaking down so readily. Maybe teenage hormones are to blame? For the sake of drama the girls just seem to make mountains out of molehills. Even when compared to other animes Black Rock Shooter comes across as rather bizarre and that’s saying something given how whacky Japanese cartoons can get.
The Danish Guy – Owned Core
Black Rock Shooter is colourful, and the fight scenes are cool-looking, but the message it tries to deliver is ham-handed and the story is hard to follow.
I later discovered it is actually part of a franchise that spawned, as far as I can tell, from a music video some years hence.
That is, however, not an excuse for being difficult to understand. An anime should be able to stand on its own, especially in this case where it’s not a middle series like we’ll see next week.