God help us all…
• Black Bullet isn’t shy about showing us what a Gastrea looks like, and that boldness isn’t without merit. It’s just too bad the one that attacks our main character at the very start of the show looks goofy as all hell. To me, it resembles an insectoid dodo with moth wings.
I think with shows about monsters, it’s not always necessary to give us a complete look at the scary creature itself. At least not right off the bat. Since our main character is still very much a child in the opening sequence of the episode, you can perhaps play on the fact that the monster is too large and too fast to be comprehended. In other words, the monster literally defies human perception, especially that of a child, and as a result, that is why it’s so monstrous. Or, y’know, just show us a giant dodo with moth wings instead… Look, I’m not saying this is what Black Bullet should’ve done, but it’s what the show could have done in order to add a little mystery and horror to the atmosphere.
• A voice tells our young hero to persevere: “If you do not want to die, SURVIVE!” Well, shit, thanks for that invaluable lesson, ojisan. Gosh, what other amazing life lessons do you have for us? Ah, perhaps I should eat if I don’t want to hunger. And I should drink if I don’t want to thirst!
• So ten years later, our shota Rentaro is all grown up. He’s now employed as a Promoter, which is a position specifically made for combating Gastrea. Usually, they are paired up with an Initiator, little girls with special powers (of course), but Rentaro’s partner, uh, fell off his bike on their way to the show’s very first case.
• When our hero finally gets to the problematic apartment with the Gastrea on the inside, it turns out some of the police officers had already gone on ahead to deal with the problem themselves. Why? ‘Cause they didn’t want “guys like [Rentaro] to steal the glory.” Yeah, our main character got here on a bike. It doesn’t look like he’s living too lavishly, if you ask me.
• Yeesh, these Gastrea things don’t mess around…
…even if some of them do look like dodos. Wait a minute, that doesn’t look like a Gastrea:
But he’s definitely the one who killed those officers. So not only do we have to deal with some sort of infectious virus that can somehow attack mankind as a giant, mutated dodo, our hero will now have to contend with some bad Joker-wannabe.
• Rentaro shouts “Inzen: Kokutenfu!” and “Inzen: Genmeika!” but they both look like the same kick to me. But it’s one of those situations where the final boss is so powerful that he’s impressed simply because our hero managed to land a single hit. As a result, the masked man asks for our hero’s name and… uh, Rentaro just gives it away. Then, y’know, the mastermind bad guy exits the scene without killing our hero because he finds Rentaro to be just so goddang interesting.
• Anyway, it’s finally time to introduce ourselves to the other half of the show’s virus-fighting duo. Meet Enju, a ten year old girl who announces to the audience that she is Rentaro’s… fiancee:
• On her way to meet up with Rentaro, Enju runs into the Gastrea victim that had managed to escape from his apartment:
Unfortunately, he didn’t escape from his infection:
But honestly, I think the enemy’s appearance would’ve been more effective had it stayed like this:
As part-Gastrea and part-human, our zombie-like victim would have become somewhat of an abjection. Instead, he just turns into a giant yellow tarantula, which is… well, just a giant yellow tarantula. At least it has giant human teeth for some reason.
• And then the giant yellow tarantula shoots sticky, white stuff all over our twin-tailed female character:
Guys, please! Stop snickering! It’s a giant yellow tarantula, so the sticky white stuff is just web fluid. Sometimes a gun is just a gun and sticky white stuff on a loli is just sticky white stuff on a loli!
• Rentaro and the inspector conveniently show up to give us a bit of information. Apparently, simple bullets won’t do the trick against these creatures. You need Varanium bullets. Good thing Rentaro then proceeds to run out of said fancy bullets. In any case, Enju has finally recovered from her sticky affair, and she goes all mahou shoujo on the spider. The fate of humanity lies in the hands of a few Cursed Children like Enju, and that means she can kick her way through a giant spider until it is nothing but a pile of purple smouldering remains. Why purple? Shrug.
• These two are partners and she’s only ten:
• Then in the middle of a job, the ten year old displays her old soul:
Ah yes, the precocious young female and the unwilling older male who doesn’t understand all the unwanted attention he’s getting from the loli. Right, right… Let me remind you that Rentaro’s young for a civil officer, which implies that most civil officers are typically older than this. But do you think other Cursed Children are significantly older than Enju if they are even older at all? Puh-lease. So yeah, there are probably grown men running around with 10 year old lolis in this universe.
• So uh, if this virus is so deadly, is it… dead? Is it really safe for the inspector to bend down and dig through the remains of the giant yellow spider for the Varanium bullet? Look, maybe Enju’s kicks somehow eradicated any trace of the virus completely the corpse of the giant yellow spider, but this would purely be a conjecture on our part.
The show gives us no indication whatsoever that the remains are now completely safe to run around in. But, y’know, feel free to infodump on the audience about Initiators and Promoters, and their roles in this anime. They’re humanity’s last hope!
• But even though Rentaro’s young for a civil officer, his boss is a girl in a sailor uniform. In fact, she’s even the president of the security agency that our hero works for:
To top it off, the security agency hasn’t made any money this month despite the fact that they’re humanity’s last hope!
Y’know, you’d think that in a crisis like this, humanity’s last hope wouldn’t be privatized…
*scan through the list of characters in this anime*
*come across a character named Ayn Rand*
Oh you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.
• Apparently, our President Kisara has diabetes, so she’s heading off to the hospital to undergo a treatment of hemodialysis. Okay…
• As the two of them are talking about their hopes and dreams, the music in the background doesn’t work at all. It sounds really cheap and lame.
• Afterwards, Rentaro meets up with Sumire, a researcher, who gives our hero a bit of advice for his love life:
Rape is neat! Our hero’s response? “Kisara-san is a master of the Tendo Martial Arts form of iaido… She’d kill me in an instant.” Right. Not that it would be wrong to force yourself upon a person or anything. Oh no no no, it’s the fact that she’ll kill you if you do!
• Something, something about Gastrea monsters developing new, original powers. It’s just standard sci-fi stuff.
• Then later that day, Rentaro returns home to a loli that’s trying to seduce him:
When he ignores her advances, she beats him up, then complains: “What kind of man are you, passing up an offer from a lady.” Yes, a “lady.” Sigh, we just couldn’t have a sci-fi show where people battle monstrous virus infections, could we? We just had to have all this loli crap too. The infection is real, guys, and it’s not the fucking Gastrea virus.
• Our ten year old Enju then proceeds to say to her ten year old friend, “The nihilistic nature of Tenchu Black, whom we are uncertain is friend or foe, is quite real.”
• Apparently, Enju’s just one of the lucky ones. There’s an entire colony of Cursed Children on the outskirts of the city because people don’t consider them human… even though, y’know, they’re humanity’s only hope to defeating the Gastrea virus. Somehow, the Cursed Children have very bad PR in Japan despite them all being lolis with magical powers.
Meh, I think my dissatisfaction is quite apparent from the notes above. The sci-fi elements to the show are generic, but passable. If all you need is a mediocre show about humanity’s last hope against some random threat, Black Bullet can scratch that itch… sorta. But be prepared to be inundated with typical wish-fulfillment bullshit in which a young male is the sole caretaker of a 10 year old girl who dotes upon him like a waifu. Good luck.
*The age thing has been corrected in the post above, but I’m putting this here anyway so people don’t think I’m trying to hide my errors or anything.