Black Bullet Ep. 1: Lolis are humanity’s last hope

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God help us all…

Notes:

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.

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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!

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• 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…

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…even if some of them do look like dodos. Wait a minute, that doesn’t look like a Gastrea:

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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:

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G-great!

• On her way to meet up with Rentaro, Enju runs into the Gastrea victim that had managed to escape from his apartment:

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Unfortunately, he didn’t escape from his infection:

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But honestly, I think the enemy’s appearance would’ve been more effective had it stayed like this:

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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:

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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:

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• Then in the middle of a job, the ten year old displays her old soul:

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ew

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.

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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! haw

• 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:

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To top it off, the security agency hasn’t made any money this month despite the fact that they’re humanity’s last hope!

beats me

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:

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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:

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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.

Thoughts:

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.

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22 thoughts on “Black Bullet Ep. 1: Lolis are humanity’s last hope”

  1. I actually kind of like the serious stuff, if only because it reminds me of government conspiracy/political anime I like, like Heat Guy J or Darker than Black. But man the stuff LN adaptations have to do to satisfy their fanbase (teenage protagonists, shitty pedophile jokes, we can’t get money!) really puts a damper on something I should be digging. It reminds me of a certain weapons anime that thought Black Lagoon would have been better if it had bad cooking and sleepwalking. I’m giving it another episode, but if they keep this humor up, I’m bailing hard and fast.

      1. I avoided the name b/c I really did not want to reference it again. But yeah, I couldn’t think of anything else. Maybe Bodacious Space Pirates and how it was basically one of those space opera shows ruined by moe and doing nothing? But shows ruined by moe has been old news for years.

  2. I think your review is kind of rushed on the series. You’re wrong about the male character age. He’s 23 and that was mentioned in the episode too.

  3. It’s really a shame the loli exists in it, otherwise the intro episode would be really solid. And judging by the ending there’s a lot more lolis which alarms me. Also the guy was mentioned to be 23(but he doesn’t really act much different from typical LN teen leads).

    1. Yeah, I got his age off of this page. I guess I didn’t notice his age had been changed in the anime. In the long run, I don’t really care what his age is when it’s that far north of Enju’s.

  4. I checked the character sheet on Wikipedia, I wasn’t sure you were not kidding.

    Ayn Rand (エイン・ランド Ein Rando?)
    Ayn is one of the four sages that heads the Mechanized Soldier Plan American Division, “NEXT”. Ayn breached the agreement between the four sages and mechanized healthy cursed children, creating mechanized Initiators called “HYBRID”. Ayn is formerly the Promoter of Tina Sprout, but as Ayn does not possess combat abilities, she acts as a command tower instead.

    This is hilarious. Also, Gastrea must be the worst name for a monster ever chosen. All it evokes for me is vague thoughts of dyspepsia.

  5. Gastrea… Do you want some antacid for that? Hah!

    The cringe of the Loli crushing on the MC aside, I saw a gif of the scene where Enju pecks Rentaro on the lips. When she faces the camera, she has no nose. But when she turns to kiss him, you can see the clear outline of a nose. What the hell?

  6. You totally made my day with the two .gif files you inserted in your review. And the fact that you chose a picture of Lloyd Christmas from Dumb and Dumber basically shrugging in bewilderment as one of these .gif files is all the more appropriate, considering the utterly silly and preposterous nature of the show’s execution compared to that road movie about two socially-incompetent human beings.

    I was about to drop this show until you mentioned Ayn Rand. Now I’m definitely gonna have to see how this Ayn Rand character is used. I really hope the creators make the Ayn Rand character as despicable, illogical, irrational, hypocritical and egotistical as possible, for historical accuracy’s sake. ;)

  7. I think the age given in the wiki is right.

    Note that Enju said something about MC failing 6 straight years so they could be classmates in 2nd year high school, and MC said a 23 year old student would be weird. So basically, MC will be 23 years old 6 years in the future, making him 17, pretty close to the wiki age.

    Doesn’t change the fact that he is still pretty far north of Enju though.

  8. To the show/novel’s credit, there is a reasonable justification to why the Cursed Children are all around 10 years old. The outbreak of the virus occurred 10 years ago, so that was the time range when pregnant women were infected and gave birth to Cursed Children. Then the monoliths were built and infections declined. I don’t think they’re frozen at a physical age of 10 years, and Enju did say she was still growing (in an awkward context, but same conclusion). Of course, the reason that they’re all FEMALE is contrived bullcrap, as is the decision to make the main story occur at 10 years post-infection as opposed to later.
    Not that I’m complaining. I pretty much fall in the target audience for this stuff. Mea culpa.

    1. Jeez! Its not supposed to FUCK UP the whole show, its SUPPOSED to add some humor. By the way it doesn’t matter how old they are.. Rentaro loves her! Haven’t you ever heard that age is just a number!? The loli theme isn’t the whole point of the entire show, it is possible to ignore that kind of thing. Furthermore, you really need to watch farther into the series it clears up a lot. Especially with what you were saying about The Masked Guy not killing Rentaro and about President Kisara undergoing Hemodialysis.

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