When the episode begins, there’s no awesome fight or anything. We get a brief recap of what had happened at the end of last week’s episode, then after the OP ends, we’re somehow in a hospital room where Enju is currently being treated for her injuries. What injuries? It turns out she “was shot from four places at once,” but it isn’t important to show this. Nuh-uh. This blood stain on a rooftop will suffice. All that really matters is that our poor loli is in pain, and don’t you dare cry for loli Tina! After seeing his unconscious partner, Rentaro literally wants to pass out onto Kisara, which I’m sure she doesn’t mind since she ridiculously feels the need to comment that Rentaro smells like a man. But alas, there is no rest for the weary. Unfortunately for Rentaro, Seitenshi will have yet another meeting with Saitake within the next twenty-four hours to discuss God knows what, which means that she’ll be the target of an assassination attempt for the third time already. Some people are just gluttons for punishment.
You remember how I complained last week that it’s pretty much pointless to end on a cliffhanger that involves Enju’s life? After all, she’s one of the two main characters of the show. You’d have to be stupid to think she’d die in the first six or seven episodes. After all, this is an anime; the story is not exactly going to take any risks here. All I’m trying to say is that it’s simply pointless to pretend as though something earth-shattering might happen in the plot when we all know that these shows simply don’t have to guts to follow through with their threats. You can always call an anime’s bluff. In any case, Black Bullet does it again… sort of. After seeing Enju in the hospital, Rentaro “has” a crisis of confidence. After all, Tina is ranked 98th in the world or something! And this arbitrary number totally means she cannot be stopped! Yeah, Rentaro took down Kagetane and his daughter singlehandedly, then fired a shot to destroy a Stage-5 Gastrea, but that was then and this is now! Seriously though, we know Rentaro will save the day; we know he’ll figure something out. But that’s not even the biggest problem that ultimately makes his brief bout of uncertainty here hollow and meaningless.
Now, it isn’t always the case that a crisis of confidence is a bad thing to portray in a story. This, however, assumes that you’re willing to put the main characters through the ringer. Let’s see… why don’t we use Batman as an example. If The Dark Knight Rises had been structured like Black Bullet, what you would’ve seen instead is Bane snapping Gordon’s back, thereby making Batman go all, “Boo hoo hoo, maybe I should give up on this whole superhero thing!” And let’s be honest, this would’ve just been stupid. Like how Black Bullet is stupid. What really happens, as I’m sure you know, is that Bane snaps Batman’s back, forcing the hero to put himself back together if he wants to stop Bane once and for all. Sure, you could still argue, “Yeah, but I knew Batman would recover and save the day anyway.” That’s true, but at least he is put through the ringer. Rentaro isn’t. Rentaro sees his poor loli in the hospital, and starts to cry because Tina is just so high ranking! Like whatever, man. We can always assume that the hero will save the day, but nevertheless, the story can and should at least try to pretend as though its characters will actually have to break a sweat.
Case in point, Rentaro immediately does an about-face as he is suddenly determined to defeat Tina at all costs. Even so, the story is still trying to make it seem as though our hero is facing an impossible task when Sumire says, “Those ranked 100 or higher are monsters who have sold their souls to the devil.” Yeah, I totally buy that. Seeing his determination, however, spurs Sumire to confess that, uh, Rentaro is the only reason her soul is… being… saved? Talk about dramatic, lady. She continues on to say, “I’m connected to this world only through your existence.” Christ, talk about really dramatic. But this show may as well be a harem, since you’ll soon realize that Rentaro is everything to the female gender in this show. No, really. Who saved Kisara’s life when she was attacked by a Gastrea? Rentaro! Who is the only person Seitenshi can rely upon because the head of her security team is this creepy dude who’s obsessed with her? Rentaro! Who feeds and treats Tina Sprout with kindness unlike any other person in her life? Rentaro! Who accepts Enju for who she is despite all the schools and all the children in Tokyo rejecting her? Rentaro, Rentaro, Rentaro! What a casonova! And now, the story would have us believe that a grown-ass researcher is also dependent upon Rentaro’s growth as a person.
In the very next scene, we see Rentaro training in some sort of simulation. And in this simulation, Rentaro goes up against masked soldiers in the middle of a wide, open desert landscape. Uh, okay. I suppose a wide, open desert landscape is very similar to the high-rising skyscrapers of Tokyo. And those masked soldiers taking cover behind those barricades are also very similar to a loli taking aim at you from miles away. What a genius and efficient way to train oneself for the upcoming battle! Nevertheless, Kisara lets us in on a secret: Rentaro’s fake eye contains a CPU that allows him to — get this — overclock his thoughts! Yep! And thanks to this sweet-ass CPU in his eye, he has superhuman reaction speeds! This is what allows him to take on these simulated snipers with a handgun, ’cause we know handguns are designed for long-ranged combat. Unfortunately for Rentaro, no amount of training in the world can overcome the soft spot he has in his heart for lolis. He just can’t help but think of the softer, kinder Tina that he spoonfeeds every morning, so uguu, how can he get the job done in battle!
Again, Black Bullet is trying so hard to create drama when the story is transparent as fuck. Tina has been too prominent in the story for Rentaro to just stomp into the ground. I’m sure he’ll redeem her or some shit, i.e. turn her back to the light. Therefore, this struggle within his heart is just pointless. But hey, why don’t we treat ourselves to even more arbitrary numbers. Rentaro’s power level is 2200%! What’s the percentage for? Who cares! Enju’s power level, however, is 8600%! Tina’s power level, however, is 1.5 times stronger! No, don’t you even dare! Don’t you even make that fucking joke! It’s above 12900, and that’s all you need to know! And as you can see, the 98th ranked Initiator in the world is 10,000 arbitrary percentage points higher in power than Rentaro! Oh my God, I don’t know who’s going to win the upcoming battle now! Speaking of Tina Sprout, however, we suddenly see the girl get the third degree from her master. Y’see, he finds out that she had actually killed anyone, especially not Enju nor the police officer from two episodes ago. But screw that, ’cause what’s even more important is the identity of Tina’s master. Yes, Tina’s master is none other than Ayn Rand… h-himself. Well, then…
So anyway, the battle goes down, and… well, I won’t bother to describe the action itself. I’ll just say that it’s perfunctory at best. Eventually, our hero fights his way to Tina’s location, and they engage in close quarter combat. Initially, the Initiator has the upper hand, but once again, Rentaro gets a vision of Enju screaming out his name in deep concern. Y’know, this is the same shit that happened in the fight against Kagetane. Really now, is this story going to dip its pen into this same well every single time Rentaro is on the ropes? He’ll lose, but the magical power of his loli emboldens him! Wait, it’s not just his loli! It’s his entire harem: “I’m here because Enju, Kisara, Doc, Miori, and Lady Seitenshi all believe in me!” All the girls believe in him. So won’t you believe in him too, Tina Sprout-o? Before you answer that question, however, let’s just have Rentaro beat up on you first since you’re all blinded and shit by the flash grenade. Apparently, blindness is super effective against the girl because she’s a Model Owl Initiator! Oh yeah, Pokemon logic triumphs over your silly percentages. And thanks to this, we get to watch Rentaro scream out silly names for his moves as he slams the loli through several floors.
So lying there weak and defeated, Tina begs Rentaro to put her out of her misery. But nah, why waste a perfectly good loli, y’know? After all, he missed his chance with Kayo, so he’s not going to let Tina slip out of his fingers! He’ll talk down her sentence for her, ’cause some teenager Promoter certainly has the means to do so. Not only that, he somehow reasons that Tina had actually saved Enju… probably because she could’ve killed her but she didn’t. Yeah, that makes sense. No, no, this is the best fucking part about the aftermath:
Ahahaha, fuck you, Black Bullet, you pandering piece of shit. Anyway, the creepy security dude shows up out of nowhere and shoots Tina right in the chest. I guess Rentaro’s overclocked thoughts were too busy thinking of ways he could take “responsibility” for Tina to notice that some dude is just standing there with a gun aimed at him. But thankfully, Seitenshi also shows up! Man, this is one happening spot! And like every princess who has ever been saved, she will grant Rentaro one wish. He thus wishes for absolute power!
Just 300? Man, whatever. I’m done. Oh yeah, Tina isn’t dead. No, she ends up working for Kisara, i.e. alongside Rentaro. Big surprise there.