October 12, 2010

Black★Rock Shooter OVA Review

So, there's this thing called "Vocaloid" and this character called "Hatsune Miku" right? For some reason this confuses new people, because Miku isn't always as easy to recognize as you think. Sure, everyone knows the green hair and leek, but then someone slaps a red hoodie, black dress, or BFG on her and we get confused. Long story short, Black★Rock Shooter is indeed a Vocaloid song by Hatsune Miku.

But then what's this? This sleek and stylish anime that we've heard about? That is, indeed, the OVA for the song Black★Rock Shooter. Yes, an OVA for a song.

Black★Rock Shooter is surprisingly only half about Miku. Maybe even half of that half because she herself is called "Black★Rock Shooter." The story mainly revolves around Kuroi Mato, as she begins her first year as a Junior high student. With her excitable and spunky personality, she is able to befriend Takanashi Yomi, a rich and delicate girl. The main conflict focuses on the relationship between the two friends. So, where does Black★Rock Shooter come in?

[Mini twin-tail versus drill hair: Who will emerge victorious?!]

Really, I don't know. Every so often, the story switches to Black★RockShooter and her fight against "Dead Master," another mysterious girl with control over scythes, chains, and huge scary skulls. It's also immediately obvious that BRS is Mato in the other world and Dead Master is Yomi, probably. "Why do you sound so confused after watching the entire thing [twice]?" Well, everyone in the Black★Rock Shooter part refuses to talk. That's right, fights are silent except for the occassional action music, loud explosions, and a "hmph!" or "ugh!" which makes character development very strained. Of course this adds to the mystery of their universe, but it does get annoying at times...

[See the resemblance yet?]

Fans of Black★Rock Shooter will really love this. All the great scenes from the PV are developed nicely and provide nostalgic depth. While it's pretty easy, this OVA does a good job of pleasing the fans of the original video.

[Everyone should know this classic landscape!]

You can tell immediately that this anime is gender-neutral. There are no signs of romance or ecchi at all. Girls-friendship prevails as a main theme, and as we all know friendship is the great equalizer! But I would have to say that girls would be able to relate to this kind of story more than boys...


The storytelling aside, the style of this anime is nothing less than stylish, colorful, and fluid. Scenes transition very smoothly, making the back-and-forth between the BRS world and Mato's world less of a headache. The animation is flawless. The drawings are so colorful that it could probably entertain even the youngest audience.

We all know what we're here for though, right? THE FIGHT SCENES! And I must say, they do not disappoint in the least. I am at awe by how cool the fights are. Check out this video of one of the best fights, uploaded by OtakuReviewers on youtube!

» Click to show video «

One thing that disappointed me was the lack of explanations. There are two worlds in this show's universe. How the heck do they relate? Even by the end there isn't much of an explanation. That's really not a good thing if you ask me.

But it seems that there may be a sequel in the works! This is the only bit of news that sheds more light on the ending. There' no way I'd complain over more Miku!!

So, if you enjoy Vocaloids and you have a special place in your heart for Black★Rock Shooter and Hatsune Miku, this OVA will not disappoint!


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