sexta-feira, 13 de junho de 2014

[Not exactly an] [Anime Review] Black Bullet - First impressions.

Black Bullet is an adaption for anime from a Light Novel of the same name - one such trend that is getting more and more common nowadays, instead of the old, renown path of adapting manga to anime. 

Black Bullet has a lot of strong points going for it. First of all, it has all the coolness and zest from anything that begins with "black" on the title. As seen from the latest trend for example in SAO (Sword Art Online) where the main protagonist is a black clad badass, everything that has black in it, it´s just plain cool. Search for the latest cool protagonists and antagonists in japanese animation and art, and you´ll see what I´m talking about.

After this first impression we get to the premise, which, on the superficial side, seems to have been done to death already. Humanity has been fighting [insert menace here] for [insert years, or even decades or centuries, here] and after [insert some more years here] the protagonist is ready to kick ass. Yeah. I think there are about 276198 animes that have this similar premise. On any given year. 

I´m just joking, of course, the premise, on a first look, is not exactly new per se, but it has it´s charm. But once you get past the premise and experience the show, it´s not an understatement to say you are in for a treat. 

The show is gorgeous, it is really dark, and it has this apocalyptic, end of times feel. But at the same time, while I said the premise it´s not exactly the most original, it touches on some points that ARE ORIGINAL, or at least not that well explored in most art forms. Which is, what would happen if society kinda-breaks-down-but kinda-not scenario, when attacked by a biological agent.

This is my opinion alone - we have many of those apocalyptic scenarios, where it is all or nothing. Or the apocalypse quite doesn´t happen, or it happens, and now we are dealing with empty ghost towns, a band of vagabonds, and no government and/or laws whatsoever. In this one, we almost have that, but we have in that sense of that last breath before the fall kinda thing. Humanity can go extinct, but it can also fight back, and even win. So we have this take on this work, which is a kind of a breath of fresh air. Not that is exactly new, as I said - since Evangelion, and lately, Shingeki no Kyojin, can be said to explore this theme as well.

But we have a different palette here, and the anime reminds much more of Sword Art Online than Evangelion or SNK. We have the apocalyptic theme, but we also have kawaii moments brought on by what has been called the "loli moments" of the anime, wherein the deuteragonist, a little girl displays her charm and silliness to the audience. So we don´t have the perpetual existential gloom from Evangelion, or the brashness of SNK, but we also have our dark and bleak moments in this one. In fact, much of it goes on in conversations and perceptions, rather than displaying some gory moments, which is another breath of fresh air. The anime has good points, is what I´m saying.

It has its silliness, though. For one, the "loli" moments, the moments with the little girls. Yeah, like this wasn´t enough with this anime alone, we have another top-tier this season (No Game No Life) with the same thing - a smaller, sister-like, almost lover, companion of the older protagonist. But in Black Bullet, this evolves into a harem, of sorts, which is as good as you are imagining right now (hint - it´s not), for older audiences. I think, maybe, anime production companies may take their main watchers as some sort of sexual deviants. Maybe. Right? Anyway.

Also we have the catchphrases by the main character when he fights. Ok. This one is a bit of a downer. They don´t make it seem like it´s such a bad thing, like the character is just reminding himself of  some of the strikes he learned while taking martial arts lessons, but who in the hell fights like that, yelling the name of their punches and kicks? In an anime that dubs itself seinen (and not shounen, mind you!), this should be absent. To my mind, seinen anime brings images of more serious, philosophical animes, and name of blows, punches and strikes are one of the things that should not be anywhere near that. If you can transport an anime into a movie almost completely - just drop the whole anime into a movie roll, and the thing magically turns out with real actors, and all, that is where the anime can be considered seinen. Now, where was the last time you saw any actor fight in a movie - that wasn´t brought up from a comic book or anything - saying the name of his attacks? It just doesn´t make sense. 

Other than that? The anime is solid, and I´m going to keep on following it. People complained about the pacing, but I really don´t care. As long as I´m getting story, and good one at that, they can pace it any way they like.

So far... 

Rating - 5 crows! 


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