Episode 1 Impressions: Black Bullet

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A viral outbreak, powerful girls that are able to defeat a threat, men assigned to guide those girls, girls being obsessed with their assigned men. Are we hitting any familiar tropes here? Black Bullet definitely borrows too much from other shows, however there does seem to be some elements worth noting buried deep within its flaws.

e1blackbullet11Synopsis
Opening the show, Tokyo is faced with extinction due to a viral outbreak called Gastrea. It’s an infection that grows within its host until reaching 50% mass before breaking forth out of its host into a large monstrosity. In a last-ditch effort to contain the contamination, mankind erected large monoliths made of varanium. Being a resource that seems to repel the Gastrea and prevent their regeneration.

During the virus’s outbreak, there was also an anomaly discovered. When pregnant women contracted the virus through the mouth, the baby would be infected by the virus but not to the point of fully being taken over. Instead, the virus would become deeply rooted in the child’s body. These children are known as the Cursed Children and yield the power to destroy the Gastrea. These children, always born as female, are given the title of Initiators and are assigned Promoters to keep them under check. Together they are the last hope for mankind.

10 years after the near destruction of Tokyo, one of the survivors named Satomi Rentaro is one of those Promoters. Assigned a young and overly attached Initiator named Aihara Enju, he works for the Tendo Civil Security Agency who is called in for jobs to take down loose Gastrea. Wielding only his skills in combat as well as a gun wielding black bullets that are made from varanium which are able to pierce a Gastrea and prevent them from regenerating. He fights alongside Enju who is superhumanly strong and able to destroy a Gastrea with brute force.

Answering a call from the local police, Satomi rushes to a scene where there is a possible Gastrea infection in an apartment building. Upon arrival, Satomi has obviously left his partner Enju behind. However after learning that some of the police had already swarmed the room, Satomi rushes in to meet a masked man standing before blood spatters and corpses. After an admittance for the crime, Satomi engages the masked man and is quickly matched punch for punch.

e1blackbullet9After some men storm the room and the masked man quickly shoots them all dead, the masked man bids Satomi farewell and leaps out of the building. Enju is seen elsewhere just arriving at the location where she runs into a man bleeding profusely. He asks for direction but Enju points out that he is indeed infected by Gastrea and will soon turn. Suddenly a spider-like monster breaks out of the man’s body and attacks Enju. Satomi arrives along with a police officer who opens fire on the creature. Though Satomi points out that regular bullets don’t work as the creature heals of its bullet holes. Though Satomi’s black bullets tear through its flesh and prevent it from restoring.

Sadly Satomi quickly runs out of ammo but thankfully Enju reappears to destroy the beast in a few swift attacks. Following the event, the police officer points out the identity of Enju as being a Cursed Child. However Enju is only interested in claiming Satomi as her fiance, taking his surname. After he refutes her claims, she gives him a kiss and offers even more. Though Satomi quickly realizes they are late for a sale and the two rush off, leaving the police officer as well as their pay behind.

Back at the Tendo Civil Security Agency, Satomi is scolded for leaving his pay behind by the President Tendo Kisara. Following this scolding, he’s reminded of the dire state of the agency financially. Though Kisara is saddened by this factor, she leaves Satomi for her regular Hemodialysis at the hospital.

Back at home, Satomi cooks a meal for himself and Enju. Though she decides that wearing nothing more than a towel is okay, Satomi demands she put on some proper clothing. Following their dinner, Satomi is reminded that Enju is due to take one of her daily shots. Though it’s not entirely clear what the shot is for. Afterwards, Enju claims that they should do something before bed, however Satomi bids her goodnight and shuts his door to go to sleep. Enju is upset by this and forces herself inside his room to give him a beating.

e1blackbullet1The next day Satomi rides near the destroyed area where the outbreak began. Gazing at the island from a great distance, a group of girls are seen lining the waterline looking on towards the living city with a ruined city behind them. They are Cursed Children, living a seemingly sad existence. Yet they are the reason peace is being maintained.

Thoughts
Well it looks as if Unbreakable Machine Dolls has decided to create a love child with Gunslinger Girls. I have to admit that this stupidly similar feel made for a very off putting perspective for this show. The only aspect that made my not turn it off was the great world building and the dark undertone of this show. That and the character designs and animations were pretty good.

What made me keep from giving this show a trope fueled thumbs down was the closing scene. There was just a great feeling of uneasiness created by that last moment where the cursed children looked on from a ruined city to a still living city. As if left behind and yet the only reason for the living being able to live. It was a great moment and I hope that the show continues to create that feeling.

I’ll be continuing my impressions on this series, so please look forward to my thoughts on it going forward.

Episode 1: The Last Hope

THUMBS UP! PROMISING!

THUMBS UP! PROMISING!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Good

Goods:

  • Great world building
  • Good animation and design
  • Dark undertones

Fears:

  • Trope filled
  • Unbreakable Machine Doll 2

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.

  • Neowned

    I enjoyed the first episode of the series. I am sure your counter part will love the introduction of a new yandere loli 🙂 I know I did.

    I see her as more of a comedic relief role, but this one might have some more weight behind it seeing as she might end up in the same situation as the other girls that are stationed on the outer side of the city instead of next to our protagonist.

    So we get introduced to quite a bit in this episode and I enjoyed the pacing as it did not seem to feel to slow down to much by its own introduction to this world and the characters.

    • Yeah, my brother did not like me pointing out the similarity to Unbreakable Machine Doll. lol. But he sure does like Enju.

  • Wolf

    lol you guys seem to just have me figured out. ;-p i loved the sneak kiss it was too awsome and not something i can honestly say i have seen often. it made me fall in love with her instantly. i belive it was excelent that he didnt freak out about it he just sniped at her about it and moved on to a sale at the market. ;-p

    also i wouldent say i didnt like you pointing out the similarities i was saying i dont pick out those similarities like you do. ;-p

    at any rate it is yet another i am having hopes for.