Black★Rock Shooter (OVA)
Released Year : July 24, 2010 to ????
No of Episodes : 1
Genre : Action,Drama,School,Slice of Life
Plot : These young girls' hearts are pure, and then violent! Mato Kuroi just got into junior high school, and on the first day, someone catches her eye; her classmate Yomi Takanashi. The two meet. The innocent and naive Mato. The mature Yomi. Seemingly opposites, but the time they spend together only strengthens a growing friendship. But as they go into their second year at the school, they get placed in separate classes, and they begin to grow apart. But somewhere simultaneously... In another world, a young girl, blue fire residing in her eyes, Black Rock Shooter faces another young girl; this one holding a jet-black scythe, Dead Master, and a battle to the death begins to unfold. (Source: The Official Black Rock Shooter Site)
Our Review : Friendship. Something that is craved and needed by everyone. But if that friendship were torn, how far would you go to repair it?
Black Rock Shooter is a fantastic short story of two girls whose friendship grows from the roots that is highschool. Everyday brought them closer, making the possibility of losing one another made it that much more unbearable.
Story: Inevitably in a short OVA like BRS, there isn't much time to create a deep and complex story. So knowing this, BRS takes a common storyline and throws in something unique, making it utterly fantastic.
The way BRS shows the two sides of the storyline in a linear fashion makes the conclusion all the more effective, and by splitting the anime into two halves and showing them next to each other, BRS presents its story in a way that is not only refreshing, but more intriguing to follow as the viewer tries to decipher what is taking place. Although I began to doubt the storyline during the final few minutes, the conclusion brought it all together and cleared my doubts by showing how far someone would be willing to go to save a friend.
Art - Seeing as BRS is an independently made anime, the money in the art department is limited as shown by some sketchy bits of animation. When I first saw the characters, I immediately saw the similarites to others, such as Azusa from K-ON!. But aside from that the art is generally well done, from the characters emotions shown through a variety of expressions, to the battle scenes (which although sketchy at times) were well done overall. The eyes of the characters caught my attention most as they were very detailed and this combined well with the complex variety of emotions shown throughout.
Sound - When I first saw the trailer to BRS, the sound was something that caught my attention (I was tempted to write 'caught my eye' but it wouldn't have made sense would it? ;P). Although there isn't a great deal of music in this anime, the pieces used during the battle scenes and the ED song were brilliantly composed. The silence used during some parts of the anime were more effective then any musical piece could have been.
Character - Once again, with BRS being a short OVA, there isn't much time to work with the characters. However when the time calls for it, Mato and Yomi both show a degree of development as they strive to keep their friendship intact.
Enjoyment - The timely change from daily life to battle scenes was very enjoyable, and when the conclusion brought the two together it brought a smile to my face when the larger picture was revealed. When watching BRS, I was originally confused at how the two storylines would connect. Now however, I feel like if I watched it again I would enjoy it so much more, knowing that now I know the bigger picture, I can focus on the events that lead up to it.
Overall this is a fantastic attempt at creating something new and unique. With the short amount of time available, BRS gives us a fantastic story, which although small, is definitely memorable. Even though the Trailer seemed to promise a more action-filled epic, we were given a heartwarming combination of reality and the unknown.
Personally I really enjoyed this anime as a whole and like I said, I'd probably enjoy it a lot more if I watched it again. By coming into this anime with few expectations, I was pleasently surprised to find something as compelling as Black Rock Shooter.
It also posed me an interesting question: How far would you be willing to go for a friend?