Black★Rock Shooter (TV) 7
Let’s wrap this shit up, shall we?
I’m writing this post on March 22nd, 2012, and I’m mere minutes away from attaining the final episode of this ~brilliant~ show, Black★Rock Shooter (TV). I haven’t seen the final episode yet (as I said, uh, one sentence ago), but this post will really be about Black★Rock Shooter (TV) in general, rather than this specific episode.
We’ll go through this point-by-point. My notes for the final episode is stretching over a thousand words now, so thank Madoka I’ve had them organized by section. Shallow things first: art, music, and direction.
I love this art.
I love this music.
I love this direction.
Granted, the fight scene backgrounds look like the cafeteria at my school’s burger wrappers, but I absolutely adore how the director injects these checkerboards EVERYWHERE. Really, the only two things that keep Black★Rock Shooter (TV) related to its original concept (the music video) are the checkerboards and the fights, and the director really nailed those checkerboards. The checkerboards adds an element of fakeness to everything, to the point where even if you’re absolutely immersed in the story (ha, ha, sometimes even I laugh at my own jokes), you realize that it’s all fake. Nobody puts checkerboards on walls. This is good because it shocks us back into reality and tells us that Black★Rock Shooter (TV) is ultimately merely symbolic. There’s no plot, no characterization – the only thing Black★Rock Shooter (TV) needs is symbolism.
Meanwhile, the OP shows us how sexist Japan is, by putting all of the characters in traditionally female sitting/standing positions. I mean, look at Bamboo and how her legs bend outwards like that. If you’re a man, try doing that. Yeah, you can’t do it (unless you’re not a REAL MAN in which case you probably can), because MANLY MEN don’t sit like GIRLY GIRLS do. But these girls are like, shooting each other, in the face. That’s considerably more manly than how girly girls ought to act. It’d be cool if they were more manly in the OP, too.
And then look at You. Yes, go into the mirror and look at you. You’re fucking ugly. Yes, I am talking to myself, why do you ask?
You stands NORMALLY in an OP, like a PERSON. That is plenty cool and not sexist. I suppose You is more manly than the other girly girls; after all, girly girls (see: Inori) can shoot people, but MANLY MEN PUNCH THEM IN THE FACE. WITH THEIR GUN. That’s what You’s doing. Punching Black Rock Shooter in her FACE. With a gun.
Yet… we get pantyshots during this intense battle? Seriously? I mean… really? C’mon… honestly? Is this like… for real? Does this even.. like, seriously? Hmm? Lee?
The episode where Kohata rejected the boy’s apology was pretty cool too, reversing traditional gender roles by making boys irrelevant except as objects of romance (the opposite usually happens in most anime). Except, that’s pretty bad, cause that’s also sexist. I’d like the director to completely reverse everything, though – do you get random underwear flashes of men battling? If you do, wow you’re a pervert, and if you don’t – exactly! Stop catering to males. If you’re going to make Black Rock Shooter awesome, stop sexualizing the main characters. Honestly. Seriously. Really. Even with Madoka, there was no point to have naked girls all over the place. It doesn’t make the show any more ‘artistic’. Stop making girls naked. Would you have naked boys in your shounen show?
Other than that, all the dutch angles, the madness, the camera pans, the amazing shading (notice how the surroundings surrounding each character have their own colour; Bamboo’s is yellow, Tomato’s is blue, Kohata and Ms. Smith’s is red, Yuu’s is orange, and Shark’s is green), everything about this direction is awesome. The music? Simply brilliant – I’ve not heard music that blended in this well with the action and narration for a long time. Then again, I haven’t watched good anime for a long time, so maybe I’m a bit biased. However, the placement is horrible. There’s moving music during dialogues that don’t matter at all, and no music during the most emotional dialogues. Try watching this episode blind, like I did with Gosick – you’ll find that the music, although brilliant, is quite lacking in the parts it’s needed the most. Maybe this is some ironic rejection of modern musical tastes but I think it’s absolutely horrible. Brilliant + horrible = decent, let’s just leave the music at that.
In conclusion: art is awesome, direction is awesome, music is decent, sexism is ehhh, pantyshots and randomly inserted fanservice of middle-school girls fighting to the death in angst is just hella stupid
Sharks are very environmentally friendly creatures, that’s why you see the green tinge around her everywhere she walks
The children’s story is a bit weird – I’m sure it means something, but what does it mean? It’s not much of a children’s story, is it, having a bird just die at the very end. Perhaps the bird symbolizes AMERICA, the colours symbolize CONSUMABLE GOODS, and the bird becomes too FAT and BLACK after CONSUMING so many GOODS, and finally DIES. That’s unforgivably racist – so what if the bird’s too black? Is this anime trying to say that black people can’t do anything but die? What the fuck, man, what the fuck. Totally uncool.
As for what happened in this episode with You and STRength, I think Black Gekikara noticed this way back in episode 5, after figuring out that STRength has no shadow. Well, STRength doesn’t even EXIST, of course she doesn’t have a shadow.
Obviously, this isn’t supposed to actually be real. It’s all symbolic. And here’s my biggest, largest gripe of Black★Rock Shooter (TV) – what’s it symbolic of!?
Ms. Smiths are very girly womanly girls, that’s why you see the pink tinge around her everywhere she walks
Who cares if you’ve got awesome art?!
Who cares if you’ve got awesome direction?!
Who cares if you’ve got nice music, and blatant sexism, and pantyshots all around the place. Who cares if Yuu’s actually STRength or that Shu’s actually LENgth, who cares if Kagari’s from Britain and that Shark’s from Germany, who cares if girls are dying and emotions are destroyed, who cares about all this if WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE SYMBOLISM?!
I don’t care about this show.
I care about finding just what this show is about, dissecting it to its core, and finally, after eight long weeks, finally being able to say, ‘I understand it.’
Do you understand Madoka? Yes, you understand what happened, yes, you understand the art, and the direction, and the music, and the sexism and the fanservice and the beheadings and the checkerboards and the witches and the insanity.
But do you understand the show?
I don’t. You probably don’t.
But today, in five minutes, once I’ve finished this post and have started watching the final episode of Black★Rock Shooter (TV) because I’ve already acquired it now…
perhaps we’ll understand it all.
tl;dr: man my big bro’s annoying too. I wish I could kick him in the EYEBROWS
P.S. I only noticed now that Bamboo’s even taller than Tomato… well, you’d expect bamboos to grow quickly, right? ;)
P.P.S. I only found out now (actually, three weeks ago) that the anime club watched episode 1 of this shit on the only the I didn’t go. B( wanted to write down their reactions like I did in my winter impressions, but nope… what can do?