*Spoilers for the first five episodes of Black Bullet*
Black Bullet is another anime with an interesting premise. It is a bit dark, but that’s just how I love my action anime shows. Black Bullet had a wonderful opening that had me intrigued from the start. The great pace continues throughout the five episodes that I’ve watched so far. In fact, episode four of the series felt like a season finale for the show. What seemed to be the main protagonist dies during the episode and a new story-line is opened up at the end of the episode. Episode five is very different from the first four episodes since it follows that new story-line, but it isn’t abstract compared to the first four. It continues and builds upon the character progression found in previous episodes. It does fell a bit jarring at first though. Since my favorite character dies within the first few episodes, it felt like the guy wasn’t fleshed out enough to be a complete character. Hopefully, they pull a resurrection story or fake death to bring him back, but that’s just wishful thinking on my part.
Besides the killing of a potentially perfect villain, Black Bullet tends to make its own rules. This is evident with its four episode mini-story, the Gastrea and the cursed children who fight them. I won’t go into great detail about them, but the Gastrea are a result of a virus which almost destroyed the world ten years ago. Humans that come in contact with the monsters become them, spreading the virus even more.
To counter that, humans made Varanium, a metal that can subdue the Gastrea. The varanium is used in Monoliths to keep them out of an area, or bullets to stop their regenerative abilities and kill them. Also to humanity’s benefit, certain children born with the Gastrea virus have ability to control it (To a certain degree). These super-humans are called “Initiators” and are paired with a regular human companion, called “Promoters.” Initiators are all female girls somehow, thanks to the virus. Because they carry the virus, they aren’t treated very well by society. Even though these cursed children go around killing the monsters, most people consider the children monsters as well. This is my favorite element of this anime. It brings a sense of racism into the mix, keeping things from being binary. Regardless if these people want the cursed children or not, they are humanity’s last hope for a positive future.
Adding another dynamic into the mix is the two main characters, Rentaro and Enju. Rentaro is Enju’s Promoter so his job is to make sure she doesn’t lose control and go rogue/berserk. Enju isn’t treated as a commodity as other initiators are; Rentaro cares for her. And who can blame him? The girl is cute ass hell and she kicks ass. The inclusion of dynamic characters adds in another element to keep your eye on. Even though they are in a bleak situation, these two have a meaningful and emotional bond that is usually found in school-life anime.
I wonder if the four episode mini-story is a thing for this show. Like, if episode eight of the series ends up being another “season finale” and the following four episodes deals with a different plot-line. That would be kind of cool, since I’m not a fan of the new bodyguard to the “Protector of Tokyo” scenario it is in right now. I’ve seen that done before, and I want to see more of those cursed children monsters battle against those monsters. Tina Sprout does seem like an interesting character though; she is literally a sleeper agent.
Black Bullet is going to be one of the only spring 2014 anime shows I’ll be watching. It got me hooked on its good cast of characters and its interesting and original plot. I should also mention that the soundtrack and animation is absolutely wonderful.
Side-note: I didn’t create any of those wondrous gifs in this article. All the credit goes to the talented people of the internet.