Black Bullet has a real problem with its storytelling. It never hints ANYTHING at the beginning of the plot and while some things are explained, a lot of what’s explained is excessive while what’s left out of explanations are key points to character or plot development. I can’t see Black Bullet making any coherent sense unless they flush out the structure of the world in a second season but good lord don’t let there be a second season cause this first one was bad enough.
Episode 13 of Black Bullet begins right before Rentarou is charging into battle with his troops. Apparently because there are no batties for the lights, Seitenshi has launched lanterns into the sky in hopes of inspiring the civil security agents and praying for their safety. All good feelings but Seitenshi is SITTING BEHIND THE BATTLE LINES. Rentarou sasys some dramatic dialogue about the light and dark sides of people but in all reality, once the agents have saved all the other citizens, society might just go back to fearing and discriminating against the cursed children. All the other supporting pairs end up fighting to clear a way for Rentarou and Enju to get to the Aldebaren class 4 gastrea so that they can plant the bomb into the gastrea and kill it.
I enjoyed the parts of the battle where all the other pairs are fighting but Rentarou is SO DAMN USELESS. He just STANDS THERE and other people protect him while he runs off to face the big monster. AND HE DOESN’T EVEN REALLY SUCCEED IN THE END. Naturally the problem is that the bomb doesn’t go off and Rentarou needs to go manually smack the monster around until the force triggers the bomb. I was actually entirely okay with Rentarou sacrificing his life to save everyone BUT THEN he ends up getting hit by varenium corroding fluid which renders him useless AGAIN. The only reason Rentarou is really ALIVE is because he has that “main character” label hovering over his head and thus a protective no-deaths cloak around him. Rentarou gets his ass saved by Shoma who ends up becoming the real hero of the battle because he sacrifices his life to destroy the Aldebaren and is blown up in the process. Then Rentarou has THE NERVE to pass out on the battlefield and it’s a miracle he wasn’t eaten or attacked by any of the fleeing gastrea. When Rentarou wakes up from the battle, he’s already got his arm and leg back… what? When did that happen?
Enju fills in Rentarou on what’s happened, where the gastrea have gone. Monolith 32 continues to be smoothly rebuilt. Rentarou, Kisara, Tina and Enju go confront Kisara’s older brother, Kazumitsu. They end up exposing Kazumitsu for having ordered a cheaper mix of materials for the construction of Monolith 32 so he could pocket the extra cash and rise in social status. We also find out that Kazumitsu had a hand in the murder of Kisara and his parents way back when. They siblings duel to resolve the issue… I guess AND KISARA FRIGGIN CHOPS OFF HIS LEG. As if that wasn’t random and awkward enough, Kisara goes into YANDERE MODE and after interroagating Kazumitsu (who’s just the worse villain every), she kills him.
Kazumitsu is the stupidest “villain” if he can even be called that. He actually said, “A true villain never perishes” like who the hell actually announces these things? There were absolutely no mentions of Kisara’s past, not even a flashback or a quick dialogue exchange about what he went through AND ALL OF A SUDDEN she goes NUTS and starts babbling about good and evil and justice after having killed her brother. Seriously, she didn’t even leave a corpse, Kazumitsu ended up EXPLODING into splatters of gore and blood. Thank god Rentarou hid that from Tina and Enju. Rentarou is furious at Tina for killing him but Kisara says that Rentarou will never be able to rid the world of evil if he always keeps his hands clean with justice. Kisara claims that she’s finally figured out she’s capable of doing enough evil to oppose evil. Rentarou tells Tina and Enju that he and Kisara might end up as enemies…
WELL I did NOT know that you could randomly murder people in this world but that’s all put behind them as we get back to the main wrap-up of the plot where Seitenshi is announcing a new gastrea law and we don’t even find out what the gastrea law is. Later, Rentarou and Enju are heading to a decoration honours ceremony for them. When the train breaks down, Rentarou gets really emotional after hearing Enju muse her thoughts on death out loud and then he cries to her and they hug and it ends. Uhhh are they a couple? Will they become a couple? LOL I don’t know what to make of this “ending” if it can even be called an ending. We don’t even get to see Rentarou beat the guy who screwed up the plan with the batteries.
Thoughts on the Ending and Series as a Whole…
So with episode 13 we are finally finished with Black Bullet. Black Bullet tried really hard to become the type of series that showcases the corruption of society, the fragile aspects of human nature and the prevalence of life and death in the world of gastrea. However, it failed horribly in that there was never any dynamic focus to the plot and therefore, many of the themes fell through huge cracks in the plot.
Rentarou, from start to finish does not mature emotionally or physically as a character. He pretty much remains the same. Even though he’s continuously affected by the deaths of his comrades and the injustices of the world, he doesn’t really do much. He just gets sad and angry and goes back to being determined with whatever he’s determined about. Not one of the main characters was given enough screen time to develop proper personalities. Rentarou is almost always stuck in his idealistic and narrow visions of justice. We don’t even figure out WHY he’s so motivated to fight. No back story whatsoever which really annoyed me because we don’t know ANYTHING about any of the main characters. Only Enju was given a bit of a flashback glimpse to illustrate the changes in her personality. As well, many of the supporting characters whom appear in every single opening, don’t actually contribute to the story. In fact, they don’t even appear in the story until the last two-three episodes. In that sense, it’s extremely hard to sympathize or CARE when these characters lose partners, get injured or even sacrifice their lives. Even at the end of the final battle when Rentarou views only a handful of promoters and initiators left, as a viewer, we haven’t witnessed ANY OTHER parts of the battle except Rentarou’s uselessness which makes it hard for us to feel sorry for the no-name characters/lives lost in the battle. Huge series-end battles like these should be cathartic in its resolution but this one just leaves you feeling awkward – like the real tensions and conflicts of the plot haven’t REALLY been resolved. I would argue that some magic girl anime series have more climactic endings than Black Bullet and magic girl climax battles can be so overrated.
What’s with all the couple hints with Rentarou and Enju? Will they become a sure thing? Not sure. Black Bullet was just vastly inconsistent with set-up and execution. The pacing is so awkward and the key plot points are so scattered. If you think about it, Rentarou is getting his ass saved by others most of the time and slowly but surely you’ll get annoyed at his “trying but not succeeding” attitude. Also, considering how Rentarou is the main character, why is it a total supporting character who ends up dealing the final blow to the Aldebaren and resolving the main conflict? What’s Rentarou’s purpose in the story anyway? We could have had the story told from Kisara or Enju’s perspective which would have been much more stimulating. I can only imagine that the original author and anime producers were trying to paint Rentarou as a pure and idealistic, justice-upholding character who NEVER gets tainted no matter what but THAT’S BORING.
I am so over Black Bullet and I really wish it wasn’t the last series to finish in the spring season because it just left me with an unpleasant after taste after it finished. If you guys have been following me weekly with Black Bullet, thank you so much for dropping in. These are just my thoughts on the series. Let me know what you guys thought of that bloody and gruesome ending after the main battle or of the series in general. Kisara’s seriously insane. We are again at one of those moments where we just need to move on from a bad series and start anew with a fresh season.
What are you pondering today?