Friday, 10 February 2012

Black★Rock Shooter - Episode 2

Despite her creepy experiences at the hands of Kagari, young Mato Kuroi is still determined to make a friend of Yomi, inviting her to the forthcoming festival and ensuring that she turns out to meet her despite Yomi already indicating that she wouldn't be able to attend.

Needless to say, Yomi doesn't turn up, leaving Mato waiting for a couple of hours while finally sending her an apology by way of a text message - a fact which is of little consolation to an upset Mato as she trudges home barefoot with no further explanation as to her wannabe friend's actions.  Of course, it doesn't take much to figure out what the problem is, with Kagari doing her utmost to ensure that Yomi remains at home - indeed, it seems that the fruits of her madness take on many forms.

Even after all this, Mato doesn't give up - despite being shocked to see Yomi bearing the same scar as she saw in a dream of hers, she still finds the courage to pour out her feelings of disappointment and frustration at Yomi in a manner which would mean the end of many a friendship, yet Mato still finds it within herself to turn up at her doorstep that very same day after school.  Unfortunately, Mato's persistence only sees Kagari upping her own game with Yomi, as she deliberately hospitalises herself as "punishment".  As we learn the origins of Kagari's mental imbalance and Yomi's reasoning behind putting up with it, Kuroi still refuses to accept the situation, bringing things to a head which could well see a huge change on Kagari's world.

Compared to the rather fluffy story of the OVA, the real-world segments of Black Rock Shooter in its television form certainly feel more solid and thus have a much more weighty impact to them - Kagari's madness really drives this episode in particular in a way which adds plenty (perhaps even too much) of drama to proceedings, while Mato's slightly odd way of looking at the world doesn't extinguish her determination when it comes to doing what she feels is right.  The trouble is, how does any of this actually fit in with the Black Rock Shooter theme?  Once again, some clunky CG can be forgiven against the backdrop of scenes filled with eye-catching colour, movement and concepts which are occasionally really rather excellent, and yes there are moments which tie the two worlds together, but at the moment for the most part this series could survive perfectly well and perhaps even hold my attention more were it shorn of its netherworld scenes to focus on its reality and the human aspects within.  It was a lack of any tangible connection between its two scenarios that ultimately did for its OVA - I really hope this TV outing for the franchise isn't going to make the same mistake.

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