Friday, 17 February 2012

Black★Rock Shooter - Episode 3

Given how much delight it took into bringing us to a cliff-hanger full of melodrama last week, the result of said cliffhanger is surprisingly mundane as we enter Black Rock Shooter's third episode.

In short, Kagari's seeming descent into madness is more of as descent into sleep, and Yomi finally standing up to her seems to have given her sister the opportunity she needs to try and stand on her own two feet, both literally and metaphorically.  As a result, Yomi is now freed from her sister's obsessive way of thinking, meaning in turn that she can spend more time with Mato - however, it seems that Yomi has some jealousy issues of her own as she repeatedly casts envious eyes over Mato's relationship with childhood friend Yuu.

Aside from this particular dynamic, the focus of this show also shifts somewhat to focus on Kohata, the captain of the school's basketball club.  An enthusiastic, hard-nosed slave driver in the vicinity of the basketball court, it seems that Kohata has a softer side as we see her confessing to a boy who attends the same school.  There's nothing wrong with that of course, but upon returning from a training camp Kohata finds her confession letter posted up on a school noticeboard, while both the letter and the gift she bought her would-be boyfriend are openly mocked.  Kohata laughs this off outwardly, but in truth she's stung by the reaction of those around her - not that a visit to the school's counsellor helps, as this only shunts more distress on her.  Is it this that pushes her towards breaking point come the end of the episode however?  While counsellor Saya's behaviour is increasingly odd, the actions of Black Rock Shooter herself in her netherworld also take a decidedly sinister tone as this episode progresses.

Given that last week's big finale turned out to be a pretty huge damp squib, I almost don't want to read too much into this week's cliff-hanger - still, it has at least cast an interesting shadow across the weird "dream" world of the series while also perhaps introducing some closer links to reality.  On the other hand, the crazy turns shown by the series' student counsellor (she must be evil if she serves black coffee, right?) were a clumsy way of introducing her importance to proceedings, leaving me not sure what to make of things as they stand.  The show seems to be moving in the right direction in general despite its slow build-up this week, but I get the feeling it's going to have to try and be more than the sum of its parts if its going to create anything genuinely interesting.  For now though, my interest in Black Rock Shooter remains piqued, and that has to mean that it's doing something right.

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