Saturday, 3 March 2012

Black★Rock Shooter - Episode 5

Last week was Yomi's turn to go batshit crazy in Black Rock Shooter, but can what ails her mind be as easily resolved as we've previously seen with Kagari?

Certainly, when Mato and Yuu pay Yomi a visit the next morning - things seem better, if only on the surface, as Yomi tries her best to act cheerfully and even provides Yuu with a bracelet to match the one previously given to Mato.  Regardless of this, beyond her act on the surface something is clearly still wrong, and this comes to the fore when an art lesson turns into an impromptu session of self-administered hairdressing by Yomi.

With Yomi sent home to go nuts without bothering the other students, it's Mato's turn for things to take a decidedly weird turn - slapping Kagari (quite rightly) for apathetically suggesting that Yomi's heart has died, scrawling all over her favourite book in an attempt to give it a happy ending, and being strangled by the school's student counsellor (who seems more adept at keeping her job in the face of abject failure than a City banker).  If this isn't enough to send her off to the loony bin, the suggestion that Yuu doesn't exist pretty much finishes the job, as Mato runs to her friend's house to find that it doesn't exist.  However, Yuu is still very much present within her life, as we finally learn of the link between Mato's own world and that of Black Rock Shooter as the two collide in an attempt to save Yomi.

Although I've humoured Black Rock Shooter somewhat up to this point, forgiving it it's frequent oddities, this feels like the moment where I have to come out and say outright that this series makes absolutely no sense whatsoever - if early episodes of the series stretched any suspension of disbelief, this week's instalment attaches it to a shuttle and blasts it to Pluto to ensure that there's no possibility of it recovering.  Okay, so I've been asking for a link between the two worlds posited within the show and I've now finally been granted it, but I was hoping for something that sounded a bit less like utter bullshit.  For all its grandiose action scenes (and there was a terrific one to open this episode) and attempts to foster human drama, Black Rock Shooter increasingly feels like a series that's being made up as it goes along, and it's an impression which is massively to its detriment.  To call it a train-wreck might be a little premature, but right now it's certainly an N-gauge model train-wreck.

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