Feb 032012

Hey, that Black Rock Shooter anime started up. Y’know, that repulsive, abhorrent otaku-pandering series that’s invading the sanctity of noitaminA.

Except, y’know, noitaminA ain’t all that great if you ask me, so Black Rock Shooter’s presence doesn’t really offend me. And on top of that, Black Rock Shooter was surprisingly not all that bad. A good deal more watchable than the OVA from a year or so ago, at least for now.

The first episode was pretty much exactly what I expected. The action scenes that take place in the dream world (or the subconscious or whatever you wanna call it) are pretty damn cool. It’s mostly due to the trippy, surreal visuals, what with the ever-present eyes and crab robots being piloted by demure little girls with wheels for legs or some shit. I could watch an entire series made up of Black Rock Shooter wandering around this wasteland, doing nothing but mumbling some incoherent phrase every now and then before being attacked by this week’s overt metaphor made into a monster.

But yeah, we ain’t getting that. We get about two minutes of coolness scattered about the episode. I figured as much. Whatever, man.

So what do we have other than some cool, twisted action scenes? We get an awesomely passive aggressive chick in a wheelchair.

The drama may be manufactured as all get out, but at least something’s happening that resembles tension this time around. The OVA boiled down to the sort of misunderstanding that fueled every other episode of Ranma 1/2, except instead of everything coming to a head with a cross-town chase scene, we just got crying and sulking. The TV series seems to realize that if you’re gonna have the main character get mopey over every little damn thing, there should at least be some sort of antagonistic relationship that brings on the tears.

And that leads to a hilarious scene where the wheelchair chick gives the main chick too many cookies. The wheelchair chick brings over a box of macaroons, each of which is dyed a different color. And since the wheelchair chick hates the main chick for existing, she heaps all of the “dirty-colored” cookies upon our hero as the first step in her elaborate, multi-tiered strategy to monopolize glasses girl’s attention. It’s all played completely straight. The dirty cookies are forced upon the main chick, who gobbles them down. Then the wheelchair chick gives her the ugliest doll when they start playing in the glasses’ chick’s room. Main chick does her best to pretend to find the doll cute. The wheelchair chick’s scheme culminates when she has her doll chant “go away.”

It’s all ridiculously childish. It’s the sort of stuff a little kid would do when they don’t know how to really hurt someone. Or, rather, what an adult who’s never really been around kids would think a kid would do to another kid in order to put the hurt on them. It’s a genuinely funny scene that any reasonable character would laugh at after the fact. This being Black Rock Shooter, a series whose OVA showed no signs of understanding human interaction, this bit of comedy turns into a heap of pathos.

So main chick runs home crying. And you know what seems to bother her the most? The cookies. While she’s crying on her floor, distraught over some trivial antics, she’s woeful over how she doesn’t understand why she was given so many cookies. And when we shift over to the dream world, the crab-bot is, like, spitting out cookies or some shit while it’s buzzsawing Black Rock Shooter’s mid-riff.

Black Rock Shooter is, like, the anti-Cookie Monster. Sesame Street better watch out.

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