RogerBW's Blog

Black Bullet 10 October 2014

2014, 13 episodes: AniDB

After civilisation is nearly destroyed by an invasion of virus-controlled creatures, only the children born with a small dose of the virus are an effective weapon against them. So they're paired with adult handlers, and sent off to the fight.

This one's based on a light novel series, and it's immediately clear that there's far more story in the original material than we're ever going to see here. At the same time, what story we do have tends to drag: instead of plot development, we get lots and lots and lots of fighting. Yeah, all right, it's well-animated fighting (except for the big creatures towards the end which are in a CG style that really doesn't match the rest of the show), but really, how many giant bug-creatures getting splattered by a guy with a sword does one really need to see?

There's the usual faintly creepy subtext (all the Cursed Children, the effective weapons against the virus-monsters, are prepubescent girls, and rather too many of them are crushing on the hero), and some rather blatant emotional manipulation (what's more heart-string-tugging than one dead kid?). The mood shifts rapidly, with our hero starting out as a lovable but hardly competent goof, but then developing a backstory not at all consistent with that, and ending up as the super-tough military commander of the last human stand against the monsters. Sometimes he's crying over all the death; sometimes he sees his fellow men pointlessly cut down, and goes out to buy beans.

There are some consistency problems, too: the Cursed Children, humanity's last hope, are despised by the rest of humanity (why?), but actually other weapons (whether swords in the hand of a hero, guns, fighter jets or a Great Big Bomb) also turn out to be highly effective in the fight.

I haven't read the light novels, but taken on its own merits this series must be considered a failure.

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