Black Bullet Review

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By Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)



One of the strongest things we have in life are the relationships we have with one another. And each relationship differs. You have relationships with your parents, with siblings, with significant others, with your best friend and with normal friends. But, when we take a moment to look at all of our relationships, how many of those people could you rely on in a time of dire need? Only the strongest will be there for you no matter what. Strong relationships are at the heart of the latest anime from Kinema Citrus Studio, Black Bullet.
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In 2021, mankind has been attacked by a type of virus called Gastrea. The virus has taken over the beings of most animal kind, forcing humans to live inside Monolith walls. Soon, female children start to be born with this virus, giving them super human abilities. These children become known as the “cursed children” and are often feared by the public. Civil securities are formed to pair the cursed child (Initiator) with someone older (Promoter), to train to fight the Gastrea. Rentaro Satomi, a promoter, Is paired with Enju through the Tendō Civil Security Agency. They are assigned missions to fight the Gastrea and keep the Tokyo area safe.

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Looking at the story overall, Black Bullet doesn’t appear to be anything new. There have been plenty of anime with virus that mutate things in nature forcing humanity to fight for survival. There have been anime where teams of two work together for some common goal. We’ve also had anime when a young girl is paired with an older male partner through a job agency a la Gunslinger Girl. But while the story can be familiar on various levels, what keeps us interested are the relationships between the characters. Our main protagonist couple is Rentaro and Enju, and they play out their relationship with a variety. Rentaro comes across as the older brother type, not too overbearing but knows what must be done. He has a kind heart and calm demeanor about him, but he has a job to do and will protect Enju even though she’s far stronger than he is. On the other hand, Enju comes across at times like a younger sister, while other times she’s that young girl who wants to marry the older guy when she grows up. She’s has all the characteristics of a young child, one any older sibling would be familiar with. This dynamic strengthens the bond between the characters and invests the viewer throughout each episode.
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Another aspect that seems familiar with this series is that each of the cursed children have rankings. We’ve recently seen rankings in the series of Bleach as well as the series Sekirei. The closer a cursed child is to number one, the greater their strength and powers are. It is never really explained as to how the children receive their rankings, but they have them as well as individualized fighting styles and abilities. Enju has a close quarters, hand to hand fighting style, while Tina Sprout is an “assassin” type of character, more adept at using a long range rifle to take care of her enemies while Kohina, probably the scariest of the initiators, uses a blade. Each of these characters, along with their own styles, have their own personalities and a reason for doing what they do. And, just like with humanity, question their actions and often change based upon circumstances. War changes people, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, and the casualties of war leave effects on adults and children alike.
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Black Bullet doesn’t break any new ground with its narrative, but few stories are truly ground breaking these days it seems. But what seems familiar to us is enhanced with quality relationships between characters and the realities of war that many of us only experience with film and television. At the end of the day, what each of us really have are those around us that bring meaning and happiness to our lives. It is those people that we call family, whether they are blood or not, which help make life worth living. Black Bullet encompasses that, and that alone is worth something.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars 


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