Hey folks, Valkor here. When it comes to anime, I'm not as up to date as I used to. I still catch a series here and there, but I mostly go back and follow the older stuff like "Vision of Escaflowne" or "Ranma ½" – two great anime series. But this latest piece cracks open Aniview in the direction I really wanted to take it; not just traditional cartoons, but anime as well. So let's take a look at "Black Rock Shooter".
Black Rock Shooter centers on Yomi (Miyuki Sawashiro) and Mato (Kana Hanazawa), two teen high school girls who become best friends within their first year. The twosome do everything together – go to school and back home, the each play on a different sports team, but have practice at the same time. They've become such good friends that as a token, Yomi gives Mato a cellphone charm in the shape of a star. The following year, the two have separate classes together and they soon begin to grow apart as Yomi befriends her basketball manager, Yuu (Kana Asumi), leaving Mato behind. Suddenly Mato vanishes; she hasn't been to school, nor has she answered Yomi's email. When the police arrive at Yomi's house asking about Mato, it finally hits her that her best friend is gone. And now Yomi wants her back, so much so that because her feelings were so strong for Mato, she's whisked away to another dimension to where the girl was seemingly taken.
We pause briefly to take things back to the true beginning; When the OVA actually starts, two girls who look like Mato and Yomi, duke it out in a fantastic battle of weapons and magic. The duel between the two runs parallel with the Yomi/Mato high school story. And once we reach the end, we understand why the two are fighting in the first place.
The film ends with Yomi and Mato as best friends once again, only this time Yuu is left behind, similar to how Mato looked when it was her in that same position.
So within this story, when two girls are best friends, suddenly have a falling out, the one who is heartbroken is taken away to another dimension? Man if those rules applied to a lot of anime that would be one crowded dimension.
Black Rock Shooter is an awesome piece of anime on the tragic story of friendship, and what happens when two friends fall apart. Right from the beginning, Yomi and Mato's friendship seems very real, with nothing appearing too exaggerated. It is confusing to watch the battle scenes play side by side with their friendship story, but it makes perfect sense at the end. Actually you can piece it together before it ends, but won't be any less satisfied when it does. If anything, you'll want to see more. Thankfully the ending saves room for a possible continuation of the story, so I actually hope there is one. Oh and if you've become a fan as I have, then next year is an even bigger treat as there is an RPG based on the anime coming out next year and I want it translated and brought to the US right stat now. The animation is straight up amazing, with beautiful backdrops, especially when you're in that other world where the girls fight it out. It's a nice blend of traditional animation with CGI that works great together. Finally, the end music "Braveheart" by The Gomband (which you'll find below), very catchy and I simply loved it!
The possibility that this could be it for the adventures of Yomi and Mato, though I hope not.
Black Rock Shooter is a fantastic anime, great story, and beautiful backdrops to complete its awesomeness, which I hope it all leads to a series. I'll definitely keep track of this one. So, with all said and done, out of TOV 5 stars, I give Black Rock Shooter 4.5 and it's been Valkor tested, TOV Approved.