Once again, I dove head first into an anime series based on just a couple of people's recommendations and no background research on my part, and once again I am disappoint. Black Bullet had a few new ideas and some interesting plot devices that I hadn't seen before, and the characters were relatively likable, but there was no real spark, no real LIFE, to the final product. I found myself bored with it on a number of occasions, but it piqued my interest just enough to never have me give up on it outright. Before I get more into the specifics of what I disapproved of Black Bullet, let me first talk about its (almost too bizarre) plot.
In the year 2021 a virus sweeps the world in which anybody infected turns into a giant, rampaging, hungry-for-human-flesh, insectoid beast within a few minutes of being bitten (or bodily-fluided) by another giant, rampaging, hungry-for-human-flesh, insectoid beast. Just wait, it gets better.
Humanity is driven to the brink of extinction, but we figure out just in time that weapons made out of a special black-hued metal called
adamantium, vibranium Varanium can kill these mutated creatures. Or in a big enough collection, Varanium actually repels these insectoid beasts (aka Gastrea) like a heavy-duty dose of OFF Bug Spray, and keeps them out of the few remaining populated areas left on the planet. Apparently Varanium is the LEAST RARE METAL EVER DISCOVERED since the last vestiges of humanity have gathered into 30-mile circumference city-states that are completely surrounded by over 30 gigantic 300-meter tall, 100-meter wide monoliths made of solid and pure Varanium. Honestly, I don't think there's enough regular iron ore, bronze, copper, aluminum, gold, and silver COMBINED in the world to make enough of these monoliths to completely surround all the city-states that depend on them in this series, but Varanium? No prob. Buy 300-tons and they'll throw in 20 tons free. But I digress.
This Varanium is also used in the bullets, swords, prosthetic limbs, and other various weaponry used by the class of citizens known as Civil Security Agents, who pretty much bounty hunt cases of Gastrea invasion that somehow made it past the behemoth repellent monoliths of Tokyo, Japan, and are terrorizing the human citizens. See, the Gastrea have a healing factor that would put Wolverine to shame, but if they're injured with weapons made of this non-precious metal they stay injured and can be killed... Except when they don't and they can't. Seriously, the rules and physical laws of this series are written, edited, rewritten, and ignored whenever the ADHD writers think of something else that they might want to do with the plot.
Anyway, it's ten years after this Gastrea infection first ravaged the globe (2031), and these city-states that still pepper the world (like Tokyo) are doing pretty okay for themselves. Life goes on inside their Varanium borders and technology advances just like it always has, but now there is a very large group of children (all girls for some reason) who were actually BORN with the Gastrea virus in their system because.... Honestly, I don't understand how. The Gastrea turns people into ugly, large, savage creatures within minutes of being infected, but we're told that because these "Cursed Children" were infected while still in the womb they survived the mutation, but have super healing factors and powers based on random animals for god-only-knows why. But my question is this: How are they affected in the womb and how do they make it to birth if that means that their mothers are also infected by the virus? THE MOTHERS would have transformed into Gastrea monsters, and the fetuses would have died or whatever. But you know what, stupid-science says it's possible, so let's just move on.
So these Cursed Children (all ten years-old or younger at the start of the series) somehow have the powers of different species of animals (e.g. cats, owls, rabbits, praying mantises, etc.), and they all have super mutant healing factors, so of course they're recruited to fight the Gastrea along with their paired-up human partners in the Civil Securities Agencies (CSA). High school student Rentaro is the main human character we follow, and his Cursed Child Initiator is the 10 year-old mentally damaged Enju. They both work for a fledgling CSA started by Rentaro's childhood friend, and foster niece (don't think about it, Morty) Kisara Tendo. Kisara is smart, pretty, and a martial arts master at 17 years-old because why the fuck not.
So Rentaro and his friends/coworkers do their best cleaning up Gastrea messes, stopping political assassinations ordered by the evil American Ayn Rand (I shit you not), and joining CSA hunts for items that could bring down the Varanium Monoliths if they fall into the wrong hands... Which they of course do.
Now, all this wacky backstory that either contradicts itself or just makes no goddamn sense in the first place would be okay with me (well, kind of okay with me) as long as it was well told. Black Bullet is not told well. The characters are way too 2-dimensional (except for Kisara's strange turn at the very end of the final episode), and the threats that they face are just way too ridiculous to be taken seriously in anything other than a satire show. From what I can tell, Black Bullet is not satire and is in fact attempting to be a straight-up drama. It fails.
One of the biggest issues I had with the show is character motivations. Characters (all of them) constantly do stupid things that normal people would not do for the sake of either added drama or because the writers are hacks. For example, in the first storyline, a super cybernetically-enhanced soldier wearing a smiley-face mask kills a ton of people, then steals a briefcase containing something that could cause the destruction of the Tokyo Monolith shield and allow a fuck-ton of Gastrea to enter the city and kill everyone. He's promptly defeated by Rentaro, who for whatever reason doesn't make sure he's dead when it would have been so easy to decapitate him or something at that point. Then, near the end of the series we find out that smiley-face is still alive (SURPRISE!... no, not really), but now he chooses to help Rentaro STOP the Gastrea from entering Tokyo and killing everything... Why? Why the change of mind? It's never explained, and it's infuriating.
By the final credits roll, there's ton of loose plot threads still hanging, but this I brush off as being because the story is adapted from just the first few light novels in a book series that already has over half a dozen volumes released. But still, Enju's Gastrea percentage, Tokyo's relationship with the rest of the world, Ayn Rand's motives, etc. are all left unexplained or unfinished after having quite a bit of emphasis placed on them during the series proper. It was pretty frustrating when the last few minutes of the last episode were winding down and I realized I'd not find the answers to a lot of questions that I had about this world and its people until a sequel series (if one ever comes, and if I ever choose to even see it if it does).
So in the end I found that although the setting was okay, and some of the weapons and ideas were kind of interesting, it was too dumb, and too blah for me to recommend to anybody. I feel like I wasted 6.5 hours of my life on this show.
Black Bullet? Isn't that a Sabbath album? Oh, that anime show with the cute girls fighting giant bugs and shit with swords and guns? Oh yeah, fuckers, I remember that.
So there's these little bitches who are like magically mixed with other animals like cats, doge, tyrannosaurus, and birds or whatever, and they fight these giant insects because, yo, who wouldn't? If an evil mothafuckin' grasshopper tried to break into my pad and eat my face or my flatscreen TV you know I'd be throwin' some little chick at it and hope she kills it or at least gets my TV back.
For some reason, like in Phantom Menace, the leader of Tokyo in this thang is an elected albino teenage girl. Who da fuk would think that's a motherfuckin' good idea? Girls are stupid, and albino teenagers are just fuckin' talkin' rocks! I don't get it.
Oh, then there's all the people getting mad and straight up murdering all those little girls who just so happen to have bug blood in them. Those fuckin' girls never did anything to hurt anybody, but the stupid peeps of Tokyo were all like "Well, she is cute and adorable and has never hurt a fly in her life, and neither has any other mothafuckin' cursed child, but she has red eyes... Slit her throat, Tomobiki." I don't get it, and they never made it clear how this thought process worked for the retards of Tokyo. The angry mobs constantly say "It's YOUR fault, bitches," to the little girls, but it's been perfectly clear that the girls aren't ever responsible for anything. They only kill the bad insects, G-dawg. The stupid jumps in logic astound me.
This show was just dumb. It was a generic dumb too. For some reason Japan seems to just shit out this same show year after year without changing much in the way of characters or plot. Hell, even the setting of a post-apocalyptic world with giant insects trying to sneak their way into the small bits of remaining civilization is straight out of Nausicaa.
The only thing that I found better than average was that ending. When the high school girl who's good at swords finds out that her brother was responsible for the shitty buggy times that the whole entire city just barely made it through, and that he actually killed their parents 10 years earlier, she straight up murders him. Horribly. Then she's all like, "Oh, he totally deserved that. It's called 'Justice,' people. La-dee-dah, la-dee-dah." And then she just like skips away. That was pretty baller.