Black * Rock Shooter OVA – review

July 28, 2010 at 10:31 am 23 comments

“Storyline: Person 1 meets person 2. They become friends. Person 3 enters equation, person 1 and 3 become friends and person 2 feels left out. Person 1 and 2 make up, person three feels left out… We have entered an endless recursion of fail.” – Daldaren from AnimeTake

That's a mighty huge gun

The Black * Rock Shooter OVA wasn’t necessarily poor entertainment. It has some pretty strong elements. However what it lacked was fluid cohesion and a solid story.


I’ve never really understood Hatsune Miku’s popularity, and thus Black * Rock Shooter’s. The artificiality of their voices just doesn’t strike such a deep chord within me, and I’ve been accustomed to think that the sole reason they’re so big in Japan is because of expert marketing, advertising and merchandise aimed at the anime industry.


However I must admit that the sound in this OVA was pretty good (although a far cry from the synthesised stuff BRS is known for). It was also nice to recognise a tune or two from the BRS single too.

Homework - a silent killer.

Animation was pretty solid. I liked the character models, but there was a little lack in texture and detail. Never before have I seen such a plain slice of bread/toast. The fightscenes were great, albeit rather disjointed by the slice-of-life component of the OVA which FAR overweighed this alternate world…..

Sometimes the best protection is no protection at all.

….. which forms the exact crux of the problem that Black * Rock Shooter suffers from. There’s simply no damn explanation why this other world exists. The evil girl from the start Black Gold Saw simply never appears again. We have no idea whether the opening fight scene is prior to or after the events of the OVA proper.

For some reason Yuu's head reminds me of a pumpkin.

The slice-of-life element to the OVA was also fairly straightforward, and something we hear time and again. Essentially it’s about friendship, and the pitfalls of having more than one friend. Morale of the story: don’t get more than one friend. It ruins lives.

"Why do I suck so much?"

I think most fans were expecting 50 minutes of semi-naked chicks duking it out with huge guns and blades in weird and wacky locales. I certainly was expecting that, and that would have made an infinitely more entertaining OVA. However the S-o-L stuff really interrupted our dosage of fanservice the fanservice interrupted the S-o-L component. I’m not sure whether I’d watch a BRS anime series, but I guess I’m kinda up for it, as long they decrease the high-school girly moments and ramp up the alternate world.

Animation: 8.5/10

Sound: 8.5/10

Story: 6.5/10

Characters: 7/10

Enjoyment: 6.75/10

Overall : 7.45/10

Mmmmm.... kinky...!


Entry filed under: Anime.

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23 Comments Add your own

  • 1. justam  |  July 28, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Haven’t watched in full yet, but from quick scene skipping etc., I must say that BRS images off /a/ and /w/ look more badass than this show.

    And judging from what you said, this OVA probably would have been more entertaining if they got rid of the high school life thing entirely and made this a 50min music video/OVA – depicting nothing but one fight after another, until at the end she’s standing alone in some weird place with a sky backdrop.

  • 2. Baka!  |  July 28, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    It’s about friendship. That is all ~

  • 3. qqqq  |  July 28, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Why Black Rock not have big boobs????

    Mato is a bitch

    • 4. ippius  |  July 28, 2010 at 3:55 pm

      lololol >_> perhaps her huge gun is compensatory….?

      • 5. Breisa  |  August 4, 2010 at 5:56 am

        lolled at this. 😀

  • 6. Fabrice  |  July 28, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    I thought it was great!
    look i see looks of people not understand something.
    how on earth can you fit everything in 50mins?
    of course you cant and so thats why they had to skip parts. im hoping this will lead to a sequel like TV series so that then you can have you bg story. OVA’s like this cant be masterpiece but BRS turned out to be good. thats like my main message lol

    nice review, glad to find someone that likes it as well ^^

    • 7. ippius  |  July 28, 2010 at 11:28 pm

      u hav a strong point there. for 50 minutes, this OVA did exactly what it should have done: flesh out the characters a little and provide a little fanservice to spark interest. If this will precede a sequel series, the OVA would have been absolutely fine! However, if it was a truly stand-alone project, then the OVA would have been a little flat.

  • 8. Baka!  |  July 29, 2010 at 8:55 am

    too much friendship….waaaaay too much….

  • 9. Maho  |  July 30, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    You’re missing the point…. friendship=thinly disguised lesbian love triangle.

    Friendship? Not so bad anymore! Everything is better with lesbians.

    • 10. ippius  |  July 30, 2010 at 4:47 pm

      bahahah ur comment made me crack up XP

    • 11. justam  |  July 30, 2010 at 11:01 pm

      OOOOOOOOh interesting!

      Setting yuri goggles to over 9000 when I eventually watch this!

    • 12. Kaoru  |  September 14, 2010 at 6:48 pm


  • 13. Baka!  |  July 30, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    LOL. Maho you legend. I’ll rewatch BRS with that in mind.

  • 14. Shin  |  July 30, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    It left me wanting more and hoping we’d get an explanation of the connection between BRS and the high school cast but… I heard there would only be one episode so… that left me pretty disappointed.

    From an artistic standpoint, the backgrounds for BRS’ world wowed me. I liked the texturing. Apart from that, the story didn’t impress me much… if this was the only episode, it fell pretty much, as flat as BRS.
    XD;; I’m sorry. That was too easy.

    • 15. ippius  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:14 am

      haha the story was pretty simplistic.

  • 16. Breisa  |  August 4, 2010 at 5:55 am

    Gosh! I watched this OVA a few days ago thinking that I will be amazed, but it completely failed me. T_T

    I agree with you, the story is not that solid. Darn, I don’t even give a damn about Mato, Yomi and Yuu, I wanna see fight scenes! Not a bunch of… “Oh you have another friend, we’re no longer friends…” childish kind of crap. D:


  • 17. Ahmed  |  August 21, 2010 at 8:41 am

    the ending was baaaad how come she haven’t help her yet how come ? !

  • 18. Rqon  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:21 am

    Nice review, I agree, the story isnt bad, but it isnt that good either. On the other hand, I love the art, and the character design is just superb.

    Oh and here’s a little bit of info about how Miku gets so popular 🙂

    “Nico Nico Douga played a fundamental role in the recognition and popularity of the software. Soon after its release, users of Nico Nico Douga started posting videos with songs created by the software. According to Crypton, a popular video with a comically-altered Miku holding a leek, singing levan Polkka, presented multifarious possibilities of applying the software in multimedia content creation.”

    taken from:

    • 19. ippius  |  August 26, 2010 at 7:29 am

      yeah i remembered watching that video…. so random lol, but thanx for the info

  • 20. ronelm2000  |  September 2, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    The wierd thing about this OVA is that it makes you speculate on how things came to be. I doubt they’ll stay it at just one OVA…even if I have to go there and blackmail hako or Ordet Studio for this.

    BTW It’s interesting to note that Ordet Studio’s staff came from Kyoto Animation. =O I’m seeing Haruhi traces right now! XD

  • 21. Kaoru  |  September 14, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    The entire OVA looked like a 50 minute trailer to me. XD

    I wish they would make a sequel..a 2nd OVA or better yet an anime series..otherwise this “trailer” would be wasted.

  • 22. John  |  October 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    I wanted to like BRS more than I did. From what I had seen before the OVA, it looked interesting, and I liked the idea of the interaction between characters in the real world and alternate world.

    The problem was the action was kind of flat and didn’t seem like the frame rate or detail was very high to me. Compare the action scenes in Evangelion or Berserk! and BRS seemed more like Power Puff Girls.

    It did leave me wanting more though, so on that level, the OVA worked. I just think it could have been so much better than it was.

  • 23. BlackRose  |  December 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I think that even thought the girl became BRS at the end, the battle scenes were actually AFTER that, they were just mixed into the anime to make it more interesting.


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