Black Bullet – Mini Review

Expected This to be Worse

Image result for black bulletIf I had to describe what Black Bullet was in a sentence, it would be this:  The video game, Earth Defense Force, meets lolis and racism. I say this because part of the show is about battling these evil bugs, known as, Gastrea, while the rest of it tackles the prejudice of this society. The Gastrea are fought off by a civilian security groups through the use of, “Cursed Children” who are infected with the virus that lead to the rise of the Gastrea. You guessed it, all these kids are little girls who need to pair up with (typically) an older male partner.

While that may sound cynical, Black Bullet actively makes fun of anybody who would be watching this as lolicon material. There were a few times where I thought the show was pandering a bit, but if you are worried about this one being creepy or anything, let me assure you that it isn’t.

What you are going to get here is a mix of action and politics, but neither are going to receive the proper amount of attention they deserve. Unfortunately, with only 13 episodes, it ends up feeling kind of rushed. That being said, the story you get is satisfying and wraps up the major plot threads while leaving room for more. Since this aired in 2014 it isn’t likely there will be more, but at least the product as is feels mostly complete.

The best part of this show is the relationships that, Rentarou, the main character, has with each of the cast members. While battling the first arc’s villain, who I fondly named, “Mr. Smiley” you can very easily see this. Later, when more characters are introduced the interactions become more nuanced.

While I’m on the subjects of positives, I really liked the OP and ED for Black Bullet. At times the OP reminded me of a Studio GoHands production but without going too crazy. The music was just very good, I’ll leave the OP below for ya.

One of the biggest negatives I found with the show was when Mr Smiley wasn’t around. It wasn’t like those episodes were all bad, a lot of them were still pretty good, but nothing really reached the same level of fun or intrigue as him. Thankfully, though the show would have you believe otherwise, he does come back for the series’ finally.

Another minor annoyance for me was that all the little girls are ten years old. Why? The Cursed Children were apparently all born the same year in this universe, which just makes no sense. This was an element that I felt needed some explaining. Likely this is because they don’t see combat until around that age, and the life expectancy for these girls is abysmal, but it isn’t actually made explicit the reason for this.

Some folks may be bothered by how badly the little girls are treated by many of the characters in the show. There really are a lot of positive ones outside of Rentarou’s relationship with the various girls. While nothing that extreme is ever actually shown on screen, they do refer to, and show the aftermath of some messed up events.

Black Bullet is far from groundbreaking or anything like that, but it is a good time if you are in the mood for it. There are enough interesting ideas to keep you engaged if you want to have a think about stuff, and is just silly enough to watch for some mindless fun otherwise. If you like loli stuff, then this is obviously a must.

I decided to give this a watch because VRV recently added HiDive after Funimation left them. If you’d like to watch the show subbed, you can do that on Crunchyroll still but otherwise you’ll need one of the other services listed above. Personally, I found the dub to be pretty good here.

What are your thoughts on Black Bullet? Was this show a pandering mess, or did it manage to surprise you a bit like it did for me? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you feel in the giving spirit and would like to help me out, you can do so by hitting my donation button below. As always, thank you very much for reading!

18 thoughts on “Black Bullet – Mini Review

  1. I recall having a heated discussion with a mate on Twitter about this show because the first episode suggested sexualising the little girls so he said the whole show was a loli-fest despite only watching that first episode. I tried to convince him it wasn’t an ongoing thing and he should watch the rest but he wouldn’t have it. :-/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see how somebody might think that because Enju’s character puts herself out there but, as I mentioned, it largely condemns the audience if they think that’s sexy. The main character really isn’t in to it either.

      I like loli stuff, but get pretty, “eeeeeeeeh” about some stuff and Black Bullet never bothered me once. Too bad for your friend but at least he didn’t miss out on a masterpiece or anything, just a fairly fun romp.


      1. Just to be clear, I wasn’t condoning the loli stuff as it made me uncomfortable too and I wish Anime/Japan would stop with this, but it wasn’t like it was the central conceit of this show, with the social injustice angle being more prominent.

        I know it’s tough to get beyond something if it is shown in the very first episode which is supposed to set the scene for the rest of the show, making it a shame that it took a while for the real story to emerge.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You aren’t alone on that. Personally, loli stuff doesn’t bother me at all, I can usually enjoy it even, but there is definitely a line. Black Bullet didn’t cross it, was mostly my point.

          As to the rest, yeah, you are absolutely right. This series is kind of all over with ideas so the first episode doesn’t reflect well at all.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I watched this series years ago, but I remember liking the world and the set-up of things. I also felt that there were some things that were a bit too convenient or too ambiguous, for example as you mentioned all the girls being born in the same year, which kept it from being super amazing. I felt that all in all it was an average series at best. Excellent review, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed the review and thanks for stopping by! Yeah, just a few things that keep it from being really great, but sometimes you are just in the mood for something average, which I definitely was. For me, I’m just glad it wasn’t as bad as people were telling me it was going to be.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ay, a comrade! Love that OP by Fripside! (Same band also did great with the OP of this season’s Boarding School Juliet)
    While I thought “Mr. Smiley” was overly campy, I also thought he was the best part of the show. I felt almost all of the serious elements failed because the explanations were completely insufficient- but Mr Smiley is just fun! Also, he reminds me of Emonzaemon! (Katanagatari)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Most Fripside music is samey. I can’t tell half of them apart! But there are three of them I really like- the third one being the opening to a Certain Scientific Railgun.
        Also, love Katanagatari! Favorite weekly battle series ever!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. My biggest issue with Black Bullet was that the cursed children didn’t feel necessary at all. The officers were all pretty badass on their own, the children just seemed like sidekicks in comparison. Plus Rentarou ends up taking care of business himself most of the time anyways thanks to his own augmentations. The children just felt forced into a story that could have easily functioned well without them (and would have been better off I think).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To me, this is more of an issue with having Rentarou be the main character. In most cases, the officers weren’t actually enough on their own but because of his situation, he ends up basically being a full force by himself.

      I do get what you are saying though, and this is why I feel like the series had interesting ideas but a lack of focus in communicating them. Ya know?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed. I actually really liked the world design for the most part, and I liked Rentarou as well. I just didn’t like the loli aspect, especially when it could have been done better.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, well part of me thinks you might enjoy the sci-fi side of things but it is /just/ generic enough with not quite enough focus on the more interesting things that it may not be your speed.

      If you do give it a try though, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Black Bullet. Let me know if ya do 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I quite like Black Bullet. There’s certainly some issues with the story, not fixed by reading the light novel either unfortunately, but I like the main pair in the story and enjoy the basic idea of the city and the corruption that the characters end up facing. It is definitely one of those stories that sounds better than the execution makes it however.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Too bad about the LN’s not really improving on it but I suppose that just speaks to the quality of this product as a whole more than anything. The anime has some clear issues, as you say, but I guess it was a fairly faithful adaptation from the sounds of it (which counts for some people, I don’t care too much).

      Anyway, thanks for the comment and for giving this a read! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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