Anime Vice News

BLACK BULLET #1 -- Special Review

Stereotypical anime that's at least aware of its stereotypes.

Spring is upon us! Join us as we view new pilots this season, and see where they fit on the highly-scientific Rock-or-Suck Scale… FAIRY TAIL SEASON 2

It goes to show how even just the smallest touches can make even the most stereotypical watchable. BLACK BULLET is culpable of so many tropes that have irritated me in so many other pilots that I’ve… well…

I’ve pretty much grown numb to them. But I still enjoyed this pilot for the most part.

Maybe it’s just the flash of the design? I looked at some pages from the manga, and they’ve definitely got an unusual fluidity that’s just simply nice to look at. I prefer to think it comes down to the choice lines I just mentioned. Like when our lead shows up at the crime scene and the contact he meets with outright states all the incredulity we’re voicing as viewers. Yeah… who does this snot-nosed kid in the cheap think he is, presenting himself as this 'mysterious super-agent?'

The confrontation with the evil, tokusatsu Smiley Face had some of the most on-the-nose dialog I’ve ever encountered. The bad guy all but comes out and says, “That’s right, I’m the villain you’re going to have to defeat!” But the set-up of the scene (blood dripping from the lower floor’s ceilings!), and its abrupt roll-out somehow made it feel like the most die set-up. It’s like some optical illusion.

Lastly, I couldn’t care less about the backstory with the mutants, and the special metal bullets, and all that. I did find it striking, however, that the show would pair its lead up with some nymphomaniac young bride (or something along those lines?) who just desperately needs some lovin’ from her man. Again, we’ve seen countless shows listlessly abide by that old wish fulfillment set-up of having a hot chick drop into a nerdy guy’s life. At least, in this case, the dream girl’s pointing out how preposterous it is that the guy’s social awkwardness would be so bad that he’d spurn her advances.

That’s all I’ve got to set about BLACK BULLET. The appeal really does lie in these precise angles.

Watch "The Last Hope" and decide for yourself.

About the Author

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
hitsusatsu11on April 14, 2014 at 7:56 p.m.

@No_name_here: Pretty cool that u gave this a shot, u gonna keep watching?

Destinyheroknighton April 14, 2014 at 7:59 p.m.

@hitsusatsu11:

LOL! I see what you did their

Anyway, I guess I'll give this show a try

takashichea moderator is online on April 14, 2014 at 8:08 p.m.

@hitsusatsu11: @Destinyheroknight:

Didn't even see the pun until Destinyheroknight locked on it. Okay, bad one there.

Since you, Hitsusatsu11, weren't here back in fall 2013 and winter 2014, Tom and Matt Murphy do a bit of sampling for their Rock and Suck Vice Pit edition. You should check their previous Vice Pits. It's a lot of fun. Sometimes, we Vicers find way worse titles than they found like Recently, My Unusual Sister.

On topic:

Black Bullet reminds me of Unbreakable Machine Dolls because of the loli side kick who wants to get in the main protagonist's pants. Yaya isn't violent with her love like Enju.

Check the Black Bullet Discussion, too!

katmicon April 15, 2014 at 3:32 a.m.

This sounds like something i might enjoy.

takashichea moderator is online on April 15, 2014 at 3:39 a.m.

@katmic:

I think I know your tastes. I remember in your Fairy Tail reviews, you hated excess fan service. Black Bullet is like Fairy Tail in that department. It has a lot of action for the first episode and a nice balance of exposition considering its original source is a light novel series. Light novel series whose anime adaptations are notoriously known for heavy exposition.

katmicon April 15, 2014 at 5 a.m.

@takashichea: I don't mind excess fan service if it doesn't take over the episode and undermine the point of the show. Maybe black bullet can perfectly balance out its use of fan service with a serous plot.

Marshal Victoryon April 15, 2014 at 7:43 a.m.

Ok so it uses some tropes well. Tropes in an of them selves are not a bad thing,just if they are the stories crutch that helps limp along the story pace its bad. Very bad.

This tho does not do that. Its got a fair amount of style an speed to its plot. Its almost the mix of The Thing ...

...with anime tropes done with style an tongue in cheek . Or rather thats my 1st impressions from the pilot. Which was for the season one of the better ones for my tastes at least.

YotaruVegetaon April 28, 2014 at 4:55 p.m.

He's a decade older than her, she hasn't even gone through puberty, and it looks like he's actually going to be into her boss. Why wouldn't he spurn the advances of some love-starved loli?

takashichea moderator is online on April 28, 2014 at 4:59 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta:

Welcome to AV, it's good to see you. The site has been glitching. Didn't know you were a fan. In case Tom doesn't cover, you should meet everyone in the Black Bullet Discussion if you like to.

Yeah, there are two main fetishes:

  • Lolis
  • Co-worker (with the guy being the boss)

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