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Black Bullet (2014)

Black Bullet (2014)

In the year 2021, a parasitic virus known as "Gastrea" infects humans and turns them into monsters. What is left of mankind now lives within the Monolith walls, walls that are made of Varanium, the only material that can hurt Gastrea.
 
To counter the threat that the Gastrea pose, "Cursed Children"—female children whose bodies contain trace amounts of the virus which grant them superhuman abilities—officially called Initiators by the Tendo Civil Security, are given partners called Promoters, people who work to guide and protect the young Initiators. These teams of two are sent out on missions to fight the monsters created by the Gastrea virus and keep them at bay.
 
Black Bullet revolves around the team of Enju Aihara, an Initiator, and Satomi Rentaro, a Promoter, as they go on missions to fight the growing threat of Gastrea in their hometown of Tokyo.

So that's the premises! Another run-of-the-mill sci-fi/action anime adventure with dystopian plot and male/female in differing ages character combo - but it delivers. The future really is both dystopian and futuristic, and the anime revolves as much around the action as around the injustices that Enju faces, as a 'cursed child', and Satomi's attempt to help them, all the while battling the parasites, until finally it's time for the big showdown. It feels very relevant to current social dilemmas that way, and relatable in that regard. The action's good too.

Unfortunately it's not all positive. We grow to know more people along the way, but most of them die. I felt like they had potential, and the series as well, but in the end so much of that potential is just left for dead. The plot feels inconsistent and jumpy, and though they do a good job at building up the atmosphere, the tension, and the relation between the viewer and the characters, they cast it away all too easily in the form of unnecessary death.

Good idea, good show, but not good enough to rise above all the similar series out there that just can't seem to keep things together enough. A tragedy does not mean depth. A dystopian future does not make something philosophical. They're off to a good start with the intrigue, but build it up wrong, that's how I feel. And it's not just because everybody died.

 rated 3/5: not bad

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