20 CommentsAnime Analysis / By Scamp /

Watch the abridged version of Black Rock Shooter

Black Rock Shooter can be described as Casshern Sins X K-ON. The two parts of the show don’t intermingle though. The other-worldly, Casshern Sins esque place doesn’t crossover with the s’life parts. You’ll have a long scene involving two girls doing what they always do in anime followed by a scene of a girl in a black string bikini fighting another girl with horns and chains. The relationship between these two worlds is pretty obvious from the off and there’s no dramatic plot twist at the end. Essentially you could watch just the other-worldly action scenes and still have a perfectly intact story and a far better anime. Let me explain.

Cut out all the s’life scenes. You’re left with Black Rock Shooter wandering through this other world filled with checkered bathroom tiles and roman columns. She eventually finds the other girl. BRS offers her hand, possibly of friendship but we don’t know because the characters don’t say anything. The other girl refuses and they then have an awesomely choreographed fight scene. At the end the girl offers her hand of friendship again and we get that final scene. The end.

And it works! What we’re left with is an experimental animation OVA, with no speaking whatsoever, about a girl trying to repair her friendship with another girl. We don’t know why they’ve fallen apart but we don’t need to. Friendships fall apart for all sorts of reasons. But through the Powah of Lurve she breaks through and their relationship is restored. Better yet, since this is all done without any dialogue, it leaves the viewer to plug in the gaps however they want. It’s not difficult to follow either but it’s still cleverly done that you won’t necessarily have your brain in standby mode throughout. Plus you get that wonderful animation and artwork to gawk at, leaving you feeling refreshed and pleased with your viewing experience. A solid 8/10, well worth those 20 or so minutes.

Interestingly, [gg] released a fansub with exactly that (must have been incredibly easy to ‘sub’ something with no dialogue). For those who haven’t watched Black Rock Shooter yet I would strongly recommend you just watch that version. I’d love to hear from someone who does, just to see if my theory on how you’ll interpret it is correct.

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  1. Son Gohan
    Posted July 25, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    I have to disagree. Without the subplot the OVA becomes just another random short about two scantily clad lolis battling to the death with oversized weapons in a fantasy world. Do you really want to watch that?

    • Posted July 27, 2010 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Well, I…

      I do, actually.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 27, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Me too

  2. Hogart
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    Yeah… I think you’re right. Cure BlackRockShooter went to stop her friend from becoming Dark Precure Whoever. Using gigantic assault weapons. On Giger’s abandoned bathroom island where things randomly explode.

    I probably rather see it set to the Casshern Sins OST instead of what I heard there (complete with that weird grinding noise you’d hear whenever Casshern disobeyed the laws of physics).

    • Scamp
      Posted July 27, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      The OST was a rather dissapointment, considering what it’s based on. But hey, at least it had an ost. Unlike Cencoroll :(

  3. Samshel
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    Oh my the jealousy…

    I have to agree that any anime like K-ON is no good, but at least here it somehow sets the feelings for the other-world counterpart (You know, the jealousy). Anyway I liked a lot the fight scenes specially cuz there was no chitchat AT ALL, I guess that shounen genre gets you used to ppl talking in between fights and stoping to talk and talk… Was nice to see that they can pull off things like this.

    I guess Mato is so nice that we will see her friends going evil to be her BFF.

    P.S: Evil Yomi was so cool!

    • Scamp
      Posted July 27, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      I liked the silence of that world most of all. I like it when a show leaves you to work out stuff for yourself, even it it’s very simple stuff like that.

  4. Posted July 26, 2010 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    so the main summary about this OVA is about friendship?
    sorry i still haven’t watch it, still not aired here

    • Scamp
      Posted July 27, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Yup, that’s about it. ‘cept it has cool animation

  5. smallish
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    I never watched Black Rock Shooter, so I watched to abridged OVA first, then the full-length so I could give you my impressions.

    In a nutshell, I’d say I don’t entirely agree that the OVA is better without the modern-world bits. It may be that the abridged OVA was edited oddly and I got confused at parts, particularly the way they re-did the beginning. I enjoyed it, but I just wasn’t getting a whole lot of emotion from it.

    When I watched the full-length version, I liked it better. Actually, I think I might like the modern-world bits better than the surreal world; it gave me something to relate to and allowed me to get invested in it. In my opinion, it’s not that the surreal world doesn’t need the modern world, it’s that the modern world doesn’t need the surreal world. (Maybe I only say that because I’m a girl and enjoy watching really genuine and realistic friendships between females. Plus, I was kind of digging the subtext between Yomi and Mato. Was I just imagining that?)

    On the flip side, I bet if the abridged version was edited a little better (this one had a random bit of the modern-world story at the end and I don’t know why), I’d really like it. I honestly think that it just wasn’t edited well and if it was, it would be really nice.

    So that’s my amateur opinion. :)

    (Also, a few posts ago on the ‘if you watched this backwards’ thing, you mentioned Eden of the East and I was a little intrigued. I’ve watched a few episodes and I’ve been really enjoying it. Just an FYI.)

    • Scamp
      Posted July 27, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      I suppose I was running on the assumption that most people didn’t like the s’life bits, which seems to be the main complaint that I’ve seen. However if you’re the type of person who likes that sort of stuff then you’re probably better off watching the full version.

      Thanks for taking the leap of faith with my reccomendation with BRS though. And hurrah for more Eden fans! Best show of 2009

  6. Posted July 27, 2010 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    But would you feel this way if this was the first two episodes of a one-cour series, with the expectation that more was coming next week? I agree that our world and the fantasy world seemed rather disconnected, but after Yomi’s disappearance I got more excited. It’s a great setup… Just a pity we’ll have to wait forever and a half for the next OVA.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 27, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      Is there another OVA coming? I was under the impression that that would be it.

      Eh, if there was a another one with the other girl it would probably just be more of the same, which isn’t what I want to see personally. Just girls doing non-realistic girly things again

  7. Posted July 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Permalink
    • blissfullynaive
      Posted July 29, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      That is one awesome abridged version right there!!! Oh gawd, lol.

  8. Posted July 28, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Though the abridged version would be a beautiful scenic trip, it wouldn’t really be a enough for a story. It’d still be a great experience.

  9. blissfullynaive
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    I actually have no problems with the real world and surreal world bits. I think they both complement each other well. But i have to say a few things about the plot..

    Why does it seem so shallow to me.. and, why jealousy friendship thingy? D:

    I know that’s really possible during mid-teens of a person, and negative feelings can be a source of other worldy things to possess you. But why does it feel so.. ugh, i dunno. :(

    But i like how they wrapped the ending though. Well, kinda..

  10. Posted July 30, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Instead of hypothetically releasing 3 OVAs in order to tell the whole story, why don’t they cut out all the “filler”, squeeze the three 20 minute segments of action together, and release one hour-long OVA of what we actually want! XD

  11. Posted July 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Permalink


    just s’life stuff on its own without the crazy goth-DBZ parts randomly cut into it


    start out all high school sunshine story then transition into alternate universe befriending plot only after the girl disappears

    The point is to somehow make the separate sections more seamless and connect them together somewhere in the middle.

One Trackback

  • By Black Rock Shooter [Completed] « O-New on August 10, 2010 at 5:41 am

    […] that happens to be COMPLETELY UNRELATED to the “main” storyline, a completely unrelated person fights with some other person for like 20 minutes. For some reason they’re in the same OVA […]

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