Three Episode Rule: Black Bullet (Episode 1)

The second series I’ve been talked into watching this season is another action series, Black Bullet. Its theme is that after a bloody war between humans and the Gastrea a virus-like life form that mutates and turns its hosts into monsters. After managing to stave off extinction, humanity had receded into the safety of several safe zones. Its borders marked by huge, thousands of feet high monolith made of the metal Varanium. Within this, groups of young adults, a “Promoter” and their partner, the “Initiator”, fight off infections.

So yeah, action oriented, another adaptation of a popular Light Novel series, this time written by Shinden Kanzaki. The story revolves around the Promoter Rentarou Satomi and his initiator, the bubble of moe and energy, Enju Aihara. This series is bound to be fast paced and action packed, so let’s be about it, shall we?

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Characters:

 

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Rentarou Satomi is the show’s main male lead (as far as I can tell), and is a Promoter. One part of a pair of people who were teamed up to fight the more naturally powerful Gastrea. He is brash and displays a certain amount of skill and finesse. His weapon of choice seems to be a Smith and Wesson M&P pistol derp it’s a Springfield Armory X D, though he doesn’t pack any reloads (and damn X D becoming XD). He had a tragic past (who doesn’t in male protagonists nowadays?) after the JSDF shoots down a huge flying Gastrea and no doubt contributing to the deaths of those he holds dear.

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Enju Aihara is the show’s main female lead, and is Rentarou’s Initiator. A young girl, she and others like her were born with the Gastrea virus in her. Apparently pregnant women who take on the virus while carrying a child will end up infusing that child, who often is born female, and grants those same females the powers and abilities matching that of infected Gastrea. Enju is infatuated with Rentarou, to the point of annoyance. She is seen able to defeat Gastrea with just her bare hands and feet, something that normal humans or even Promoters can’t really do.

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The third character in this is Kisara Tendou, a diabetic girl who heads the Tendou Civil Service Agency. She is childhood friends with Rentarou and Rentarou’s person of interest. She is apparently very skilled in martial arts. She is seen lamenting the costs of keeping a new business up.

 

Episode Summary:

The episode starts off in a refugee camp at the outskirts of Tokyo in 2021. Jets and ground forces engage a large, moth-like Gastrea, resulting in the deaths of many of them. Amidst this, a young Rentarou Saotome is told by a voice to survive.

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The scene shifts to modern-day, where a grown Rentarou arrives at an apartment building, reporting to a scene of a Gastrea infection. In the ever since the war, civil law prevents investigators to come to the scene of an infection without a Promoter-Initiator pair to reduce the number of casualties. Lo and behold, the SAT (Special Assault Team, Japan’s version of a police SWAT team) already had two point men fast rope in. This infuriates Rentarou and the Inspector in charge.

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Barging in, Rentarou encounters the two officers, dead and pinned to the wall like a morbid butterflies on a collection, as well as a person that is more suited to be in a three-ring circus. This unknown antagonists claims he or she, also seeks the source of the infection, but isn’t one of the good guys. He claims to have killed the officers, handing Rentarou his ass and killing the remaining SAT officers. After Rentarou lands a hit, he merely cricks his neck back to place, and proclaims he is the man to destroy the world.

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With the area ‘secure’, the inspector and Rentarou figure out that the victim is still walking around, and establish a perimeter. We are then treated to Enju, who finds the victim. Realizing how far gone he was, he transforms into a massive spider. Normal bullets from the inspector’s gun only anger it, and Rentarou’s special rounds made from the Varanium metal only weaken it by stopping its regeneration. Enju’s enhanced powers though deal with it quickly.

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Needless to say, Rentarou’s priorities seem to be off, as he then rushes off to a supermarket sale, and is chided by his boss Kisara Tendou. The cops refused to pay him for his services (yeah, like it isn’t known who was responsible for killing the Gastrea), and also in trouble because he didn’t inform her of the sale (or the job, either one). Not finding the source, Rentarou reasons that maybe someone else had found it, but the Kisara says none have done so, and won’t issue a heads up bulletin so that they could stay in business.

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After all that, Rentarou and Kisara part ways, with Rentarou going home and Kisara to a Hemodialysis appointment. She reminds him of his motivations for becoming a Promoter, even though he stodgily denies it.

Visiting a doctor, we as viewers are treated with a strangely anti-social woman who studies corpses and the Gastrea. She chides him as well for being perverted, lazy coward, and also a bad shot. Telling him he will never have the chance to get Kisara that way, she mentions he should just do it by force, even though she’d most likely kill him for it.

Afterwards, she asks for the reason for the reason he came to her lab. Talking about the Gastrea and indicating he was on an investigation for the source, they talk about the characteristics of the Jumping Spider, and that had it been the size of a human, it wouldn’t be able to jump. The Gastrea virus strengthens and modifies that so it could still perform it’s jumping abilities, as well as rewriting human DNA in speeds that is irregular (matter of hours, less than an hour?). They talk about that, and the fact that infection will lead them to develop new and original powers unlike the form they are used to dealing with, like optical camo.

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A scary thought. Back at home, Rentarou and Enju go about eating dinner, as well as giving Enju a shot, no doubt to control her powers, before heading to bed. Thought not as peaceful. Heading to school, it seems that she keeps her identity as an Initiator a secret, and no doubt it is due to her birth. She is one of the Cursed Children, girls born when their mother is infected with the virus orally while pregnant. They are the front line against Humanity’s fight against the Gastrea, who have the regenerative ability and powers of the Gastrea, but carrying with them a harsh stigma in which many people do not view them as humans.

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Episode Thoughts:

Rather action packed, if I can say so myself. The virus is interesting, but absurd, and no doubt it can be handwaved away as something from outer space or man-made, or we’ll never know. I am interested on how Rentarou is able to fight like he did against the Masked Person, considering I doubt he is one of those Cursed Children, but I guess we’ll find out soon. Rentarou seems to need more time at the range, as well as carry with him some reloads. As my blogfather has said, one is none, and two is one, while three is two. No doubt had it been for Enju recovering from the Gastrea’s kick and killing it, he and the Inspector would’ve been killed.

The Masked Person give an air of Heath Ledger’s Joker, though with more composure and class, but still the type to want to watch the world burn. I’m quite sure we’ll find out more about him next episode.

I am liking the choice of gun for Rentarou, a compact Springfield Armory X D, most likely the 9mm X D. Not liking the fact he doesn’t carry reloads. Maybe the special Varanium rounds are super expensive? Or limited since they are only carried by Promoter-Initiator Pairs? Who knows. Though I’m sure MHI would’ve employed heavier firepower against it. Granted, I doubt the state of the world has recovered to that point, and the Japanese most likely added provisions against this kind of enterprise that has the potential to kill a whole lot of people when there already is a proven method against it.

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I look forward to the confrontation with the Masked Person next episode.

 

Episode Gallery:

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About Jusuchin (Military Otaku)

Conservative, Patriotic and an Otaku. Recent grad of George Mason University. I am interested in firearms, politics, Japanese Anime, and military tech.
This entry was posted in Anime, Black Bullet, Three Episode Rule, Video Impressions. Bookmark the permalink.

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