So, Black Bullet is starting to wade more prominently into a plot now. Let’s see how this goes.
The episode starts with Toru and Kisara attending a meeting of all of the Civil Security pairs in the Tokyo region. He almost gets in a fight with one muscle-headed Promoter before he is told to stand down by his boss while Kisara informs Toru that he is the creame of the crop in the entire world, being in the top 1%. The meeting starts, though missing one of the presidents of the assembled Civil Security companies (that of the Oose Corp Civil Security). On a screen before them, is Seitenshi, the ruler of the Tokyo area, and her advisor, Kikunojou Tendou (Kisara’s grandfather). Explaining that the outbreak that happened the other day also made off with an important box containing an important thing, Kisara asks what the item in the box is, considering the abnormally high Yen amount to the award.
Seitenshi merely informs her it is classified, before another hand comes up. This one belonging to the masked person, who is sitting on the seat of the missing/not attending president of a civil service. Rentarou immediately remembers him, and he introduces himself as Kagetane Hiruko. Summoning someone, a girl would appear from nowhere, and he says she is Kohina Hiruko, his daughter and initiator. He informs those present that he is going to be in the race as well, and seeks the Inheritance of the Seven Stars, then item in question inside the box. Mocking them, he adds a rule saying that those in the race should wager with their lives.
At this point, the musclehead (Shogen Ikuma) attempts to cut him in half with his sword, only for a field to stop him and cause his sword to fly from his hands. His boss tells him to get down, and everyone unloads on Kagetane to no effect, as the same field stops the bullets before even getting close to him or his daughter. He calls the barrier the ‘Imaginary Gimmick’, and that he is still a human, though he had to replace most of his internal organs with Varanium-based instruments. He is revealed to be one of the genetically/surgically modified humans meant to fight the Gastrea in the war (part of the New Humanity Creation Plan). Rentarou, being quick on his feet, shields Kisara before the captured rounds are thrown back into the room, killing or incapacitating most of its occupants.
Leaving behind a present for Rentarou, he and his daughter leaves. Suddenly another man bursts into the room. He was the secretary of the Oose Corp’s president. He is hysterical, saying that his boss’s body was found at his home, but his head was missing. Blood oozes from the present, as Seitenshi adds something to the mission. That the box must be secured before Kagetane gets it, for it holds the capability to destroy the monolith barrier that keeps most of the Gastrea out.
The next day, Enju and Rentarou are at a shoopping center, where they witness a Curse Child running from storekeepers. Enju almost touches her, before Rentarou stops her. The cops come and take her away, though their attitude towards her was that of contempt. Rentarou tells Enju to go home, and chases after the police, only to find that the police taking the girl and shooting her. By some miracle she is alive, and Rentarou takes her to a doctor who manages to keep her alive.
Promising to pay for the expenses, he walks down the alley before Kagetani shows up. The tense standoff ends when Kohina attempts to slice off his arm, but is stopped by Enju. He explains that they should join forces, that Rentarou is different and has taken a liking to him. he even offers him money to help pay for the cursed child he is supporting in the clinic. He denies this and the two seperate from the terse standoff, though with Kagetane ominously saying he should visit her school to see the true nature of the world. Musing on the pair, Enju doesn’t know if she can beat Kohina.
The next day, at Enju’s school, a rumor spread that she was a cursed child, leading her to leave. Running back home, Rentarou doesn’t find her at home, and he goes out in search for her. In a public announcement, Seitenshi attempts to inform her charges about a new law stated to give rights to the cursed children. Heading to a hideaway, he meets with an ‘Elder’, who has been taking care of cursed children, since they are so hated by the Stolen Generation. he teaches them to control their emotions to mask their red eyes, so they could eventually blend in with normal humans.
When Rentarou asks if he’s seen Enju, he replies in the negative. The Elder states he can always get a new one, having deduced the fact he was a Promoter. It isn’t unusual to see a civil officer pair to not get along, and since Enju ran pout on him, he can always get a new Initiators since many Promoters only see them as tools. Rentarou doesn’t take too kindly to being grouped with them, and yells at him that he isn’t looking for her because they are a Promoter/Initiator pair, but because they spent the past year trying to be more human. They’ve been together through thick or thin. He leaves, with the Elder asking a hiding Enju if she really wants to leave him.
Well, with a terrific and explosive first half, we slam a bit on the breaks to introduce more of the background, and a very gruesome way. Don’t get me wrong, Kagetane’s entrance was grandstanding that would make Heath Ledger’s Joker proud (and with a bigger body count). But the one that struck me the most was actually the bit in the end. The Stolen Generation and the Cursed Children. It’s not even comparable to Jim Crow, is it? These are poor, unfortunate girls, who are treated as tools by many of the Civil Security pairs, and as delinquents and disposable beings by the rest of the world. A cursed child is to be feared, she is evil. Her red eyes and amazing powers are incomparable to a normal human.
It’s why I’m starting to like Rentarou as a character. Yes we’ve seen him before in other series as the one to go against the grain of what everyone thinks, but the telling bit was the thing with the Elder. He vehemently refuses to be painted as a Promoter who uses his Initiator as a tool. No, he sees himself as one half in a pair with another human being, a pair whose job it is to protect humans, even though as Kagetane says, he’s setting himself up for being betrayed. The emotions of staving off extinction runs high with the humans, and the Cursed Children are the natural scapegoats to this Stolen Generation’s lashing out.
I’m sure the other anime bloggers out there can enhance on that theme, even though to me it felt a bit…hamfisted in it’s appearance? Might just be the influence of other bloggers then. But going off on the other thing that excited me about this episode, of course, is the guns.
Seen here, generic GLOCKs, Bersa Thunder 380, a few M1911s, Colt Python, among others. Oh what the hell, I made the imfdb page for it already.