You know what, I love Black Bullet, and hate it at the same time. I had expected something, but not in this way. It is a reason the blog post is titled this way, paraphrasing that quote that is either attributed to Rene Descartes or Confucius (It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.) and shows that those who are willing to love undergo great pains, but those who only give into hate find it easy.
Back at the school, Rentarou and Kisara hand out sheets asking the girls what they would want to be when they grow up. Predictably, Enju and Tina both state they would want to marry Rentarou. Collecting the other sheets, Rentarou and Kisara take the cursed children on a field trip, ending at the Flames of Revolution memorial which commemorates the second of two wars fought against the Gastrea.
After hearing that Rentarou intends to protect them, the girls all declare their love for him (harem go) with already five of them having similar goals to marry him, much to the annoyance of Enju and Tina.
Back at camp, with the others sleeping (and Enju nom nomming on Midori’s ears), Rentarou wonders about the ability of the military to deal with Aldebaran’s power. Kisara calls him out for a walk, and they go and investigate Monolith 32. It is revealed that the monoliths are built by airlifting all the blocks to the target site and are built there to a target height of 100 meters.
Rentarou understands this, but wonders why Aldebaran went only after Monolith 32, and asks Kisara to investigate more fully into the matter. Sitting down nearby, Kisara and Satomi gaze at the night sky, and their relationship is moved forward a little bit. Stating she’s happy right now, she has Enju, Tina, and Rentarou at the agency. She does know that it will end one day and she got scared. Rentarou reassures her that they wouldn’t go away, and they hold hands as the clock strikes twelve.
The next day, Rentarou walks the streets of an abandoned Tokyo, as those who had already been hustled into shelters have disappeared and it seemed that widespread rioting had taken place, with posters denouncing Seitenshi and her government. He then comes across the blinded cursed child, being surrounded by a mob. Rentarou disperses them, and tells her to go home and never come back.
Getting back at camp, he sees Kisara, Enju, and Tina coming back. She was dismayed that when it was announced that Kisara was the only one teaching the class, she was booed quite a bit (lol). Tamaki, still oblivious to Kisara x Rentarou (I think), hands Kisara the information she had requested. Her expression quickly changes and she dumps the investigation into the fire. Retrieving it, it I revealed that Tendou Kazumitsu had been contracted to build Monolith 32 with no competition or being opened up to the public, and no doubt that had resulted in corruption and graft.
The next day, Rentarou and Enju head to the school, with the foreboding warning from Tamaki stating he was going to get too attached to them. Leaving Tina and the still sleeping Kisara at their tent, they make their way to the site of the school, only to see it cordoned off. Realizing the implications, Rentarou notes that the place was bombed. With the size of the crater, it would seem it was a very large one. At the police headquarters, Rentarou confirms that the bodies are of his students. Rentarou tells the cops to escort Enju away, but they fail, leading her to see her dead classmates.
At the roof of the police station, Rentarou reads through the sheets detailing what the girls would want to be when they grow up, and he sits in a stupor. Kisara calls saying that Tina had calmed down already, and he vents his frustrations of protecting those who do not deserve to be protected. He states that the monsters who did it had laced their bomb with Varanium fragments to maximize their pain. Kisara states as long as they save the Tokyo area, maybe little of the hate will wash away, though Rentarou states being a civil officer is a shitty job. In the distance, the winds pick up, and Monolith 32 crumbles a day early, the authorities having not accounted for how rapidly the wind would shift, leading the monolith to be destabilized and fall to the ground.
Enju pulls out of her dead-eyed state, wiping away tears, they go forth with grim determination to see their roles through.
And so what seems like a pre-battle getting your wits together devolved into a small study on man’s inhumanity to man. The TvTropes page does mention specifically that the manga and anime are highly toned down. Cursed children in the Tokyo area are granted SOME rights, compared to ones in the Middle East and Africa where they are treated as subhuman and made into prostitutes and slaves, to Europe and America where they are weaponized and implanted with Varanium-made/encased cybernetic limbs and pushed to their utter limit.
In reality the cursed children of Japan, or just Tokyo, are treated fairly. In comparison. But that does not escape the fact that every day, every hour, the remnants of humanity see them less as fellow humans, but enemies. The fact that cursed children have a determinable shelf life before they turn into Gastrea only makes it harder for people like Seitenshi and Rentarou to change people’s minds. The fact that there are many, from the high and powerful like Tendou Kikunojo to the common street punk, that wish to commit a genocide against the cursed children, to police inaction and even brutality, it is harder and harder to hold faith in humanity.
This is why I think I agree, not wholeheartedly, but agree with Kagetane Hiruko’s view that humanity does not deserve to be saved. And that the slow grind to extinction is inevitable regardless of what Rentarou does. So he decides to speed things along until he himself is consumed by it, leaving Earth to be nothing but a planet inhabited by the next inheritors of the land.
The savage brutality that men would do to the cursed children, now that their certain doom is upon them, is annoying and jarring. The very definition of irony, the people they hate stands the best chance to defend them from their deaths. And the remark the mob makes that Civil Officers had sided with the monsters made me chuckle, sadly I might add, that without those same civil officers, many would be dead.
There is no doubt the military is at least more effective in dealing with the Gastrea (but the series, set on the sliding scale of Hollywood tactics, seems to be set in the lower unrealistic scale) but on a one on one encounter, as we’ve seen in the beginning, police issue revolvers and semiautomatic pistols are ineffective against Gastrea. Promoters with some skill, along with their Initiators, are much more effective. Though some can become unhinged lunatics like Shogen Ikuma (Kayo Senju’s Promoter, the meathead with the sword) and Kagetane Hiruko.
Speaking of Kagetane, it is no doubt that we will see him. Their really lackluster duel in the beginning of the series seems to be primed for a rematch, though no doubt that Kagetane was either recoveirng or watching Rentarou in the few months (in-universe) since his supposed demise. And what had happened to Kohina? I assume we’ll see soon.
I am liking the series, and as someone has said before, Rentarou shows his best when it comes to protecting those he loves. With the loss of his class and any chance of Enju or Tina on gaining some semblance of a normal life, it is hard without an absurd amount of willpower to live on. Rentarou has turned his hatred into Gastrea into love for the cursed children. A hard pill to swallow that many of the Stolen Generation cannot do, unwilling, blinded by their hatred to see the cursed children as nothing more than the enemy, rather than the human beings they are.
Call it a futile gesture, especially since they are all eventually going to die or turn into Gastrea, but I consider it showing one’s humanity. One’s soul, that you can comfort someone born into a curse, and showing them an approximation of normalcy before that curse consumes them.
I think I think too much. ><;;
As for Kagetane’s appearance, I reckon it’s mostly to cover any loose treads while leaving the possibility for a new season. But leaving us satisfied if such plans do not come to fruition.