The body of Strength contains the mind of the young Yuu. The other world was created as a emotionless plain to bear the pain of girls. Strength learns emotions after coming into contact with the “real” self; and Yuu trades places with Strength. Insane Black Rock Shooter has a hard time keeping up with the twisted mind of Yuu- and in this battle, is there really a winner?
Most of the episode was taken up with the battle between Black★Rock Shooter and what appears to be “Strength.” But in a strange twist, it turns out Strength is actually the one on the outside, and the one fighting BRS is actually Yuu. That would explain the lack of shadow on “Yuu’s body” in real life- it’s because she withdrew from reality to protect herself from the pain, and in the process, refused to grow up. It’s really sad the Yuu suffered so much for no good reason and had to become like this. I felt this was an appropriate twist for so short a show, and it neatly explains the existence of the other selves.
Insane Black★Rock Shooter takes something of a backseat in comparison to the continued explanation of Strength’s back story in the world without emotions. The dramatic change of having “emotions” invade into the monochrome world is the effect of “growing” and “learning.” In this process, the is loss and gain, but the overwhelming issue is whether or not it was better to not become aware of what one was missing in the first place. This repeating cycle, starting with Takanashi, Kagari, Kohata, Kuroi, and finally Yuu- they all became aware of something that they were not aware they could have. Takanashi never craved friendship, so she never got hurt until she realized what she was missing; Chariot/Kagari awoke from relying on one friend, and became agitated when the only form of support was about to be removed; Kohata became aware of the first taste of hatsu-koi, and paid very dearly with it through humiliation from classmates and the boy she liked; Kuroi…it’s hard to tell with her. On one hand, she takes on the pain of others, but where does the overwhelming pain from Kuroi go, if she’s bearing everyone else’s pain as well?
On forgetting- I felt that concluding theme of this episode that “forgetting” is not the right way to deal with “life,” “friendships” or “hardships.” Sure, you’re shielded from the pain, like the way that the old shadow selves don’t care if they live or die…but what do you learn? What I mean to say in all this is that BRS opens up a whole slew of topics and ideas that you never recognized in the first place as possible. You can’t help getting sucked into the the story of Strength/Yuu, and wonder what is going to happen to Kuroi/BRS. Hopefully not anything too bad? >__<
The crazy idea behind this show has expanded so much beyond pretty designs into a well-thought out, thoroughly explored, slice-of-life, coming-of-age show for any age. It might be too violent for some younger audiences, but the friendship, life, growing them is something that every single one of us can identify with. I’m sure people will say that there isn’t a whole lot of humour in this show, or that they take the theme of human relationships too seriously, but it works, coming together into a gorgeously sweet 8-episode anime.
I can’t wait to see what the studio has planned for the final episode. KITTAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! (人´∀`)☆゜’・:*