I apologize for the delay in my first impression of Black Rock Shooter: Dawn Fall. There’s a problem with my internet last week, and it was only recently got fixed, so I have no choice but to make this a double post with episode 2.
Black Rock Shooter: Dawn Fall, or I’ll just shortened it to Dawn Fall, has a premise that was familiar to me, who had played Black Rock Shooter the Game in PSP years ago. Similar with the Game, Dawn Fall took place in an apocalyptic Earth where humanoid robots called automation led by an A.I called Artemis, rebelled against humanity and laid waste to Earth. Pretty much the same with how in the Game, the Earth was laid to waste, only by aliens instead of robots. And just like the Game version of BRS, this BRS is the hope for all humanity to fight against the automations, but she suffered amnesia with the only memory she remembered was that she was from Lighthouse no. 8 and nothing more. And thus, this BRS, named Empress, became viewer proxy in finding out about the whole situation on Earth.
While Empress, being the main character, was enough to get my attention to know more, I was quite disappointed with the supporting characters so far. Mia and Norito were the typical protective brother and kind sister duo, and the Colonel was the typical stern military leader. Nothing special or note-worthy for their debut. Empress’ design was okay, though I do miss her signature black jacket. (^_^)
As for the antagonist, the automations did a good job in showing how ruthless they were, showing no pity whatsoever when one of automations killed humans whom they referred like objects that can be thrown away. Speaking about automations, I was dismayed to see this episode included more mature theme like sex robot, and it’s even more disgusting that the said robot has a terrible design with terrible CG and shown to kill the humans after he had sex with them, which made me cringed and wanna puke. Perhaps it’s to show how horrible the automations are, but I hope this won’t be a frequent thing because it really hurt my eyes.
As for the plot, while I know it’s important for the viewer to know what exactly happened, the massive info dump by the colonel felt flat. And the automations chosen to fight Empress to show how badass she is didn’t give that much of an impact that would make me say “WOW” like most of anime protagonists that I’ve watched did in their first battle. Perhaps it would’ve been better if Strength appeared earlier and served as her first opponent instead of some random automations.
Putting aside the CG of the character I mentioned above, the CGs in this episode overall was eye-catching. When it comes to CG mixed with 2D, it’s a hit or miss for me. Fortunately, I’m satisfied with the combination between the 2D animation and the CG sequences. Coupled with the action scenes, I gave two thumbs up, no doubt in the fighting choreography.
For the first episode, it’s a mixed bag to me. In terms of plot and pacing, it’s so-so, and in terms of CG and action scene, it’s cool.
The second episode continued the explanation that was interrupted in the previous episode. Firstly, the condition and situation of the Earth in the present time has pretty much made the environment where the human survivors were living as no different from law of nature: the strong eats the weak. And people now depends on batteries as currencies instead of money. Second, it’s revealed that Empress and Strength are part of Hemitheos Unit, a group of human girls who were modified into weapons of war to combat against Artemis and her automation armies. Empress was in fact, the supposed leader of this unit and widely known as Black Rock Shooter. Both Empress and Strength have both computer DNA and biological DNA inside them, making them humans but at the same time not completely.
However, as shown in the prologue of the series, Empress lost against Artemis and went missing. How Empress ended up inside the tank and suffered amnesia was still left in a mystery. And since Artemis herself defeated her, why didn’t she kill Empress? Was there a purpose for her to spare Empress? Or Empress somehow managed to get away from being killed?
The second episode also explained a bit more about the Colonel’s character. True to how he presented himself in the first episode, the Colonel would do any means necessary if it means winning against Artemis and her armies, willingly sacrificed or overlook civilian casualties, just like how he suggested abandoning Norito and Mia before. As I expected, he’s the “the cause justify the means” type of person and no one would willingly help others without wanting something in return. I couldn’t exactly blamed him for having that kind of mindset since Earth was a mess. And he at least still smart enough not to get on Empress’ bad side, knowing how important she is. Seeing the photo on his car, my guess would be he lost his wife and daughter, changing him into a man he is now. That said, yeah, I still don’t like him. Especially after everything he said, regardless if it was true or not.
After Norito, Mia, and the Colonel, the second episode introduced a hacker and engineer, Monica Kaburagi, who is interested in Empress since she’s a new type of android, so she wished to inspect her for the sake of her research. Yeah, can’t say I like her either, especially seeing that perverted face of hers when she expressed her wish to check Empress. I’ve seen many mechanic maniac type characters, but Monica was by far one that I don’t like.
Empress, while she couldn’t remember anything, she believed that the old her before she lost her memories would never abandon people like Norito and Mia, and for that reason, she was willing to help them. Strength, on the other hand, she’s the opposite of Empress. She did not see value in human lives the same way Empress did. She couldn’t help but hating Empress, not understanding herself why yet still saved her, but it was most likely related to what happened with the Lighthouse no. 8. Strength of this version was too loud to my liking. Does she really needed to say what she thought out loud like that? (I_I;)
Overall, while I don’t like the supporting characters so far, the mystery behind Empress and the premise still made me curious enough to continue watching for the next episode.
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