Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Burakku Rokku Shūtā [Black Rock Shooter]

Black★Rock Shooter (ブラック★ロックシューター Burakku Rokku Shūtā?) is a Japanesemedia franchise based on characters created by illustrator Ryohei "Huke" Fuke. It revolves around its eponymous character, a mysterious black haired girl with a blazing blue eye. The original illustration inspired a song of the same name by Supercell, which gained popularity on the Nico Nico Douga website. A 50-minute original video animation based on the franchise was produced by Yutaka Yamamoto's studio Ordet, written by Nagaru Tanigawa and Shinobu Yoshioka, and directed by Shinobu Yoshioka. A "Pilot Edition" was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in September 2009, before the full version was released on DVDs bundled with select magazines from July 24, 2010, subtitled in seven languages, followed by a retail release on December 17, 2010. An eight-episode television anime series aired on Fuji TV's Noitaminaprogramming block between February 3 and March 23, 2012. The franchise has also spawned two manga series and a PlayStation Portable video game, each set in their own universe.

Plot and characters

While each piece of media takes place in its own universe, they each focus around Black Rock Shooter, a mysterious black haired girl who possesses a burning blue eye and a powerful cannon that can shoot rocks at high speed.

The OVA focuses on a girl named Mato Kuroi, who befriends another girl, Yomi Takanashi, upon entering school. As the two start to drift apart, with Yomi becoming jealous of Mato's friendship with Yuu Kotari, Yomi suddenly disappears. As Mato searches for her, she is taken to a strange world where she meets the mysterious Black Rock Shooter, who merges with her and helps her search for Yomi, fighting off the evil Dead Master who possessed her.

The television series retells the story of Mato and Yomi's meeting, as they deal with rivals, along with its effect on the other world where Black Rock Shooter fights.

The manga series, Black Rock Shooter: Innocent Soul, follows Black Rock Shooter and her serpent partner, Ron, as they venture Hazama, a world between Heaven and Earth where stagnant souls that have had regrets become trapped. Left alone, these souls can become demons that can pull in other souls, so it is up to Rock to stop them so they may ascend to heaven.

In the video game, which takes place in the year 2051, Black Rock Shooter is awoken from slumber and enters a futuristic battlefield while trying to remember her past.


Produced by Yutaka Yamamoto's studio Ordet and directed by Shinobu Yoshioka, an original video animation (OVA) project based on "Black Rock Shooter" and its music video was announced on August 22, 2009.[6] The screenplay was written by Nagaru Tanigawa and Shinobu Yoshioka, and character design was done by Yuusuke Matsuo. The music was composed by Ryo and the ending theme song is "Braveheart" performed by The Gomband.[7]

A "Pilot Edition" of the anime was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc (BD) on September 30, 2009 by Good Smile Company.[6] The pilot contains three short animated videos showing the same scenes from the anime while playing different versions of the song "Black Rock Shooter", much like in anime music videos. The first video uses the instrumental track from the original version of "Black Rock Shooter", the second video uses the "2M Mix" remix of the song with vocals using Hatsune Miku Append, and the third video uses the instrumental version of the "2M Mix". The DVD/BD also came bundled with an image booklet and a CD containing the vocal and instrumental versions of the "2M Mix".[8]

The full 50-minute version of Black Rock Shooter is subtitled in seven languages,[9] and was released as a free DVD bundled with Hobby Japan magazine on July 24, 2010. The OVA also came with Gakken's Megami Magazine on July 30, 2010, Animedia magazine on August 10, 2010,[10] and is also packaged with Figma and Nendoroid Black Rock Shooter figurines. A retail version was released on December 17, 2010 in special (BD+DVD) and regular (BD) editions. Both editions feature a 30-second test short stop motion video as a bonus featuring a remix of "Black Rock Shooter" by Joe Hahn, the DJ of Linkin Park, as well as its making-of video.[11]

An eight-episode television anime series of Black Rock Shooter,[12][13] also produced by Ordet with CG production by Sangizen, aired onFuji TV's noitaminA slot between February 3 and March 23, 2012, and was being streamed in eight languages a day after its initial broadcast.[14] The series is directed by Shinobu Yoshioka, with the script written by Mari Okada, animation direction and character design by Yusuke Yoshigaki and CG battle direction by Hiroyuki Imaishi.[15] The series will be released on DVD and BD on June 22, 2012 in a box set containing the original soundtrack and an Insane Black Rock Shooter Figma figurine.[16] The opening theme is "Black Rock Shooter" (ブラック★ロックシューダー Burakku Rokku Shūtā?) by Supercell sung by Hatsune Miku, while the ending theme music is "Bokura no Ashiato"(僕らのあしあと Our Footsteps?) by Supercell sung by Koeda.[17]


A four-panel comic strip manga titled Black Rock-chan (ぶらっくろっくちゃん Burakku Rokku-chan?), illustrated by Ringo, began serialization in the April 2011 issue of Kadokawa Shoten's 4-Koma Nano Ace magazine, sold on March 9, 2011. The series features super-deformed versions of Black Rock Shooter and Dead Master, respectively named Rock-chan and De-chan.[26] Another manga by Sanami Suzuki, titled Black Rock Shooter: Innocent Soul (ブラック★ロックシューター -イノセントソウル- Burakku Rokku Shūtā: Inosento Souru?) began serialization in the July 2011 issue of Kadokawa Shoten's Young Ace magazine, sold on June 4, 2011.[27] A manga illustrated by TNSK titled Black Rock Shooter: The Game based on the video game of the same name began serialization in the September 2011 issue of Kadokawa Shoten's Comptiq.[28]