Friday, December 19, 2014

Anime Review: Black Bullet Has a Debilitating Lolita Complex

Anime Review

Black Bullet

In the not-so-distant future, a race of giant, zombie-like parasites invades mankind and wipes out most of humanity. Thankfully, the remaining humans find that the parasites dislike a specific metal called Varanium, and use it to both surrounded their town and make weapons... like the Black Bullet.

Black Bullet kind of feels like if Attack on Titan met Alien. Or, it might if it would back off a rather disturbing lolita complex. Rentaro, who suffers through the terrors of the first parasitic attack and becomes part of a resistance movement, fights parasites with his partner Anju. Anju is part of a race of creatures that contain the DNA of the parasites but are somehow immune to turning into giant slimy bug monsters, and suffer from some heavy racism by regular humans.

A few episodes in, it was clear that Anju is the real star of the show. She's got the most backstory and an interesting blend of still being a child and having grown up too quickly. Oh, and she has a crush on her partner, who is either 6 or 13 years older than her depending on what part of the script you ask.

The dynamic between Anju and Rentaro has the chance to be really adorable. Rentaro has a sort of a fatherly complex towards Anju and is frustrated by the hardship the young girl faces. Anju, having presumably never treated nicely by anyone before Rentaro, has a childish crush on him.

Except... it's not so childish. And that's Black Bullet's biggest problem. In the very first episode, Anju makes two attempts to get Rentaro to sleep with her.

Yeaaaah.... that's not creepy at all.

It's rare for me to write off an entire show because of one aspect I dislike, but Black Bullet's treatment of its prepubescent secondary protagonist is too messed up for this critic. This is a shame, because the show has a lot of positive qualities like an interesting world and great pacing. It's one thing to have a character look young. It'd be another thing if Anju's mature behavior was frowned upon and shown as a sad sign of how quickly the cursed children had to grow up. It's another to feature a 10-year old girl in a show's promotional magazine spreads posed suggestively.

Just... ew.


Black Bullet is available to watch for free on Crunchyroll.

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