Black Bullet Episode 12 Review: The Fall of Pleiades and the Shot That Kindness Wrought

September 17, 2018

Quick Summary

In Black Bullet Episode 12, "Crisis Point," Rentarou Satomi teams up with a surprising partner -- Kagetane Hiruko -- to challenge Pleiades. If they can't defeat that Gastrea, then their forces stand no chance. As augmented as they are, even the two of them fighting together found it no easy task -- yet they prevailed. Unfortunately, Aldebaran saw an opportunity and struck the CivSec teams at the same time. So many CivSec members were killed that Rentarou ended up in command. Can he rally the troops before the next assault? Or will their fear, along with their distrust of Kagetane, doom the Tokyo Area? 

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious. 

What's in This Post

Do you like the OP? You can buy it from CD Japan:

3 Favorite Moments

Enju was overjoyed when Rentarou came back alive from killing Pleiades. She emphasized that joy by biting his injured shoulder! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Moment 1

In the last episode, Rentarou couldn't tell Enju Aihara that Nagamasa Gadou had ordered him to go kill Pleiades -- alone -- because he knew she'd just try to follow him. Even worse, she'd likely tell the rest of the team! So he sneaked away without telling anyone, and only Kisara Tendou knew he had gone. After he and Kagetane killed Pleiades, Rentarou made his way back to camp. Enju had been so worried that she first hurled herself into his arms, and for a moment, they stood there, her feet dangling about half a meter above the ground (6:24). Even as he was apologizing, Enju (being Enju) sunk her teeth into his shoulder as punishment. I thought it was a touching moment, and I think Rentarou needs to do a better job of not making her worry. Somehow, I doubt it'll work out that way!

Kohina is one scary little Cursed Child! I hope Rentarou and keep her and Kagetane focused on killing Gastrea instead of CivSec agents! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Moment 2

It was a pretty tense scene: Soon after Kisara told Rentarou that he had inherited command following Gadou's death, he heard a commotion. And what did he find? Kagetane and his Initiator, Kohina Hiruko, surrounded by a bunch of angry CivSec agents. Those agents remembered Kagetane as an enemy, and they were itching to attack him. The situation escalated until Kohina begged her Promoter to let her kill them (8:09). His answer in the sub was funny (horrifying?) enough when he said, "You may kill half of them." Jack Hickman, the English voice actor, was even more amusing (and chilling!) when he answered, "Half. Leave the useful ones!" I have no doubt the two of them could have done it! Fortunately for the CivSec agents, Rentarou stepped in and redirected their energies. Still, it's nice to have Kagetane and his Initiator back. Their refined villainy is really refreshing after Gadou's bureaucratic evil! 

Kagetane was right about what had to happen next for Midori. The rest of the team just found his callous and cold prevision objectionable. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Moment 3

Since we saw Kagetane again in the last episode, I've been wondering why he helped Rentarou -- to the point of dressing his wounds and, in this episode, helping him kill Pleiades. Black Bullet sometimes skimps on character backstory development, so characters like Gadou often come across as heavy-handed or only partially defined. I never got that sense with Kagetane, so I hoped the show would clue us in on his motivation. Well, the show rewarded my hopes during one of the show's more sad moments. Midori Fuse had been injured in the last attack, and the Gastrea virus saturation in her blood was over the limit. Rentarou's entire team knew it was only a matter of time before she would turn into a Gastrea, but they all hesitated at the implication. Not Kagetane. He basically told Rentarou and his entire team (9:19) that they knew what needed to be done. Rentarou just needed to do it. Before anyone could object, Kagetane added, "Remember that little fight we had regarding who was right about how the world works? You beat me. You wanted this world, m'boy. Now go do your thing and make it work." According to his personal morality, he'd lost to Rentarou. That must mean Rentarou's world view was superior. I almost believed that Kagetane was rooting for Rentarou's alternative view. It had to be preferable to the world of despair he'd just inhabited. Fascinating character...

Thoughts

Wow. There's a ton more cussing in the sub compared to the dub -- and Rentarou's doing most of it! I certainly don't blame him, given what he's gone through. It doesn't bother me, either, though I am curious why the sub felt it necessary to add that aspect...

Kagetane reminded us of his military background when he bluntly said they needed to kill Midori before she turned into a Gastrea. His tone may have offended the rest of the team, and it may have stung Rentarou (who had undoubtedly already come to the same conclusion). But in the end, he right based on the sequence of events. This pragmatism probably helped him build the fatalistic world view that came into conflict with Rentarou's. It was probably based not only only his own strength, but also on his observations of the corruption spread through the whole social structure.

Midori is the anti-thesis of Kagetane. She saw the same world he did, but she focused on different aspects and so came to a completely different conclusion. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

What his view didn't include, though, was the perspective of someone like Midori. She was one of the "lucky" Cursed Children who had a supportive Promoter. As she lay in bed on the verge of death, she confided in Rentarou that because of her ears (her way of referring to her nature as a Cursed Child), no one had ever wanted her. Not even her mother (10:20). But now, her Promoter Shouma Nagisawa and the rest of the team actually needed her because of her nature. Rentarou didn't realize it yet, but she knew she was on her death bed. She knew what happened to the Cursed Children in her condition, but she was happy. She was among people who needed her and who loved her. She had resigned herself to her fate and instead of despairing, she chose to reflect on her blessings. 

In fact, she had come to peace with her decision to relieve Shouma and Rentarou of the necessity of killing her. She felt so loved, and she felt so much love in return, that she made such a decision. That's why that in death, she wore a peaceful smile. 

Midori's peaceful smile was an indication of how much she had loved her friends -- and how much she had felt their love in return. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Kagetane was fighting the right battle. It could be that Rentarou's view is too optimistic. In either case, Midori reminds all of us that at the center of this conflict are very human hearts that want exactly what most humans want: to belong and to be loved. This is the ultimate argument against the mindset I lamented in my review of episode 10 (in the Thoughts section). 

Midori's a much more hopeful perspective, even if, as in this episode, it was so tragic. 

What did you think of Midori's decision? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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