Black Bullet Episode 7 Review: The Power to Protect and Just Enough for a Spit-Take
In Black Bullet Episode 7, "In the Still of the Moonlit Night, the Dawn Sky," Rentarou Satomi discovers to his immense relief that Enju Aihara is still alive, and it seems that Tina Sprout intentionally spared her. But Lady Seitenshi still plans to meet a rival leader, so Rentarou's job isn't finished. How can a Promoter like him go up against a level 98 Initiator like Tina -- alone? Will Doctor Sumire Muroto even let him? Or will her attempt to stop him have another effect?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
What's in This Post
Interested in the OP? You can buy it from CD Japan!
3 Favorite Moments
You know how sometimes heroes charge into a situation, thoughtless of their own safety, trusting their strength to get them through -- without stopping to think about it? Those heroes aren't my cup of tea (My Hero Academia excepted, of course!). There's no drama in choice that wasn't the result of reflection. Sure, watching those kinds of charges or last ditch defenses is exciting, but for me, it lacks depth. The considered choice is what's important. It's why one of my favorites quotes from Tolkien's The Two Towers deals with that choice: Samwise said, "I used to think that they (adventures) were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t." The quote's from the book (page 362 around location 6290 in the Kindle edition), not the movie. In this episode, Rentarou wrestled with the question of whether he should try to continue to protect Lady Seitenshi. He was painfully aware that Tina was immensely stronger than he was. Yet, he felt the responsibility of keeping the head of the Tokyo Region safe. That's why Rentarou's choice (4:24) felt so satisfying. In spite of the well-considered danger, in spite of the odds, he still decided to move forward. That's the kind of drama that sticks with me!
Remember in my second favorite moment from the previous episode, when i said how much I enjoy the relationship between Rentarou and Doctor Sumire? Well, this episode gave us another great moment between the two. Rentarou's talking about how he still feels compelled to go after Tina despite the odds. Sumire indirectly says she's afraid for his safety by saying (in the sub) that she has realized, "...your growth is my soul's salvation. It's through somebody like you that I stay connected to this world" (6:23). That's pretty deep! Also in the sub, Rentarou answered, "You don't play fair, Doc" (6:34). He realizes she's trying to hold him back, even if it's for his own safety, and she's using heavy emotional artillery to do it! I like the sub in this case a lot better, because in the dub, Sumire said, "When you grow, it saves my soul just a little bit more. If it wasn't for you, I'd probably end up completely disconnected from reality." His answer? "Yeah, play with my head some more." Though I enjoyed the moment in both versions, I thought the sub had a more dramatic impact. They have the kind of mature, stable relationship that I really enjoy seeing!
Please don't misunderstand why I picked this scene for my third favorite moment. It's not that I like to see little girls physically beaten. It's not that I like to see the Cursed Children subjected to more pain. But when his flash grenade finally went off and blinded Tina (who is, after all, an Owl type), I had to cheer when Rentarou grasped the chance to defeat her (16:35). He took a little longer to get started than I would have liked, because he had to do the dramatic speech thing. Though I admit that it was pleasant enough, it was a little unrealistic and would have given Tina time to reorient herself. But after he attacked, he didn't relent until she was defeated -- including landing a blow that drove her downward through three or fore stories of concrete floors! Of course, Rentarou being Rentarou, he princess-carried her out of the building and got her to accept responsibility for what she'd done to date. Out of respect for this moment, I'm going to ignore the unpleasantness that happened next...
Good sound editing this time around (again)! I particularly enjoyed the sound the Shenfield drones made when they got shot down and slammed into a desk or something. They sounded very, very solid!
I loved this episode's ending. Rentarou sparing Tina because she'd saved Enju made perfect sense to me. Of course he would try to save Tina! When I first watched this episode, though, I wondered why Enju and Kisara Tendou would so readily accept Tina. Hadn't Tina put Enju in the hospital, even if she could have killed her and didn't? Hadn't she tried to kill Kisara -- destroying her office in the process?
It dawned on me sometime afterward (yes, I'm slow on the uptake at times --thanks for pretending to be surprised at that!) that Enju would have understood the effects of an abusive master or Promoter (in particular) and society's poor treatment of the Cursed Children (in general). She's personally witnessed more than her share of both (though thankfully, her experience with Rentarou is much happier)! Tina's plight would have been something Enju would understood too well. Beside, Enju is such a kind soul that it seems forgiveness comes naturally to her. Remember the pity in her voice back in episode 1 when she spoke to the man who didn't realize he was about to become a Gastrea? She shouldn't have to handle those kind of emotions at her age...
But that still leaves Kisara. Why would she so easily forgive Tina? It's not just for Rentarou's sake, though I suspect her affection for him inclines her to accept the causes he fights for. I think it's because Kisara, too, understands not only the worth, but the innate humanity of the Cursed Children. I think the answer's just that simple: through her relationship with Enju, she understands Tina's plight and is more than happy to take her in.
I think the added benefits of such a powerful Initiator being in Kisara's agency is just a happy bonus!
By the way, I love this show's use of humor. Do you remember when Tina offered Rentarou a glass of water? Seemingly unaware it was Tina offering it, he accepted it. I again startled my cat when Rentarou drank just enough of the water to do a credible spit-take. That humor would not have worked during one of the earlier scenes, but it fit perfectly here.
What do you think of this show's humor? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit Discussion of Black Bullet Episode 7
- Little Cloud Curiosity: Black Bullet Episode 7 Review
- Angry Anime Bitches: Black Bullet ep 7: The Meaning of My Life
This Site (Crow's World of Anime!)
- Black Bullet Episode 1: The Last Hope
- Black Bullet Episode 2: The Mask of Madness
- Black Bullet Episode 3: The Children of Fate
- Black Bullet Episode 4: Black Bullet
- Black Bullet Episode 5: The Crimson Black Assassin
- Black Bullet Episode 6: Tragic Irony
- Black Bullet Episode 8: The Monument on the Border
- Black Bullet Episode 9: The Protectors of the Barrier
- Black Bullet Episode 10: Tokyo Area Defensive Battle
- Black Bullet Episode 11: The Heart of Taurus, the Spear of Light
- Black Bullet Episode 12: Crisis Point
- Black Bullet Episode 13: The Ones Who Aspired to be Gods