Not going to lie, the idea of a loli vanquishing giant monsters sounds awesome as hell, and I almost cheered when the loli of Black Bullet caused a giant spider to explode from just a single kick.It’s great because of how silly and asinine the whole concept is. The problem with Black Bullet though is that it actually takes itself seriously; not to mention everything else about the setting is dumb as hell, and the exposition itself is almost as bad too.
Black Bullet takes place in a Tokyo city devastated by the rise of a virus and monsters called “Gaestra.” Humanity’s last hope is the Initiators, children born from pregnant woman infected by the Gaestra virus and who have special powers because of it. Then there’s Promoters, who are people trained to keep these Initiators in line, which makes sense I guess since none of the Initiators are any older than ten years old. Oh, and the Initiators are only born as girls too, which means they’re all lolis.
So after the opening scene ten years prior, the story starts with Rentarou rushing to the scene of a Gaestra crime on his bicycle. His Initiator, Enju, fell off the bike, and he lies to the inspector that just himself will be enough to take care of the Gaestra. But knowing what the Initiator and Promoters are exactly, this doesn’t make any sense. Why would he just leave his Initiator behind when they’re like, vital to the job? Sure, Rentarou has some special bullets to help fight the Gaestra, but that’s nothing compared to those superpowers that Enju has. Hell, why didn’t he just stop his bicycle and wait for her to get back on in the first place? Pretty much defeats the purpose of the Initiator and Promoters when it’s just the Promoter.
Next is the titular “black bullets,” which are made out of a special metal called Varanium which prevents the Gaestra from regenerating. That’s cool and all, but why is it only the Promoters who are armed with such special bullets? Why not arm the police force with these bullets so they don’t have to completely rely on the Promoters to get the job done? There’s like twenty extremely huge monoliths of the stuff surrounding Tokyo, so we know it’s not too rare or anything. What’s worse is that Rentarou only has a few of these bullets loaded in his gun, so they barely even put a dent in the giant monster before Enju kicks the shit out of it. Geez, I guess being a babysitter is the only thing these Promoter’s are good for, huh?
These monsters are pretty silly too. It’s spread by some sort of infection, and when people transform into the monsters, they do so instantaneously. One second a dude is stumbling around half-death, the next he’s a giant spider tens times his size. Like, you can’t go from one size to another like that. To grow larger you have to consume nutrients and give your body more matter to add onto itself, and with that it’d be a gradual process. Here it’s like matter is coming out of nowhere. Muroto, the scientist lady, does give us an explanation of how they work, but it’s just a bunch of pseudo-scientific babble that I could barely pay attention to, and probably not worth looking into anyways.
The exchange between Enju and the infected man is more than a little odd. After quickly realizing he’s infected, she informs him sadly that there’s nothing she can do for him, and then just…waits for him to transform into the spider. She doesn’t even so much as flinch when the horrendous transformation takes place, showing us that she knew it would be sudden and instantaneous too. And she just continues to do nothing until the creatures spurts some white, sticky fluid onto her (remind you of anything?), and kicks her away. Uh, why didn’t she just kill the guy before he could transform? Why was she just standing there?
Now not only are these civil agents children (did I mention that Rentarou is only 16?), but the business they work for is ran by children too—that is, a teenage girl. Rentarou’s boss Kisara even wears a school uniform instead of a business suit. The fact that they’re even private business instead of a part of the government makes little sense. Sure, in real life stuff like private detectives aren’t uncommon, but it’s particularly odd here since the civil agents are supposed to be “humanity’s last hope.”
After getting scolded by his “boss” about not collecting payment from the police force (how the hell could Rentarou make a mistake like that?), he visits a scientist, Muroto, who shares her research about the Gaestra with our little hero here. Muroto acts pretty weird. She greets Rentarou by shoving a corpse into his face as a prank. Not a science model or anything, but an actual corpse. That’s pretty, uh, disrespectful towards the dead, not to mention creepy in a lot ways. And Rentarou just brushes it off as a dumb prank too. In between giving Rentarou some pseudo-scientific babble, she also teases him about his little harem, saying if he likes Kisara so much, “you should just make her yours by force.” To which Rentarou just responds that Kisara would kill him if he tried anything like that on her; no mention or anything about how rape is bad. Hey, plenty geniuses throughout history have been known to act rather eccentrically, but this is a bit much.
Lastly is the most annoying part about Black Bullet: Enju’s relationship with Rentarou. Throughout the episode Enju makes remarks about how she’s Rentarou’s husband and soulmate, which is more than a little creepy considering that she’s literally a ten year old. But it gets worse. Towards the end of the episode as they eat dinner, while half-naked after taking a bath, Enju asks Rentarou if he wants to “do that thing,” and than a bit later says “there’s only one thing left to do” while outstretching her arms. Basically, she’s trying to seduce Rentarou. She’s trying to get Rentarou to have sex with her, and considering her age might not fully understand what sex even is.
And then the next morning Enju scolds Rentarou for “passing up such an offer from a lady,” and you know what Rentarou responds with? “Ladies are modest and prudent. Not to mention that you’re as flat as board.” That’s just…not okay. As her guardian—he may only be 16, but he’s still her caretaker—he should be explaining to Enju why this behavior is completely inappropriate, and that it would only be bad for her if he were to comply to her advances. But instead he says the only reason he wouldn’t bang her is because of her lack of breasts. And it’s especially bad since it paints Enju as the nuisance here, when it’s really Rentarou’s responsibility to educate her about these things.
So, Pros about Black Bullet: It has a loli beating up a giant spider.
Cons: Everything else.