Black Bullet, Ep 2: Loli’s face social descrimination

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Truly the civil rights case of our time.

• Last week some people thought that the anime had changed Rentarou’s age from 16 to 24. I don’t know what gave anyone that idea, but here we clearly see him sleeping at his desk within a highschool.

• It’s funny how a lot of the other civil officers wear even goofier costumes than Rentarou. I mean Jesus, here we’ve got a big ol’ body builder wearing a total thug outfit, who headbutts Rentarou for no reason but to establish dominance, and nearly draws a sword on him. These are the sort of people that are being entrusted with little girl mutants, apparently. Though interestingly enough the guys calls his Initiator a “tool,” albeit a bit of a hammy attempt to make him seem evil.

• So civil officers have “IP points” and rankings with one another; sword-weilding thug Shogen being within the top 1500s, and Rentarou and Enju being as low as in the 120,000s. Uh, what’s monster slaying supposed to be, some sort of sport in this world? That doesn’t make sense. It’s not like we have a point and ranking system for law enforcers or private detectives in real life.

• The head of the Ministry of Defense explains to all the civil officers that “Once you have been explained the job, you may not decline,” waits a few seconds in silence, and then carries on. Well, of course no ones going to decline to that. Maybe you should explain whatever dangers the job has, or why it’s so confidential? And the job in question turns out to be a simple retrieval of a case and the extermination of a certain Gastrea-infected individual. That’s it, no other details about mission. Well, I don’t see any reason why it’s so confidential to begin with. Though as Kisara speculates, there must be something more to this job then just that if they’re hiring all these top-class civil officers.

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• The adoptive father of Rentarou is Kikunojou, the adviser to the ruler of Tokyo, Seitenshi. Interesting dynamic there I guess. Apparently Tokyo also has a “ruler” too. Given the circumstances I guess it’d make sense for them to go under martial law.

• Suddenly, the creepy mask dude Kagetane appears out of nowhere, and announces that he will be joining in on this little hunt himself; along with his daughter and Initiator. Silliness aside, I actually kind of like how this character presents us a wild card to the narrative, in that there’s no telling how magical he is, what connections he has, and how his abilities will affect the story. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding the guy, in other words. Not that I have high hopes for what this character will bring to the story; I’m just pointing out that it’s a nice way to mix up this already pretty asinine setting.

• Haha, Shogen’s loli Initiator catches his huge sword after it gets deflected by Kagetane’s barrier.

• So the guy isn’t some wizard or anything, but someone who’s replaced their organs with various Varanium instruments; allowing him to create a “repulsion field” to block bullets. Wow! Is there anything that the pseudo-science of Varanium can’t do?

• >Wagers the life of everyone in the room over whether any of them can find the treasure before he can.
>Shoots everyone in the room anyways.

Geez, Kagetane is such a dick.

• I get why they would want to keep it confidential exactly why the contents of the case are so important; as it turns out they have the ability to somehow destroy all those Varanium monoliths, but again, why not give some explanation and stress how important the contents of the case are in the first place? Why only explain this after Kagetane shows up and messes with everyone?

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• Whilst walking through the shopping arcade, Rentarou and Enju runs into a “cursed child” being chased by some shop owners after attempting to steal things. It might not make sense why the cursed children are so scorned when they’re also supposed to be humanity’s “last hope,” but what’s interesting here is the shock that Enju and Rentarou receives upon seeing what a sorry state this less fortunate kid is in.

Thinking about it, the cursed children really do have it rough. It’s a bit of an all or nothing situation where quite a lot are left to rot in the city limits amongst the poor, creepily on-looking amidst some waves, while those who are lucky get to be humanity’s saviors with a solid chance at wealth and fame. But even their job as Inititiators isn’t that great of an alternative.

For one, it’s essentially child labor, and you’re putting the lives of these children at risk by having them fight these huge monsters. That’s could be a nessacary evil since they’re humanity’s last hope and so on, but like I was saying with Knights of Sidonia, a necessary evil is still an evil. And like we’ve seen with Shogen’s behavior, not all of the Initiators have such an upstanding Promoter like Rentarou. Some see the Initiators as just tools to use to fight the monsters and earn money and IP points. And as we see later in the episode, it’s unusual for an Initiator to be put into school on the side of their job. So if you happen to be born a cursed child, you’re given a choice between severe poverty or becoming a child soldier, and either way you’ll be treated as subhuman.

So hey, both and Enju and Rentarou are getting some wake-up calls about just how bad the situation is for the cursed children. Sure, Rentarou knew of all this to some extent beforehand, but just knowing about is one thing, and actually seeing for yourself a starving kid get dragged off by police is whole other thing. What’s worse is that these police just take the kid to an abandoned building and shoot her brains out; really drives homes the point how bad these cursed children have it.

• “Long ago in District 39…” Enju, you’re only 10. It couldn’t have been that long ago.

• Hahaha, he just takes someone’s moped!

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• While walking home at night from the clinic, Rentarou is confronted by Kagetane, and offered to join him in bringing about the “Mass Extinction.” See? This guy is a total wild card. Dunno what to think about the Mass Extinction yet since it’s barely been mentioned yet, though the idea of these lolis being the next step in humanity’s evolution already sounds pretty silly. Especially since it’s all girls, so it wouldn’t really make sense how they’d continue the human race. Unless maybe Kagetane and Rentarou propagate the human race all by themselves.

• Utter social alienation because of her status as a cursed child… And oh no, Enju runs away!

• It’s funny how some people think that the little flashback of Rentarou and Enju’s first year together explains why the latter holds romantic feelings for Rentarou. It’s still bad for her to have such feelings for an older man—especially if Rentarou isn’t properly explaining these things to her.

 

Thoughts:

Well, that was surprisingly alright compared to the first episode. There’s still a lot of things about the plot and setting that are dumb, but I quite liked how this episode dealt with the issue of discrimination against the Cursed Children. Again, the fact that humanity’s last hope is treated so poorly is rather questionable, but Black Bullet is working well with that premise.

The mystery and suspense revolving around Kagetane and the case leaves me a little intrigued, though I’m still hesitant to hope for much from this show. We’ll see if Black Bullet can keep up the increase in quality.

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8 Responses to Black Bullet, Ep 2: Loli’s face social descrimination

  1. Cytrus says:

    I’m not sure why you’re surprised at timebomb zombies being discriminated against. It might be worth looking into discrimination cases against people infected with various diseases happening right now, in the developed and peaceful countries of our world.

    • Well, as I’ve said before, it seems particularly odd because the curse children are presented as humanity’s last hope. I get why they would be treated as subhumans, but I figure people would have more respect for the kids that are protecting them from the Gaestra. So in that regard I don’t think it’s exactly comparable to real life cases of discrimination against diseased people.

      And if people are worried about them being timebomb zombies, I’m sure there are better ways for the government to deal with that instead of just leaving the non-Initiators to rot in poverty.

      (edit:) I mean, I like how Black Bullet dealt with all the loli discrimination this episode. It wasn’t the most profound depiction of discrimination by any stretch of the imagination, but it wasn’t bad either. It, however, takes some suspension of disbelief with the setting for me to really care about it.

      • Cytrus says:

        We can see this stuff objectively because we’re not directly involved. Logic says there are better ways to handle this. Fear says that the 10 year old could snap your neck or turn into a huge spider anytime. And fear >>> logic, especially when we talk about the masses, rather than informed individuals. Burning and stoning witches to stop epidemics was utterly retarded, but everyone went along at one time… I don’t think we’re that different right now.

        Most of the public probably doesn’t realize how much they owe to those kids. But I do wonder how many of the promoters have a working relationship with their initiator. People get attached to pets, cars and computers alike, so I would assume even those who view the kids as tools would gain a degree of respect for them after a time, especially since the 10-year-old is often the only thing standing between you and the huge nasty thing trying to eat you.

      • I have to agree with you with how fear often triumphs over logic in these sort of situations; can’t argue there. Maybe the public really is just ignorant of how important the cursed children are.

        Yeah, I have to wonder how many people have a relationship with their Initiators as well. As it stands we only know what’s it like for Rentarou and Shogen.

  2. Overlord-G says:

    Aoi Yuuki voices a psycho loli…that’s all I need.

  3. melody says:

    if rentaro can have a love interest in Kisara why can’t Enju find love with a boy her own age

  4. melody says:

    it would be a nice change of pace grade school romances is something I wish anime would start doing again

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