Series: Black Bullet
Series review by 恋愛_ing
Genre: action, dystopian, crime (pedophilia being one, of course), harem, sci-fi
(Extended) Background rambling
Black Bullet is my favorite series.
Huh? Favorite, as in what sense?
Favorite to translate of course, I do like how it psychologically tortures the readers.
As I did mention in the previous review, I have a personal one-sided vendetta against lolis. Why?You ask? Because I gain satisfaction from see how emotionally wrecked readers ar that it feels like I am mutilating them.
Black Bullet…well, it is like a bully tormenting a kid by going ‘ah, here’s a lol(l)i(pop)’, reach it out to the kid, and then pulling it back before crunching it in the mouth.
I guess that’s why it’s my favorite; it’s basically kicking the readers when they’re down.
To quote a certain reader of the Hikaru series:
“I don’t know if I like or hate this series, ugh.”
And so, I decided to pick a series that will definitely torment the readers. This one, that is.
Knowing our (lolicon) readers, they will be more interested in the fates of the lolis than the fate of Tokyo.
^This will happen a lot. Don’t worry. I’ll make sure of it.^
Year 2021, humanity was ravaged by the Gastrea, a parasitic virus that mutates the genetic codes of any organic lifeform it infects. The only counter to it is the Varanium metal, one able to subdue Gastrea by emitting a magnetic field that weakens the virus and ultimately overpower it, killiing the Gastrea. To protect themselves, humanity built the Monoliths out of Varanium, shielding themselves in their cities
It’s the year 2031, and there are 240,000 officially recognized Promoters-Initiator pairs. The Promoters are the caretakers of the Initiators, lolis who were infected in the blood by the Gastrea virus from 10 years ago.
Of course, given that there are 240,000 officially recognized Promoters, that means there are 240,000 officially recognized lolicons.
This story focuses on one such Promoter called Rentaro Satomi. Back when I was translating this, I was eschewing the honorifics like Satomi-kun and such, so I had a lot of fun just changing the names to Rentaron (for the slurred speech by Tina), or Satomin (for Satomi-chan). He is employed by his crush, Kisara Tendo (who refuses to be associated with the Tenjos, even though her self startup company is called the ‘Tendo Civil Security’) Partnered with him is the main loli Enju Aihara, a kind-hearted girl and a Model Rabbit Initiator, with the corresponding abilities, thus making her mostly a kick-fighter.
On a more serious note, this show is a dystopian society with lots of Pride and Prejudice, philosophical differences, and looks more into the darker social aspects of humanity as a whole.
Rentaro Satomi (里見 蓮太郎 Satomi Rentarō )
目覚め行く 世界へ今 舞い上がれ 強く高く
Rentaro, our always-suffering protagonist. Just when you think he’ll get a happy moment for a while, the volume always ends with the corrosion percentage in Enju’s body.
^Yep, suffering alright. Shall I call in the FFF?^
Honestly, the story can be summarized as ‘how much suffering can our cynical yet hopeful protagonist endure’. The author has noted before that he wanted to create a Kiritsugu-like protagonist for this story, but the story doesn’t fit…I’m guessing it doesn’t fit his desire to cause much suffering to the protagonists. In that case, I agree with that; you can’t break something that’s already broken. He would rather be the broken one himself than have others suffer.
Now, having said that, while Rentaro may be considered unscrupulous when necessary, he would rather stick to his ideals even though he is already very jaded. I am looking forward to see what will happen when he finally snaps though. Will he go Jack Bauer in Season 8 or something? Tune in for more.
Enju Aihara (藍原 延珠 Aihara Enju )
Ah yes, our all-loving loli.
Her fighting style will definitely lead to lots of upskirt moments…and that’s what the lolicons want. (more reasons to mutilate them, I guess)
Now having said that, Enju is the morality pet to Rentaro, while Rentaro plays the part of the good big brother to her, though she obviously wishes for more than that. Before her backstory in volume 7, you’ll probably think of her as being someone completely carefree after being partnered with Rentaro, forgiving to a fault, and the most idealistic of everyone in the story. To be honest, that sort of characterisation was too plain for me, since humans do have differing emotions at various, so I was pleased to have that backstory of hers. I would say that the novel doesn’t show Enju as someone to break down crying all the time, compared to the manga and anime, but I can’t say that I have much opinion on this.
Kisara Tendo (天童 木更 Tendō Kisara )
The one Rentaro loves romantically, but I do suspect that the author does not plan to use a ‘love redeems’ card.
She’s basically a contrast to Enju in that she’s a sword fighter (which uses hands of course), is very cynical, out for blood, and has big breasts. Wait, what?
At this point, Kisara is conflicted between her love for Rentaro and her vengeance. While both sides have mutally agreed that they will not try to influence each other, knowing the author, I do expect both sides to be fighting each other. And I’m looking forward to it.
Speaking of which, I do like how the story actually includes a dialysis patient, though this time, the patient isn’t here for the usual reasons. Too many times in fiction have I seen people take in too much sugary stuff and yet not have any comeuppance.
To quote a certain G-san:
Listen up! Let’s say you drink too much strawberry milk, and have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, but it’s cold outside your bed. You don’t want to get up, but the urge to urinate is just too strong! You make up your mind to go! You run to the bathroom, stand in front of the toilet, and let loose! You think that all your life has led to this moment! But then you realize. It isn’t the bathroom! You’re still in bed! That feeling of lukewarm wetness spreads like wildfire! But you don’t stop! You can’t stop! That’s what I’m talking about! That’s the truth of the strawberry milk! Do you get it?
Then again, it’s fiction, I should take things more seriously.
To be honest, while the setting can be considered rather promising, I do lament that at times, the author is looking to torment our protagonists rather than focus on the plot developments. It’s basically trying to fit a slice of life into an action series, except that there is too much of it compared to what it feels like.
A lot of people have compared it to Attack of Titan, given the siege theme, the doomsday moments for humanity, and other stuff, and this was obvious when the anime adaptation tried to frame it as SnK in a future generation, but the original light novel was not meant to be that case. It has been repeated many times, but the author is a huge fan of Nitro+ works, and tries to incorporate the edgy Urobutcher themes into the story.
One thing I did not like about the story is that the story does not seem to know what kind of a story it wants to tell at times. At some moments, you think you’re reading Ro-Kyu-Bu! Or something, and at the next, oh, lolis die, no biggie, just tears from the protagonists and the readers. Sometimes, the story appears to be taking a direction for the forensics, while at others, nope, a slice of life. There isn’t much focus in the story other than to torment Rentaro over and over again.
The political part is a tad excessive for me. I do know that given the author, Rentaro’s going to end up being a politican at the end of the series or something, but I don’t really like the involvement that is half-hearted at best, and mostly just to involve Seitenshi.
I do like the action series, the fights because half the time, the lolis get butchered in any way possible, even better if there is suffering. Yorokobe Shounen.
If I have to describe the taste of the story…salty, from all the tears I get from the readers. As I said before, I really do feed on the readers tears. Personally however, it is bitter Chinese Medicine for me, supposed to enrich my body. Whatever doesn’t kills you makes you stronger after all.
^Third time the charm^
But since it’s a loli episode, here is a dead loli.
^And when I drew her during the Tamano rate up, I proceeded to feed her to Andersen. Gotta eviscerate lolis^