Ahh, Black Rock Shooter… je t’aime
In the 1960s, which is 60 years before when I come from which is the future, a recondite avant garde composer by the name of Captain Beefheart graced the airwaves with his trundling avant garde music that challenged the status quo of blues music with a menagerie of outré bumps and scrapes, replete with a healthy dose of guttural growls, vaguely resembling music. Yet these renegade evocative soundscapes informed a portent of society. In order for progress to subsist, artistic vanguards like this are of incorrigible necessity.
Now, I’m going to go on a bit of a tangent here, so please bare with me. In comparable fashion, the incandescent, avant garde Dada movement was birthed by way of the antipodal reaction to the indelible horrors of World War Un. This international movement was embarked by a collective of adroit artists and poets consummately associated with the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. Dada rejected reason and logic, prizing a mélange of nonsense, irrationality and intuition. The origin of the name Dada is difficult to parse; some believe that it is a nonsensical word. Others maintain that it originates from the Romanian artists Tristan Tzara’s and Marcel Janco’s frequent use of the words da, da, meaning yes, yes in the Romanian language. Another paradigmatic theory states that the nom de plume “Dada” came during a confluence of the group when a paper-ladeden knife stuck into a French-German dictionary happened to indicate a sequence of letters spelling out ‘dada’, a French word for ‘hobbyhorse’. Their greatest accomplishment, however, was paving the way for Black Rock Shooter, and in turn, this highly intellectual essay I am writing.
In the avant garde tradition of dadaism, Black Rock Shooter tells the tale of budding young girls coping with the malaise of growing up by way of nigh-poetic alternative reality battle sequences. These obstreperous alternative reality segments, an oneiric substrate of the recursive subconscious, serve as a brilliantly heuristic amalgam: the asynchronous parallelogram that is the human mind is an esoteric and, at times, untenable beast; one that Black Rock Shooter, in all its thematic opulence, seizes magnanimously, spinning it’s own immutable and immaculate web that, while subtly didactic, masterfully explicates the manifold human condition on the precipice of the acquiescence of maturity with a very natural demure about it. In the words of Lester Bangs, “Every great work of art has two faces, one toward its own time and one toward the future, toward eternity.” Well played, Mr Bangs. Well played.
And if you’ll bare with me for a bit longer, I’d like to expound upon what a “character” is before diving headfirst into Black Rock Shooter’s puissant ensemble cast. To cite wikipedia: “A character is a person in a narrative work of arts (such as a novel, play, television show/series, or film). Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr, the English word dates from theRestoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of “a part played by an actor” developed. Character, particularly when enacted by an actor in the theatre or cinema, involves “the illusion of being a human person.” In literature, characters guide readers through their stories, helping them to understand plots and ponder themes. Since the end of the 18th century, the phrase “in character” has been used to describe an effective impersonation by an actor. Since the 19th century, the art of creating characters, as practised by actors or writers, has been called characterisation.”
That is what a “character” is. Now you “know”.
Tu m’étonnes. And the “characters”, ahh the “characters”…!!! So many “characters”, so many “feelings”. As I consider it, nigh all of them are connected. In point of fact, the teacher is as well. Mato, a protean Humbert Humbert of sorts, is our intrepid protagonist. Feebly equipoised, Mato is a veritable “domino theory” of emotions. Everything from :D to >:O is covered consummately, leaving no stone left unturned, n’est-ce pas! In no other piece of fiction has the kaleidoscopic array of humanity been so thoroughly covered, and with such nuance to boot. Astute viewers will be on the edge of their seat as Mato confronts inherently relatable, quotidian issues, such as being dealt the “dirty colored macaroons” by a periphery, recalcitrant acquaintance; clearly a profound yet subtle metaphor for fate and one’s lot in life. This essayist is pleased to report that you can expect many more ruminations on life like this promulgated throughout, so please be gently with everyone. Case in point, Black Rock Shooter, Mato’s acousmêtre alter ego, is in constant conflict with an elusive, Kafkaesque clout beyond her control; a startling depiction bureaucracy that rivals such notable works as “1994” and “Brave World” in its deft, metaphysical illustrations. Furthermore, White Album 2 uses many emotions to bring out emotions. These emotions then show us the emotions of the characters and hence develop them and give us emotions as well while watching this. Veni, vidi, vici.
Black Rock Shooter truly is a psychologically variegated, ephemeral Musique concrète-esque urbane (to coin a neologism) tree-being-chopped-down-when-no-one-is-around-does-anyone-hear-it.!?!. It is a sterling example of anime’s edifying artistic potential and stands out sumptuously in the moribund, fetid, meretricious sea of ancillary noxious pabulum that is the anime industry. It is the vanguard avant garde artistic achievement we need. If you’ll excuse me for using a downright plebeian parlance of our contemptuous times, it is Absolutely Life Affirming: 10/10
Captain Beefheart would be proud. il y a quelque chose qui cloche métro, boulot, dodo Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.
Yuri factor, however, is a paltry 4.2793/10. Mere inklings of shoujo-ai allusions are all that await you in Black Rock Shooter, in terms of yuri. Don’t assuage, however. Abide. Besides, are yuri main for you?
PS: I don’t know why I said PS, but this is my maiden voyage review. CONSTRUCTIVE feedback is heartily encouraged. I’d say “Thanks for reading”, but let’s be honest, you should be thanking me for allowing you to read it. :3
Tune in next week for my review of Lunch Poems by Frank O’Hara, faithful reader. Voilà