Black Rock Shooter – 02

Mato goes to a festival hoping to meet up with Yomi, but she’s stood up, with only an “I’m sorry” text in reply. Mato is crushed, and Black Rock Shooter is brutally punished in the dream world. Kagari wouldn’t let Yomi leave, and when Mato shows up at her door, Kagari throws herself down the steps in protest. Mato meets Yomi’s mother, who tells her Kagari’s paralyzation is all in her head, but Yomi has to take care of her. Mato won’t accept that, and confronts Yomi and Kagari in the hospital room. After much heated discussion paralleled by equally heated combat in the dream world, Yomi finally calms Kagari and persuades her to give up the act and go outside. In the dream world, Yomi is freed from Kagari’s chains.

Well now, we’ve got ourselves quite the dual headcases in Yomi and Kagari. For years Kagari has been pretending she can’t move her legs so she can be isolated at home with no one but Yomi. Perhaps more disturbing, Yomi has gone alone with it, enabling her the whole time. In refusing to give up friendship with Yomi, we can credit Mato with freeing not one but two troubled souls who had become far too entangled with one another. Now Yomi will surely get reacquainted with an old friend called free will while Kagari will re-learn how to walk, go to school, and function in society again. Hint: It’s not all about you, kiddo.

The animation stepped up its game – in both worlds. The regular world features some intense close-ups and demented expressions – particularly from the Kagari during her vicious, ultimately cathartic tantrum. The dream world meanwhile was a feast (and not just of macaroons): we were worried that the spare, washed-out palette may grow stale with too much exposure, so what does this episode do? Administer a big dose of Color with a Capital C. Black Rock Shooter has some really sweet-ass weapons, and there’s nary a still frame in sight, as everything – the people, the scenery, and the cameras – are all in constant motion. We could watch this stuff all day.

Rating: 4