Review Disney+-series ‘Black Rock Shooter: Dawn Fall’
A well thought out world is not enough to save this dark and sometimes tacky anime.
The world as we know it is in pieces. A particularly scantily clad girl wakes up. She has no idea who or where she is, only that her name is Empress. She soon ends up in a fight with a robot and it turns out that she can give it a good beating. It becomes clear that an evil AI has taken over the world. It’s up to the empress to find out who she is and save as many people as possible.
This opening provides a good setup for the story, but it’s been done countless times. Still, this part manages to strongly portray the brutality of the world at the beginning and tells some well thought out backstory details along the way. Unfortunately, this careful storytelling is quickly scrapped and replaced with switchable action and silly story.
The pacing of the series is everywhere and nowhere. Sometimes so much information is thrown at the viewer that it’s impossible to keep up, while at other times virtually nothing happens for an entire episode. This makes it extremely difficult to get into the history of wafer fineness. Emperatriz tries to find out who she is and meets several people during her trip who accompany her and, not unimportantly, also want to save humanity. However, it is often unclear what exactly is happening or why the group is taking certain actions.
This ambiguity is also noticeable in the different characters. Some switch alliances entirely, with minimal explanation. This lacks the tension and interest of the individual stories. Also, some characters are so incredibly strong one moment that all the tension evaporates from scenes, only to contribute nothing to a fight the next. These irregularities make it difficult to get a picture of them and feel a connection.
And the inconsistencies don’t stop there. Sometimes the landscapes are very beautiful and detailed, but unfortunately, most of the time it seems to have been googled and pasted on the image. Mixing between 2D and 3D doesn’t work either and creates an unsettling visual experience. Black Rock Shooter: Dawn Therefore, she is not exactly the most beautiful girl in the class.
The fact that this anime is not for the faint-hearted isn’t expressed so much in brutal action, but in a much less bland element: the seemingly young girls are heavily sexualized in its design. Unfortunately, that’s nothing new in the world of anime, but the presence of rape and alleged pedophilia goes a bit too far. They only appear to have been added for the wow factor and give the whole a bland character.
It’s a shame that things go wrong on several levels, because at times it’s clear that the world with its different factions and backgrounds has been very well thought out. The last episode makes a great final sprint and manages to make some of the story, but unfortunately it doesn’t save the whole. maybe the title was black rock shooter: drop down been more appropriate.
Black Rock Shooter: Dawn can be seen in Disney+.