Black Rock Shooter OVA: An Escher Look Through the Glass Checkerboard

Black Rock Shooter

I just watched Black Rock Shooter OVA, and it far exceeded my already high expectations set by the pilot edition. A blend of flawless animation and grungy artworks, this anime is simply gorgeous. One particular artistic choice that really stood out is the stunning use of checkerboard patterns everywhere.

Escher Relativity Lithograph

Escher Metamorphosis ii

The checkered backgrounds, when taken together with the rest of the setting, are very reminiscent of the works of MC Escher. Escher is the artist behind all those famous print images often seen on the walls of math classrooms: the weird room with all the stairs (Relativity), the convoluted Necker cubes and Penrose triangles, and the metamorphosis of objects (Metamorphosis I, II, III). Besides being known for his architectural prints and use of space, Escher is also often associated with tessellations and checkerboard colorings.

Black Rock Shooter Anime screenshot

Black Rock Shooter Anime screenshot

Black Rock Shooter Anime screenshot

Now consider the Black Rock Shooter OVA. The story is switches between two worlds: our world and Black Rock Shooter’s world. In the world where BR★S fights Dead Master, we see an especially abundant use of checkerboards. Additionally, the Gothic architecture resembles the structures seen in many of Escher’s works. For example, the girls fight through maze like corridors and jump into endless checkers. Like the prints of Escher, this anime is really a beautiful exploration of space.

Black Rock Shooter Anime screenshot

Black Rock Shooter Anime screenshot

In Mato and Yomi’s world, we also get bits of checkered walls. Like all the other motifs between the two universes (characters, eye colors, conflicts), the checkered walls are crossovers that help to emphasize the parallels. Again, this could be taken as another look at dimensions.

Black Rock Shooter Anime screenshot

Black Rock Shooter Anime screenshot

Further, MC Escher drew inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass for many of his works, such as Metamorphosis and Symmetry #66. Through the Looking Glass also has its fair share of checkerboards. In fact, the whole universe is built like a chess game. Of course, like MC Escher and Black Rock Shooter, the book also challenges our conceptions of space.

Black Rock Shooter Hirohito Vocaloid

The similarities in themes do not stop there. Metamorphosis and identity are both important in Alice in Wonderland and Escher’s works. Likewise, at the end of the OVA, Mato comes to terms with the events and merges with BR★S. Carrol, Escher, and Black Rock Shooter all portray this theme using bold imagery, either visually or metaphorically. The checkers are especially beautiful as a backdrop to this transformation, because they divide and delineate space into dynamic parts and lend easily to optical illusions.

Thus, following Lewis Carroll and MC Escher’s checkerboard themed exploration of space and metamorphosis, Black Rock Shooter is just such a wonderful trip.

__________________________________________________
Notes:

  • Checkerboards are also significantly-used imagery in certain genres of music, but that is for another post.
  • I really enjoyed the anime. I am actually excited about perhaps writing a full review for it later.
  • The yuri in Black Rock Shooter is just precious!
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104 Responses to Black Rock Shooter OVA: An Escher Look Through the Glass Checkerboard

  1. PhantomPhreek says:

    Absolutely gorgeous animation, as a fine specimen of the Gothic culture I more than adore how the graphical aspects of the show works.
    In my opinion it started out less interestingly however it more than made up for that in the second half..
    That said, the real question is..is this the end of Black★Rock Shooter or are they just setting up the stage for a full blown series….

    • Yi says:

      @PhantomPhreek: Yea, there is a lot of Gothic rock influences in there too that I really really loved. Anyways, I’ll probably write a full review later. I do see a full blown series as a very real possibility in the future though because of the success of the whole franchise. The music, the figures, the anime, and the artworks have all been huge hits.

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  4. Canne says:

    After hearing Lewis Carrol’s name, everything suddenly seemed much clearer. I was really impressed by your knowledge in art, which I have every little >_<
    This also reminds me of Trapeze which use polka dot pattern obsessively🙂

    • Yi says:

      @Canne: Before med school, I was actually intended art major and took a bunch of related courses. But I think some of the connections in this post might have been a bit of a stretch. It’s still fun though (I hope).

      Anyways, I should watch Trapeze for the psychedelic trip.
      Thanks for the nice comment. ^ ^

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  7. enri says:

    LOVED IT!
    Kind of reminded me of ”The girl who leapt thrugh time”.

  8. Fuller says:

    I just watched it ! It’s been mounth since I knew this OVA was going to airing, and it’s on your blog where I find informations I was desperately in need to survive ’till the release ! Btw it’s at this time I discovered your blog :p.

    I really loved it, but if found it really too short😥 I want more ! I hope there will be others OVA of BRS in the futur…

    Funny fact, I couldn’t found all of the sequences of the trailer in the OVA…

    • Yi says:

      I’m glad my blog was of some help and I’m really happy you decided to stick around! ^ ^

      It felt short for me too, but I think that just speaks even more to how good it was. The OVA actually ran for 54 minutes, but it felt much shorter than that. It was such lovely time well spent.

      Anyways, I couldn’t find any of the pilot edition BRS scenes in the OVA, but I do recognize some real life scenes. For example, Mato and Yomi hanging out in Mato’s room is one of them.

  9. No comment on the most-definitely-yuri relationship of the main characters? I just can’t wait for all the art to explode forth.

    • Yi says:

      I wanted to keep this post strictly to the checkerboards. I think if I started talking about the obvious yuri in BRS, the post might run over 3000 words.

      Some scenes really remind me of Saki and Nodoka. The yuri is definitely there.

      I can’t wait for the artworks and the figures that will surely come soon.

  10. bluedrakon says:

    I am looking forward to watching this. I love MC Escher artwork and he was a brilliant with how he did the changes.

    I finally got my Black★Rock Shooter figure in and did a photo shoot today.

    • Yi says:

      I see that you have the Black Blade version. I have the original with the canon. Aren’t the figures just precious?

      The anime is really brilliant too and I highly recommend it.

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  12. biotoxic says:

    Sounds exciting and interesting. I’ve tried to learn as little as possible about this OVA so I can watch it without any expectations. Although after reading this I can’t wait to see BRS at some point now.

    • Yi says:

      Same here. I was so afraid of being spoiled that I decided to watch it raw immediately after it came out.

      I hope I haven’t spoiled too much.

  13. Smithy says:

    Although am rather unfamiliar with the BRS lore and don’t care about the hype, after reading this got curious and decided to watch it and was pleasantly surprised to discover a lovely OAV. Really a terrific anime about those girls’ friendship with the unique symbolism from the other world.

    Of course, if watching it with yuri glasses it’s even more lovely! ^^

    • Yi says:

      This is such a lovely OVA, such a delicate and beautiful portrayal of the “friendship.”

      The yuri is really there if you’re looking for it. The lightest glasses will do.

  14. Persocom says:

    Nice review, I’m sort of considering writing my own take on one as well, since I was also pleased with how it turned out. Very nice comparisons to famous artists ^^ I can see exactly what you mean too, BRS is really a piece of work. The character design (back before BRS was a massive hit) was what sucked me in initially but it was even nice to see the characters in the “real” world interact and how they meshed the two worlds together. I’m quite looking forward to more characters, story, anime and whatever else comes out.

    • Yi says:

      Thanks! I will probably do a more comprehensive review on why I like it so much rather than just focus on a single aspect.

      The character designs are certainly one of the best parts. I really love Dead Master. She is so pretty. And the convergence of the two worlds is really interesting as well.

      I hope there will be more BRS stuff in the future too.

  15. softz says:

    Ooo… Yi, with your statement of “exceeded my already high expectation”, you made me wanna watch the OVA too. Thank you for posting about it, giving me some ideas of what to expect and also constantly introducing us more anime. Cheers!🙂

  16. ZeroQ says:

    Cute, anime gunslinger girl + Escher artwork = Epic, surreal awesomness of fun!

  17. Nopy says:

    I liked the animation in the scenes where they showed BRS fighting, but I thought the animation in the real world was poorly done. I noticed some body parts were disproportionately long or short, and sometimes lines and shading would just disappear, giving you just a solid block of colour.

    • Yi says:

      The animation in the other world is definitely incredible. As for the real world animation, I did notice the disproportionately long arms and legs in certain scenes. Most of those are during high speed movements though, such as playing basketball or running. I took it more as a stylistic portrayal of movement. Maybe I am just way too forgiving of the flaws.

    • phro says:

      I would say that it was an art style choice for it to be the way it was, similar to FLCL. If you really want to see something with disproportional arms and legs and weird shading, watch Angel Beats TV version.

  18. Xine says:

    I haven’t seen it but based on your post, I’m really excited to watch it. You took art related courses? That’s really cool! It’s really nice to read comparisons like this and learn something. ^^

    • Yi says:

      I was pretty serious about going into an art career early in my college career. In high school and fresh/soph of college, I did a lot of art and took related courses. Eventually though, I realized that I lack what it takes to do that and switched to something else.

      It’s still nice to apply some of what I learned to anime though.

      Anyways, BRS is really awesome. And it has really beautiful character designs too.

  19. 2DT says:

    Oh, darn. You beat me to the punch. 🙂

    The spatial relationships in BRS are fascinating. The other world is also remarkably textured as well, which speaks of care and dedication in such a literally flat craft.

    • Yi says:

      @2DT: Yea, I really really loved the grungy textures in the other world!

      I was also really amazed at the shot sequences that really shows the whole surrounding. Pannin shots, different angles… etc. were all so fluidly animated.

  20. Ningyo says:

    Oh boy. We’re back at square one. Pardon me.
    The screencaps look fairly good though – perhaps it’s alright to hope again? Put all that behind me and try watching it? It seems to capture all those Escher dynamics without compromising the animation quality, at least from your screens. Has that diverse range of perspectives as well. All right, I’m going for it. The shadows of the past must be faced.

    So Carroll inspired Escher, and Escher inspired Huke? Sure, I’ll take it. That’s a really powerful artistic pedigree.

    • Yi says:

      If I remember correctly, you didn’t like the awkward single colored smoke and blasts from the pilot edition. That is absent in the series. The animation in the other world is pretty different and even better than what was shown before. The grungy textures, the checkerboards, and the space are all beautifully portrayed!

      Carroll did inspire Escher for some of Escher’s works. Whether Escher inspired Huke, or whether this is just a nice case of great minds thinking alike, I don’t know.

  21. phro says:

    There was obvious Yuri in the ova. However, I am not referring to the sexual aspect of Yuri (like many are probably assuming). There was spiritual and emotional connections between Mato and Yomi (even Yuu), thus Yuri. Although the story was not extraordinarily complex, there was surplus amounts of themes, motifs, and symbols through out the Anime which made it outstanding.

    While watching the BRS, there was not a single moment when I felt bored. The scenery, action, and simple yet beautiful story was captivating. Many people are criticizing the Anime for not being good or that it was just another boring slice of life. !NEWS FLASH! The only reason why those individuals are complaining is because they gave into the hype and followed their wild imaginations on how they expected BRS should have been played out. This was the most anticipated OVA for me, not because of what other people were telling me, but because of what I perceived to be great art, and wonderful animation from the Trailer. For those who watch it with an open mind will definitely enjoy Black Rock Shooter.

    • Yi says:

      Same here. This was my most anticipated series because of the beautiful art. Before this, I was already in love with the character designs. Then the anime absolutely blew me away with its artistic style, its grungy take, and its visualization of the punk rock genre. It really brought everything to life.

      The story is really good as well. It took a common experience and really made it interesting. I really cared about Yomi and Mato’s relationship. The yuri is also a nice bonus.

      “For those who watch it with an open mind will definitely enjoy Black Rock Shooter.”
      Keep an open mind and don’t let the hype affect you either way. That’s a good suggestion for anything. ^ ^

  22. Dragon Of Hourai says:

    heres a Unrelated question:
    Have you watched or do you watch Durarara Yi?

  23. Dragon Of Hourai says:

    Oh! getting back on track the artwork looked beautiful and clean i think this would have mad for beautiful 3D

    oi i’m starting fill like i’m spamming your board. . . ><; sorry!

    • Yi says:

      That’s an interesting thought. It’s no doubt 3D is where the future of entertainment is headed. I wonder what 3D anime would be like.

      “oi i’m starting fill like i’m spamming your board. . . ><; sorry!"
      Don't worry about it. ^ ^

      • Dragon Of Hourai says:

        btw i was talking about the-dollars.com its pretty neet and it’s almost exactly like the site used in the anime. more so than other dollars websites i believe

        P.S. you need a code 2 get in.
        P.S.S. i can get you the code if ur interested later.

        • Yi says:

          Looks really cool. I haven’t seen the anime so I don’t know what actually goes on in there. I am interested though. ^ ^

  24. Mira says:

    Good read!
    PS. I loved Yomi’s sexy hair :3

  25. ZeroQ says:

    The key plot device is a bit iffy…
    Can’t this girl have more than one friend at a time without one of those friends feeling neglected and being whisked away to the dreaded world of Escher; where loli’s beat each other senseless with transforming weapons, burning eyes and big, floaty skull thingies?.

    Unless I’ve missed something…which I most likely have.
    Will there be more to come, or was this a one-shot OVA?

    • Yi says:

      I agree to some degrees. While the anime deals with something that’s really quite mundane (many of us have had similar feelings of being friend-jacked), it did so in an interesting way. I think if we were to consider the events in the other world merely as a metaphorical reflection their minds rather than an actual physical spiriting away, then the plot does not feel all that out there.

      Further, I thought it is believable that Yomi would feel very envious over Mato’s attention. She does not seem to have a big group of friends like Mato, and seeing Mato slowly drift away must have been quite painful.

      Thanks for the comment. ^ ^

      As of now, there hasn’t been any announcements of future releases, so this is a one-shot OVA. I do hope there would eventually be more though.

    • phro says:

      I learned this in sociology, but I forgot the exact term that was used. But when there are three friends, there will always, or most of the time, an individual will be left out. I have experienced this a great deal with my two best friends. There have been times when they gang up on me when an argument occurs and I am left helpless because of that “tag-team” aspect (2 people > 1 person, i.e. majority). The same thing goes even when there is no argument; when there is a conversation arising and you have no idea what they are talking about, you feel a sense of insecurity and alienated.

      So to go back to your point, the problem isn’t having a surplus amount of friends, it is just having 2 close friends which in turn makes the plot device more solid. If there were 4, 5, 6 or 10 friends it would not matter, but because there are 3 characters, the sociological aspect of that peer triangle and jealousy arises.

      • Yi says:

        I think I’ve heard that too somewhere and I’ve certainly felt it, either as the third leg, the neglected, or in hindsight, the cheater. The feelings the OVA deals with are very real.

        Anyways, agreed completely with both points. Thanks!

  26. Swordwind says:

    I liked it.

  27. Reltair says:

    The artwork and visuals were beautiful, but I felt that the plot could use some working on. Maybe release more OVAs or make a 13-episode series for it?

    • Yi says:

      I actually really enjoy the plot, but that seems to be a pretty widespread criticism of this.

      While it does seem to be setting up for more, it also felt like it wrapped itself up pretty nicely. I was really impressed.

  28. Mikoto says:

    I’ll be seeing the gorgeous animation tonight when i watch it.😀

  29. glothelegend says:

    The checkerboard theme and the parallels between the two worlds were the things I noticed almost right away, and most often. from the stars, to the checkerboards, everything matched up, and that’s one of the good things about this OVA……I wish they went into a bit more depth about the story though…..it’s only the first one though.

    I love black and white checkerboard patterns. When I get a house (God forbid), I’m doing it up with checkerboards all over.

    • Yi says:

      The stars were a really nice touch too. I found myself playing “Where’s Waldo” with the star theme after a few minutes.

      “it’s only the first one though.”
      Are there going to be more?

      Anyways, I love the black checkerboard too. I’m considering revamping this blog’s bg again to incorporate some sort of checkerboard pattern.

  30. Shinra says:

    The OVA overall is Nice, Voice acting nice, story nice and graphics too. The only sad thing the fighting scenes have no voices, Its an OVA (really hope its a series) and the ending is tooooo….. ending half way is the only ending that i hate. Oh, and a Black Rock Shooter anime without the BRS song (not the BGM) is totally Wrong!!! ><

    Anyways, its fun to watch, cause I can feel alittle Yuriness in it (tho i know its friendship)

    • Yi says:

      I’m not sure if it ended halfway. I interpreted it as a non-linear story telling where the events in the other world happens after the events in the real world. The little bit after the ED is the ending.

      Also, I didn’t particularly mind that the other world had no dialogue.

      I do agree that I would’ve liked some music from which the design was inspired. It was a bit of a disappointment not to hear that.

      Well, the yuri is there if you’re looking for it. Friendship and romance are easily blurred in anime. ^ ^

  31. Fabrice says:

    I liked it, i thought for OVA is nice, hopefully that will lead to a TV anime, and thats when youll get more bg informations, of course you cant fit every single detail in that short amount of time. I thought this was fresh, enjoyable and makes me want more :3

    • Yi says:

      It makes me want more too and I can really foresee more OVA or a series coming later.
      This has so much room to expand.

  32. phossil says:

    The OVA is really outstanding. Really good animation and plot. Interesting how many people is following this series now.

  33. SparkyTheGryphon says:

    I saw the yuri tag on this, read your post, and zoomed off to watch. All in all, I really enjoyed it! It confused the hell right out of me at the end, but I liked it all the same. ^^ Mato’s personality got me from the very beginning. ;]

    I will say that Mato and Yomi’s relationship was what I liked the most about this OVA. Some scenes with the two really warmed my heart, actually. -///- I’m quite pleased that the yuri aspect of this wasn’t too hidden. Heck, I don’t think I even needed yuri goggles. :3

    • Yi says:

      I really like Mato’s bubbly personality too, but I’m in love with Yomi! The ending was indeed very open to interpretations, and I like it that way. I think it lets us imagine the linearity of the narrative: whether the events in the other world came after the end or whether it’s setting up for another story. It also lets us decide if the other world is really another universe or a visualization of their feelings.

      The yuri is a huge plus for me too. I didn’t need yuri goggles either. ^ ^

  34. Mikoto says:

    Just watched it today (or yesterday, since it was an hour ago from midnight…xD). The animation blew me away too – I agree with their use of the checkerboard pattern. I had no problems with the story, but it could do for a sequel (which it was obviously hinting at with the unexplained plot threads and the cliffhanger ending, so no worries).

    • Yi says:

      I could see a sequel coming too the way it ended. However, I don’t think the anime is unfinished. I thought the way the OVA ends wrapped this one hour up nicely into its own story, so I wouldn’t mind if this is the only one released.

  35. lovelyduckie says:

    Ok…I was 100% planning on NOT trying this out, but you’ve convinced me otherwise based on the stunning visuals alone. The whole checkerboard and Alice and Wonderland comments really suckered me in.

  36. akodonxigen says:

    I have recently watched this and I have to say that I agree with SparkyTheGryphon… the yuri themes in here were a bit showing… and I like it… though the story gets kind of confusing in the middle(gave me headaches), but it slightly clears out the confusion in the end.

    Overall, I really liked this OVA and I hope many others can enjoy it.😀 (hoping for a sequel)

    • Yi says:

      I love the yuri tones too! I also like how the viewers can see girl’s feelings as friendship, or we can interpret it to be a bit more. With Yomi in particular, it’s really open to how we want it to be.

      Hoping for a sequel as well.

  37. Yu says:

    I heard the name Yomi, saw one girl trying to kill the other, watched a girl crying over what she believed was “her fault”, and thought Ga Rei Zero. Admittedly, before I thought Ga-Rei, I was thinking of all the anime that began with a wake-up scene.

    As you’ve said already, the art perspective is really notable. Nothing was boring to look at because there was always something past the things directly in front of you. The color schemes were also lovely. I liked the contrast between the real world and the BRS world. It emphasized qualities and the atmosphere of both.

    As for things they could have improved, I felt like Yomi’s reaction was too strong. This might be because they didn’t have enough time to fully portray Yomi’s misery or it could be because they just needed to insert the drama. I also wish they had explained how Mato found Yomi in the real world. Lastly… I felt the adding in the jealousy of the basketball manager (Yuu?) was unnecessary. How much emotional pain do they want to put Mato through? Jeez.😛

    • Yi says:

      Yomi reminded me of Ga-Rei Zero too. Even her banes feel like her.

      I also really loved the contrast between the bright clean world and the grungy dark world as well.

      As for the criticisms, those are all fair points. Dead Master’s reaction is kind of strong, but Yomi herself actually acted on her jealousy in a very subdued manner. She tried not to let Mato know about these feelings. I’m not even sure if Yomi is aware she was jealous and how she became Dead Master.

      As for Yuu, I didn’t really care for her much either.

  38. divinelight says:

    Yeah, more than marvelous in action (which I overestimate), BRS is a work of an art IMO.
    I really hope for this pilot episode can open the way for actual series.

    btw, really hope for pilot episode of Mirai Nikki could succeed too.

    • Yi says:

      Yep yep. Work of art indeed!
      I just checked out Mirai Nikki. It looks amazing. I haven’t heard of this before, but now I’m excited for it.

  39. This changed my perspective of the OVA at a full 180 degrees. I really thank you for enlightening me that such a possibility of interpreting OVA exists. Now, I find it really appealing than a sorry excuse for an OVA. Again, thanks!

  40. Ninjovee says:

    Wow. Interesting tidbits about the art in the BRS OVA. I’m pretty ignorant about fine arts so I found this post very amusing. I have to admit that I discovered BRS because of the very first PVC scale figure and got into the hype, but after seeing the actual artwork, I fell in love with BRS entirely.

    I actually got to watch the BRS OVA last night. As much as I loved how they developed the story between Mato and Yomi (and I definitely loved Yomi all the way, even as Dead Master), I felt that, story wise, the link between the real world and the alternate world was not cohesive enough. It is possible that they meant for the audience to speculate on what this link could be, but I think it would have been better if the OVA established the link between the two worlds. There are just too many questions in my head that begs for some answers, but I can never come up with any that are solid enough and left me a bit unsatisfied.

    I do love the switching between the real world and the alternate world, the artwork, the characters and the underlying motifs (like the stars and checkerboards) in the whole OVA — I just wish that it would have been more complete story wise — especially since there are some characters (like Black Gold Saw, and the girl with the huge arms — Yomi’s alter ego?) that were just… there. Seeing as though Yomi’s having her own “spacing out” in the ending leads me to believe there might be more in the future, so, maybe the link I’m looking for would be there. Hopefully.

    Even though I’m quite disappointed with the OVA, I’m still planning to purchase the Limited BD + DVD set, mainly for the artbook and the puchis that come with it. ^^;

    • Yi says:

      Same here actually. I saw the PVC figure first and fell in love with it. She’s one of the few figures I bought with pre-order, because I was that sure I wanted her. Then I saw Huke’s artworks, and that made me love BRS completely! Everything’s so visually stunning.

      As for the criticisms on the link between the real world and the other world, it seems many people share that same sentiment. I think it’s really up to everyone’s personal taste. I personally liked that it’s open to our imaginations, but I think it’s equally valid to think it’s too ambiguous.

      Yomi is lovely. I love her. I love Dead Master as well, and she’s certainly going to be on my desk hanging out with BRS soon.

      As for the Black Gold Saw and Yuu, I agree with you. Yuu’s character is pretty weak, yet she plays such a pivotal role. As for Black Gold Saw, I have no idea who she is and how the very beginning plays into the whole thing at all. That was done pretty sloppily, and it almost feels like they wanted to add another character to make money off her. She’s completely unnecessary.

      I hope there’s more to address these loose beginnings.

      Overall though, I was satisfied, even though I’m not going to buy the limited DVD set. Haha, kind of ironic, isn’t it? The puchis and the artbook are really tempting though.

  41. Kira says:

    Hehe I just did a post about this without watching it. Now I have to watch it >.> Seinen gun themes are sometimes a turn-off, but I did really like Noir. Thank you for the post~~

    • Yi says:

      Link for the post? I’m kind of curious about the post now. ^ ^

      For me, the guns were not the main thing in this anime. I don’t think the action is even featured that much. If you don’t like these themes, I think you might be able to easily look over them.

      Anyways, I loved Noir too. And thanks for reading and commenting!

  42. ETERNAL says:

    Just thought I’d mention that I love your point about the checkerboard pattern. I paid as much attention to the OVA as I could but I never even noticed that it was used in the “real” world as well.

    • Yi says:

      The most obvious crossover symbol was the stars. The checkerboard showed up here and there, but it wasn’t as prominent.

      I think it’s also interesting to note the colorings, but I may be over-thinking it.

  43. Even after all that hype, I still haven’t watched the OVA yet ^^; Well I’m actually waiting for the DVD that’s packed in the magazine that I ordered from my local Japanese bookstore… So I dunno if I want to watch the D/L version or wait for that DVD. But very interesting use of checker boards everywhere. I wonder if I would notice that when I watch it, lol.

    • Yi says:

      I’d wait for the DVD too. Fansubs are never perfect. Anyways, I don’t think you’ll miss the checkerboards. They’re featured pretty prominently.

  44. Kairu90 says:

    I enjoyed the OVA very much. I love your analysis comparing MC Eshcer to Black Rock Shooter’s realm. I had never actually noticed it until you brought it up, but they do make very striking resemblances.
    Great post Yi ^^

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  46. Marx-Taich0u says:

    Never thought about the topic of space and optical illusions for the checkerboards Yi. It’s an interesting thought to ponder on, as I’m also trying to make a dead-on critical review of the whole OVA. And the points about Escher are amazing as well! I never would’ve thought about him even for a second in the entire show. ^^; You need a Badge of Awesomeness for this. ^^b

    • Yi says:

      Haha, you give me too much credit. ^ ^
      I was kind of just putting random thoughts together. I’m glad you liked reading it though. BRS is a really wonderful anime and there are so many angles to draw from. I love your review of the anime!

  47. abscissa says:

    Great review! I also thought of Lewis Carroll because the idea of realm and reality, checkers, and the throne. However, I’m not a big fan of the schoolgirl Mato and Yomi (they could’ve drawn them with better lines and hairstyles, especially Yomi!) but, as I continue to watch, the other components such as the artwork (goth and checkers are just SICK!), action characters (I wanna have Mato’s sweater lol), fight scenes (I’m not really into it, but I enjoyed the fluidity of their moves and the neutral expression of BRS), sounds (suits every scene), and most of all the plot (yeah maybe it’s a cliche for some, but who cares I love the transition!), compensated it big time! Overall, I really enjoyed it and can’t for the next release.

    • Yi says:

      The throne is something I hadn’t considered. Nice catch. ^ ^
      I loved Dead Master’s hair, but I agree with you on Yomi. It didn’t translate well on the school girl version.
      Goth and checkers is also a fascinating topic and deserves its own post. At some point, goth and punk culture really embraced checkers into its imagery. I think that probably plays even more heavily into the inclusion in the anime since the anime is very much tied to rock music.

      I loved this anime. They did so many things right (fluid fight scenes, designs, characters… etc.) that any minor flaws are easily forgiven.

      Thanks for the comment. ^ ^

  48. Pingback: The Power of Context – Brief Discourse on the Success of K-On! and Black Rock Shooter | Listless Ink

  49. Pingback: The Power of Context – Brief Discourse on K-On! and Black Rock Shooter | Listless Ink

  50. ayame says:

    You and Snippet Tee really spot cleverly symbolisms and make the best out of BRS. I love Escher, too. Although I don’t share your enthusiasm about BRS, it was pleasureable to read the post .

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