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This post does not give much justice in showing how much I adored and enjoyed watching Black★Rock Shooter. Though I’m lacking in words, B★RS images are ample enough to describe its fantastic visual designs.

As a supporter of minimalist and formalist movement, BRS became my easy favourite because of the used of optical illusion and visual semiotics. 

The utilization of optical art creatively portrayed an abstract illustration wherein the objects were reduced to geometric patterns and designs. I specifically liked how the main visual theme, the black and white or chess grids, gave an impression of sort of visual tension in the viewer’s mind and illusion of movement.

Metaphorically, the figure ground relationship of white and black represents contradictory juxtaposition of the characters—battle between good and evil. Most of all, this “chess board” world exemplifies the game of “chase” (Mato/BRS) and “run” (Yomi/Dead Master), and who’s going to check mate the opponent first.

As an anime Goth fan, I enjoyed how it incorporated the use of chain as part of its optical art. This material marvellously provided an illusion of a 3-D space on a two dimensional surface with a touch of classy gothic effects. Also, it created a convincing atmospheric or aerial perspective. Personally, I find it so cool how these vertical and horizontal lines augmented depth and enhanced the dimensional effects.

In terms of semiotics, we have witnessed how the Dead Master used chains as her weapon. I believed these metal strings were the graphical and literal representation of Yomi’s jealousy. In real world, Yomi was deeply saddened after seeing that Yuu was taking her place as Mato’s closest friend. For this reason, I deemed that chains were symbolic of Yomi’s negative feelings, because as we know jealousy is the fear and anger of losing out. Usually in order to avoid losing somebody, a deep sense of connection is being formed. However this act can result into the emergence of harmful emotion once it’s approached obsessively and negatively, making this link binding and controlling–and this resonated in the alternate universe.

In addition, one of the reasons why I’m so interested with optical chimera is because I loved how it puts profundity and complexity into the simple geometric shapes. For instance, BRS and Dead Master’s eyes create illusory and psychedelic funky feel if we’re going to carefully focus on them. And symbolically, it’s apparent that these eyes portray the parallel universe or the feeling of getting lost into a different dimension once hypnotized.

Of course the satisfaction is not at its best without some yurific moments. This particular scene really made my heart skipped for a second. Overall, I truly enjoyed this watching this OVA. I saw how promising this can be once turned into a full series animation. Thanks to Noitamina for lining this up as one of their Winter 2012 series.


Side Remarks:

  • I really loved how Mako rocked her lovely hoody and skirt together with her chucks. All-star!