Black Bullet Episode 4 Recap – “Black Bullet”
Senju, Enju and Rentaro are on their way to Shogen, who boasted last episode to have captured the Kagetane’s. As they progress, Senju has to stay behind to fight the oncoming horde of Gastrea, while Enju and Rentaro will make their way to Shogen. Unfortunately when they make it to Shogen’s location they find that all the civil officers are dead, including Shogen, who has his giant sword sticking out of his back. The Kagetane’s appear, posing like they are for a promotional poster.
In the “war room” Kisara joins Seitenshi and her entourage. She is confident that Rentaro and Senju will win, even if Kagetane is a survivor of the New Humanity Creation Plan, whatever that means. Kisara recounts when Rentaro had to protect her from the Gastrea when her parents were killed by them, and as a result, he lost his right hand, right leg and left eye. Murito Sumire, the crazy surgeon from episode 1 and 3, saved his life.
Back at the battle, Rentaro breaks through Kagetane’s barrier. It’s revealed that those 3 aforementioned body parts are actually artificial limbs that are made from Varanium. Just like Kagetane, he is one of the human weapons from the Gastrea War and New Humanity Creation Plan. Kagetane is unfazed though, and hits him with a stomach shot that causes him to start bleeding out.
The only way to save himself is to inject himself with the drugs Sumire gave him. They give the person who uses them the regeneration abilities of the Gastrea, but with a 20% chance that they will turn into a Gastrea themselves. He jams all 5 of the drugs into his stomach, and wins the gamble – he’s healed. My logical mind says, isn’t that 5 of them, each with a 20% chance of infection? Shouldn’t he 100% be infected? My action mind though, says just enjoy the ride, it’s a good action series! Logical mind still wins, but just by a nose.
Now back on his feet, his uses his martial arts techniques to knock back Kohina, and hit Kagetane full on. Kagetane plummets into the water, and his “signal is lost” by Seitenshi’s team. There’s no way he’s dead yet though, it’s very obviously not the case.
It’s from the frying pan into the fire however, as a Stage Five Gastrea named Scorpion has appeared in the city. The solution; use the giant rail gun, Heaven’s Ladder, which is incredibly conveniently right next to them. Bad news though, as it appears there’s no Varanium ammo left. Rentaro rips off his right arm and uses it as ammo — but it means they only have one shot at this. He has to hit a moving target (albeit a slow, large one) manually from 50 km away.
Enju gives him a “you can DO EET” speech, which pumps him back up. Even though Enju has a crush on him, Rentaro makes sure to tell her that she is family to him and not a lover. Always a plus in my books. They hit the Gastrea and kill it, blowing it into pieces before it can regenerate itself.
Senju wasn’t as lucky, as she has become 50% infected from her battle with the Gastrea horde. She is going to become a Gastrea herself, so she asks Rentaro to kill her as a human. “I’ll be your friend Satomi,” she says before he shoots her.
The next few minutes are very clumsily done, as we are hit with a lot of info and developments within the last 5 minutes of the episode. Somehow Satomi has figured out that his adopted Uncle Kikunojo Tendo was behind the plot all along. He hired Kagetane to stir up trouble in the political climate, so that the new law that would give Cursed Children more rights wouldn’t pass. He also summoned the Stage Five Gastrea. Kikunojo’s reasoning for his behaviour is because he lost his wife and kids to the Gastrea. Rentaro doesn’t kill him though, as he owes his life to Kikunojo. This is weak villain motivation to say the least. This was something that really should have had it’s own episode dedicated to it. It really lessens the impact when we never see how Rentaro came to the conclusion his Uncle was behind it, nor do we see how betrayed he feels by it. We don’t get Kisara’s reaction to this either; it’s her freaking grandfather.
In a quick aside, Seitenshi is angrily approached by Rentaro. He opened the case that should have included the Inheritance – – and all that was inside was a broken down tricycle. He demands to know what the Gastrea are, but she only gives him the “I can’t tell you/classified information” bit. In an awkward voiceover, it’s dictated to us that Rentaro has to rise through the ranks so that he can change the hierarchy and get more rights for civil officer pairs before he can demand such answers.
Finally, we learn that Enju’s infection rate is forebodingly 7.2% away from her turning into a Gastrea. Black Bullet still has significant pacing problems, but the characters are fun, and so is the action. So much that I can ignore the pacing, as well as the obvious lapses in logic that pop up in the plot. It’s not a noticeable detriment at this point in the game, though it could be at a later juncture.