Deep within a plotline that at first confounds the mind, BBK/BRNK (…and a name that confounds the mind too) brings an interesting set of characters that people can grow to like while the fascinating story unravels and starts to make more sense. This is indeed a hidden gem that is worth watching on Crunchyroll.
In my review on the first five episodes, I explained that I had difficulty understanding the plot and was frustrated by the lack of interaction between the characters due to the awkwardly placed battles. However, BBK/BRNK manages to pull itself together in the latter half of the season. More plotlines are introduced, the characters begin to learn about each other, and the cast and their actions are way more believable than they were before. Shizuru, the mysterious sniper, was given a lot more during Episodes 6-12 and finally became a part of the team in terms of story progression. And while the anime adds a lot more characters near the end of the season, all of them are established into the story in an effective manner. Character arcs are present, explanations are given for all the questions I had previously, and not everything is what it seemed. What surprised me the most about Episodes 6 to 12 is that the antagonists are fleshed out and show there is more than meets the eye. It’s a refreshing change that shows that each side isn’t particularly in the wrong or evil. I’ll stop with the spoilers there. Just watch it!
The fight scenes once again are outstanding, especially with the CG hand-drawn aesthetic. Shizuru is a badass. Every fight with her is great to watch. A girl using a sniper at close range while fighting off incoming attacks is awesome, and as she’s a tactical fighter, she is incredibly fast and can think on her feet against her enemy. Other fights, including the Buranki battles look heavy, powerful, and are fun to watch, especially if you like two robots beating the crap out of each other. There’s not a lot of them, but when they show up, it’s a treat. The Babuki battles are frenetic but lack the scale of the first five episodes that really brings in that CG-hand drawn look. Despite the attention to detail with the fights, I still wish they didn’t interrupt some possible downtime and interaction between the characters so abruptly. For the first time ever, I will say I would have loved at least one filler episode rather than it being jam packed into 12 episodes.
The voice acting is solid and like the first five episodes, there are no annoying high-pitched voices present. Even though I can’t understand the Japanese without the subtitles, Yuusuke Kobayashi plays the main character Azuma with a believable intensity during the heavier scenes without going too dramatic. Azuma speaks out his emotions a lot during the show and Kobayashi is able to convey them perfectly from page to screen. The rest of the main cast voice their characters’ attitudes and personalities to a T as well.
As I previously said in my Episodes 1-5 review, the animation is stunning. From the grandiose size of the Buranki to the pretty landscapes of Treasure Island, the show looks amazing with its art style. It gives it a sense of depth no other show I have watched has given me. For more on what I think about the art style, check out the initial review!
I find it sad this anime hasn’t got much love because there’s a lot to like. The interesting characters and their well thought out backstories, the gorgeous animation, and the epic fights make this a fantastic watch. I hope this continues into Season 2, which is currently being aired in Japan and near simultaneously aired on Crunchyroll. Talking about Crunchyroll, their translation is spot on with no strange hiccups of dialogue or grammatical errors, so you should be happy watching this subbed version (a dub hasn’t been given yet).
Oh, and I’m still listening to the theme song, “Beat Your Heart” over and over again. It’s so upbeat and the chorus gets me pumped up!
- Interesting characters with well thought-out backstories
- Stunning CG/hand drawn animation
- Well done battle scenes
- Great voice acting
- Character arcs are fulfilled, even the antagonists'
- Battle scenes interrupted character interaction and down-time
- Would have loved a filler episode!