The Spring 2022 Preview Guide
Black Rock Shooter: Dawn Fall

How would you rate episode 1 of
Black Rock Shooter: Dawn Fall ?
Community score: 3.8

What is this?

It is the year 2062, two decades after the failure of a massive workforce automation project. However, Artemis, the artificial intelligence at the core of that project, had decided to attack humanity, and the resulting war laid waste to Earth. A lone girl, Empress, wakes up in an underground laboratory at a base. She is one of three surviving guardians of humanity. However, she has no memories of what came before. All she knows is what a colonel of the peace-building force tells her. Artemis is constructing a space elevator to link the Moon and Earth, and Empress is ordered to destroy the space elevator before its completion. If the elevator is completed, the hordes of giant mechanized forces being mass-produced on the Moon will descend upon Earth.

Black Rock Shooter: Dawn Fall is the latest entry in the Black Rock Shooter franchise and streams on Disney+ in Japan on Sundays.

Note: The series still isn't available for streaming worldwide. Richard Eisenbeis lives in Japan and was able to watch the first episode there, albeit without subtitles.

How was the first episode?

Richard Eisenbeis

Black Rock Shooter is one of those intellectual properties that I know the name of but little else. Luckily, since Dawn Fall is a reboot set in a completely new universe, that doesn't seem to matter. The setting is one we've all seen before: There's been a robot apocalypse of sorts and now humanity is on its last legs. However, there are a few AI who continue to fight for the human race—including our titular heroine, Black Rock Shooter.

This anime starts with the classic go-to for creating an audience POV character: amnesia. Not only does it allow Black Rock Shooter to ask all the dumb questions that any person living in the fictional world would already know the answers to, it also allows her to be super powerful without any explanation. Of course, the big drawback here is that, without memories, Black Rock Shooter has very little in the way of personality. All she knows is that she has to reach “lighthouse no. 8” and that she's not willing to abandon those in her care regardless of the tactical situation. It's a solid enough starting point, but for the moment she's not much of a character.

Unfortunately, neither are the other three main characters of this episode. We have the stereotypical protective big brother/sick little sister duo and a hardass military commander. Honestly, there's nothing more to them than that—which leaves the action to carry the show.

More than anything else, this first episode is a series of fight scenes. All of them are decently choreographed and show off the above average CG animation used in the show, further bolstered by a surprisingly rocking soundtrack. However, the black, brown, and grey color pallet can make it hard to see what is happening at times—especially during the fights that occur at night.

All in all, I'm not sure what to think of Dawn Fall. So far, it's little more than a pile of clichés—in both setting and characters. Maybe it will turn into something special down the line but this premiere is largely unimpressive.

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