Black Bullet is a action, mystery, sci-fi manga written by Shiden Kanzaki and drawn by Morinhon. Set in a post apocalyptic future of Japan. A future where humanity has lost a great war against a viral parasite known as Gastrea. Now, exilled into a small territory, humanity had no choice but to develop teams to safeguard them. Called The Civil Security, an organization specializing in fighting the Gastrea.
The premise is similar to Shingeki no Kyojin(attack on titan). Humanity is trapped behind a wall, hiding from the Giants, in this case Gastrea. The Gastrea are parasites that infect the host and quickly edit the genetic code. This process is called Evolutionary Jump in the series. Allowing the virus to infect the host and and grant them an unknown ability on top of their original power. For example, a jumping spider has the ability to jump high but now can also create webs into a parachute. Something no jumping spider can do. Another prime example is below, although I’m not quite sure what mixture of species this is. My educated guess would be something like a reptile mixed with spider(because of its 6 eyes). It’s also a good example of a Stave IV Gastrea, each stage varies in size and strength and the most dangerous is a stage V.
As for the wall that’s protecting huamnity. Well its much more different than the wall in Shingeki no Kyojin. This wall in Black Bullet is more of a magnetic field created by a material known as Varanium. This martial is the one weakness to the Gastrea and it prevents them from getting close to the city. A good example of this in the real world would be insect repellent. However, the monoliths do have some weak points partly because its not a true wall. Its a monolith after all and they don’t exactly cover a large range. This causes the magnetic field to be weak in certain locations and it allows for small types of Gastrea to enter.
Now as for the Civil Securities, the ones who are tasked with taking care of those small Gastrea. They consist of a team of two individuals. Firstly we have the the Promoter, who’s tasked with analyzing battle situations. Next is the Initiator, they are young girls with superhuman abilities. What makes the Initiators unique is that they themselves are infected with the Gastrea virus. The virus gave them super strength, agility and each individual shares a similar trait to an animal. However because they are infected with a virus from birth, they are dubbed “Cursed Children” and are the scapegoat for many who suffered.
Most of the characters in Black Bullet are interesting. We have our MC Rentarou Satomi, hes been through a whole lot in his life. Despite his low temper, hes a very loving young man who treats everyone including cursed children as equals. He struggles a lot with his inner self, at one point in time he even slaps away the hand of a cursed child in danger asking for his help. Hes no perfect, in fact hes flawed. A weak character who just wants to protect those around him. Next we have Enju Aihara, our little mc has a bubbly personality. She claims Rentarou and her are a married couple, which leads to some comedic relief in the series. She wasn’t always like this, before she met Rentarou she was cold hearted because she was abandoned at birth.
Besides the Mc’s each character is somewhat unique, many of the cursed children share similarities to Enju. Abandoned at early age and forced to live in poverty is real hard, along with the stigma of hate they really fear humans. However some find refuge in the Civil Securities because they believe its a place to prove themselves. They cling to the hope of going to school and living a normal childhood but because of the Gastrea they can’t. Now they fight, for one day they when society finally accepts them. As for the initiators in the series. They sometimes come off as arrogant with little regard for cursed children. However its not what it seems, despite how they treat them. Deep down they do care because otherwise they wouldn’t be fighting along side them in the first place. Comrades in arms share a real deep connection.
I really enjoyed the artwork in Black Bullet. The action is intense, the fighting looks amazing. Little girls with superpowers is just so fun to see when they smash things. The character design is great as well. The different abilities each cursed children are really neat. In the case of Enju, shes a of the Rabbit model and posses amazing hearing along with a great amount of speed and strength. Besides rabbit model, we get to see a dolphin model along with preying mantis model. They are all good in their own ways but not invincible(although the series claims one is).
The series was really enjoyable all around. I do have some quirks with the series. For example its really short and the ending although good was still foreshadowing a gloomy future for our characters. There’s also a lack of different Gastrea we get to see, despite the fact that they are the true enemy. Most of the time we get to see Initiator vs initator and not Gastrea. However it gives your a good view into the chaotic world they live in. Some believe Gastrea as a blessing while in reality they are just a means to destroy humans. Almost like antibodies to fight off a disease.