BBNK was the most questioned anime of its season. It was 100% original, no source material, so no one knew if the story was good, if the characters were well thought out, or even what the genre was. Bubuki and Buranki, even the title was no help!
Well its received its second season set to air October 1st, so obviously it did something right!
The general premise seems to be that there are these creatures, either made from bio-metal or hard metal. We don’t know yet if they are sentient, or if some develop sentience, or if they are like transformers in that regard. They appear to be giant walking bipedal robots.
Our man character Azuma, has a twin sister Kaoruko. Their mother Migwa, can use an ability in which she pulls blue light from her hand. Kaoruko and Azuma can do the same, or are beginning to develop these powers at the time of the beginning of this episode.
The Buranki seems to be ‘the enemy’ and Migwa seems to be the only one around to battle them. She seems to be on her last legs, and is speaking about teaching her children to use Oubo. We find out Oubo is the personal Buranki of Migwa.
Well because she’s a mother, and because she is now making the declaration to train her children, of course she’s going to die. Its like an anime rule at this point.
Kaoruko, the younger twin is the pushiest and decides to go down to Oubo and try for herself to defeat Buranki. Now Koarukos power is red, not blue like her brothers and mothers. This may have some significance because when she attempts to use her powers to activate Oubo, creatures with glowing red eyes spring up from the ground. I am assuming these are dormant enemy Burankis.
Migwa sends her husband and children away, claiming to follow them later. *cough*bull*cough*
The trio is sent into Oubo, and dropped onto Earth. The planet/space they were before is unnamed at this point. Her farewell message to the twins is if they are in trouble, to hold hands. This will most likely have some sort of significance, later on.
The show then skips 10 years, but doesn’t say that. We decipher the 10 year gap from a ceremony in which the speaker notes its been 10 years since the disaster, being a Buranki falling to Earth. Azuma is being pursued by robotic police and taken into questioning. Kaoruko is not seen or mentioned/
The cops note that his family name is the same as ‘the witch’. He denies that she’s a witch. Although, if she has powers.. But witch is being used in a negative way, despite the probable heroic actions she performed for the ungrateful people of Earth.
The cops ask him about the Heart, which he denies having. Internal monologue confirms that he doesn’t have the heart. If we had to guess who has the heart, it would be Kaoruko, as she was holding a ball to enter Oubo before they were sent back to Earth.
Its at this point the Azuma Rescue begins, and a hand with an eye in the palm melts its way into the room. The hand turns out to be a weaponised Buranki hand. The wielder, Kogane, seems to know Azuma, saying ‘its been ages!’
A number of other nameless characters are seen in quick succession. All have some ‘main character’ attributes, from hair color to cosplay-able outfits. Whether they are on Azuma and Koganes side is unknown.
One character definitely on Koganes side is Hiiragi or Hii-kun. He is aggressively angry towards Azuma, but that may be his personality in general. He explains he is a Bubuki user as well. Whether that means he has the blue power as well or if that means he can use Buranki weapons is confusing at this point.
They explain that one group we were privy to, is headed by Reoko. They are the enemy, and possibly the government. From what I can tell its more of a ‘mob taking over’ type of government, but I do not have enough information at this point.
To goal of the ‘resistance’ is to find and revive Oubo. From Azumas reaction that has been his goal as well.
They find Oubo in ‘Buranki Prison’ at the end of the episode, but he has been stripped to a spine and his head. Whether this is because of natural causes or because of Reoko and her team is unknown. He is held off the ground by wires so I am leaning towards dismembered by Reoko, but in a world with machines with spines and hearts, who knows.
The setting seems to be a dystopian time period. It is Specified as Tokyo Japan, but we don’t get to see what it looks like prior to the Oubo fall. What we do see is the Shrine Lions in cages, robotic police, and human police with robotic glasses. The color scheme is on the darker side of browns and oranges. A lot of the city appears to be in poor repair and in a decrepit state, as if its been forgotten about.
It is mentioned that Reoko rewrote history so that people thought that the Oubo fall was done on purpose by ‘the witch’ to cause a mass murder. So perhaps the decrepit state is because a large portion of the population is no longer there to care for it.
Now the animation, its not drawn. Its similar to Aijin or God Eater, or even Knights of Sidonia. It has that computer generated feel, but not an uncomfortable amount of computer generated.
The backgrounds in the pre-fall scene are different form the characters, which is a little uncomfortable to watch. The very painted-on background contrasted with the polished characters very much. The backgrounds themselves were beautiful and were most likely trying to confirm the serene, yet dark area they live in. Sure its untouched by humans and companies and capitalism, but it is pretty ravaged by big giant mechas.
The city backgrounds are more drawn than painted, creating the small cracks and unpolished feel of the decrepit buildings. Overall, in the styles chosen, I agree with them. They were the best types to use to create the feelings they wanted.
With a polished character comes the issue of facial expressions. While the hair movement was stellar and even the clothing movement was on point, I have absolutely no complaints on that front, the characters facial expressions were not as fluid as you would hope. In God Eater they had the facial expressions down pat, which was one of the reasons I loved that show. And im not saying the characters were stony faced, but the eyes didn’t have a lot of gradient in them to create depth or accentuate the feelings being conveyed. The tone of the music helps the feel of the scenes when the facial expressions fall short, so it winds itself up in the end.
Overall I think the animation is well done. The plot is not as exciting as I thought it was from the posts I read. It reminds me of Akame ga Kill, or season 3 of RWBY. It seems to be a resistance vs Government type plot, with from what I can tell right now, is a standard character trait roundup. It is definitely piquing my interest, just not as much as I was expecting.