I guess I’ll start off by noting the drop in animation quality once again this episode. I found it to be pretty distracting and took away from some of the viewing experience. It was present in a few other episodes, but I don’t think it was as noticeable as this one. I don’t want to criticize it too much though. After the Tina arc, we’ve had a couple of slower paced episodes where high animation budgets weren’t required. Now that the stage has been set though, it seems like the last few episodes will be more action oriented and require that extra animation budget.
The episode starts off rather innocently. While the destruction of the wall is imminent, Rentarou continues teaching the cursed children. It’s heartwarming to see how much of an impact Rentarou has on their lives. They’re looked down upon in society and isolated, yet Rentarou gives them the chance to be normal kids. Rather than being depressed and struggling to survive, Rentarou is able to give these children hope for the future.
Kisara and Rentarou also have a bit of development with their relationship. It’s been pretty clear that they feel the same way about each other but have yet to discuss it face to face. Kisara seems to have a fear of being left alone which is probably why she was adamant on being part of the mission. She doesn’t want Rentarou to go off on his own all the time, in fear that he may not return. It’d be nice if we had more insight onto Kisara’s story but it doesn’t seem feasible given the amount of time we have left.
The mysterious blind child makes another appearance as well. I’m getting the impression that she’ll play a role similar to Tina. She was given a meaning to live or a way to provide for her sister by working with an enemy. Rentarou’s kind treatment towards her may be relevant in the future if/when they have to clash. Perhaps she’ll be conflicted like Tina was when she finds out that she’s opposing the man who was so kind to her.
The next part of the episode was well done in my opinion. There were numerous flags raised earlier on in the episode that something might happen to his students. Just the scene with Rentarou and Enju riding alone in the train with Enju’s cheerfulness not being accompanied by any background music helped build up the revelation for me. After seeing how happy the girls were, it was heart breaking to see their fate along with Rentarou’s reaction. Even though he’s grown up in this harsh world, he’s always deeply affected by seeing children killed.
Enju’s reaction was heart breaking as well. She has already dealt with losing all of her friends once and has to go through it again. She was beginning to live life like a normal girl once again. She’s still just a child, but she’s had to witness so many people just like her suffer. Both her and Rentarou are emotionally drained after seeing what has happened to the students. However, there’s no time to waste since the wall has fallen. They understand that they don’t have the option of mourning their friends since their current priority is to prevent any more senseless deaths.
Overall, I really enjoyed this episode even with the animation slips and lack of action. I felt they did a good job with delivering the emotional impact of the scenes. From the preview, it sounds like Kagetane isn’t finished yet and may make a reappearance soon which has me excited.
You can watch Black Bullet episode 10 on Crunchyroll (may not be available in all regions, free users have to wait a week after the original airing)