Oh boy, a lot of things were covered within this episode. The pacing issues that have plagued the series has my jimmies rustled once again. I thought Pleiades would have played a more significant role yet it was dealt with within mere minutes. There were quite a few casualties, but unfortunately, they didn’t carry much weight since they all occurred behind the scenes.
It always pains me to see a child like Midori having to suffer. It’s something about their innocence that gets to me every time. It’s unfair that they’ve been subjected to such a way of life which tends to be short lived. Rentarou always shows a lot of sympathy for these girls. Even though he was going to end Midori’s suffering, he managed to comfort her (similar to Kayo) by conversing with her. In the end, she decides to take her own life rather than traumatizing everyone else. All of the cursed children have felt the need to lessen the burden on their partners. Kayo, Tina, Enju, and Midori were all willing to suffer themselves if it meant that Rentarou or their partners wouldn’t be as troubled. They were destined to a harsh life but people like Rentarou came into their lives and made it worth living. They’re greatful for that and are satisfied that they were able to experience a bit of a normal life.
We finally get to see a bit more on Shouma’s personality when Midori’s body is discovered. Overall, I think this scene would have packed a bigger emotional punch if the two had gotten more screen time previously. While Shouma claims that Midori was important to him, we don’t have any insight regarding their relationship aside from what we were just told. On top of that, Midori’s death is kind of brushed to the side since they decide to keep it a secret from everyone else.
To add even more insult to injury, Shouma immediately replaces Midori with a new cursed child. Despite it being convenient, we’re still lacking information on the cast. I don’t know much from the new girl aside from the fact she served Gado previously and that honor is a big thing for her. The fact that this new character quickly fills the void left by Midori, makes her death feel irrelevant.
Rentarou takes over as the commander after the death of Gado. Rentarou acts as a dictator and creates animosity towards himself. He’s seen far too many people sacrifice their lives and is doing things his way now. Other civil officers were swaying as well. They had lost faith in their mission and many considered abandoning ship. This would cause even more chaos and certain defeat in their given situation. Thus, Rentarou takes it upon himself to force everyone to follow his plans.
Enju shows that she’s still not completely over the death of her classmates (which is definitely understandable). While she’s a kid and can quickly take her mind off things, she’s reminded of them when she sees the landmark they visited. The two reaffirm their mission and the entire squad sets off for the final mission (episode). At the end, we see Rentarou being sabotaged Takuto once again. I guess it’s nice that they brought him back as a complete enemy despite his motives being unclear (perhaps he’s just a jerk for the sake of being a jerk).
I’m excited for the last episode and have enjoyed Black Bullet thus far. However, I am a bit disappointed in the overall pacing and animation quality of the show. There were many instances where characters’ mouths would be moving despite them not saying anything or a general lack of quality in the art work. The pacing was far too fast, especially because of all they tried to cover within a one-cour show. It made the story hard to follow at times, reduced emotional attachment to the characters, and made the transitioning between scenes seem disjointed.
You can watch Black Bullet episode 12 on Crunchyroll (may not be available in all regions, free users have to wait a week after the original airing)