I thought that this episode was a significant improvement over the first one. The overall tone of the episode was much more serious which seems more appropriate in their current situation. The way the majority of the world views cursed children differs greatly from Rentarou’s and Enju’s relationship. To them, cursed children were born from the disease that is bringing humanity to the brink of extinction. Due to that reason, the rest of the civil officers treat them as tools who were born to be used. The other initiators aren’t as fortunate as Enju who has been given the privilege to live like a normal girl by Rentarou.
I’ve been able to feel a lot more sympathy for Enju and the other cursed children after this episode. They’re just young girls who are basically abandoned as children because of their condition and are left to fend for themselves. If they’re “lucky” they get taken in by a civil officer and don’t have to live on the outskirts of the city. Regardless, most of humanity treats them as scum. These cursed children are the key to saving humanity yet they’re being heavily discriminated against. The girl who was stealing food was accused of trying to kill a security officer. However, given her position and pleas, that was unlikely. The police officers didn’t care to investigate but figured they could just dispose of her and no one would care.
Kagetane’s motivations are revealed within this episode as well. He seems to be fed up with society and how corrupt it is. They treat the cursed children so poorly yet they’re the ones who are immune to the virus (they’re more evolved than the rest of humanity) and are the ones who can survive against the infestation. He’d rather have the Earth be purged and only allow the survival of the fittest. He treats his initiatior, Kohina, differently from the other civil officers. However, in the end, he’s raised her to be a blood thirsty tool so he’s really no different from them in that aspect. We also learn that his body has been experimented on and replaced his organs with Varanium. With this, he believes that humanity should embrace the inevitable and allow the Gastrea to rid the planet of those unfit to survive.
After seeing the current situation regarding the cursed children, it makes me a lot more thankful to see Enju’s and Rentarou’s relationship. Rentarou treats her like a normal human being. When they first met, she was no different from the other cursed children. However, Rentarou showed her what love and affection was and it allowed her to open up more. When her secret is revealed to the school, she’s brought back to reality. Even though Rentarou treated her normally, the rest of the world wouldn’t. In the end, she’s still just a child and the things her peers said to her afterwards must have hurt her. On top of that, she probably doesn’t want to cause Rentarou any trouble after all he’s done for her. He goes out of his way and cuts into his own living expenses just so Enju can experience a normal life.
I think my only issue with this episode was that the pacing felt a bit rushed towards the end. The scenes jumped around quite quickly, from the cursed child that Rentarou saved, to a third confrontation with Kagetane, and then to Enju’s disappearance. The first episode seemed to focus more on the fight against the Gastrea but this one shows that the conflict isn’t so black and white. While there’s an ongoing fight with the Gastrea, there’s also conflict within humanity itself. I’m hoping that there’s enough content to cover two-cours for Black Bullet.
You can watch Black Bullet episode 2 on Crunchyroll (may not be available in all regions, free users have to wait a week after the original airing)