Rentarou and Muroto’s (the doctor) conversation at the start of the episode helped Rentarou put things into perspective. Cursed children don’t have the privilege to experience many things that normal kids do. They’re not regarded as humans by the society they live in. On one side, people treat them as tools or trash because they’re associated with the Gastrea disease. On the other hand, some people (Kagetane) view them as an evolved form of humanity. While they resemble humans, they have supernatural powers and are resistant to the Gastrea virus. Rentarou doesn’t see Enju as either of these though. He views and treats her as if she were family. While the world may be harsh for Enju and other cursed children, Rentarou realizes that he needs to be someone that Enju can always rely on.
Enju tries to return to her normal life after her secret had been revealed. However, she’s faced with reality when her peers confront her. Anything associated with Gastrea are treated as monsters. It didn’t matter to these kids that Enju had been playing with them and attending school with them. They wanted nothing more to do with her after learning the truth. It was sad to watch how hurt Enju was from all of this. She had such a cheerful personality and was innocent. She just wanted to. In the end, all she wanted was a place to belong. She fights to protect humanity yet they treat her kind so poorly which she’s had some difficulty coming to terms with. Thankfully, Rentarou is able to reassure her that she’s not alone.
I thought the fight scene between Kagetane and Rentarou was well done. However, the way they lead into it felt off. We just finished an emotional scene between Rentarou and Enju and don’t have that much time to process it. Within seconds, Kagetane appears and the mood shifts completely. Besides that, from this fight we get hints towards Rentarou’s past. The flash back with Muroto operating on him and his ability to not be killed by all of those wounds leads me to believe he’s not entirely human as well. I’m not sure if he’s aware of what happened to his body in the past, but if he is, it could be the reason why he’s so passionate about the cursed children. While he may not be a normal human, he was able to live a somewhat normal life, attend school, have a loving “family”, and he believes that everyone should be entitled to that.
I can sympathize with the other initiators even more after this episode. Kayo seems to be void of emotions despite being at such a young age. She’s experienced things that normal children would never have to think about. She’s forced to fight and obey the orders of Shougen. While she doesn’t morally agree with Shougen’s views or actions, she has no choice but to obey them. In this world, if she’s not working as an initiator, she’s forced to live in poverty in the outskirts of the city. She’d be discriminated against and feared. While she doesn’t want to commit murder or violent acts, she knows that she has no other choice. She’s afraid that she’ll turn into a monster if she continues down this path but she doesn’t know what else she can do.
Overall, I really enjoyed the action of this episode. However, I couldn’t help but feel that it was rather condensed/rushed. Rentarou and Enju are finally reunited (while she’s experiencing emotional trauma), and then the next scene they’re being shipped off to fight a Gastrea. Another emotional moment occurs between the pair and the next Rentarou’s nearly killed by Kagetane. Things calm down after Rentarou wakes up in the hospital and then the next thing we know they’re off on another mission. There isn’t a lot of time to process everything that is going on and scenes are losing some of the intended emotional impact. My other issue with the series so far is how they handle explaining things. Kisara’s explanation of the different stages of Gastrea. It seemed completely out of place and redundant for her to be explaining it to Rentarou since he’d obviously be aware of it already. I’m not really sure how they should be explaining these concepts appropriately though so I’ll have to bear with it. I think if they slowed things down, this series could definitely be a two-cour. However, with the current pacing, it feels like they want to get through everything as quickly as possible.
You can watch Black Bullet episode 3 on Crunchyroll (may not be available in all regions, free users have to wait a week after the original airing)