Often, I can follow a fairly complex Anime storyline. I don’t find it too hard, and so long as you let your imagination run wild while watching it, chances are you’re going to pick up what a series is laying down fairly quickly. Bubuki Buranki, oddly shortened to “BBK/BRNK“, is a series about, well…I kind of have no freaking idea. It has something to do with magic, or magic items, or magic monsters, or robots, or monsters, or robot monsters, or even magical robot monsters…I literally have no idea. A majority of the first episode takes place in the past, set as somewhat of a prequel to the events of the series as future episodes come out. In this “flashback” we follow a small family living, I don’t know…in the past? Kind of. They have modern clothing, but not modern commodities, apart from the gargantuan mech that is revealed, spoiler, by the end of the episode to belong to the magically-powered mother of the twins who I’m lead to believe will serve as the protagonists of the series. At least, one of them will.
Coming as no surprise to me, the twins in question somehow screw things up and unleash what I believe are called “Titans” upon the world below, which is actually modern Japan. Oh right! I forgot to mention; this small family live alone on a floating island in the sky inhabited by what look to be huge pilotless mechs. The mother, sacrificing herself like any good matriarch, sends her family to the world below while she does her best to combat the threat of these giants. Cut to ten years later! To us it is future Japan, but to the characters in the story it’s present day Japan; a young boy is chased through the streets by robots, or humans, or cyborgs, or androids, or whatever! At this point in time I don’t think it matters! This young man happens to be one of the twins that escaped the floating island all those years ago. He’s taken into custody for a seemingly unknown reason but is then saved by, literally, a huge floating hand the pounds it’s way through the floor of the cell, taking out the guards in the meantime, and saving him. After that, believe it or not, the Anime gets even more odd.
Now joining up with a whole crew of weapon-wielders, each with their own unique traits and strangely out-of-place moving eyeballs, the main character must find the mech his mother sent his family to Earth in so that he can prove that she’s not the crazed maniac who sent the world to it’s doom like all the modern politicians are lead to believe. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that too; modern day Japan is run by some strange shadow organisation that wants the citizens to think that this lowly housewife and secret Titan-killer is the demon that condemned Japan, and the world, to a death by these creatures when really all she wanted to do was save it, as per her job description. The episode ends, spoilers, with the main character finding his mother’s old mech, which has been stripped literally to the bone. What will happen after this? Holy hell, I have absolutely no idea, but damn was it fun to experience!
So the series had interesting CGI visuals which reminded me heavily of the cutscenes in the Intelligent Systems video game Fire Emblem: Awakening. These visuals didn’t take away from the Anime in the slightest, in fact, I actually thought they were quite interesting especially because of the extravagant way in which the characters, and the world, was designed. The soundtrack, while not overly memorable, did pair up well with certain action scenes that forced me to crack a smile, so the soundtrack didn’t take away from the Anime. Do you know what did take away from the Anime? How damn hard it was to follow! To be as blunt as possible; I still honestly have no idea about a lot of what went on the episode. It has a story that, by the end of the episode, revealed itself to be fairly basic. Which is fine, because One-Punch Man is also basic, yet every single Anime fan loves it more than they, probably, love their own families, but BBK/BRNK was different…so different.
The issue with the first episode is that it tried to come off as something so much more than itself. It tried being angsty, it tried being gritty, it tried being mysterious, but do you know what it didn’t try to be? Cohesive. No story element worked well with another, almost like the writing team picked a bunch of their favorite things and made no attempt at piecing them together. Chances are, when future episodes are released, I’m going to be eating my own words, considering that this is clearly a series made to unravel over time. I can understand that, but a first episode shouldn’t necessarily end on a cliffhanger as a way to keep audiences interested. A pilot episode, of any kind, needs to be something in an of itself…a whole package! Judging strictly from the first episode of BBK/BRNK, which is exactly what this article has been; what audiences will get with this series is pretty visuals, high-paced action, and a great deal of confusion. The first two, they’re pretty awesome, the last one…not so much.
Though, taking into account all that I’ve said up until this point…I did actually enjoy the experience of watching this first episode. Sure, it was incredibly hard to follow, and yet it is such a basic series, but I think this is an issue that the show-runners will, hopefully, rectify in coming episodes. I mean, why wouldn’t they? BBK/BRNK has this incredibly interesting world attached to it, full of monster robots and weapons with their own personalities (apparently), a good writer can do so much with something like this! Let’s just hope that we see more of the good stuff, and less of the “let’s cram as much information into one episode without actually revealing anything to the audience” stuff. It’s 2016 and I’ve made a promise to myself that I will start being a more positive human being, so because I did have a good time watching the first episode, I’m going to watch a few more in the hopes that, well…you get what I’m going for.
Thing is; you’ll want to experience the first episode for yourself to be able to truly understand exactly why this series is both simple and yet oddly perplexing, and you can do that! Just go to AnimeLab and it’ll all be there waiting for you! Click Here. Seriously, don’t shy away from that link.