Initially, the concept of Black★Rock Shooter only exists in still images, but exposure brought about its integration into the world of Vocaloid introduced the concept to the Web as the song of the same name. The Vocaloid Hatsune Miku launched the character Black★Rock Shooter into fame, and eventually, she evolves into numerous forms of media.
Black★Rock Shooter: Initial DesignsEditThe first designs of the characters for the Black★Rock Shooter universe are created by huke, one of the present members of band supercell in which he works as graphic artist. These works are not related to Vocaloid and were conceived as original works from his days before joining Supercell.
huke has created an array of characters in the Black★Rock Shooter universe, most of them relatively unfamiliar names. Only six of them are featured in Anomaro-P's PV (see below).
Initial designs for Black★Rock Shooter herself has undergone some considerations. Although there has been designs of her sporting a longer haircut, some depictions give her a shorter hairstyle similar to Kuroi Mato's in the OVA.
The Song and SupercellEdit
- Main Article: Black★Rock Shooter (Song)
Ryo, member of Supercell, gained inspiration to write the song after seeing huke's works in his Pixiv account; at this stage, huke has already joined Supercell as part of their creative team. The song created was performed by Vocaloid Hatsune Miku, who also performs in the majority of Supercell's compositions. To tie in Miku with the song, huke makes a slight adjustment to Black★Rock Shooter's designs, adding the twin pigtails to her final design.
The song was first submitted in Japanese video site Nico Nico Douga in June 13, 2008, with the video made by huke. Eventually, fanmade videos based on Black★Rock Shooter are uploaded to the said site, the most famous one made by Anomaro-P using the program MikuMikuDance (posted in Nico Nico in February 8, 2009).
Later, the video embraced a wider audience when it reaches YouTube, where its two versions garnered a total of more than 2,500,000 views. The song and the designs also started to gain a global fanbase, and much later, was performed by famous members of Nico Nico Douga in a number of versions, including a band edition which is performed together with a chorus of human singers and, occasionally, including Hatsune Miku herself.
Upon the release of the Black★Rock Shooter OVA, Hatsune Miku performs another version of the song, this time, Supercell utilizes Miku Append, a complement of the original Vocaloid program with additional features. This version is entitled "Black★Rock Shooter 2M Mix".
The OVA AdaptationEdit
- Main Article: Black★Rock Shooter (OVA)
An OVA adaptation of Supercell's song was first announced to be released in Spring of 2010, inspired by the original song. This was confirmed in Black★Rock Shooter's official website. However, there are no confirmations of the content of the plot itself.
The anime project was supervised by Yutaka Yamamoto and directed by Shinobu Yoshioka; both have also worked in anime series Lucky☆Star and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. The animation company who handled the series was Yamamoto's Ordet studio. Huke and ryo also collaborated with Ordet in the project.
On September 30, 2009, about seven months before the OVA itself, a "pilot edition" of Black★Rock Shooter was made available in DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats. Included with the disc are artwork for the anime and a "live performance" version of the song Black★Rock Shooter.
In Tokyo Anime Fair 2010, an anime conference held in Japan, it has been confirmed by the production staff that the OVA will be made available in free streaming format as part of their campaign to advertise the show. It will be available between June 25 and August 31, 2010, with the extent of the broadcast (if it would reach countries outside Japan) still unconfirmed.
However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the release of the OVA's DVD was postponed to a later date, with the intent of expanding or improving on the promotion of the Black★Rock Shooter Project. To compensate on the delay, all copies of the DVD format included with the August issue of Hobby Japan, Animedia, and Megami magazines was given a certain merchandise item unique to each magazine brand.
At the start of July, the promotion campaigns continued, starting off with a collaboration between blogger Danny Choo and Good Smile Company to launch "exclusive footage" of Black★Rock Shooter in simultaneous events in Japan, Los Angeles (through the LA Anime Expo 2010) and Paris. In the said footage, it was deemed official that the Black★Rock Shooter OVA will be released in July 24, 2010.
The OVA is eventually released in both streaming and free DVD formats, with the latter bundled with Hobby Japan, Animedia and Megami magazines in their respective August 2010 issues, and with orders of Figma and Nendoroid figurines of Black Rock Shooter. These DVDs have subtitles for seven languages included. On December 17, there will be retail versions of the DVD (and a special Blu-ray+DVD bundle), with a collaborative video with Linkin Park's Joe Hahn.
On November 14, 2010, at the AFAX convention, Aki Takanori (president of Good Smile Company) revealed at Kana Hanazawa's Q&A session that a sequel would be made. However, Takanori quickly added on his Twitter that while they were very eager about the project, nothing has been confirmed.
Black★Rock Shooter THE GAMEEdit
- Main Article: Black★Rock Shooter THE GAME
A month after the release of the DVD of Black★Rock Shooter, the domain jrpg.jp posted in a new site brs.jrpg.jp a teaser video related to a game based on the Black★Rock Shooter concept. The teaser contained very few details regarding the game, including a possible scenario of the story and the character involved, who is none other than Black★Rock Shooter herself.
Three months later, more information regarding the Black★Rock Shooter game was released. In a conference held by video game developer Imageepoch on November 24, they announced that Black★Rock Shooter THE GAME (then tentative name of the game) is to be one of the projects of the company. Kazuya Niinou (Trauma Center, Last Ranker) will direct the project and Kazushige Nojima, who has worked on several Final Fantasy games and both installments of the Kingdom Hearts series, will be in-charge of the scenario.
The game, according to Imageepoch, will have role-playing and third-person shooter elements, and will be set in the distant future, where an alien invasion has exterminated much of the human civilization.
A release for the PSP console is confirmed for Summer of 2011, with a possibility of NIS America handling the distribution of the game in North America (and possibly Europe). A more definite date of August 25 is then announced for the Japanese release of the game. NIS America announced in an interview that the decision to release PSP games from Imageepoch in the American market is still under consideration by the company. NISA later confirms that they will release the PSP game in North America and Europe.
The PSP game of Black★Rock Shooter is soon promoted alongside another production of Imageepoch, Final Promise Story, and has undergone collaborative promotions together. ONE OK ROCK also joins in the project, providing the game's theme song, "NO SCARED".
Puchitto Rock ShooterEdit
- Main Article: Puchitto Rock Shooter
Alongside the release of Black★Rock Shooter THE GAME, another game based on the Black★Rock Shooter concept has been released. Entitled Puchitto Rock Shooter, this browser-based online game is released by Nico Nico Apps and was made accessible for Nico Nico users on March 7, 2011.
The story of Puchitto Rock Shooter revolves around Black★Rock Shooter as a bounty hunter that discovers an unusual world and an equally unusual race of inhabitants.
The overall visual designs of the game are made by CHANxCO, who has also been collaborated with the anime adaptation of the Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai light novels, and more recently, in the anime series project of Steins;Gate.
On January 28, Kadokawa Shoten announced the release of its newest publication 4-Koma Nano Ace. Among the titles to be released in the magazine is a 4-panel comic based on the Black★Rock Shooter concept entitled Black★Rock-chan. The comic book magazine was released on March along with other 4-panel comics.
The June issue of Kadokawa Shoten's Young Ace magazine also confirms the release of another series based on Black★Rock Shooter will be released. With the release date set to June 4, the manga adaptation, entitled Black★Rock Shooter ~Innocent Soul~, will be an entirely different story about Black★Rock Shooter, with Sasami Suzuki as the artist.
Almost a year after the successful OVA project of Black★Rock Shooter was released, on August 19, 2011, an anime series based on the Black★Rock Shooter concept is confirmed. The series will run on Fuji TV's Noitamina timeslot and will premiere on January 2012.
In October 2011, a trailer was released, citing Ordet as part of the animation team and featuring characters from the OVA and will be eight episodes in the series.
- Main Article: Merchandise
Ever since the release of the song performed by Hatsune Miku, Good Smile Company has taken part in the promotion of Black★Rock Shooter. Various figurines and other related merchandise featuring Black★Rock Shooter and Dead Master have been released, a majority of them produced by Good Smile Company, who also becomes one of the major sponsors of the project.
- ↑ Figures based on total viewcounts of the most viewed copies of the videos on Youtube. (As of June 10, 2010.)
- ↑ "Black Rock Shooter Anime with Yutaka Yamamoto Confirmed for Spring". Anime News Network. August 22, 2010.
- ↑ Product Information on Black Rock Shooter Pilot Edition on Good Smile Company Website.
- ↑ Animedia, Megami Mags to Bundle Black Rock Shooter. Anime News Network. April 9, 2010.
- ↑ Black Rock Shooter Anime Project Official Site.
- ↑ "Black Rock Shooter DVD to Be Subtitled in 7 Languages". Anime News Network." July 7, 2010.
- ↑ "Black Rock Shooter to Add Extra with Linkin Park Hahn". Anime News Network. July 26, 2010.
- ↑ "Black Rock Shooter OVA Sequel Announced". Moetron-Subs Website. November 13, 2010. Updated November 14, 2010.
- ↑ "Black Rock Shooter Gets Role Playing Game". Anime News Network. August 15, 2010.
- ↑ "Ufotable Makes Black Rock Shooter Game Anime Footage". Anime News Network. November 24, 2010.
- ↑ "NIS America Talks About Future Opportunities with Imageepoch!" (PDF file).November 30, 2010.
- ↑ Black★Rock Shooter THE GAME Launch Date on August 25! Goods Lineup Notified (in Japanese), March 30, 2011.
- ↑ What's Going On with NIS America, Imageepoch and Black Rock Shooter, Siliconera. June 27, 2011.
- ↑ Press Conference on Black★Rock Shooter THE GAME, NIS America. August 24, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
- ↑ Black★Rock Shooter THE GAME Theme Song Tie-Up Artist is ONE OK ROCK (in Japanese), April 21, 2011.
- ↑ Puchitto Rock Shooter Service Start; Nico Nico Live Broadcast Announced (in Japanese), March 7, 2011.
- ↑ Black Rock Shooter's 4-Panel Manga Launches This Week. Anime News Network., March 7, 2011.
- ↑ Black Rock Shooter Gets Manga in Young Ace This June. Anime News Network., May 4, 2011.
- ↑ Yaraon blog. August 18, 2011 (PST). Updated August 19, 2011.
- ↑ Black Rock Shooter Gets New TV Anime in January, Anime News Network., August 18, 2011.