For some reason, I really marvel this anime yet I don’t know exactly why. I mean, there’s nothing brilliant with the plot. If anything, it’s strongly reminiscent of “The Matrix”, “Inception”, and “Sucker Punch”. I guess, what really compels me to watch and like this anime would be the awesomeness of its visuals and the great cast but as far as comprehension goes with regard to the characters or the plot, I just feel neutral about it.
From the way things turned out, “awakening” in the BRS world meant for their real-world counterpart to pass on their emotions to their other-world copies. By doing so, they simply breathe life to their bland other-world selves, promoting their status from simple killing machines to someone who fights with a cause such as Black Gold Saw and Strength and probably, Chariot and Dead Master. But I think, this method of “awakening” have two different types or probably levels. The first form would be a synchronicity with the real-world and other-world emotions.
To support this, let’s take Chariot’s attitude when she fought against Black Rock Shooter. The way she toyed BRS while dropping sweets down her face indicate that she is not a simple killing machine. The very emotion to mess around is the only proof that I could provide from that scene.
The same goes with Dead Master before she took a drastic personality change. We can assume that the reason she fought against BRS at first was because she’s trying to preserve her emotions regarding her relationship with Kagari.
The second form of awakening would be the one where both of them, the other-world and real-world personalities, recognize the existence of one another. An example of this would be STR and Yu and probably, Black Gold Saw and Saya.
Moving on, once their other-word personalities are defeated, regardless of whether or not they have awakened, their emotions return to a blank slate. The example of this being Kagari and Yomi who both had a drastic change in personality and even Arata.
Now let’s set all that aside and compare Yu and STR with Mato and BRS.
From what I’ve observed, those who have “awakened” are consciously aware of what both personalities are feeling. In STR and Yu’s case, the one who has been talking to Mato in the real world has been STR all along. She’s the kind, gentle girl who has been trying to communicate with Mato all throughout the battle between BRS and STR. Of course, during this time, we may assume that it was the real Yu who has been fighting, simply granting the wish of STR to hold out while she communicates with Mato. But when Yu finally loses her temper, she finally decides to fight according to how she sees it. STR is still there communicating with Mato but she cannot control her body or perhaps, her arrangement with Yu forbid her to move how she wishes it.
This also reflects their difference in personalities. Where STR is a kind persona, the real Yu may have become quite destructive ever since she gladly swapped placed with STR. For all we know, Yu’s engage in combat is her way of relieving the stress she had irl. Yu may even be the one who burned her home and it was at that time that she swapped with STR.
Now let’s compare this with Mato and BRS. Mato’s emotionally whack personality reminds me of the naivety of Emiya Shiro. They both stick to their ideals since they believe that it causes a ‘good’ but disregard the fact that their bondage to such twist their personalities and narrow their way of thinking. In the end, both of them can ONLY see their ideals and force it to others. In the case of Mato, she refuses to acknowledge the fact that she was hurt. She may confront the people involved about it but in the end, her ideals twist her truth, forcing her to live a lie.
In this aspect, we can say that perhaps, the existence of BRS is to enforce such twisted ideals. If Mato does not recognize the existence of ‘anguish’ and ‘suffering’ from other people, then what better way than for BRS to kill their other-world avatar? The same with how BRS dealt with Arata’s other-world self, perhaps Mato wished irl not to help her senpai but for her senpai to be freed from the things that burden her, which would’ve been the humiliation she received.
Now when Mato attempted the second form of awakening in order to “save” Takanashi’s emotions from being killed, she found out too late. Takanashi’s emotions, in the form of Dead Master, have been slain and recognizing her “act” as a form of “anguish/suffering”, she denied herself of what she has done.
We can assume that by denying herself for who she is, Kuroi Mato and BRS broke. Perhaps at this point, BRS’s objective is to continue her last directive which is to impose Mato’s original ideals to others which meant for BRS to go on a killing spree with whoever she encounters.
With Takanashi recovering her emotions, it makes sense as to how Dead Master would be coming back but I wonder what kind of awakening Dead Master and Takanashi will share. Will they be able to go together in that world and combat BRS and probably STR in the attempt of rescuing Mato? And what about Black Gold Saw?
Only an episode left before everything ends. I hope they give this anime a proper closure.
** It feels weird as fuck to write such a long post… Haven’t felt like this since Madoka.