This is a review of episode 5 of Black Rock Shooter Dawn Fall, available on Hulu and Disney Plus.
In this episode, we get the backstory of Strength, meet Norito again, and witness excessive drinking.
Spoilers to follow!
The episode starts strong with a very quick flashback of a young Strength speaking with Empress only to be interrupted by Strength waking up in a bar complaining about a brutal headache.
After the intro song, we find Strength causing havoc in the bar and throwing up, only to be approached by Norito and some thugs from the Education Institution (“EI”). We then learn how she got her name: she likes to pummel everything!
Unfortunately, the EI uses what looks like the T1000’s mimetic polyalloy to steal Strength’s gigantic arms.
Along with her arms, they also take her confidence, but she manages to escape on a bike. Norito follows on another.
Empress and team, having failed to rescue another set of abducted girls, have decided to perform a train attack on the EI when they realize Miya has been captured.
Norito and Strength run around in some caves. Strength admits that she can’t remember why she’s mad at Empress or why she’s obsessed with her. It’s clear the loss of her arms has awoken emotions and memories she has tried to bury, as she speaks in a quiet, scared voice and her ferocity is gone.
In a twist I didn’t see coming, Norito reveals that he has led the EI to Strength in exchange for Miya. In truth, I’m not sure how this was orchestrated. Did Norito know where Strength was? Did the EI approach him? It’s not clear.
Either way, in a fury, Strength regains one of her arms. She smashes the rocks and sends herself down the cliffside. Norito is taken with the EI.
Strength survives the fall but wanders around talking to herself in two different personalities. It’s clear she’s suffered a psychological break from whatever happened wth Empress in the past, and she tries to forget this part of herself, and her memories, by drinking. After a few moments of arguing with herself (literally), she sends out a flare to Empress in a desperate attempt at either reconciliation or help.
Norito is about to be executed by the EI, but Strength attempts a rescue. Black Trike swoops in, taking out some soldiers and helping Strength reconstitute her gigantic arms. Empress and Dead Master help take out the soldiers from afar while Strength beats the goons to death with a cry of “hurray for violence!”
Afterward, Strenth refuses to join Empress but somehow is cured of alcoholism and dissociative identity disorder (or not – we shall see). Norito joins Strength with plans to rescue Miya.
Overall, this show is definitely growing stronger as it moves along. This episode was a lot of fun, with some interesting twists and an attempt at character depth. I wonder if the reason why Empress’ former friends are angry with her is that she betrayed them somehow? We’ll have to wait and see!
The next episode airs on November 23rd on Hulu and Disney Plus.