Black fox; my review and the strength of choice

{Spoilers for almost all of the movie}

What if there was an anime superhero movie? Don’t tell me I’m the only one who thought this.
Black fox follows Rikka Isurugi and her story of revenge for the death of her father, fighting a corrupt old friend of his… Okay, let me rephrase that.

Rikka is a girl destined to inherit the leadership of a ninja clan from her grandfather, while what she really wants to do is be a researcher, like her dad, who created 3 distinct animal drones, who are supposed to be companions but not servants of humans, therefore, Rikka’s friends. At her 16th birthday, her home and her dad’s laboratory get attacked by a group sent by an evil organisation along with one of Allen’s (Rikka’s dad’s) old friends and his daughter, who seems to be a puppet and has awesome super dangerous psychic powers.
This leads to her running away with her the help of her animal drone friends, finding a secret weapon stash and to continue seeking out information about those who attacked her home. It all seems to stably progress as she tries to find the leads between work and returning home to her roommate Melissa’s cooking, until one day, near a guarded building, she meets a girl named Mia.

At the very beginning I was confused, as I didn’t go entirely blind per say, but read glimpses of a few MAL reviews before I watched the movie. A lot of people were talking how predictable and somewhat shallow it was; at first I thought it was building up quite nicely,yet I didn’t have to get halfway through to see the problems. However, Black fox is not a bad movie. It has it’s perks and flaws and I’d like to briefly look through both without retelling the entire story.

What I liked:

  • The opening scene was thrilling, eerie and unexpected
  • The way they showed the bond between Rikka, her father, and her grandfather. It was interesting to see both of their dynamic differences with her, and the conflict of what path should Rikka choose (ninja or researcher), led the way to a nice moment near the end.
  • The supporting cast; while I would’ve liked to see more banter between the animal drones and Rikka, I think that 12 episodes would’ve been too much. At the same time, what we got was quite enjoyable and gave both Rikka and the animals more character
  • The action scenes! The animation was fluid and the choreography flowed well, giving sight to some breathtaking and hype inducing action
  • The art in general is mostly pretty great; I liked the character designs and how they clearly gave a distinct feeling to each character.

What I didn’t like:

  • The predictability; it would’ve been a huge stretch for Rikka to join the bad guys, but oh who could Mia be and oh I wonder will she stay the puppet of her manipulative father
  • The CG; I’m glad to not have received a random CG mob, but this is as positive as I can word it (bad cg is bad cg, because you notice bad cg)
  • Bad guy with the creepy smile is the main villain (wow)
  • Underdeveloped characters and rush of the story in general; that’s what I meant by saying it could’ve used more time, while there seem be some character development, it doesn’t seem finished and in the end it all seems quite rushed

All in all, it’s a good movie with a few flaws, but why am I really talking about it? It’s the portrayal of choice, what really pushed me towards opening a new draft.

The concept of such a problem is nothing new, it has been done before, especially the “mc has to choose between two worlds that both have a person important to them”. However, it struck me nevertheless. Rikka chose her own path and instead merged the two most important parts of her life into one and this was the reason why she was able to defeat the “final boss” in the end.

Just because you have readily available paths or certain expectations from your family, that does not mean you have to follow them and loose yourself or abandon what you also like and you’re interested in. Sometimes things like “destined” aren’t the only choice. At the same time, it doesn’t mean that you should disregard everything that has been taught to you and that future. People have the power to choose and the power to change through the choices that they make. The world is a flux of emotions and events, but the stability of our beliefs and trust in our own choices works like an anchor that keeps us stable.

And so, Rikka takes her second step towards the truth and revenge, with more friends and basically a new self, while we’re kept wondering, what could happen next…

What are your thoughts on Black fox? What did you like and/or didn’t like? Let me know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Black fox; my review and the strength of choice

  1. I still haven’t watched this. I was going to wait until I’d settled my seasonal watch list and then go have a look but the reviews have so far been pretty mixed so I’m not really sure what to expect from it.

    Liked by 1 person

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