Monday, November 3, 2008

Kurozuka 03: The Future is Scary

IN A NUTSHELL: Kuro wakes up in the future and realizes the new world is not quite what he imagines it to be.
EPISODE 03: Asuka

A community of destitute civilians are huddled together in an old abandoned building when they are suddenly attacked by a group of armored men. One by one, the civilians are slain...for no apparent reason.

the future is no stranger to mayhem

Meanwhile, Kuro wakes up to find himself in a forest. He starts walking when he suddenly sees a vision of Kuromitsu. But once he approaches her, the vision disappears and he realizes that she is really gone.
an illusion

In another meanwhile, a prostitute, Rai, is trying to sniff out information from a regular customer. The man tells her that the Red Imperial Army is doing a manhunt as rumors of the appearance of a vampire quickly spreads.

we all have a bit of stool pigeon in us

Minutes later, Rai waves her man off and turns around to meet another man, Karuta. The two of them seem to belong to the same group who are against the Red Imperial Army. While Rai is engaged in gathering intelligence, Karuta is responsible for finding more soldiers to fight their cause. They exchange information and decide to meet later at the Sakafune bar.
Rai and Karuta

Back to Kuro, he now finds himself wandering through a vast post-apocalyptic city. When he stops a man to ask what year it is and the name of the city, the man just turns away, calling him crazy.

chance meeting

Kuro's presence draws quite a crowd, among whom is Karuta, who immediately befriends him. Their little chat is interrupted, however, when Kuro notices that his sword has gone missing. Fortunately, Karuta knows his way around the street and he willingly gives Kuro a hand.
Karuta and Kuro at the Sakafune

Karuta brings Kuro to the Sakafune bar where he tells him what happened in the past few years.

the past opens up to him

Apparently, there was a meteor heading towards earth. In an effort to stop it from crashing into earth, all the great nations of the world tried to bomb it, but failed. Then, in a freak accident, a missile hit one of the nations, causing a retaliation that spawned a war, which came to be known as the Great Disaster.
somewhere, some time

Surprisingly, 80% of the population survived. But many of these survivors died in the darkness that later engulfed the earth for two years after the Great Disaster.

visions? or memories?

In the middle of Karuta's story, Kuro suddenly gets a vision of Kuromitsu standing on a cliff, telling him the same story. This is followed by a horrifying memory of watching her fall off that same cliff after bullets riddle her body. The vision causes Kuro to lose it momentarily. He starts screaming, much to the other bar patrons' shock.
what is this atmosphere?

Meanwhile, the Red Imperial Army is on the move. They tear through the city, mercilessly killing countless civilians.

they sweep through the city like some dark army

Rai, who is fleeing the city on a motorcycle, gives Karuta the heads-up on the situation. In the meantime, Karuta gathers the men together, preparing them for an attack.
that symbol

He ushers them all, including Kuro, behind the mural. However, once the soldiers march in, Kuro recognizes the symbol on their chest.

they're coming!

Kuro goes berserk and kills the entire squadron right in front of Karuta's eyes. But even Kuro in berserk mode is no match for the leader of the squadron.
the enemy shows his face

The man comes out of nowhere and hacks at Kuro's shoulder, sending him to the ground. But for some reason, the man does not finish him off and just leaves Kuro, bleeding from the large gash on his shoulders.

it's all just a bit strange

After the enemy is gone, Karuta starts to commend Kuro for his hard work. But Kuro is not even listening as he spots the dead body of one soldier and he crawls towards it. Then, he fastens his fangs into the soldier's neck and begins to suck out his blood.

Okay, err, vampires. But Karuta and Rai being part of some ragtag army of rebels is pretty cool. I just wish they were drawn better. Speaking of which, production values are definitely going downhill. And it's too dark. I can't see anything. I wish they'd do something about the tone.

On the other hand, the story is becoming more interesting now. I still only have half of an idea who Kuro and Kuromitsu are but I suppose all shall be revealed in due time. Right now, I'm just here for the ride from timeline to timeline.

The Red Imperial Army is, of course, some incarnation of Kuromitsu's original pursuers. Speaking of which, where in the heck is Kuromitsu? I can't believe she's dead since she's supposed to be immortal. Maybe she's captured somewhere or perhaps on the run or in hiding. I stopped reading the manga when it got to this point so from here on, I basically have no idea what's going to happen.

Is that M. Bison-like dude Benkei? It can only be Benkei since his is the only face I can put on Kuro's unseen nemesis. That said, why the heck did he turn on Kuro all of a sudden? Also, whatever happend to Kuro's brother? Wasn't Kuro on the run from him in the beginning? So many questions I hope to get the answers soon.