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Black Rock Shooter Dawn Fall - What We Know So Far

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"Black Rock Shooter" has a fascinating origin: the whole franchise is based on an illustration, posted in 2007 by an artist going by the name huke to an online community called Pixiv. That image, of a young blue-eyed woman wearing black pigtails and holding a large weapon, inspired the Japanese pop band Supercell to create a song about her (via Oricon) using Yamaha's Vocaloid technology. In 2009, Anime News Network reported that Yutaka Yamamoto's Ordet studio was developing an anime pilot project for DVD. This turned out to be an OVA styled much like anime music videos. Then, in 2011, Anime News Network wrote that several mangas had been launched and that another anime from Ordet would run on Fuji TV in early 2012. This eight-episode series streamed worldwide as well (via Crunchyroll). 

The existing anime series focused on junior high school classmates Mato Kuroi and Yomi Takanashi, who become friends — only to have that tested when it turns out they have avatars in an alternate reality and must fight each other as Black Rock Shooter and Dead Master. Fast forward to 2021, following the release of video games and figurines within the "Black Rock Shooter" franchise. Just last month, artist huke announced another anime project called "Black Rock Shooter Dawn Fall." Here's what we know about it at this point.

What is the release date of Black Rock Shooter Dawn Fall?

Some fans on Reddit have expressed surprise that a franchise so dependent on aesthetics, one which may have already peaked, is getting a new series. But that appears to be exactly what's happening. According to the show's official website, "Black Rock Shooter Dawn Fall" is not too far off. The site announced on October 8 that the anime has a spring 2022 launch window. Producers have not provided specific information about where the show will stream or how soon it will be available to a global audience. 

To date, only a few key visuals have been released promoting the series, and no other content has been forthcoming. The anime series' producers clearly have some work to do before 2022. Meanwhile, if you're interested in catching up with the 2012 limited series, you may have a hard time locating it. It doesn't appear to be streaming anywhere in the U.S. — at least, legally. However, Discotek Media put out a Blu-ray DVD release earlier in 2021 and you can buy this from Amazon sellers. Chances are, missing the older series will not affect your enjoyment of the new one, though.

Who are the characters in Black Rock Shooter Dawn Fall?

In the 2012 anime series (via Anime News Network), the main characters included Mato (Kana Hanazawa), Yomi (Miyuki Sawashiro), Yomi's childhood friend Yuu Koutari (Kana Asumi), school counselor Saya Irino (Mamiko Noto), Yomi's childhood friend Kagari Izuriha (Eri Kitamura), and basketball team captain Arata Kohata (Manami Numakura). Their alternate selves as represented in the other reality include Black Rock Shooter, Dead Master, Strength, Chariot, Black Gold Saw, and Insane Black Rock Shooter.

Since the limited series aired almost 10 years ago, the show is due for a revamped look and cast. However, no information regarding these aspects has been announced for the new TV project yet. The website lists some staff members, though: Artist huke is named as the creator, and Tensho is directing from a screenplay by Makoto Fukami and Ryo Yoshigami. Bibury Animation Studios is in charge of production.

What is the plot of Black Rock Shooter Dawn Fall?

"Black Rock Shooter" has always focused on style over substance, which means that the plot seems secondary in this franchise. But, if "Dawn Fall" takes its cues from the 2012 anime's narrative, it'll concentrate on the story of the teen students who, as their "other selves" are fighting it out, can feel the pain and be affected by what is happening to their parallel identities. The series had a bit of an open ending, implying that Strength and Black Rock Shooter plan to continue the eternal battle. 

Alternatively, the show could decide to take a cue from one of the other properties, like Imageepoch's "Black Rock Shooter: The Game" for the PlayStation Portable from 2011, which featured Stella the Black Rock Shooter super-soldier helping the last 12 humans survive an alien invasion in 2051. The main visual huke has released on Facebook of "Dawn Fall" shows Black Rock Shooter falling, holding on to her weapon and what looks like a vehicle or transport of some kind, with a full purple moon above. At least in tone, that one image implies a technological setting for the 2022 project that matches the game visuals better than the more otherworldly feel of the anime. Still, whether or not "Dawn Fall" is a continuation, a reboot, or something else remains a mystery at the moment.