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Black Rock Shooter ( ブラック★ロックシュータ ) is a series created by Japanese artist huke and the famous Vocaloid producer ryo, both members of the popular Japanese band Supercell. The song (which uses the Hatsune Miku voice engine) debuted on Nico Nico Douga as an original video on June 13th, 2008. Due to it’s immense popularity in Japan, “Black Rock Shooter” has spawned into its own franchise consisting of games, an OAV, several manga, and finally its own anime series that began airing February 3rd, 2012 on Fuji TV. “Black Rock Shooter” is both the name of the franchise as well as the name of the main character.
Contrary to popular belief, aside from the song begin created with the Hatsune Miku Vocaloid program, Black Rock Shooter itself has nothing to do with Vocaloid or Hatsune Miku.
December 26th, 2007, huke posted the original art concepts for Black Rock Shooter on his own personal blog as well as Pixiv . When huke joined Supercell, ryo saw the illustrations and was inspired to make the song Black Rock Shooter. huke created a video to match the song and posted it on Nico Nico Douga in 2008. The Nico Nico Douga video was re-uploaded on to Youtube shortly after on June 20th, 2008 by soundares who posted a fan translation of the song. The Youtube re-print has garnered over 1.7 million views.
In 2010, animation studio Ordet created the 50 minute Black Rock Shooter OAV as it’s first solo production. The OAV, while not particularly popular among its core fanbase, projected Black Rock Shooter into even greater popularity. Since then the series has released two manga series and a PSP game.
The PSP game is an RPG titled Black Rock Shooter: The Game (ブラック★ロックシューター THE GAME) and was released on August 25, 2011. Black Rock-chan (ブラック★ロックちゃん Burakku Rokku-chan) is a four-panel comic series which feature super deformed versions of the characters Black Rock Shooter and Dead Master. Another series named Black Rock Shooter: Innocent Soul (ブラック★ロックシューター
イノセントソウル Burakku Rokku Shūtā: Inosento Souru) began serialization in the July 2011 issue of Kadokawa Shoten’s Young Ace magazine.
Even prior to its official productions, Black Rock Shooter gained a lot of attention on Nico Nico Douga. Fans and fellow Vocaloid producers inspired by the song and the illustrations began creating fan work ranging from fan art, MikuMikuDance videos, and MADs. Even though Black Rock Shooter itself is not directly linked to Vocaloid, the characters from the series frequently appear in fan art with Vocaloid characters.
The most famous re-make of the Black Rock Shooter video was posted on February 8th, 2009 by a Nico Nico Douga user known as Anomaro-P. The song itself has several covers (including ones sung by live artists) that have been posted on Nico Nico Douga.