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"The reason the girl with the blue eyes fights... even when it hurts her so much... is to save me from having to go through that pain. But... I refuse to accept this!"
― Mato Kuroi in Hope That Time There Shouldn't Have Been Any

Mato Kuroi (黒衣マト, Kuroi Mato) is the main character of Black★Rock Shooter 2012 anime. Her other self is Black★Rock Shooter.


Mato is a black-haired school girl with blue eyes. She has short, spiky pig tails and wears a school uniform consisting of a white shirt, a yellow blazer with blue adornments, and blue pleated skirt, along with white socks and brown school shoes. She has a band-aid on the outer side of her right thigh.


"An always cheerful, a bright, innocent, and naïve 13-year-old. However, even she doesn't realize that she has a “certain feeling” buried deep inside."
― Character description from the official English website.


Mato is a kind, optimistic, and deeply caring person to a fault. If she has a problem with someone, but can remember the good in them, she believes they can always work it out by talking to each other. Saya Irino describes Mato as the kind of person who has never hated anyone or had anyone hate her. Mato herself dislikes the idea of getting upset over small things or hating other people, but the fault of this is that Mato doesn't want to be hurt or hated by anyone. Yuu Koutari believes that Mato doesn't have the capacity for hatred, jealousy, or self-consciousness because she cares more about other people than she does about herself, pushing her own feelings aside to focus on helping people. True to her kind nature, Mato believes what Black★Rock Shooter and the other selves go through on their human counterparts' behalves is wrong, though relents once she learns they fight because they love their human counterparts.

She has a tendency for philosophical musings, and often remarks on some quality that she sees in the world around her to no one in particular (for example, she remarks on the sky as "light blue" and a flower as "blooming"). She is also slightly perverted, remarking on the length of her schoolmate's skirt as "short".

Mato is very fond of the book The Tiny Bird & The Colors and reads it repeatedly, though she herself is unsure of why she is so drawn to the little bird in the story. Her fondness of the book was what led to her being interested in Yomi Takanashi after learning of her last name.


Mato arrives at school on the first day. While in zoning out, she trips and falls. Yomi helps her up. She sees the bracelet on Yomi's wrist, and comments on it.

Mato looks at her class roster and notes that the girl's name is read as "little birds playing". Still confused, she walks home with her childhood friend Yuu, discussing this strange person whom she is determined to make friends with.

As she goes home, she muses about her favorite book, The Tiny Bird & The Colors, a book about a small white bird that takes people to worlds of different colors.

The next day, she meets with Yomi, and learns her name "Takanashi". She asks Yomi if she is interested in any clubs, but Yomi avoids the question and quickly leaves the room. She later meets Saya Irino, who advises her to drop by should any problems arise.

Mato joins the basketball club shortly after; Yomi sees running, and thinks of her calling as "beautiful".

Yomi later notes that Mato has a phone charm for The Tiny Bird and the Colors, a book she also has, and shows her the cell phone screen saver of the cover of the  first edition. She invites Mato to her house. She gives Mato her bracelet as a present. However, they run into Kagari Izuriha, who insults her and drives her away. Mato leaves and runs home in tears, terified by the experience. She then receives an apologetic text from Yomi.

Mato visits Saya the next day and confides that she's afraid of Kagari. Saya tells her that she will inevitably make enemies, and that there is always someone bearing her pain for her. With newfound determination, Mato visits Yomi in the art room. Yomi protests that Mato cannot be friends with her because it would only get her hurt. Mato refutes her, and insists they should go to the local festival together.

Yomi, however, does not show up at the festival. Mato receives three text messages from her: "I'm sorry". Mato runs back home, hurt at Yomi's "lie".

That night, Mato has a dream about a strange girl who watches as another gets taken away by bugs while begging for help. She sees a heart-shaped scar on one of the girls' chests.

The next morning, Mato finds Yomi in the locker room and notices that she has the same heart-shaped scar on her chest. She questions it, but Yomi hides it and asks Mato why she isn't angry about Yomi not coming to the festival. Mato says that if she wants her to be angry, she will be. Mato states that Yomi is not, like her name implies, a little bird; she has the potential to go to many different worlds, but refuses to do so.

She goes to Saya's Counseling room along with Yuu, and tells them about her dream. Saya tells her that a dream might be a way of conveying things that can't be said in words between close friends. With this in mind, Mato returns to Yomi's house. However, she hears Yomi screaming and a commotion. Mato bangs on the door just as Yomi's mother comes home.

At the hospital Mato is told that, depite only spraining her wrist, Kagari claims to be unable to use her arms anymore, and demands that Yomi's full attention and care. Yomi's mother tells Mato about how Kagari ended up getting hit by a car when trying to chase Yomi when they were children; despite the incident, Kagari is not physically harmed. Mato protests. She says Yomi shouldn't be tied to Kagari. Yomi's mother agrees, but pities Kagari and thus allows the situation to continue as is.

Mato bangs on the door to Kagari's room, demanding Yomi to come out. Mato tells her that Kagari is only pitiful because Yomi enabling her. Yomi gains the courage to confront Kagari and tries to snap her out of her sheltered life. In the meantime, Black★Rock Shooter beheads Chariot. Yomi opens the door. Mato finds a cheerful Kagari inside who then falls over asleep. The next day, she and Yomi discuss Kagari's situation. Mato learns that Kagari has become calmer and is now taking walking exercises. 

Mato runs into Yuu who rushes her to a meeting. At the basketball club's gathering, captain Arata Kohata deems her suitable for becoming a semi-regular in the basketball tournament, and tells her she must go through training.  Mato is made nervous as Arata tends to be rather strict.

As Mato washes her face with Yuu they accidentaly peep on Arata giving a love letter to a boy. She catches sight of the duo and they run for it.

As Mato prepares for her training, she muses about the girl she saw in her dream, and wonders if she is like the bird that absorbed the colors of many worlds into its wings. Yomi calls Mato for small talk. As Mato mentions Yuu quite a bit, Yomi grows uncomfortable, and quickly ends the call.

Mato goes on the sports training trip. There, she goes through harsh training. The other girls question whether she can fill in the team's niche and become a semi-regular, but Arata has confidence in her.

That night, Mato dreams of Black Gold Saw raising strange figures like plants with a watering can. She is wakened by the shock. Mato confides in Yuu about her dreams; Yuu wonders if these people bear Mato's pain for her.

The sports team goes souvenir shopping. Mato and Yuu see Arata buying a wooden sword for the boy she likes. Yuu asks Mato if she wants a boyfriend yet. Mato answers that it's too soon to think about that, but Yuu comments that she already has her "Tiny Bird," referring to Yomi.

Upon their return, Mato gives a box of sweets to Yomi as a gift. Yomi in turn gives her a blue bracelet she made. However, as Mato talks about the trip, and consequently, about Yuu, Yomi becomes visibly uncomfortable. Yomi laments that she isn't Mato's best friend.

They come across a crowd of students; Arata's love letter had been taped to the bulletin board for everyone to see. They watch on as Arata is made fun of by the other boys. Arata laughs it off and walks away. Mato, Yomi, and Yuu go elsewhere to mull about their situation. Mato and Yuu begin to cry, thinking about Arata covering up all her pain.

In basketball practice, Arata trips over and twists her ankle. Mato escorts her to the infirmary,and decides to go get a teacher, though Arata is resistant to getting help from Saya. In the Hollow World, Black★Rock Shooter beheads Arata's other self. Mato senses it. she runs back to the infirmary to find Arata prone on the floor.

Kagari returns to school the next day, and Mato watches as she quickly becomes popular with the other girls. Yuu tells her that Arata has recovered. She is put in charge of the basketball team, since Arata is now unable to participate in the preliminaries.

As a result, Mato cannot walk home with Yomi anymore. Yomi is unnerved, especially at the mention of Yuu.

Mato attempts to meet with Yomi the next day, but finds Kagari instead. They walk to school together and come across Yomi, who gets upset with Kagari because she had been waiting for her.

After basketball practice, Kagari asks Mato what she should give to Yomi as a present, as she wants to repay Yomi for all she has done for her.

Mato tells Kagari that she should give Yomi something that she made at the cooking club she recently joined. The two run into Yomi, who denies being upset about Kagari having other friends. Yomi runs away once she sees Kagari and Mato together.

She goes into Saya's counseling room to ask for advice, however Saya tries to choke her. She runs away and goes into the art room. She finds a crowd looking at the picture painted by Yomi that depicts a bloody Mato crying with a star on her left eye. A student asks if she can take the picture away. 

Mato looks for Yuu. However, she gradually starts forgetting her face and the memories they had together. She looks for her house. In it's place, she comes across a river bank.

Mato finds Yuu who tells her about the other world. Yuu asks if Mato wants to save Yomi. She answers yes. Yuu transports Mato to the Hollow World where she fuses with Black Rock Shooter. She is forced to look as Black Rock Shooter kills Dead Master. Mato enters a shock that turns Black Rock Shooter into Insane Black Rock Shooter.


  • The kanji for her surname means black clothes. "Mato", with certain kanji, can mean target (as in target shooting).
    • Mato's surname is sometimes misread as "Kokui" due to the fact that it would be the more common pronunciation of the kanji in normal wording: however, "Kuroi" as a surname is the proper pronunciation.
  • Her favorite food is curry.
  • She is ironically not considered a team player when it comes to playing on the basketball team.


Full article: Mato Kuroi (TV Anime Character)/Gallery


  1. "CHARACTERS". TV ANIMATION Black★Rock Shooter Official English Website. Retrieved on July 14, 2023.
Black★Rock Shooter TV Anime
Characters Real World Arata KohataHiro KuroiKagari IzurihaMato KuroiMato's MotherSaya IrinoTaku KatsuchiYomi's MotherYomi TakanashiYuu Koutari
Hollow World Arata's "Other Self"Black Gold SawBlack★Rock ShooterChariotDead MasterIncomplete GirlsInsane Black★Rock ShooterStrength
Locations Hollow WorldSchool
Terminology The Tiny Bird & The ColorsOther self
Music Black★Rock Shooter (song)Bokura no Ashiato
La Storia Black★Rock Shooter Original Soundtrack
Related Media Black★Rock Shooter Storyboard Collection