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"It's true that we don't have emotions of our own. But no one forces us to fight for you. We have free will, and we choose to fight, because we love you."
― Strength in Let's Go Beyond This World

Strength (ストレングス, Sutorengusu) is the incarnation of the Strength character in Black★Rock Shooter 2012 anime. She is the other self of Yuu Koutari.

Appearance[]

Strength has orange eyes, tan skin, and short white hair above her shoulders. Much of her head and face, save for her eyes, is obscured by a black hood with a collar that covers her mouth, decorated with a white flame pattern and matching zipper. She also wears a black dress with a white rim, white thigh-high stockings, and metallic black shoes. Past her shoulders are her Ogre Arms, a pair of mechanized arms with massive hands that are about half her size in length. On her lower back is a large, black scorpion-like tail that also appears to be mechanical. In Let's Go Beyond This World, after losing her Ogre Arms, she is shown to have normal arms with black elbow gloves.

Her orange eyes have a circular pattern with white pupils in them. In Make a Wish on a Star Racing Through the Darkness, it was revealed that Strength's eyes were originally a grey color before she gained emotions, after which her eyes turned orange.

Personality[]

In the past, Strength was no different from any of the other selves who fought each other purely on instinct, without any emotions of their own. When Yuu connected with Strength for the first time, she sensed how much her human counterpart was suffering, and it terrified Strength to the point that it forced her to feel emotions. Overwhelmed by the sadness she felt from this, Strength wanted to let herself die so she could take Yuu's pain with her, but was instead made to switch places with Yuu in the real world.

Strength's personality in the present time, as seen while she has taken Yuu's place, is that of a cheerful and supportive friend, especially to Mato Kuroi, whom she has been close friends with ever since kindergarten (according to Mato's memories). She teases her from time to time, especially poking fun about her friendship with "her tiny bird" at the beginning of the series. Mato was Strength's first and best friend, and the one who had taught her how beautiful the real world could be. She agreed with how Mato saw what the other selves go through for the sake of their human counterparts as wrong, which also showed how empathetic Strength was to the other selves suffering in their constant fighting. It was for this reason that she sent Mato's consciousness to the Hollow World to help her save Yomi. Strength is also close with Saya Irino, who was friends with Yuu in her youth and the only person in the real world who knew that Yuu and Strength had switched places.

Strength has the same love for her human counterpart that all the other selves have for their human counterparts. She has demonstrated this love the most with Yuu, whom she comforts and reassures that she would find friends and be supported by Saya and Mato in the real world, which she knew was wonderful. She tells Yuu this because she would never lie to someone she loves.

History[]

BRS TV EP7-425

Prior to the beginning of the series, Strength was once like all the other selves in the Hollow World, who were born from the pain that girls in the real world suffer from and endure. Having no emotions of her own, she fought others purely on instinct. Eventually, she encountered Black★Rock Shooter. At that time, Strength could feel how powerful Black★Rock Shooter was, but nothing except fighting and winning mattered to her then. While they were fighting, Strength was pushed back and fell off a cliff behind her. Just when she was about to die from the fall, Yuu's voice reached her, saving her from death.

BRS TV EP7-459

Hearing Yuu's voice allowed Strength to feel emotions for the first time and sense how much Yuu was truly suffering. The sensation overwhelmed her with such sadness to the point that Strength planned to let herself be killed by Black★Rock Shooter, whom she found mercilessly slaughtering other selves. Knowing that she could take Yuu's pain with her if she were to die, Strength hoped that Yuu would forget all that pained her that way, but Strength ended up not going through with her plan and left without being noticed.

BRS TV EP7-478

Strength sat alone in a cathedral-like area, letting her wounds to heal almost instantly. Then, she heard Yuu's voice again, who was relieved that Strength did not die. Strength asks why she shouldn't die for Yuu's sake if it would allow her to forget her pain, but Yuu says that she'll never stop feeling pain for as long as she lives in the real world, which she called cold and vicious, and more trauma would only replace what Strength would be able to take away. Yuu believed that she couldn't survive without Strength, and goes on to express how simple and pure Strength's world is for being a place that does nothing more than battle. Yuu then decides to switch places with Strength, with Strength taking on Yuu's body in the real world and Yuu taking on Strength's body in the Hollow World. Between then and the beginning of the series, the real Strength meets and becomes friends with Mato under the guise of Yuu Koutari, while maintaining a close relationship with Saya.

BRS TV EP4-014

Strength in Episode 4

She is first introduced in Episode 4, in which she is seen dragging the beheaded Chariot behind her, and then throwing the body off of a cliff, after which the red eyes of Black Gold Saw start appearing in the sky.

Later, while dreaming Mato briefly sees Strength standing in the same area where she was before, but does not take much notice because the scene quickly changes.

While Black★Gold Saw and Insane Black★Rock Shooter are fighting, she drags away the body of Dead Master to the same abyss she threw Chariot in. After the fight between Black★Gold Saw and Insane Black★Rock Shooter, Strength saves Black Gold Saw and, demonstrating the ability to manipulate the Hollow World, transports them all to another region and moves Black Gold Saw away for her own protection. She then fights Insane Black★Rock Shooter, using the immense strength of her Ogre Arms and her reality-altering abilites to gain the upper hand in the battle. She manages to crush Insane Black★Rock Shooter against a wall and then swings both of her fists down on her.

However, Insane Black★Rock Shooter again gains the upper hand. Strength fights back using machine guns and gatling guns in her Ogre Arms, but is again overpowered. She then seems to go insane and seems to enjoy getting hurt; she even activates all of the Insane Cannon Lance's vulcans at once to injure herself. The world they are fighting in is consumed by fire and "Strength" reveals herself to be the real Yuu, and Strength is the Yuu that Mato befriended. She then activates two more Ogre Arms on her back and easily beats Insane Black★Rock Shooter, throwing her onto a ledge. Strength then explains to Mato about the "other selves" of the Hollow World, how they are born from the grief and despair of the girls in the real world, and how the "other selves" do not have emotions, and are stimulated by their raw fighting instinct. She then tells Mato about how she fought Black★Rock Shooter, and while neither had the ability to feel emotions, Strength could sense that Black★Rock Shooter was exceptionally powerful; they fought, and Strength was defeated. Before Strength was about to die, Yuu had called out to her, and had gained emotions after she called out to Strength, turning her eyes orange.


Abilities[]

Despite her seemingly heavy weaponry, Strength is fast enough to beat down Insane Black★Rock Shooter and evade her attacks. Strength can also change her arms to become machine guns or gatling guns, which have an extremely high rate of fire. She can also deploy at least two more arms from her back. Strength also shows the ability to alter the Hollow World, similar to Black Gold Saw. A good example of this is during her fight with IBRS; she teleports and switches places with a large block to strike IBRS from behind. Strength may also have pyrokinesis abilities, as she demonstrated the ability to manipulate fire, expanding it through the entire floor, creating streams of fire that can lead to her enemy. One feature of these flames is that they can touch things as if they were solid objects.

Her weapon of choice is the Ogre Arm. This pair of mechanised arms allow her to punch her opponents with great strength (enough to knock Insane Black★Rock Shooter several yards and into various objects) and break open the floor of the other world to access new areas.

Her secondary weapon is her mechanical tail, which she uses when her arms are preoccupied. The tail can extend a short distance and is powerful enough to break Insane Black★Rock Shooter's Insane Blade Claw.

Trivia[]

  • Her blood is white.
  • In Episode 7, it is revealed the original Yuu Koutari switched places with the original Strength. The former was Saya's childhood friend, and the latter became Mato's friend. It is also revealed the Strength fighting Insane Black★Rock Shooter was actually Yuu, and the Yuu in the real world was actually Strength.
  • It was never revealed how Yuu was able to communicate with Strength, nor how they switched places. The only other person capable of this is Saya Irino with her other self Black Gold Saw.
  • Strength is the only other self shown to be capable of dialogue, doing so by moving her mouth to speak instead of echoing words without moving her mouth. This may be because she is not really Strength and actually Yuu in Strength's body.
  • Strength is the only "other self" who does not have pale skin.
  • She is one of two "other selves" whose weapons are attached to their body. The other is Chariot.

Gallery[]

Full article: Strength (TV Anime Character)/Gallery
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
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