Saturday, September 1, 2007

Black Lagoon Season I and II Review

Alter Revy 10, originally uploaded by JuJu_B.

Rokuro Okajima was just a mild-mannered white-collar for a big Japanese company. Like many at his level, here was more of a whipping boy for the company, and he seemed fine with that. That is until he's taken hostage by the Black Lagoon and left as dead by the company he works for.

Rokuro takes this moment to change his identity to Rock and he joins up with his hostage takers the Black Lagoon, where along with the misfit crew, Revy, Dutch, and Benny, he finds a world where violence and crime are the law, and business is either "kill or be killed."

Now I'd like to say that after so long without a review, I thought choosing a newer show would be much appreciated, especially if you like me buy a couple, or a few, anime magazines and kept seeing the Black Lagoon ads and promos and wondering is the show really any good?

Generally I'm worried when I see that much press on a show, and especially so much press focusing on one character, specifically Revy (pictured above.) Every ad I've seen has Revy, filling that girls with guns quota, just staring at you gun drawn and ready to fire, (which if you watch the show you'll see really does fit!) Here's how AnimeInsider described Revy in a section titled 'Gratuitous Fan Service.'

"For an antitdote to the too-cutesy girls of the anime world consider Revy. A tattooed, swearing spitfire of a woman, she's all about drinking, smoking and never properly buttoning her shorts. And, for that added touch of realism, she's genuinely messed up in the head."

This is as you'll see if you watch the show a very fitting description; however, I thought this focus would be distracting, or just infer there's no plot so guys out there watch Revy!

Thankfully though, this is quite the contrary. Having seen all 24 episodes produced, the 1st season and the 2nd season Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage, I would have to say the show is actually a good example of how violence, plot, and characters with some depth can still go together. So even if you just watch the show for the action, you can at least appreciate the character's, especially when you see Rock, with his white-collar background, reach deep inside these hardened criminals heart's and truly affect their lives, or at least try to.

Now don't expect the show to get too sappy though, because even when Rock does show the alternative less-violent side to a situation, often that get's blown away by gun smoke from many directions. However, we do gradually see humanity returning, and even with as open and ending as the 2nd season has (please let there be a third just for resolution...) we know that hope for the characters is not too far because after only a couple episodes we quickly care for them

As an aside I suppose, I don't usually dwell on the animation too much, because while it's not overly artsy it's definitely not low-budgeted either, so it's just nice and not distracting. I believe the show is so story driven, that while the shoot-outs are very cool, the director probably wanted to focus on the characters more then special effects.

Overall, I left with a very positive feeling about this show. True, the concept of an average guy getting stuck with criminals, outlaws, or otherwise is not completely original, but I believe when you see how it all plays out, you'll realize that the show is more then just, especially in the character Rock

Now, let's see if they come out with another season, because I need more closure!!!

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