There is an anime out there for EVERYONE

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Black Lagoon Rating and Review

Series: Black Lagoon
Animation Studio: Madhouse
Original Run: 24 Episodes (Total for two seasons)  + 5 Original Video Animations
English Licensor: Funimation Entertainment
Adaptation of: Rei Hiroe's manga "Black Lagoon"

Summary: Ever wonder what the other side of justice is like? Imagine a place where crime runs amok and and almost every person, including the church, police, and government are corrupt. If you have an image in your mind, then multiply it by two and you have Roanapur, a fictional city located somewhere along the coast of Thailand, and is the main setting of "Black Lagoon". This action packed story revolves around the main protangonist, Rokuro Okajima, who is just a regular Japanese salary man floating around in the world, completely trapped in the working class society. That is, until he finds himself taken hostage by the Lagoon Company, and is completely abandoned by his company in order to cover up a smuggling case in which Rokuro had been swept up in unknowingly. This makes his boring world suddenly take a complete 180 degree turn, and after some pretty intense excitement he experiences with the Lagoon Company, he decides to throw away his old life in exchange for becoming a part of the Company. In doing so, he tosses out his old name and simply becomes known as "Rock".

The Lagoon Company's work mostly comprises of smuggling goods, pirating, as well as acting as mercenaries if the price is right. The Company's leader is the African-American named Dutch who is an ex-Marine who fought in the Vietnam War, and pilots the Company's boat called "The Black Lagoon". Along with the calm and collected leader, there is the mechanic/computer specialist/reseacher, Benny, who had managed to get into some trouble with the FBI and the mafia in the past, and would have been killed if the Company hadn't saved him. Finally, we have the primary fighter of the group, Revy. Not much is known about her past besides the fact that she had a pretty messed up childhood. Revy is a meciless killer and is known for her far above average shooting skills. Personality wise, she is the exact opposite from Rock causing major tension between the two of them in the beginning of the series but eventually she accepts him.

The series primarily revolves around cases that the Company takes on, as well as how Rock slowly adapts to his new life. The assignments the Lagoon Company take on range greatly and each come with some usually intense and violent action scenes. But what can you expect when you have the Russian mafia (aka "Hotel Moscow"), the Chinese Triads, the Columbian Cartel, and the Church of Violence as part of your inner circle? 

If you really want alot of action, and I mean ALOT. You might want to check this out. But be warned. VIOLENCE is heavy in this and if you have a problem with blood, quite a bit of cursing, and a whole lot of shooting, I HIGHLY DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS FOR YOU. Seriously, everyone in this series is warped in some way, and practically everyone in Roanapur has a gun of some sort. But hey, the crime world has no rules.

A.I.'s Rating: 8.5/10

A.I.'s Review: Like I said, this one is for the guys. If I had to descibe this series in one short phrase I would say, "bad-ass". Why? Simple. The action scenes are totally over the top and the characters are totally the opposite of what "good citizens" should be. Revy is definitely a unique character and I must say, the first time I watched this I was pretty disturbed by her sadistic, and violent character. She doesn't flich when she pulls the trigger, in fact, she enjoys it. Disturbing. But I also deem it "bad-ass" because of the whole intesity of the series and its setting. Bottom line, the crime world is a dark place and the way it is portrayed just somehow gives off that air of ,"bite me, I dare you". However, since the story's main protangonist is Rock, the audience is able to place themselves in this world. Rock was a normal person yet he abandoned the surface world and entered the dangerous and vile underground world. Thus we can easily think and relate to how he feels and reacts to the hanus acts he is exposed to.

The animation is pretty amazing in itself with the details that are put into every gun, weapon, and background. I feel the characters are pretty solid and a viewer may be able to imagine such people existing in real life. Not to mention they are all insane one way or another as many are numb to the killing people. Both main and side characters contribute a piece of the story, and each of them have detailed pasts, thus it is easy to say that the majority of the characters are complex. However, I downed the score simply because I felt that at times, the series got a little "too" busy and some of the action scenes may have been "over kill".

But in defense of the series, I think I understand why. I feel as if a goal for the series is to have that special "edge". And to show that edge, I included the opening for the original video animation (aka OVA) as I think it shows what this series is all about. The song is also pretty kick-ass and defines the series. And as a fair warning, yes, maids are also killers in this series, and nuns have guns (Yeah, I said it).

So if you are interested in the series, be my guest and watch it. Next time, I'll probably R&R a series that is pretty popular, so look forward to that.

1 comment:

  1. This is a series I've actually heard of, though I've never watched it. I might just go out and have a look at this one, if only because it sounds so different from most anime I'm familiar with, stocked full of magic and spirits and demons. Thanks.