Black Lagoon Review

“Got To Kill Em All”

When the anime community at large are asked what some of Madhouse entertainment’s crowning shows are the they would scream in inaudible voices,  hunter x hunter 2011 or even the fact that they hold claim to all of Satoshi Kon’s works in anime.

We here at G4me0ver believe that Black Lagoon need’s an honorable mention, for it’s no holds barred town of Roanapur and it’s one of a kind cast of kick ass ladies as well as its use of a lead protagonist Rock as a gateway into this underworld of drugs, murder and gun running and the way he deals with the morality of his situation.73795

All the F*$!’s where given (The Story)

welcome to Roanapur a town that is the physical embodiment of the bar at the end of the world, filled to the brim with low life’s cut throat’s and pimp’s, the town is home to a team of specialists called the Lagoon Company they work in the transportation business the kind where the cargo doesn’t matter but the money does and they always get the job done.

Enter Rock a japanese businessman who throw no means of his own finds himself aboard the ship the Lagoon and after being made out to be dead by his former employers a situation that involved a helicopter a boat a big ramp and a torpedo… fun times were had. Rock decides to become a part time member of the Lagoon company and acts as a jack of all trades and part time interpreter for some of Roanapur’s more dangerous inhabitants.

The series takes up the tried and tested anime formulae of the mini arcs every story lasting 1-3 episodes and with no over arching storyline the show makes it’s large and varied cast it’s main focus from Rock’s battle with his morality and the fact that everyone around him appears to have lost there’s, to our main heroine Revy and her dark past and how she became so… heartless. All of Black Lagoon’s characters and even some of it’s side characters have time to show us their inner demons.

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Bitches be crazy ( The Characters)

The city of Roanapur is home to some of the craziest, most bad ass females in all of anime from the deadly skills of  two hands Revy a women with a lust for a good gun fight and she walks around with a death wish and lives by the belief that money is power and no one is untouchable. Competing for Revy’s crown of craziest bitch in all of  Roanapur is the T2000… reamagend as Roberta an ex terrorist trained as an assassin in Cuba. She was nicknamed the Bloodhound of Florencia for her relentless drive to achieve her objectives. Clad in a maids outfit appearing timid and polite in appearance, at first glance she wielding nothing but an umbrella and old suitcase but in fact is equipped with a shotgun (umbrella) and a high caliber machine gun (suitcase) deadly and relentless but above all she is very unstable and will do anything for the family she serv’s. Roberta has always been a favorite with fan’s of the sirice from the first time she showed up on screen to the end of her arc in season one climaxing in a no holds bar fight against Revy. fans loved it so much that Madhouse gave Roberta her own OVA series called “Roberta’s Blood Trail” a 5 episode OVA that takes place at the end of the second sissen. However the undisputed queen of this cesspool of a city that is Roanupur belongs to the commander and chef of hotel moscow Balalaika a veteran of rushers war in afghanistan and after a dishonorable discharge from the soviet army she joined the russian mafia taking her unit of men with her she quickly moved up in its ranks and now sits as one of the mafia’s most respected and dependabell members. during the war in afghanistan Balalaika sustained burn marks which now scar most of the right side of her face earning her the nickname “Fry-Face” by her enemy’s. She is also one of the few people to earn the respect of Revy, who calls her “Sis” at certain points throughout the series. both ruthless, taktfull and always unpredictable favoriting bomb’s to all other types of combat. Balalaika is the embodiment of the show and is always in the shadows of Roanapur pulling everyone’s strings there is nothing that happens in this city without her say so.

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Death never looked this good ( Art & Sound)

when it comes to Madhouse and the quality of their series the artwork and overall polish is to such a high standard it has become synonymous with there name so it come as no surprise when i say that Black Lagoon looks beautifully dark and gritty befitting of the series. The show has a befitting soundtrack of over 29 track’s all hitting the tone of Roanapur’s dark underbelly perfectly but the standout track of the shows expansive playlist is the intro Red Fraction a fast pace heavy bass fest to catapult you into the action pact gun fest that is showly to follow. when it comes to the subject of dub over sub’s i am a man that will always give the dub version a chance, even when I personally prefer sub’s, but boy does Black Lagoon have one hell of a good dub; it’s fill with absolutely spot on performances from all of it’s characters. You never get that phoned in feeling you get from a select few series. Maryke Hendrikse’s dedication towards voicing Revy is especially good, you could tell that the cast was having fun in delivering their lines and the delivery of all the creative bad language that is abundant throughout the series just add’s to the charm of the show. not to say the japanese dub was bad on the the contrary it was a good rendition, it was just the fact that the english dub was well above the average that I just had to watch it in dub.

Living in the twilight (The Verdict)

Black Lagoon deliver everything to it’s fans all that they wanted coarse language, kick ass women and a shed load of ammunition but behind all of this death and destruction is a show that knows what it is and isn’t afraid to say the word fuck every five minutes or to kill someone on the bases of he looked at the wrong person funny and with every tug at the harshness of life every now and then.

A must  for all you lovers of action and kick ass female characters.

pro’s

  • strong cast combined with excellent dubbing
  • high quality animation
  • a thought provoking underlying storyline

con’s

  • the main storyline shifts focus in season two which may leave some viewers unhappy
  • some characters are not given enough screen time or backstory
  • the show is left open ended leaving the viewer with no sense of closure

-Aaron Horsley

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