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Black Lagoon Season 1 & 2 Collection DVD Box Set
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Okajima Rokuro is a Japanese businessman...in a town full of Japanese businessmen. His normal day consists of social drinking with clients and being kicked around by his bosses. He finally gets a break though, as he s sent by his company to the tropical seas of Eastern China to deliver a disc...only his boat gets hijacked by a band of mercenaries that were hired to steal it. Rock (as he is newly dubbed by his captors) catches the interest of the only female merc Revy as she thinks he s worth a ransom, taking him hostage. However, the disc turns out to be more trouble than its worth, and complicates things both for Rock, and the mercenaries known as Black Lagoon.
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It's still a thrilling ride
Unfortunately the more stuff came out, the harder it became to find anime to my tastes. These days there tends to be a lot of high school 'ecchi' (risque) and teen-focused stuff dominating the medium. This is fine, but not for me. So my anime days (aside from the occasional Miyazaki movie) were pretty much done.
Until I saw Black Lagoon.
The wit, violence and action which got me into anime in the first place are all here and as strong as ever!
Highly recommended to anime veterans, and newcomers too!
In many ways I was right. Right up until I was absolutely WRONG.
Are you a fan of the Godfather? Can you quote Quentin Tarrantino off by heart? Does absurdist comedy and satire do wonderful things for your think-box?
Then buy Black Lagoon. Nearly every spare minute is filled with gung-ho gun-waving and over-the-top explosions, coupled with regular interjections of the F-bomb that would make Robert De Niro blush. Part of the charm of this is in it's knowing silliness: a character is fully aware of the irony when, for instance, they fire a gun too big for their body. Anyone caught narrating about their weapon or pausing for dramatic effect is mown down in seconds.
Despite this, the stories manage to achieve some genuinely dramatic moments, ones that raise the question of whether it's better to be a free man in crime rather than a slave to ethical labour. The main character, Rok, is abducted by the titular Black Lagoon company, and his headlong dive into their world and way of thinking is pretty powerful stuff. Watch out for the ex-Spetsnaz Captian Balalaika and her team of Afghanistan-vet mafia agents. Yes, I know, silly, but they're one of the most interesting things about this show, and pulled off rather well.
On top of all this there are some pretty unique side-characters: Nuns with Guns, Vampire twins straight out the shining, and one very memorable Irishman addicted to crystal meth. Enjoy.
Personally I loved this series, it was exciting and always kept my attention. The action is fast paced and often brutal, but with enough comedy and serious (and touching) moments to balance that out. The plot arcs gel well together, at 12 episodes for each series there's no time for filler here with some decent stories told (such as a maid searching for her kidnapped master, or two tragically psychopathic young siblings) . The characters are well written, memorable and interesting, lots of strong female characters too and little in the way of overt fanservice.
Very enjoyable, strongly recommend it. Possibly one to show people who don't normally like anime.
Despite (or rather because) of all this its great fun to watch, as the crew of the Black Lagoon succeed (or not) against all the odds and assorted nazis, mercenary's, gangsters, revolutionary's, the CIA, the Vietnamese navy etc ...... you get the idea :-)
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