The Lagoon company; a ruthless band of modern day pirates that scour the South East Sea carrying out jobs in order to earn a quick buck. When bored pen-pusher Rokuro 'Rock' Okajima stumbles across this group of oulaws as none other than their hostage, he begins to feel at home with them. Stockholm Syndrome?...Possibly. So after a confrontation with his boss who, having tried sacrificing Rock for 'the good of the company', he becomes one of the Lagoon pirates and begins his new life with his new team mates. The African American team leader - Dutch, the Jewish American technical whiz - Benny and the gun-happy, foul-mouthed, fiery femme fatale - Revy.
The action in Black Lagoon has to be some of the best I have seen in an anime. Each blood soaked gun fight oozes with adrenaline and really gets the heart pounding. From the amazing bar room shoot out in episode 1 to the immense car chase between the Lagoons and the 'super-maid' Roberta, (who's super strength and ability to catch up to a speeding car is reminiscent of the Terminator himself - Cameron would be proud) each action scene is incredibly well designed, choreographed and animated to create a stunning and stylish looking show.
First and foremost, Black Lagoon is an action anime, however, this show also does a good job at creating some genuinely interesting and thought provoking characters. Initially, Revy seems like a barbaric, psychopathic killing machine...and she kind of is...but underneath, there is another layer to her personality which is hinted at in this season. It is evident that she has had some kind of bad experience in her clouded past and the way that this show brings makes hints at this adds an air of intrigue to her. As well as this, the characters are also really well written and often had me chuckling to myself with their remarks and sayings throughout the series. So much so, that it feels as if these characters could have come straight out of a Tarantino movie.
This DVD set is presented inside a nice boxset with the three single release DVDs inserted. There are some nice special features with the discs that include a 15 minute featurette with the cast and crew of the English dub, a music video and the usual trailers and clean openings/closings. There is also the selection of whether to watch in the original Japanese language or the English dub. Personally, I found the English dub better as it was more realistic considering the multi cultural cast of characters. Furthermore, the person who plays Rock in the English dub may be recognised by anime fans as Brad Swaile who voices Light Yagami in Death Note and Rumina Asagi in Tokyo Underground.
If your looking for explosions, blood and bullets then you've come to the right place. The action in Black Lagoon is unrelenting and is pure high octane class. Like seeing a boat go full speed up a ramp and launch a torpedo at an airborne helicoptor; and at the same time animated beautifully and smoothly, this show will leave you jawdropped with awe. In conclusion to watching the first season/barrage of Black Lagoon, all I can say is -'Hollywood, eat your heart out'
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I was interested in this series after having watched a trailer by mistake, and after having explored it further i decided to buy the first series box set when it was released. After watching I was not disappointed.
Being a fan of the more intelligent non-stereotype anime such as the ghost in the shell series, i was a little skeptical at first as to whether this would be one of the usual fun but ridiculous anime's with your typical gun wielding scantily clad female character thrown in for good measure, or if it would be something fresh and fun that would stand above a lot of the typical anime mentioned before. After watching the first season i can say i will definitely be buying the second season on its UK release. This is a fantastic series with a slick and well animated look. The action is some of the best anime has to offer with great gunfights, and the characters and plot are far from your stereotype anime; with a bunch of modern day pirates just trying to go about their everyday jobs that don't always go to plan. The characters are great with lots of comedy value, and the english voice overs fit them perfectly with Revy being a gun totting, short tempered woman who tries to hide her past life and feelings using anger :P.
Overall i found this very entertaining if not just a little short for a season. While i found it to be no where near as intelligent as ghost in the shell, the slick action and animation mixed with comedy and great characters is well worth it and leaves you wanting more, especially as the characters start to develop more towards the end.
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Black Lagoon is one of those rare gems that I think could translate well for any audiance. Even those who are not hardcore anime fans (although why someone wouldn't want to be a hardcore anime fan, I have no idea) will likely appreciate the gritty storyline, the suberb animation, the violent gun battles, the standout english voice acting (no, seriously, I mean it. The english voice cast - thanks in large part to Maryke Hendrikse - is truly fantastic) and the strong cast of central characters.
At times seedy and disturbing, at times amusing, dealing with themes that are mature and gritty, leaving a story that is fresh and exciting in a world there aren't any good guys; just degrees of 'bad guy'.