Tag Archives: Black Lagoon

Anime Opinions: Bleach: The DiamondDust Rebellion | Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail | Marvel Anime: Wolverine Anime | My Reviews 27 MAR 2012

Bleach: The DiamondDust Rebellion (2007)

A treasure is stolen, the prime suspect is one of the Captains of Soul Society, and with him disappearing after the theft, all fingers must point to him as being the culprit. But there is more to this event, something hidden in Soul Society’s dirty past, and Ichigo as per usual is going to be dragged into the thick of it to try and clear Hitsugaya’s name before the assassination squad can do their job!

For some reason I tend to enjoy the Bleach movies more than what I enjoy the Naruto movies, despite not having been a part of either franchise for quite a couple of years now (seriously, just too long, both of them!). DiamondDust Rebellion, the second Bleach movie, follows this trend once again for me, delivering a suitably epic standalone film that doesn’t feel like filler, contains loads of action and fantastical, over the top fight sequences, and contains a decent story with just the right amount of mystery and intrigue to keep you hooked.

The animation is fluid, loads of detailed backgrounds, and as to be expected, the Bleach silliness is still present and accounted for. Similarly the voice acting and music score are top notch, making for a great movie that any Bleach, or anime fan for that matter, should enjoy!

Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail (2010)

Having thoroughly enjoyed the dark, thought-provoking and action-packed Black Lagoon series, it was pleasing to stumble across the follow-up OVA, which takes an already excellent and quite dark tale down even more a disturbed and twisted alley.

Events have driven the unstoppable killer maid Roberta over the edge, and now on a quest for revenge, she has thrown away everything (including both her humanity and sanity) and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals. This threatens to destabilize everything and it is up to Rock to come up with a plan to rectify the situation before a combination the Americans, Moscow Hotel, and Colombians mess up everything!

The blood-soaked story feels even darker than previous tales and it is quite disturbing to see how Roberta has devolved into nothing more than a mindless killing machine. On top of this we are given non-stop action, driven by clever machinations that make for a very dark and very intriguing watch, with a suitable satisfying but not completely ending that you expect from a Black Lagoon tale.

The animation is of the same quality as the television series, which quite frankly is a good thing because that animation was fantastically lit, detailed and very fluid and well choreographed.

All of this wrapped in some great voice acting and musical backdrop makes for a polished, bloody and very entertaining extension to the Black Lagoon franchise.

Marvel Anime: Wolverine (2011)

Logan and Mariko were forcefully separated years ago, but she has now finally resurfaced again in Japan. Shingen, her master swordsman, yakuza boss of a father is about to forcefully marry her off to a criminal leader in the state of Madripoor, in exchange for an expanded base of operations. Needless to say, this does not make for a very happy Wolverine, and more importantly, means a trip to Tokyo, claws ready for action!

For some unearthly reason, Madhouse gets the design for Wolverine all wrong for this outing. They get it right in the Marvel Anime: X-Men project, but completely wrong in the Marvel Anime: Wolverine project. I don’t know why, but it does take some time to get over this tall, lean, very Japanese incarnation. However, the character of Logan is spot on, and once you do get over his not so great appearance, you’ll find a fantastic action-packed story that takes you on a very twisty downhill of a adventure with a very big (and pretty over the top) ending. It is in truth a great Wolverine tale, and certainly worth the watch.

Outside of Wolverine’s appearance, the animation for Wolverine is actually pretty great, with great character designs and plenty of fluid action sequences to sit back and enjoy. Backgrounds are detailed and the colours vibrant, suiting the pace of the tale perfectly.

Similarly, a great vocal cast adds the necessary depth to the already great visuals, all wrapped up in a fantastic pulse pounding soundtrack.

It is a fun and enjoyable Wolverine romp, even with the spots that are taken just a little too over the top in terms of the action sequences (annoying, I know), making it a decent watch for any fans of action-packed anime titles.

Screenshot Saturday: Black Lagoon (Episode 2) Anime 20 FEB 2010

A torpedo boat. An attack helicopter. What more could you possible need? Possibly one of the most insane but most enjoyable action sequences (for a real world anime series) for quite some time now, this little chunk of animated glory told you exactly just how great the rest of Black Lagoon was going to be!

Yes. That is a boat versus a chopper. So what about it?

You’ve got to love this crazy sequence to the middle of episode 2 straight out of the hit first season of Black Lagoon, easily one of my most favourite anime series to emerge from the 2000’s. What better way to beat a heavily armed attack chopper with a torpedo boat than to ramp it up off the side of a sunken ship, and then in midair launch your torpedoes so that they take down the helpless chopper? Sheer brilliance. I can just imagine the storyboard writers all laughing and giving each other high-fives all around after coming up with this one.

And saving Revy, Benny and Dutch’s ass? That was all Rock’s idea thank you very much – as proven by the second screen grab below! ;)

Oh yeah, suck on that... well you know what Rock means.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_lagoon

Black Lagoon Anime | My Reviews 29 SEP 2007

Black LagoonOkajima Rokuro is pretty much the average white collar Japanese businessman. He eats, drinks and works, pretty much the boring routine followed by all living in the metropolis that is Tokyo. However, he finally gets a chance to make it to the big time when he is assigned by his company to the tropical seas of Eastern China in order to deliver a very special disc.

And that is exactly when the trouble starts.

It would seem that disc is important to more than just the people waiting for it, and Rokuros ship gets hijacked by a band of mercenaries on a torpedo boat known as the Black Lagoon. And from that point on it is one firefight after the other as the disc proves more trouble than what it is worth. Cut off from Japan, hunted by highly-armed unknown assailants and held hostage by Black Lagoon, Rock (as he is now been dubbed) must make some tough decisions if he is to survive – even if it is just to survive from the suicidal psycho gunslinger Revy holding him hostage!

Black Lagoon is a 12 episode long exercise in action. Gunfights, brawls and big explosions is the name of the game for this hilarious, fast-paced and action-packed series that leaves you begging for more once it finishes its run, dropping you quite literally in the middle of nowhere (luckily the first 12 episodes were quickly followed up by the second set of 12, named Black Lagoon: Second Barrage, basically a continuation of the first arc).

The story follows the adventures that befall Black Lagoon and the hapless Rock that is forced to tag along with them. The team is made up of Dutch, a big African-American gunman who is ex-military and the leader of the team. Up next is the very sexy Revy, a tough as nails gunslinger who cares for nothing more than making money and firing guns. Her trademark dual wield pistols earned her the nickname Twin Hands and she is the most deadly tornado you will ever encounter. Benny is the teams electronics expert, handling all of Black Lagoons communication and electronic needs, while Dutch and Revy are out there firing the guns. Rock is well Rock. A trained analytical mind, it is very much the case of trying to force a square peg into a round hole – he doesnt belong in this violent underworld.

The story is very fast paced, and the focus is often on the intense action sequences that make up most of the story. There is a lot of humour as well, mainly through the interactions of the easily riled up and hot headed Revy and Rock. A fair bit of world development goes on through this short series, and a person quickly gets a feel for the world that Black Lagoon operates in. I found that the episodes moved along quickly and provided me with enough plot, thrills and spills to make it a thoroughly enjoyable watch.

The animation for Black Lagoon is surprisingly good. Apart for some exaggerated facial expressions (particularly from Revy), the character animation is solid, detailed and nicely proportioned. The animators use a bevy of techniques for the stylish gunfights and explosions, making it an absolute pleasure on the eye to witness. Special mention must be made of the extreme attention to detail paid to the weapons and military vehicles in the show. Each gun is exquisitely detailed and even the sound of it cocking or firing is as authentic as you will get. The same can be said for the various helicopters and boats that make their rounds in the show. The backgrounds are detailed, lush and colourful – to be honest, there is nothing that I can complain about in this production – Madhouse Studios are as per usual on top of their game.

Exactly the same can be said for the sound production for this show. The background noises and sound effects are all spot on. The voice actors all do exceptionally good work. Revy sounds like the carefree maniac that she is, Rock is the typical soft spoken businessman and Dutch is the tough big guy. The soundtrack is also up-tempo, with a great rock-based opening track and a hauntingly beautiful closing piece of work.

I liked Black Lagoon. An extremely fun watch for all those action junkies out there and it really is brilliantly executed. Whats more, there are a lot of deeper themes and thinking touched on as well, making it more than just popcorn filler. If you want a fun, fast-paced action romp, then you really cant go wrong with Black Lagoon, but make sure you pick up Second Barrage with it as well. Too much of a good thing in this case is definitely not a bad thing :)

Note that this isnt a kiddies title. These are mercenaries for goodness sake – they kill people. However, it is not particularly gruesome, and the blood is kept to a minimum. There is a lot of swearing though.

Black Lagoon 3Black Lagoon 1Black Lagoon 2

Related link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_lagoon