Black Lagoon Second BarrageBlack Lagoon: The Second Barrage pretty much kicks off where the first season (see post {0313} for my review) dropped us and is basically the second half of the series, with the episodes even being numbered from 13 onwards. The Second Barrage is 12 episodes long and where the first season focussed more heavily on the characters, this season places its emphasis on the jobs that the Black Lagoon company finds itself thrust into. The series however maintains its razor sharp balance between all-out action, humour and seriousness and is as good, if not better, than the first season. –

Rock is still a central character to this series as the stranger in a strange land, but the emphasis on the jobs means that Revy gets most of the screen time this time round. Actually, that isnt entirely true because a lot of the episodes kind of ignore the Black Lagoon company completely, instead focussing on developing the stories through the protagonists for a change. Note that this season is far more disturbing and brutal than the first season (something that can immediately be picked up by the more intense and graphic violence on display) and is therefore definitely not suitable for younger viewers, no matter how cool the action sequences might look. And as always, Black Lagoon maintains its sense of philosophy throughout the series, a factor which made it stand out from the crowd in the first place for this particular genre of anime.

Because this is a direct follow up to the first season, the animation is pretty much identical, still with a strong focus on fantastic and fluid action sequences, exaggerated facial expressions where necessary and detailed character models. The weapon design seemed to take a bit of a backseat compared to the first season though, but to be honest, the anime moves at such a fast pace that you don’t even notice this subtle easing up in terms of the animation.

The voice cast all reprised their roles and this really is a good sounding anime title. It has a great, upbeat soundtrack that adds to the tempo of the show before dropping into a hauntingly beautiful end track right at the end of the show. The little kids voices from the first story arc were particularly menacing it must be said!

Again, I like Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage, but be warned, it really is a requirement that you watch the first season before tackling this one. The story is a direct continuation and you will be lost if you have seen the first one! The animation, story and pacing are all of the highest quality and if you can stomach a bit of violence and get a kick out of fast paced action shows with a sprinkle of irrelevant humour, don’t miss out on this show!

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