Friday, January 20, 2012

Anime review: "Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail"

I have had "Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail" in wish-list since it came out more than half a year ago, but I couldn't find a decent sub to watch it. I finally watched it for almost two weeks ago, now, but didn't have the time to write the review.

I find it very difficult to write this post. First, this is a OVA with five episode, 35 minutes each - not even a full season. Second, it is a third season - those who watched first two will know what to expect, and those who didn't should first watch these two. Third, I watched the second season quite some time ago (four years, ago! I just realized!), so I can't say I remember all the details of plot. Anyway, I intend to keep this short...

In this third instance of "Black Lagoon" we are dealing with only "one case". Roberta, maid of now dead drug-lord Lovelace from Venezuela is coming to Roanapur to exact her revenge. Since Roberta is most deadly person ever to come to Roanapur, a place already full with deadly people, this agitates current powers in the city: ex-Soviet criminal syndicate, Chinese Triada, Italian Mafia, Columbian Cartel, and everybody else. To this boiling cauldron comes young Garcia Lovelace, son of previous head of familly, to ask Rock, the most un-deadly person in the whole city, to stop Roberta...

"Black Lagoon" tries to win the audience with several highlights: great colors, animation and design of characters (especially women, who are mostly young, beautiful and big-breasted), intense action both, gritty and sometimes shocking humor. This is classical example of the genre "girls with guns" But its biggest advantage in my opinion is the "honor between crooks" concept, You know, blood-crazy killers, drug-dealers and smugglers who would probably sell their mother, who nevertheless subject to some unwritten honor code or greater good - in this case their home-city of Roanapur.

This "season" follows the tone of the second one - more serious and darker that the first one, which was mostly flamboyant action. Story is quite good, although in the end it becomes a bit too convoluted. It involves many of the characters from previous instances. I am not sure, but I think there is some gap between this one and last episodes. Also, I would like to see what relationship between Rock and Revy will come to.

Serious continues being visual and audio impressive as before. I especially liked the ending "song", which was a great version of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home".

All in all, "Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail" is a solid continuation of a good series. Those who liked first two seasons, especially the second, will pretty much like this one. And those who haven't should watch one of the classics. If anything, this season persuaded me to read the manga in near future.

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