Geek Anime Review: Black Lagoon

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With well over seventy real-life guns drawn into the series, many of which are wielded by a sexy yet deadly female killers, one comes to realize that series creator, Rei Hiroe, loves his women as well as his guns.

A wise man once said of a place far, far away that, “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”  Well, that’s because he probably never visited the South China Sea harbor city of Roanapur, home base of the Lagoon Company.  The Lagoon Company employees specialize in piracy and smuggling, and they’re pretty good at it.

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At the forefront is Revy, a short-fused firecracker of a girl that has a knack for shooting anyone and anything that gets in her way with her twin, custom made long-slide pistols.  Her talents as a two-handed gunslinger have even earned her the nickname, “Two Hands.”  Along with her cohorts, Dutch and Benny, we meet the group when they kidnap a young Japanese businessman named Rokuro Okajima while working a job.

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Rokuro, through circumstances out of his control, unwittingly ends up joining up with the pirates and is reborn as “Rock”.  Rock serves as the audience’s guide into the wild world that the Lagoon Company lives in and becomes a voice of conscience for the otherwise morally challenged band of pirates.

Follow the team as they flow from one story arc to another by engaging in business and battles with mafias, smugglers, killers, militias, bounty hunters, and even a machine-gun wielding maid.  How does a straight-laced Japanese salaryman fit in with this crew of drug runners, gun smugglers, kidnappers, and blood thirsty killers?  You’ll have to tune in to find out.

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Black Lagoon is an ultra-violent anime that boasts a high body count, plenty of gunplay, colorful language and high adrenaline action.  Its guns and bodacious girls combination provides plenty of fan service that is sure to please a large audience.  The anime is very much inspired by the gritty and violet movies of John Woo and Quentin Tarantino with notable nods to both directors built in throughout the series.

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With well over seventy real-life guns drawn into the series, one comes to realize that creator, Rei Hiroe, loves his women as well as his guns.  The attention to detail within this anime is amazing, especially with the details of the weapons and how they are employed.  The action isn’t limited to guns either.  There are car, boat, and helicopter chases as well as plenty of bar shootouts.  Aside from the action, Black Lagoon’s character story allows us to get to know the two main characters, Revy and Rock.  One can’t be more different from the other and their dynamic is interesting to watch develop.

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The opening song, Red Fraction, is performed by Mell and is as vibrant as the anime itself.  I have to say that I am impressed with the quality of the English language voiceover and script.  There are the occasional witty one-liners that help keep this series in dark comedy territory.   Where other adaptations fall short, the effort with Black Lagoon really shines.  If you like hot anime girls, gripping story arcs, adventure, and gunplay, this series is for you.

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Originally released in the U.S. in 2007, this new Blu-ray version of Black Lagoon by Funimation is welcome and a relief to fans of the series.  The anime looks and sounds better than ever.  The set includes seasons One and Two along with a host of special features.

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Funimation’s Black Lagoon Blu-Ray + DVD Combo Pack contains seasons One and Two of the series.  That’s 24 episodes on four DVD discs as well as the same 24 episodes on three Blu-Ray discs.  The box set comes with an outer slipcase over a clear blue plastic Blu-Ray case. Both the slipcover and inner cover feature the same artwork on front, spine, and back.

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The inside of the inner cover features a table of contents for each of the disc’s episodes as well as additional art of our heroes, Revy and Rock.

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The plastic case holds seven discs with the help of four swinging “page” holders.  Four DVDs and three Blu-Ray discs are included.


Genres: Action, Adventure, Fan Service, Mystery

Rating: TV-MA

Episodes: 24

Feature Runtime: 600 minutes

Audio Languages: English and Japanese

Subtitle Language: English

Special Features (Blu-Ray): Japanese Openings and Closings, Textless Songs, Behind the Scenes of the English Version Production, Japan-Only CD Commercial, Promotional Videos, Second Season Promotional Video, and Trailers

Aspect Ratio: 16:9


images: Funimation

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