In Review: Black Lagoon

Standard

Ok, so I got tired of waiting for the subs, so I watched the raws. Anyway, Black Lagoon’s story isn’t that deep, so I guess what I missed shouldn’t really hurt me at all. (Or should it later?) And I wanted to lessen my backlog, so here I go.

Rock, or formerly Okajima Rokuro, was an ordinary employee. But while on a trip to deliver a disk for his shady company, he encounters a group of pirates operating off the south east Asian waters that call themselves Black Lagoon. He is taken by the group along with the disk for ransom purposes, and thus his lawless adventures begin.

Rock
Rock

Revy and Dutch
Revy and Dutch of Black Lagoon

  • Animation at 0.75. No complaints on this side.
  • Characters at 0.75. The image of Roberta sticks in my mind. Levy and Roberta are the newest kick-ass girls to grace my anime world. No perfect score, since there’s no real lovable character here for me.

Roberta
Roberta

  • Music at 0.5. Didn’t like the ending. Not much memorable tunes here, but the music is ok.
  • Story/Plot/Dialogue at 0.5. Not much in deep storylines, but the dialogue doesn’t disappoint. But I didn’t like how Levy is portrayed as almost invincible in gunfights. Also, the references to her past doesn’t really invoke some sort of sympathy, just plain curiousity.
  • Entertainment value at 1.5. It’s an action-packed show, especially when Roberta appears. Though I didn’t like the way Levy and Roberta’s fight ended. A boxing match? I was actually looking forward to a shoot-out till the end, but I guess they couldn’t kill off Roberta. Can I see her again in action in season 2, please? =p

The Boxing Match
Roberta and Levy

Rating: 4/5

So that’s that. But wait, I’m not yet through. I’ll also probably remember this anime for mentioning the Philippines. I do think it was mentioned earlier in one of the episodes. However, episode 12 11 stands out the most. If my ears were not fooling me, I heard Manila, Cebu, Zamboanga, Basilan, Negros being mentioned. Whoa! They got Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao covered! Of course, I could be wrong, and I was just putting meaning into the words. For some reference, the guy with his son talking to Takanaka(?) at the airport mentioned he was going with his family to Cebu. Or did I get it completely wrong? Will subs suddenly surface to clarify this? Or is somebody out there who knows more?

I’m not surprised, however, at the mention of my country. How can a Third World country afford to patrol 7000+ islands efficiently? I don’t know where Roanpur (I don’t know the correct spelling) is, but it must be really close to the Philippines. Is it a fictional place? I have no idea. But I have 3 conjectures on why my country is mentioned:

1. The writer/s of the show know a lot about geography and the geopolitics of the region.

2. The writer/s have been to the Philippines.

3. My country is just plain notorious. =p

But if subs don’t come out, I may never know. But if there is somebody from GMA or ABS-CBN who is reading my blog, could you dub the show and air it on TV? I wanna watch episode 12 11’s translation! And air at night, too, so I can watch. =)

If you’re looking for pics and a per episode coverage of Black Lagoon, I’d recommend hontou ni sou omou. Just search for it.

Edit: I rechecked the raws once last time before I put it away, and it seems the places I talked about were mentioned in episode 11, not 12. Now my keyboard made the mistake. =p

07.29.2006 Update. I added pics and a very brief series description. As of this writing, episode 10 sub was out, and as I guessed I didn’t miss much from the dialog. Now I’m waiting for the episode 11 sub.

11.29.2006 Update. Ok, I should have updated this a looong time ago. Yes, the subber (Shinsen) also used the place names I mentioned, but mutilated Cebu into Seb Island. As for the other subber, I’ll always smile as I remember 3 precious turns. Now if I can locate from what country Roanpur is…

14 responses »

  1. Don’t worry, when the last subbed episodes appear I’ll update this review. I just wanted to get Black Lagoon off my mind so that I could concentrate on the other shows. By the way, what part of my post did you not get? Perhaps I need to work more on improving this review. I tend to rant when my mind gets tired of thinking objectively. 🙂

  2. So that’s that. But wait, I’m not yet through. [b]I’ll also probably remember this anime for mentioning the Philippines.[/b] I do think it was mentioned earlier in one of the episodes. However, episode 12 11 stands out the most. If my ears were not fooling me, I heard Manila, Cebu, Zamboanga, Basilan, Negros being mentioned. Whoa! They got Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao covered! Of course, I could be wrong, and I was just putting meaning into the words. For some reference, the guy with his son talking to Takanaka(?) at the airport mentioned he was going with his family to Cebu. Or did I get it completely wrong? Will subs suddenly surface to clarify this? Or is somebody out there who knows more?

    KABABAYAN!!!!

    I got hooked to this anime because Benny and Dutch talked about an approaching Filipno Navy patrol boat from Subic/Supik in Episode 1.

    Also in Episode 2, the port were Balalaika and the BL crew are at is supposedly Balawan (more like Palawan). Dutch also mentions this place somewhere in episode 1 and 2.

    Early Shinsen Subs of Episode 1:

  3. Hi kababayan =p

    About Subic, it’s either I didn’t get the reference to it, or I just plain forgot about it ^_^;

    And I still wish they’d air this on TV–I sooo want to hear how they’re going to dub it. 🙂

  4. They didn’t just mention Manila and Basilan. Those places were actually part of the setting. ^_^

    Great anime indeed. I’ve seen the first part (12 episodes) now I’m looking forward for the second barrage.

  5. I’ve seen just about every anime female character out there: from Naru(Love Hina) to Kaname(Full Metal Panic), there have never been such a badassed chick like this Revy( or Levy, whatever the name is) in Black Lagoon. I’ve been checking out the youtube(japanese) version and all I can say is “FUCKING WOW”! That girl really kick ass and have absolutely have no conscience whatsoever. She’s down right scarey and at the same time appealing , in a realistic way. Rock is also very interesting too. He’s a great breath of fresh air (compared to the A-typical wishy-washy, dullwitted, cowardly, yet well-meaning male characters you’ll usually see in Anime).Even if he is out of his league in a situation, he manages to hold it all together in the end. He smart and cool, even if he’s not a fighter.
    The chemistry between Revy and Rock is so great, you keep hoping for them to get a room already. The stories are very dark and realistic in away that you really feel not only for the main characters but for the supporting cast members as well. It is exciting from beginning to end. I just viewed all 27 episodes and hoped that they make another installment of that amazing series.

  6. Wow. That is so awesome. Since I don’t understand much Japanese, I really thought that was once Three Precious Turns. Seems, Zamboanga means a lot to different people. O.O

  7. I’ve just finished watching season one of Jormungand after having it recommended to me based on my love of Black Lagoon and I love it. They’re so similar, don’t you think?

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