Headscratchers: Black Lagoon

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    Black Lagoon surviving to the present day 

  • Just to begin with...the Black Lagoon is a World War II-era PT boat. Those things were largely built out of wood, and were almost all destroyed by a few years after the war was over. How was this one missed? Also, if I were up to various illegal shenanigans, I wouldn't want a vehicle that draws the eye merely by existing—-using this vintage collector's item for their illegal errands would be like running drugs in a Cord 812 automobile. Even people who aren't interested in what I'm doing would be interested in the car/boat.
    • Rule of Cool.
    • I'm no expert, but you're remembering the show is set fifteen to twenty years ago now, right? Would they have been anywhere near as noticeable in the 90s?
    • Replaced with armored plates. So perhaps Dutch replaced the entire boat with modern armored steel.
    • Several PT boats were sold off to private entities after the war. I know several went to Iran, some to England, etc. Also, considering that the reason they are rare was that they were all lit on fire by the US Navy, it isn't unreasonable that some of them might have been burned on paper, but actually were sold off to people.


  • What language is everybody speaking exactly? I can understand with translation conventions that English or Japanese stands in for whatever the characters are speaking, but it seems like, save for the episodes taking place in Japan, nobody has any problems communicating verbally with one another despite being of different nationalities.
    • Officially they speak English to each other. But most speak in their native tongues around their countrymen.

    WWII Sub 

  • So... In the WWII Sub, where the entire crew asphyxiates. Fifty years later Rock and Revy are walking around in that same bubble breath just fine. When did the Oxygen replenish?
    • Not only that. Earlier dialogue states that the submarine sank in 57 metres. That's right on the limit for a compressed air dive, even for experienced divers. Yet neither Revy nor Rock suffer any ill effects from a rapid ascent from that depth.
    • Just as Batman can breathe in space, Roanapur pirates can breathe in Nazi submarines.
    • Revy had also brought along a bunch of spare oxygen tanks. There's one panel of her opening them.

    El Baile de la Muerte 

  • To some extent, Black Lagoon Jumped the Shark with the whole "El Baile de la Muerte" arc. Bringing the Killer Meido back to Roanapur...maaaybee. But making her that crazy, and having her take down US Special Forces in the numbers she does? Please. Not that the arc didn't have some good aspects...but still, it dragged on far too long.
    • That arc is pretty much the reason I stopped reading Black Lagoon, though I'll probably begin again any time now... But yes, I felt the same way, and I honestly had no idea what was going on aside from "Psycho-maid needs to kill everyone". Seriously, if someone could explain to me what the hell was going on in that arc, please tell me.
    • The somewhat short version is that Roberta's situation serves as the catalyzing agent for a number of Roanapur's latent-yet-constantly-boiling-under-the-surface tensions between criminal factions to hit the very tense edge of a boiling point. Roberta drives herself insane in order for a suicidal chance to take out the US special forces because their bombing of, and meddling in, the affairs of South American drug cartels and FAR Cs resulted in the death of her beloved benefactor. Garcia and Fabiola come to stop her and save both her life and her "Roberta" personality and place in their house. Boss Chang of the Chinese Triads realises that this going down in Roanapur is, both on its own and due to the instability it will cause in the knife-edge balanced environment, going to light up the proverbial powder-keg. Likeise, if Roberta kills the American team IN Roanapur, then the city will face the retribution and armed intervention of the US Government which it has enjoyed freedom from since coming into existence. As seen later, he also wisely realises it will give Balalaika/Hotel Moscow a clandestine chance in the resulting chaos to finally strike out and destroy the incredibly tense armistice that exists between the Russians and the Chinese, who have been battling for years for total dominance in the city. On top of that, the CIA, personified by Eda, is pissed at the Special Forces (specifically "Grey Fox") for stealing and putting their own plans into action in the field, and because they threaten her division's position. Therefor, they attempt to play the field from the background anonymously, helping Chang, Roberta, and Rock. Ah, Rock. He's in the toughest position of them all, because Chang, representing the controlling faction(s) of Roanapur, drafts him to monitor, analyze, and somehow control Garcia, Fabiola, Roberta if possible, and the ENTIRE situation at large in order to make sure that Roanapur doesn't descend into the critical mass meltdown of chaos, anarchy, and self-destruction. It should be noted that neither Chang nor anyone else really thinks Rock is capable of this, and expect to take advantage of the situation in their own ways. Rock spends a long, sleepless, painful time drafting out ALL the possible motivations, interactions, and outcomes of every single choice that the involved parties can make...and then attempts, over the course of the Arc, not so much to control, but to steer, co-opt, predict, and coerce all the involved players such that the entire unholy mess is defused as cleanly as Humanly possible without getting himself or the others killed. For these purposes, other than contacting and controlling all the involved parties, he drafts Revy, Shenhua, Sawyer, and Rotton (as well as working with Garcia and Fabiola, and later involving Benny and Dutch). Things go sort of according to his plan, which surprises the hell out of a lot of people, continuing the grand tradition of Rock earning a lot of respect points from high places and his fellow workers, whilst forcing Revy to acknowledge he's finding his own place in the "world of darkness" to which she was sure he didn't belong.
    • For what it's worth, the author also admitted that the arc was starting to drag and said he was trying to wrap it up quickly.
    • This is the usual reaction to trying to understand a Gambit Pileup
    • The OVA seems somewhat a saving throw on this as it condenses things down and only leaves what's really needed, it also makes the final battle seem far less lopsided and ridiculous at least in my view. It's a bit hard to be exact, but it seem she only seems to manage to kill eight of the Spec Ops team while being virtually torn to shreds by them in return. She only lives because they allow it (which is unbelievably charitable given the situation frankly) and we see probably over a dozen guys return unscathed, while she's clearly crippled for life, which is more in keeping with what you'd expect from the setting when one lone badass tries to fight an elite military unit.
    • Actually she killed 9 of them out of 18. It's not important about lone badass, but she was made like one, and there was no reason to change that. There are many things in the manga which OVA haven't covered, and those things make a difference. For example: in the manga she attack them from their blind spots, from behind, hanging from the tree ..., she avoided direct confrontation with them.

    OVA Lovelace manor 

  • In the end of the OVA, who exactly were the three people at the gates of Lovelace manor?
    • OP here. After giving it some thought, they seem to be the Gray Fox commander and the wife and kid of the Japanese guy whose ghost has been haunting Roberta throughout the series.

    Balalaika big sis 

  • Why does Revy call Balalaika "Big Sis?" It's obviously a translation of Neesan which is often used amoung non-siblings to denote respect, but what was the specific event that made Revy so respectful of her? Conversely, why would Balalaika tolerate it if they don't have some history?
    • Well, it's obvious that Revy respects Balalaika about as much as she respects Chang, so her calling Balalaika "sis" is not at all mocking. Furthermore, Balalaika is fond of the Lagoon crew, so it's not hard to see why she would tolerate something like that from Revy.
    • Actually, "Big Sis" is a translation for "Anego", which is a respectful form for an underling to call someone who is the head of a group of yankees. Yankee in Japanese culture is a female delinquent, generally still a student, but some continue to be this even after growing up, with the expected repercussions.

    Lovelace patriarch death date 

  • The Japanese manga shows that the Lovelace patriarch died in Venezuela in 1991 (Which is said in his gravestone), but the North American one said that he died in 1996. What gives? Man I'd like to know which is the truth here?
    • They both are. The English one was probably so delayed they changed the date to keep the ages and dates more realistic.
    • In the manga Japanese version there are two pictures, one with year 1996, and another with year 1991
    • Looks like the El Baile de la Muerte arc is suggesting that it start by '95, which possibly means that Rock starts working in Roanapur somewhere between '94 and early to mid '95.
    • Just to make things more confusing, the OVA explicitly gives the date of Lovelace's assassination as October 1995. But, MVR founding occured in 1997.

    Hansel and Gretel 

  • The "Hansel and Gretel" arc...okay, I can see why the Italian mob would want to eliminate Hotel Moscow, or at least weaken it by getting rid of Balalaika. But turning those two maniacs loose strikes me as a recipe for disaster, even if they hadn't decided to turn against their employers. Balalaika apparently moves around Roanapur fairly frequently, and I would think that a well-placed sniper could have taken her out without all that fuss and confusion.
    • A well-placed sniper attempting to pull a hit on a Mob Boss - especially if that boss is Balalaika - would imply a skilled hitman who specializes in it. Such talent would require money to pay for it, and the only people who really want Balalaika dead with those kinds of resources are the other mob bosses. This would instantly bring suspicion upon the heads of the other bosses in the area - and out of those other three bosses, Chang is actually friendly with Balalaika despite being a competitor. That leaves suspicion to Abrego and Verocchio, and considering this is Hotel Moscow we're talking about, I wouldn't like those odds either. The objective in question was two-fold - kill Balalaika, and don't get caught doing it in the process as to avoid retribution from her Vysotoniki or the rest of the organization she works for. Bringing in a couple of outsiders made it look like some kind of vigilante drifter was after the various mafias in town at first - which everyone (except maybe Balalaika) actually thought it was. It wasn't until someone actually got a glimpse of Hansel and Gretel and survived long enough to tell others what they looked like and their mannerisms that Verocchio's plan started to unravel. Verocchio's only real mistake is that he brought in a couple of psychotic children who started killing several people instead of who they were supposed to.

    Would Not Hit a Girl 

  • What kind of military commander forbids his soldiers from killing a woman who's shooting at them?
    • A very honorable one who deeply regrets and is trying to atone for killing a good and honorable man who had a family.
    • That's bullshit. He wants to atone, he should give up himself from the start. No need to involve his men.
    • The OVA seemed to be aware of this nonsense and tried to rectify this. Before they commence their search for the Burmese general, Caxton outright demands to Garcia that he allow his men to defend themselves should Roberta attack. Which is probably why Roberta got really shot up in the anime as opposed to the manga version of the story.
    • Poor adaptation of El Baile de la Muerte arc into the anime, made this confusion. If you can recall, Caxton already shot his men in Vietnam because of the girl he tried to protect. Those events made him what he is, and those events made him question his action because of Garcia. But, unfortunately OVA ignored those things.
    • Tried and failed, he still pulled his men into this whole horseshit, but he probably thought, that Miss Terminator Maid's gonna continue with his men after she shoots him.
    • So...what? Why not he let his soldiers defend themselves again? What's his reason?

    Giving Garcia to Roberta 

  • In the first Killer Maid arc, when Roberta's just finished shooting up the Colombians, why in the name of sweet sanity didn't Revy just yell something like "Hey! Over here, lady!" and shove Garcia toward Roberta? She could have saved herself a painful bullet wound (and I should note that a bullet in the shoulder is no joke in real life; she should have been a lot more incapacitated than she was) and a beating-up.

    Revy and Genji 

  • Why were Revy and Genji fighting in Episode 24? Rock is safe, and Genji doesn't really have anything against Revy (and neither does Yukio).
    • Revy provoked Ginji since she saw him splitting the bullet. She was looking for the reason to start the fight. Of course, Yukio did nothing to stop this.
    • While Hotel Moscow had promised to leave the Washimine clan alone, Yukio said that she couldn't believe that, and was intent on finding - through Rock and Revy - and killing Balalaika and co. in order to secure their safety.

    Hansel and Gretel skill 

  • Did Hansel and Gretel have huge power and skill like Revy and Roberta? If so, why were they shot by an unnamed soldier and an old man? If not, how did they survive Revy, Eda and the man hunt?
    • No, they haven't. Black Lagoon is sometimes like a Call of Duty. You survive shitload of gunfights, mines, etc., but suddenly you get killed or badly wounded in the end by something trivial. They just had to die in the end. Why? I don't know.
    • Well, first off, the "unnamed soldier" was a SNIPER who blew off Hansel's leg and arm, after he was lured into an ambush by Balalika. Second, the old man who shot Gretel was supposed to be her getaway driver (after Gretel paid off Lagoon Company to help her escape Roanapur), but was paid off by Balalika to kill Gretel instead, without Gretel (or Lagoon Company, for that matter) realizing it. In both cases, Hansel and Gretel were effectively blind-sided by ambushes they couldn't see (in Hansel's case, his insanity making him not realize Balalika sitting in an open courtyard had to be a trap, and in Gretel's case, being trustworthy of a stranger and only realizing his betrayal the second he planted a slug through her head).

    Garcia in Thailand 

    Roberta's villainy 

  • Why is Roberta considered a villain in El baile de la muerte arc?
    • Because if she massacres an American black ops unit in Roanapur, it would fuck up the lives of everyone living there.
    • So, let me get this straight. She's in place filled with criminals, and she's considered villain. Like seriously? You have a good person (Roberta) against the bad ones, and she's a villain? Then, I must be the only person who thinks she's not a villain.
    • Did you just call Roberta a good person?
    • Yes I did. In my books she's a good person. You sound surprised, I wonder what is your definition of good person?
    • So you'd rather Roanapur gets blown up. You'd rather Rock, Revy, Benny, Dutch, Chang, Balalaika, and Bao get arrested by the U.S. government. You'd rather we don't have a story after this arc. Okay then. Carry on.
    • Yeah, things don't go like that (many things in that arc are said without reason), still that doesn't make Roberta a bad person, but have fun. But, we exactly don't have a "story" for about three years. There are only, how much, 11 chapters (The Wired Red Wild Card) since El baile de la muerte. Hardly a story, mostly a recap. I'm walking away.
    • The problem with Roberta is that she goes full Disproportionate Retribution mode, and by the end is pretty much a kill-crazy psychopath (one who scares the daylights out of her own friends). Even if Roberta's motives could be considered "sympathetic", the brutally violent extremes she takes quickly outweigh whatever justifications she had - and as somebody who deserted from the FARC when she realized they flew against their own revolutionary ideals, she should know full and well that, sometimes, the ends do NOT justify the means...
    • Well, I have my opinion, and you have yours. In the end, I still don't think she's a villain. The real question is, what are the others in the world of Black Lagoon? But all in all, it's good to hear the opinions of others.
    • Remember that while a character's morality may correlate with their role in the story, that doesn't imply causation. Hero Antagonists exist for a reason.