There’s a noose that hangs at the entrance to the city. It’s a message to be read by all who encounter it. For the cautious, the sane, it’s a warning. For the reckless, the wild at heart, an invitation they cannot refuse. The worst of the criminal underworld gather here. They come here from across the world to butt heads and jostle for power. An evil city caught between the east and the west founded during the Cold War and nurtured by many who came here to ride the wave of the illegal drug trade sweeping across the continent. The edge of the world, the crucible of hypocrisy, a place where those whose souls have been destroyed in the relentless search for money and power reside. A final stop on the way to hell. How have I managed to stay alive this long? With the help of three people: Dutch, Revy and Benny. Also known as the Lagoon Company. The name of this city is spoken of among the villains of the world. Many who come here to make a name for themselves are swallowed by the darkness, never to return. A cruel fate awaits any half-assed small time crook who accidentally stumbles into Roanapur. Right now another sacrificial lamb has wandered too far from home. The city awaits.
Amen, hallelujah, and peanut butter.
— Dutch, 1x02 "Mangrove Heaven"
Hey, boss... Don't you remember? Well, you should! I'm already dead. You said it, remember? And by the way, my name is "Rock" now!
— Rock, 1x02 "Mangrove Heaven"
I'm Jewish, remember? "Fuck the Nazis" is a family creed.
Eda: What the hell is your problem? Don't you remember what Jesus said in Luke 11? "Don't trouble me. The door is locked." Got that? Bitch.
Jane: But this is a church, isn't it?
Eda: So what? God's not in today. He's on vacation in Vegas, all right?
Revy: Hm...so that's how you see it, huh? All right... Hell, I can't think of any better place for a little story that you ought to hear. I'll share a little secret with you, Rock. Question time. What are these two objects?
Rock: ...A medal...and a skull...
Revy: Wrong. They're both things, Rock. When you get down to it, that's all they are. Just things. So how do you measure a thing's worth? Nostalgia and memories don't mean shit. Value is determined by a universally accepted unit. Money. Any other measures of value ain't nothing more than sentimental bullshit.
Rock: So money is...God?
Revy: No, it's power. And it's way the fuck more useful. Rock... So tell me...what's more important than money? God? Love? Don't make me laugh. Back when I was a snot-nosed kid crawling through the gutter, for some strange reason, God and Love always seemed to be sold out and out of reach. Since I was too small to figure out how things worked, I wasted my time crying and asking God for help that'd never come. Of course, that stopped after the night some cops ganged up on me, and I almost got killed for a crime I didn't commit. Their only reason was that I was living in the slums. What's a little Chink bitch with no power and no God gonna turn to? Money and guns — that's what. When you've got both, it's smooth sailing.
Rock: I'm sorry I brought this up... Look, I —
Revy: Shut it. If I wanted sympathy, I would've spiced things up more. I'm sayin' you gotta know what it all boils down to in life's meat-grinder. Rock, in real life, no one gets off doin' it in the missionary position. And another thing...I don't need you to give me the same bullshit as those Goddamned hypocrites. Rich fucks living on palm-tree lined streets and dizzy blondes who think their purpose in life is to paint themselves pretty. The last thing I need is for my friends and people I work with to start treatin' me like some whore. So, you start mouthin' off about doin' things in the nice and proper missionary position, then you're no longer on my side. And that's when I take out my gun...and kill you.
— from Black Lagoon Volume 02, Die Rückkehr Des Adlers Part II
Rock: What is this? Am I in a movie?
Revy: Don't be stupid. This is more entertaining than Hollywood is ever gonna be!
— 1x01 "Black Lagoon"
It's been 35 years... since this rotten harbor town became a den of vice. Roanapur has managed to stay out of CNN's evening news or the dinner topic of housewives only because... from the past to the present, the motives of those who've gathered here have always been... consistent. That is, it's in our mutual interest... to lead the public eye away from our more stimulating businesses, for the peace of mind of those who are crooked.
Please remember this. If we continue suspecting each other, continue pursuing our own self-interests... who do you think will be left standing in the ring in the end? There won't be anybody there, ladies and gentlemen. Not you, not me... Not even the ring itself.
— from Mr. Chang's Rousing Speech, Volume 07, "El Baille De La Muerte Part 10"
Fabiola: Your laugh is like... the skeletons on El Dia de los Muertos.
Revy: ... Hah! Hahahahahahaha! That's right. I'm surprised you noticed, little girl. I came all the way from the land of the dead... from the dark depths of the tomb, gun in hand. We all did. Me, your head matron, those soldiers, the people in this town, every last one of us... So, little girl. Offer up some marigolds and some cuervo. Then... to the poor little girl who's about to die far away in Asia... I'll offer her some chocolate. Aha ha ha ha!
— Volume 09, "El Baille De La Muerte Part 30"
Rock, if you think about it, other than this, what do we really value in life? God? Love? Don't make me laugh. When I was a brat, crawling around in that shithole city, it seemed God and Love were always sold out when I went looking. Before I knew better, I clung to God and prayed to Him every single night — yeah, I believed in God right up until that night the cops beat the hell out of me for no reason at all. All they saw when they looked at me was another little ghetto rat. With no power and no God, what's left for a poor little Chinese bitch to rely on? It's money, of course, and guns. Fuckin' A. With these two things, the world's a great place.