YMMV / Black Lagoon


  • Arc Fatigue: The El Baile de la Muerte (a.k.a. Roberta's Blood Trail) arc. It lasted three and a half years and was comprised of so many plans that even fans were getting confused and frustrated at the end. Even the author admitted the arc was dragging. Made worse by the fact that the series went into massive Schedule Slip immediately after. There seems to be a consensus amongst fans that the anime adaptation of the arc overall handled it better by cutting and condensing it down quite a bit.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The title song, "Red Fraction". Gratuitous English Word Salad lyrics or not, it's awesome.
    • The closing theme to Roberta's Blood Trail is an awesome rendition of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home", played over images of Rock, Balalaika, and Mr. Chang's early childhoods. May double as an Ear Worm.
    • Revy seems to have good taste in pump-up music, putting "Peach Headz Addiction" into her Walkman before taking down Luac and his crew, and blasting "Guitar Wolf" on the radio while Rock is driving her and Ginji to the Bowling Alley where Chaka and his men have holed up.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Just who is Eda, really? Is she a goofy so-called nun who only occasionally who takes her job as a CIA agent seriously? Or is she really a cold, domineering mastermind whose appearance to others is merely a convincing deception? Whatever it is, she's definitely not who she appears to be.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Yukio Washimine. While she's undeniably a Broken Bird for all the suffering she had to endure as the heiress to a yakuza clan, some consider her to be a Straw Nihilist who justified her unwilling (or possibly willing) ascension to the clan's leadership]] through a flawed interpretation of fatalism. She was in fact, given every opportunity to absolve herself of the responsibility, but couldn't see beyond her own choices because she kept putting Honor Before Reason first. Some people think that her outlook on life makes her character realistically flawed but interesting, while others see it as an irritating excuse to sympathize with a Wangsty teenage girl.
  • Broken Base:
    • The final episode of the Roberta's Blood Trail OVA. There was one significant detail about it that was different from the manga: In the anime, Roberta is nearly killed by the U.S. special forces and returns to Venezuela as a wheelchair-bound cripple. In the manga, she was not injured at all. This, as well as showing Revy getting raped when she was still in New York caused quite a bit of dissatisfaction.
    • The OVA also did not animate two key scenes from this arc in the manga: namely, Major Caxton realizing and sharing with Rock his suspicions that Dutch may be a Phony Veteran, and secondly, the final chat between Rock & Chang on the dock after all was said and done, leading many to question why such important parts were omitted, although this has yet to be followed up on in the manga.
  • Complete Monster: In this Crapsack World, filled with terrible people, none manage to be quite as hateful (or fundamentally petty) as Chaka from the "Fujiyama Gangster Paradise" arc. A Yakuza lieutenant with a penchant for Domestic Abuse, Chaka makes his entrance beating up Rock in an effort to impress Revy. When the battle between the Yakuza and the Russian mob goes badly for the Yakuza, Chaka kidnaps and brutalizes Yukio, his boss's teenage daughter, beating her bloody, and planning to sell her to a sexual sadist as part of his plan to take control of the remnants of the Yakuza. When Revy and Ginji arrive to bail her out, Chaka shoots through his own men to try and get at them, kills another man for daring to try and run away, then runs away himself, leaving his men to be massacred. Childish, stupid, and completely out of his depth, Chaka manages to make an impression only through his complete lack of conscience, loyalty, or human decency.
  • Critical Research Failure:
    • Roanapur is explicitly stated to be in Thailand, but every car in the series is LHD and traffic in the city drives on the right (like America or China). Thailand in Real Life uses RHD vehicles and traffic drives on the left (like Japan). Could possibly be justified considering the city was settled by refugees from South Vietnam and it's likely very close to the border with Cambodia (both LHD countries), the Thai authorities might consider the port some sort of international zone where normal Thai traffic rules don't apply, on the understanding that Roanapur's LHD cars don't leave the area.
    • Some of Hotel Moscow's small arms like the MP-443 Grach, which was only developed in the early 2000s. The series is set in the mid-late-90's.
    • Boris's mention of Romanian troops in Afghanistan during the 1979 Soviet-Afghan War. Romania did not support the Soviet occupation nor did they provide troops, as they condemned the invasion alongside North Korea against the USSR and its Communist allies, unless the series is playing on Alternate History.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Especially in the earlier stages, although not as much in the anime. It's still very easy to not care about what happens to anyone since they're all jerks, evil or psychotic, Straw Nihilists (or Anti-Nihilists, which is a change in the tune, but still is the same song) one and all, and love to talk about their reasons for being so at length to anybody who cares to listen (and to many who don't have any other option but hear it).
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
  • Evil Is Cool: Chang, the local leader of the Triads who sports a pair of Cool Shades, is not a nice guy. Balalaika is just as cool and even less nice. Most of the random assassins who show up in the series are much more obviously evil but tend to have cool designs.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
  • Faux Symbolism: Roanapur has a giant erosion-defaced statue of Buddha at its entrance. The narration doesn't even try to be subtle.
  • Foe Yay: For rival crime lords who have attempted to murder one another at least once, Mr. Chang and Ms. Balalaika sure do behave rather flirtatiously towards each other. One scene from the manga has both of them explicitly state that the times they'd tried to kill one another are the most valued experiences that either of them posses.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Black Lagoon can be said to be made of these, containing varying references to languages, firearms, music (From Rob Zombie to Creedence Clearwater Revival) and quite a few about Westerns like The Wild Bunch (one of the characters in which was called "Dutch"...). It also contains a surprising amount of philosophy themes such as Sartre's existentialism, consequence ethics, nihilism, phenomenalism, and Kierkegaard's "knight of faith" are openly discussed by characters (if not using those exact words).
    • As an example, take the firefight in the Yellow Flag which serves as Fabiola's introduction. Halfway through the fight, she throws away her right-hand handgun and breaks out a China Lake 40mm grenade launcher, an exotic weapon which even the denizens of Roanapur don't recognize (witness Revy's reaction). A little research shows that the China Lake holds a maximum of four grenades, and Fabiola doesn't seem to have any spare grenades at hand (or any time to load them, for that matter). Alert readers will notice that Fabiola launches all four grenades during the fight. When she cocks the launcher again to threaten Gustavo, she's bluffing she's out of ammo. It partly explains why she needs a stiff drink, and why her knees give out a little later.
    • In Chapter 80note , Major General Liu tells Colonel Ma that he had gotten an official inquiry from "14th Chang'An Avenue". This street is where many major Chinese government offices are located, and is right next to Tian'anmen Square. It would be the equivalent of saying "I just got a call from 10 Downing Street" in the U.K. or "the White House" in the U.S.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
  • He Really Can Act: When Rock is acting as a Translator Buddy, Brad Swaille is speaking some very accurately-pronounced Japanese.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight (Combined with Casting Gag): In the English dub, Cathy Weseluck's Garcia has a crush on Tabitha St. Germain's Roberta. Later on, both VA's would reunite in another animated show, but as Spike and Rarity.
  • Iron Woobie: Rock. He has been taken hostage, abandoned by his company, captured, shot at by friend and foe alike, berated, beaten, punched and just generally abused. Despite all this, he's managed to destroy a chopper by ramming it in midair with a torpedo, call out Revy when he gets tired of her abuse, and earn the respect of Balalaika. And that's just the first couple of episodes/chapters.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Hansel & Gretel, Revy, Balalaika, Ibraha from the "Lock and Load Revolution" arc, and Roberta especially during the "El Baile De La Muerte" arc.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Amen, hallelujah, and peanut butter.
    • "You got FUCKED!"
    • Pretty much any of Leigharch's high-induced Non Sequiturs:
      • "Oh yeah! I almost forgot! I'VE GOTTA GET TO LIVERPOOL!!"
      • "Jimi Hendrix is calling me back! He got my message! He wants me to defeat the Klingons, ASAP! C-C-CAPTAIN PICAAAARD!!"
      • "I DON'T UNDERSTAND!! Where're you ladies takin' me?! Could it be? Could it? The legendary NUDE BEACH?!"
      • "AHHH! Barbarella is holding an anti-war sign in the nude!"
      • "WHAT?! My application for the Black Panthers was denied again?!?!"
  • Moral Event Horizon: Anything Chaka does to Yukio Washimine would make him a grade-A asshole, but put it all together and you get this trope: kidapping, beating, stripping, plans to sell her into sex slavery and bragging about doing so to a "real sicko".
  • Narm:
    • Potentially lapses into this whenever Revy decides to go on a philosophical rant. This is really just meant to show how pathetic and broken she's become as a result of a very rotten life. Her words ring hollow to the viewers because she's become hollow and is simply justifying her own way of doing things. Rock, naturally, tries to set her straight. Seems to work as she eventually stops ranting so much.
    • One of the episodes is titled "Rasta Blasta". It's way too ridiculous-sounding to take seriously.
  • The Scrappy: Chaka made number one on a poll of "worst characters" in the manga. Yukio was also on this list, though she's more of a Base Breaker.
  • Superlative Dubbing:
  • Wangst: Revy often makes nihilistic rants about why everyone lives in a horrible, vicious world. Rock calls her out on it.
  • What an Idiot:
    • Hansel and his confrontation with Balalaika. He sees her sitting at a fountain, alone, and it doesn't even occur to him that she might have a sniper team watching him from a rooftop. This is lampshaded when she acknowledges that there was absolutely no way that anyone who wasn't completely insane and mindlessly bloodthirsty would fall for such a painfully obvious trap.
    • Chaka in the Japan arc. He knows that Revy's a gunslinger, from a town renowned for its toughness all over Asia... so, to attract her attention, he abuses and mistreats the man she's protecting, hoping to get her to draw her gun (in fact, Chaka only survives past his first appearance because Revy didn't have her guns with her at the time). Not to mention his treatment of Yukio, who has a badass protector of her own in Ginji Matsuzaki.
    • This kicks off the Greenback Jane arc. The funder of the counterfeiting operation decides to kill a "useless" member to motivate everyone else. The "useless" person he killed was the only one who knew all the passwords and security protocols for the servers. This renders all the servers locked off and no one can access the data now.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Shane Caxton refuses to give his men order to shoot Roberta when she attacks them. This is supposed to be a magnanimous gesture on his part: Feeling responsible for the death of Garcia's father, he intends to protect the life of another person Garcia cares about. Except this is also profoundly, terribly stupid. As a military commander, he is responsible for the lives of his men; neglectfully throwing away their lives like that is a legitimate cause for disobedience, if not outright mutiny. Furthermore, if all he wants to do is redeem himself in Garcia's eyes, then he could and should have just give up only himself. There is no need to involve his men.
  • The Woobie:
    • Garcia's kidnapping, death in his family, the trauma that happens when Roberta goes on the warpath, etc.
    • Yukio's family issues, her other family issues, all the shit Chaka does to her, etc.
    • Sawyer, with scars around her neck and on her wrists, and who goes completely catatonic when she loses her audiovox. In the manga at least, she's able to handle that last one better in a subsequent appearance.
    • Hansel and Grettel. You might hate them for their sadism at first, but your view changes drastically with each bit of their backstory that is told. And the end of their arc just seals it.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/BlackLagoon