----

* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Just who ''is'' Eda, really? Is she a goofy so-called nun [[spoiler:who only occasionally who takes her job as a CIA agent seriously]]? Or is she really [[spoiler: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.
* ArcFatigue: The El Baile de la Muerte (a.k.a. Roberta's Blood Trail) arc. It lasted three and a half years and was composed of so many [[ThePlan 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'' ScheduleSlip 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.
* AudienceAlienatingPremise: Although the series itself is a tribute to the American "stupid action movies" of the 80s and 90s, it still has a very grim and depressive atmosphere of criminal films, which is clearly enjoyable on everything.
* AwesomeMusic:
** The title song, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOmNWL5nzE4 "Red Fraction"]]. GratuitousEnglish WordSalad lyrics or not, it's awesome.
** The closing theme to Roberta's Blood Trail is an awesome rendition of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2argX-pcKfs "When Johnny Comes Marching Home",]] played over images of Rock, Balalaika, and Mr. Chang's early childhoods. May double as an EarWorm.
** Revy seems to have good taste in pump-up music, putting [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXmhPlhZdHA "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.
* BaseBreakingCharacter: Yukio Washimine. While she's undeniably a BrokenBird for all the suffering she had to endure as the [[{{Ojou}} heiress to a yakuza clan]], some consider her to be a StrawNihilist who justified her unwilling (or possibly willing) ascension to the clan's leadership]] through [[StrawmanFallacy 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 HonorBeforeReason 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 {{Wangst}}y teenage girl.
* BetterThanCanon: Although it has its detractors as listed under BrokenBase, some people prefer the OVA ending for ''Roberta's Blood Trail'' for giving the Grey Fox unit a [[CurbstompCushion better showing]] against Roberta, [[spoiler: where in the manga, she [[GodModeSue murdered them all with a flintlock rifle without being injured at all]], and for its redemptive final scene where she [[spoiler: CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming meets the family of the Japanese man she killed, who forgive her for killing him.]]
* BrokenBase:
** The final episode of the ''Roberta's Blood Trail'' OVA. There was one significant detail about it that was different from the manga: [[spoiler: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 [[spoiler: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, [[spoiler:Major Caxton realizing and sharing his suspicions that Dutch might be a PhonyVeteran with Benny,]] and secondly, [[spoiler: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.
* CompleteMonster: In this CrapsackWorld, filled with terrible people, none manage to be quite as [[HateSink hateful]] (or fundamentally [[EvilIsPetty petty]]) as [[{{Jerkass}} Chaka]] from the "Fujiyama Gangster Paradise" arc. A {{Yakuza}} lieutenant with a penchant for DomesticAbuse, Chaka makes his [[EstablishingCharacterMoment 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 [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown brutalizes]] Yukio, his boss's teenage daughter, [[WouldHurtAChild 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 [[BadBoss shoots through his own men to try and get at them]], kills another man for daring to try and run away, then [[{{Hypocrite}} runs away himself]], leaving his men to be massacred. [[PsychopathicManchild Childish]], {{stupid|Evil}}, and completely out of his depth, Chaka manages to make an impression only through his complete lack of conscience, [[{{Turncoat}} loyalty]], or human decency.
%%* CreepyAwesome: [[CreepyTwins Hansel and Gretel]]
* CriticalResearchFailure:
** 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 RealLife 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 AlternateHistory.
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: 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 Nihilist}}s (or [[TheAntiNihilist Anti-Nihilists]], which is a change in the tune, but still is the same song) one and all, [[MotiveRant 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).
* DracoInLeatherPants: Although the work clearly moralizes that they are bad and doomed people, Hansel and Gretel have become so loved among fans that they more perceive them as tragic heroes than the villains of the arc.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Roberta. It's not hard to see why, as the moment she shows up in [[WretchedHive Roanapur]] the body count skyrockets. This in a town where murder is only a crime if you haven't paid off the police chief or are interrupting his golf game.
** Hansel and Gretel have a decent fanbase despite only appearing in three episodes. Gretel placed first in a [[http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2014/07/05/fans-pick-favorite-black-lagoon-characer-and-storylin popularity poll]] with 2433 votes (for comparaison the second Revy had 2411 and the third Balalaika "only" 1354 votes) and their arc placed second for best arc.
** [[{{Samurai}} Ginji Matsuzaki]]. Oddly, the other characters introduced in the same arc as him are [[TheScrappy Scrappys]] or [[BaseBreakingCharacter Base-Breaking Characters.]]
** Sawyer The Cleaner is a [[ElegantGothicLolita goth]] body disposal expert with a nasty throat scar, voice synthesizer (needed due to said throat scar) and a [[ChainsawGood huge freaking chainsaw]]. She only appears in one arc in the anime but it's [[FreakyIsCool pretty obvious why]] she became so popular with the fans.
** Liegharch, [[OneSceneWonder despite basically getting two episodes in total on the anime]] ([[spoiler: [[PutOnABus and being stated to have been put in a mental institution after an overdose]]]]) is a RIDICULOUSLY popular character, based on being a BadassDriver [[MushroomSamba while being completely high off his tits on weed]].
** Mr. Chang. It speaks volumes that BoisterousBruiser Revy is willing to acknowledge him as more badass, admitting to "not being on his level yet." Fans also like him for being reasonable, uber-cool in the face of danger, and for being modeled after Chow Yun-Fat.
** [[MajorlyAwesome Major Caxton]] is very popular ([[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff especially among American fans]], not surprisingly) for being possibly '''the''' [[AllLovingHero nicest]] and [[TheAce most]] [[HonorBeforeReason heroic]] character in the entire series, on top of being 100% badass. His unit, the [[BadassCrew Grey Foxes]], is popular for much the same reason.
* EvilIsCool: Chang, the local leader of the Triads who sports a pair of CoolShades, 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.
* EvilIsSexy:
** [[MagnificentBastard Balalaika]] is hot. [[DarkActionGirl Revy]] is [[{{Stripperific}} hot]]. [[KnifeNut Shenhua]] is [[ShesGotLegs hot]]. [[CorruptChurch Eda]] is [[NaughtyNuns hot]]. [[NinjaMaid Roberta]] is [[BoobsOfSteel hot]]. All of the main female characters are, to some degree, evil (as is everybody else in this series). And they are hot.
** And the men [[MrFanservice aren't]]? [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Mr. Chang]] is [[TallDarkAndSnarky hot]]. [[GuileHero Rock]] is [[TallDarkAndHandsome hot]]. [[TheCaptain Dutch]] is [[SleevesAreForWimps hot]]. [[PlayfulHacker Benny]] is [[NerdsAreSexy hot]]. Villainy apparently makes for very sexy bodies.
* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop: One of the main ideas of the manga is the idea that a person must adapt to the environment in order to survive, even if it requires him to be cruel and cynical. In support of this, whenever Rock tries to be sympathetic or peaceful, story punishes him.
** Regardless of how tragic the villain's fate is and how much you sympathize with them, this does not mean that they can be returned to the bright side and make a good person out of them, if you do enough good for them.
* FauxSymbolism: Roanapur has a giant erosion-defaced statue of Buddha at its entrance. The narration doesn't even try to be subtle.
* FoeYay: 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.
* GeniusBonus:
** ''Black Lagoon'' can be said to be made of these, containing varying references to languages, firearms, music (From Music/RobZombie to Music/CreedenceClearwaterRevival) and quite a few about Westerns like ''Film/TheWildBunch'' (one of the characters in which was called [[WildMassGuessing "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).
** [[GunPorn As an example]], take the firefight in the Yellow Flag which serves as Fabiola's introduction. Halfway through the fight, she throws away her [[GunsAkimbo right-hand handgun]] and [[spoiler: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 80[[note]] (chapter 77 in the Viz edition, since it for some reason treats all of Volume 10 as a single gigantic chapter)[[/note]], 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.
* HarsherInHindsight:
** In the "Das Wieder Erstehen Des Adlers" arc, the Lagoon crew are told the story of a sunken U-Boat near the territorial waters of Indonesia. [[http://archive.is/I1rw3 In 2013, researchers from the Indonesian National Archaeology Center found a sunken U-Boat.]]
** The "Goat, Jihad, & Rock n' Roll" arc dealt with Palestinian terrorists whose leader's son was killed by an Israeli airstrike. In the manga, they were even namedropped as being part of Hezbollah. These episodes aired in June 2006. One month later, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Lebanon_War Israel and Hezbollah went to war.]]
** "Sure Hansel and Gretel's backstory is tragic sure , but there's no way in real life people would be fucked enough to make literal Torture Porn videoes of children"...[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Scully well]] (note: seriously the link contains some disturbing content even if it is just TheOtherWiki).
* HeReallyCanAct: When Rock is acting as a TranslatorBuddy, Brad Swaille is speaking some very accurately-pronounced Japanese.
* HilariousInHindsight (Combined with CastingGag): In the English dub, Creator/CathyWeseluck's Garcia has a crush on Creator/TabithaStGermain's Roberta. Later on, both VA's would [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic reunite in another animated show, but as Spike and Rarity]].
* IronWoobie: 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 [[spoiler: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.
* JerkassWoobie: Hansel & Gretel, Revy, Balalaika, Ibraha from the "Lock and Load Revolution" arc, and Roberta ''especially'' during the "El Baile De La Muerte" arc.
%%* MagnificentBastard: Balalaika, Chang, and [[GuileHero Rock]].
* MemeticMutation:
** Amen, hallelujah, and peanut butter.
** "You got [[PrecisionFStrike FUCKED]]!"
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5PB4Xw1dAQ Pretty much any of]] [[TheStoner Leigharch's high-induced]] {{Non Sequitur}}s:
*** "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!''"
*** "[[BigWhat WHAT?!]] ''My application for the Black Panthers was denied again?!?!''"
* MisaimedMarketing: Although the anime contains a very large amount of violence and cruelty, including even the killing of children in the second season (who in themselves are crazy incestuous maniacs), in some countries, its localization was sold as a series for youth and adolescents.
* MoralEventHorizon: Anything Chaka does to Yukio Washimine would make him a grade-A asshole, but put it all together and you get this trope: kidnapping, beating, stripping, plans to sell her into sex slavery and bragging about doing so to a "real sicko".
%%* {{Moe}}: Young Balalaika. [[EnfantTerrible Hansel and Gretel]]. Garcia and Roberta. Fabiola.
* {{Narm}}: One of the episodes is titled "Rasta Blasta". It's way too ridiculous-sounding to take seriously.
* NarmCharm: Whenever Revy decides to go on one of her philosophical rants. [[spoiler:This is really just meant to show how pathetic and broken she's become as a result of [[DarkAndTroubledPast a very rotten life]]. Her words ring hollow to the viewers because ''she's'' become [[BreakTheCutie hollow]] and is simply justifying her own way of doing things. Rock, naturally, tries to set her straight. Seems to work as she [[CharacterDevelopment eventually stops ranting so much]].]]
* SugarWiki/SuperlativeDubbing:
** The English Dub is one of the best dubs out there, and one of the ''very'' best to come from Creator/TheOceanGroup. It's telling that in direct contrast to most other anime, the vast majority of clips from this show found on the internet are from the English Dub as opposed to the original Japanese. Creator/BradSwaile and Creator/MarykeHendrikse are perfect in their roles as Rock and Revy, and Creator/TabithaStGermain is pants-shittingly terrifying as Roberta, especially in ''Roberta's Blood Trail''.
* {{Wangst}}: Revy often makes [[StrawNihilist nihilistic rants]] about why everyone lives in a horrible, vicious world. Rock calls her out on it.
* WhatAnIdiot:
** [[StupidEvil Hansel]] and his confrontation with Balalaika. He sees her sitting at a fountain, alone, and it doesn't even occur to him that [[spoiler:she might have a sniper team watching him from a rooftop]]. [[LampshadeHanging 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 [[spoiler:''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 [[spoiler:his treatment of Yukio, who has a badass protector of her own in [[{{Samurai}} 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 [[NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup 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.
* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic:
** 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.
** Averted in the OVA adaptation, where Caxton doesn't do this and permits Grey Fox to defend itself. [[spoiler:This alters the ending a fair bit, reducing Grey Fox's casualties and also crippling Roberta.]]
* TheWoobie:
** Garcia's kidnapping, death in his family, the trauma that happens when Roberta goes on the warpath, etc.
** Yukio's family issues, her [[{{Yakuza}} 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. [[TearJerker And the end of their arc just seals it]].

----