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YMMV: Darker Than Black

Character-related:

  • Best Known for the Fanservice: In retrospect, it probably wasn't the most brilliant idea to make the episode where November 11 lounges around naked be the same one where he dies — otherwise, you end up with fan memorials that get a little mixed up.
  • Crack Pairing: Hei/Hazuki. Hilariously enough, the only shipping pair to actually get any action. That remuneration sure is awkward, huh?
  • Crazy Awesome: Playing chicken with an airplane. Hei. Genma. Episode 9.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Claude from the Gaiden is the nastiest Contractor in the anime. While most Contractors are simply amoral, Claude is a relentless sadist who enjoys tormenting people by disguising himself as their loved ones to get a rise from them. His ultimate goal to awaken Izanami to commit genocide on his fellow Contractors, solely for the fun involved in it. He compounds this by unleashing Izanami's powers to murder a group of Contractors who simply wanted to live in peace.
    • From the manga, Flower Of Darkness we have Coach Daisuke Mioka, a perfect example of how Humans Are Bastards in the series. Daisuke is the handsome young coach of an all girls' academy, but is also a serial womanizer and has affairs with his impressionable, starstruck students, making web porn of them. When one of them, Azusa, finds out, Daisuke tries to silence her by convincing her best friend, his cousin, another conquest, to talk to Azusa so he can save the day from a group of his friends who want to rape them. Daisuke mentions to his friends to go ahead, but he'll just be 'a little late' so they can have their fun and later drugs a teacher so he can sleep with her. When Hei is talking the newly empowered Azusa from leaving Daisuke alone, he gloats how happy he made her, and how it's all the fault of women for what he's done and tries to fry Azusa with a stun gun, which enrages the normally taciturn Hei into trying to kill him in cold blood.
    • The Contractor antagonist of Flower Of Darkness, Harvest serves as an Evil Counterpart to Hei. While Hei embraces his humanity, Harvest considers humans weak and pathetic an offers humans in mental torment his Black Dandelion, the 'Flower of Darkness' to grant them power at the price of murdering their best friend, not mentioning the flower strips the victim of morality and restraints...and he often gives it to the target as well to see who will kill the other first. Harvest's entire motivation is he was once informed he was inferior to the then fully human Hei. Unable to accept it, Harvest opens the Black Dandelion to infect every human in Tokyo, and from there on the rest of the world, to turn humans into amoral monsters like him so he can judge for himself if morality is necessary and there is "nothing within me." Defined his selfishness and narcissism, when the Black Dandelion is stopped, Harvest declares I alone am the future! before using his enhanced powers to attempt to simply obliterate the entire remainder of the planet.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • This seems to be a common view of Suou; some fans even think that her spotlight stealing is entirely responsible for ruining an otherwise decent plot.
    • Of course, Suou also has her fans, who thought that she gave the season a fresh approach which it sorely needed, since season 1 all over again (just substituting Amber with Yin/Izanami would have stagnated the plot).
    • And then you have the people who think that second season did stagnate the plot, and that Suou's spotlight stealing made it even worse.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
  • Foe Yay: Misaki and Hei, ever so much. In the second season, Mina jokes that she's saving her virginity for him.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The American fanbase loves November 11.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Shichi enjoys pretending to be a woman who was in love with Hei a little too much.
    • Episodes 11 and 12. Hei and Nick became close very quickly, spent a whole night watching the stars together (and made plans to go watch them again afterward), and Hei looked really sad and heartbroken after Nick "betrayed" him.
  • Iron Woobie: Havoc.
    Havoc: Promise me one thing, though. If... If I revert back to my former self, kill me right away.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Huang was a cop until his best friend was horribly killed... by the woman Huang loved, who he discovered had just been using him to get to said best friend. He was left with no choice but to join the Syndicate or have his memories wiped, which he feels would be like killing his friend all over again. This resulted in Huang being a bigotted jerkass.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Poor Hei gets shipped with everyone.
  • Les Yay: Buckets aimed at Misaki. She doesn't reciprocate much, though. In all fairness, pretty much every character has at least a little attraction for her, not just the women.
  • Magnificent Bitch: Amber. No surprise considering her powers to travel through time gives her the upper hand to manipulate people and events.
  • Memetic Badass: Hei, definitely.
  • Memetic Sex God: Hei. C'mon, just check out those collarbones.
  • Moe:
    • Yin. Seems to come with the territory when you're an Emotionless Girl.
    • Amber, played up deliberately.
    • Meena
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Daisuke posting web porn of his conquests whilst they remain ignorant of it. With badly blocked out faces. Then hiring a gang to rape Azusa AND Kyouko, with Kyouko as an unwitting accomplice, just so he can "rescue Azusa" or so she can't tell on him.
    • The callous and horrible way in which Tanya kills her other best friend/crush Nika.
    • Claude's massacre of a group of Contractors who just wanted to live in peace. Particularly since given his powers, he had no real reason to do it.
    • If you somehow still harbored any sympathy for Genma, the throwaway comment in the last episode that he was the one who killed Youko and the implications of having raped her prior or even worse; after her death pushes him straight into Complete Monster territory.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Goran was on screen for maybe five minutes.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Compared to the Syndicate and Pandora figures, Amber's far more likable and charismatic.
  • The Scrappy: Norio, for being a whiny, semi-delusional and just generally annoying lolicon stalker Played for Laughs and (attempted) sympathy who hits the wrong side of What Measure Is a Non-Badass? hard. This is even lampshaded by the voice actors in the Darker than Black radio.
  • Stoic Woobie: It sucks to be Yin. Or Hei.
  • Too Cool to Live:
    • August 7. Or so we thought.
    • Also November 11 and Huang.
  • Toy Ship: Suou/July, who's somehow fond of her.
  • The Woobie:
    • Havoc. Not bad for a reviled mass murderer who literally drank the blood of children.
    • In season 2, Genma invokes the trope in hopes that it can apply to him ("Hey, having an unfortunate past can score me some Moe points!"). note 

Seasons 1 and 2

  • Crowning Moment of Awesome:
    • See Taking You with Me and Dying Moment of Awesome. Since Hei lives and breathes pure awesome, though, it can be hard to pick out specifics.
    • He pulls some seriously awesome stuff in the last episode, though, and there's some more clear-cut moments in the second season.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny:
    • Not much, but Huang slighting Mao into near-hissing only to be verbally drowned in vitriol by absolutely calm Hei might count. And there's the Private Defective team... "I'll totally sue you."
    • Kiko's very existence serves as a comedy relief element for the series. Other than Mao's nervous sweat-beads, she's the only other character who's frequently prone to over-exaggerated anime emotions, such as Wingding Eyes whenever an opportunity to make money comes around, and Expressive Hair.
      • One great Kiko moment was when she and a friend were complaining about Adaptation Decay of some unnamed series.
      "I can't let that writer live!" * Pulls out pen with an over-the-top sword sound effect* "I'm writing his name in my notebook!"
    • And, after Mao wakes up in Amber's headquarters, he gives a long, dramatic monologue about how contractors always do the logical thing. When he get caught by the others for trying to non-chalantly walk out of the room, he tries to logically respond with a "Meow."
    • Then there's the time when Hei was infiltrating a restaurant and a violent, drunk customer decided he had a problem with the waiter. Result: Huge tough guy trying to beat up a cute, skinny little waiter who isn't doing that great of a job of hiding his epic ninja skills.
    • The time when a couple of door-to-door missionaries went after Hei. "Um... I just want to put away my groceries..."
      • "NI HAO!!!" (Cut from the dub)
    • "The stars are pretty."
    • Most of the OVA. It's basically an omake parodying the main series, particularly mocking Hei's Chick Magnet status and the fact that a White Mask of Doom and a change of clothes really shouldn't be that effective of a disguise. Highlights include slightly loopy fangirl Mayu crushing on him due to his "sexy collarbone" and writing him into her yaoi fanfic (which Yin reads), and what is possibly the absolute silliest Reset Button in the history of fiction.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: A lot of the last episode of the first season, assuming you can make any sense of it. And then there's episode 14... "Kirsi..." "No. Yin."
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Some people ignore the second season entirely.
  • Leave The Plot Threads Hanging: The complete lack of explanation for the Gates, Alien Sky, and the like generally works well enough that resolving exactly what's going on would probably be a bit of a letdown.
  • Less Disturbing in Context: Just try to explain that the show isn't Gorn to someone who walks in on Havoc's "blood of children" line.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Post the first line of the first Opening Theme on /a/ and see what happens.
    • To a lesser extent, many fans enjoy taking a page from Mayu by jokingly fixating on Hei's clavicle. It's gotten to Memetic Sex God levels.
    • If Youtube is any indication, "UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ" has become one in reference to Gemini's trance-filled OST.
      • So it's become the musical equivalent of CandlejaUNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ
      • Yeah, that's exactly i-UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ
    • Chinese Electric Batman!
    • Veteran's Day (11/11) has been commandeered in honor of November 11. Naked pictures are inevitably involved.
    • I wish Hei'd rape me. ;_;
    • Hei will die. But his soul will choose to go back in time, the time when he was happiest, and he will be at season 1 first episode. Suou who loves Hei wants to be with him too and wants to be in a time when Hei'd love her, but since he already loves Yin she'll go back in time before Hei is born, and become his mother.note 
  • Narm Charm: The Gratuitous English lines at the beginning of the first opening should by all rights sound stupid. Instead, they're awesome, in an over-the-top, Memetic Mutation kind of way.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Mai's pyrokinesis burning her friend and her dad to death. Followed by the two police officers being sliced to pieces.
    • Nika and cockroaches - just... gah!
    • Izanami's awakening.
  • Selective Squick: In general, the more squicky you find lolicon, the less you'll like the second season. If you can ignore the subtext completely and don't mind Hei's jerkification, it's actually quite good, but for others... yeah.
  • Sequelitis / Seasonal Rot:
    • A solid number of the fanbase are very and vocally dissatisfied with the new tone.
    • Though many were somewhat mollified towards the end, when the lolicon subtext was turned down and Hei stopped acting so obnoxious.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: To the second season, for people who liked it.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • More than you'd expect. Episode 14 is a big one.
    • The end of Episode 4, too.
    • Hei's Not So Stoic moment in the Gaiden. The worst part is that if you've watched the second season, you know she does.
    • Yin's nightmare. She keeps quietly saying Hei's name... which you quickly realize is the Emotionless Girl equivalent of screaming for help.
    • Despite being a major Mind Screw, what happens to Nick in episode 12 is also oddly emotional, especially when you remember what his dream was.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Those who do agree are generally the same people who think that Suou gets way too much screen-time and therefore like to call her "Mary-Suou".
  • Woolseyism: The first two episodes make more sense and fit the tone of the rest of the series quite a bit better in the dub; in particular, they changed Jean's completely-inconsistent-with-everything-else comments about "installing a personality" to something like "Contractors have feelings too" and replaced Mao's inexplicable line about Hei's coat only being bulletproof when he wears it with an excellent Deadpan Snarker moment along the lines of "Hei doesn't just wear that coat as a fashion statement."

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