Reviews: Black Lagoon

Fantastic... If taken with a grain of salt

Black Lagoon is a fantastic series. It's got a good sense of humor, a lot of great action, and genuinely interesting characters. If you're willing to accept that a series can be pretty grim and dark while retaining the sort of quirky physics one sees in most anime, you'll find something wonderful. It's the sort of show a person is either going to absolutely love or absolutely hate. What it comes down to is pretty simple, actually: Do you like John Woo and other Hong Kong action movies? Can you watch a character exchange clips of gunfire with another character in close quarters without cover and enjoy it? If the answer is yes, you're good to go.

Admittedly, sometimes the series will take itself a little too seriously for the sake of plot development. However, these points are few and far between and are mainly a distraction from the series' main draw: a lot of people, mainly hot chicks, doing a lot of scary violence in a world ruled by anime physics but drawn by someone with a woody for real military gear. It's a series which you have to take grain of salt to enjoy, because attempting to take it totally seriously is an exercise in futility: This is a story where the protagonist suggests jumping a boat off of a wrecked ship to fire a torpedo directly into the face of a helicopter pilot bent on playing chicken with them.

Storyline aside, there's really nothing to fault with the actual art direction or animation. Every shot is well drawn, superbly coloured, and shows a level of smooth animation which can stand with some of the best OVAs. The English dub is actually more enjoyable to listen to than the Japanese sub, thanks in large part to a superb performance by Maryke Hendrikse as Revy... Though the entire English cast did a wonderful job of bringing the characters and the subtleties of their personalities to life. The soundtrack music is well-written and catchy.

In conclusion: As long as you're willing to accept that these characters are Made Of Iron and run on the Rule Of Cool just like most other anime, this is a series you'd be doing yourself a disservice by missing.