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YMMV / Darker Than Black

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  • 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.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Every time Suou summons her sniper rifle, since both the power and the over-the-top Magical Girl summoning sequence are totally at odds with the series as a whole.
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  • 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:
    • Gaiden OVA: Claude, real name Shichi/Xi-Qi, is the Big Bad who stands out from the normally amoral superpowered Contractors by his outright hatred of normal humans. Claude torments his enemies before killing them by using his powers to masquerade as one of their loved ones and seeks to turn Yin into the Person of Mass Destruction Izanami. Claude is even callous enough to turn her into Izanami when she is in a base of Contractors, knowing that this would mean that her powers would kill everyone on the base, showing he cares nothing for his own kind even while trying to make a world where they rule over regular humans.
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    • Flower of Darkness manga:
      • Harvest serves as an Evil Counterpart to Hei, replacing Hei's respect for humanity with contempt, considering them to be weak and pathetic. Harvest possesses the titular "Flower of Darkness" which can be given to a person to grant them powers, but sadistically forces the recipient to kill their best friend in return for power, also giving the best friend a Flower to entertain himself with the struggle. To prove his superiority to Hei, Harvest distributes Flowers to all of humanity in an effort to prove to himself that there is no such thing as morality, then pettily trying to destroy the whole planet when his plans are foiled.
      • The girls' academy volleyball coach, Daisuke Mioka, is a handsome, charming man who takes advantage of his young students by seducing them and secretly making videos of the sex to sell on the internet. When one student finds out, Daisuke tries to win back her trust by having a group of his friends rape her, before sweeping in to act as the hero who saves her. Daisuke also promises his friends that he will be "a little late" so that they can begin violating her before he arrives.
  • 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 Dark Horse:
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Hei/Yin. The art for the series makes them look like an Official Couple but the series portrays the exact nature of their relationship as ambiguous. Yin developed feelings for Hei in the first season, the manga provided them with more Ship Tease, and the OVA ramped this Up to Eleven. However, they both have trouble expressing their emotions properly and Hei is a Master of the Mixed Message so his protectiveness towards Yin could be his Big Brother Instinct acting out. The official website states that Hei "feels strongly" about Yin and various staff members for the anime think of it as romance. There has been no official statement made on it though.
  • 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 North American fanbase loves November 11.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: For Troy Baker, who said in a Funimation commentary that at the time he played November 11, he had recently chose to quit smoking. However he also took it in stride and joked about it.
  • 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.
    • Female example: 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.
  • 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.
  • Magnificent Bitch: The elusive, mysterious Amber betrayed MI-6 to work for The Syndicate, eventually leading the deadliest squad of Contractors in Heaven's War. Realizing the Syndicate's true intentions and using her powers to see and rewind the future countless times, Amber manipulated the Syndicate and her own side to seal off Heaven's Gate, which caused a massive disaster that rendered most of South America uninhabitable. Returning in modern day Japan, Amber orchestrates a series of bombings while kidnapping the scientist behind the Saturn Ring project, manipulating her former lover Hei and the world's intelligence agencies to place Hei close to Hell's Gate so he can seal it as well and prevent the Saturn Ring project from killing all the world's Contractors. After settling things with Hei, Amber sacrifices herself to rewind time and give him a chance to choose a third option, later revealing she had foreseen that possibility and left guidance in the new world Hei had made.
  • Memetic Badass: Hei, definitely.
  • 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.
    • 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 total bastard territory.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Goran was on screen for maybe five minutes.
  • Retroactive Recognition: November 11's dub voice is Troy Baker, better known these days as Joel or Pagan Min.
    • Kimberly "Kim" Matula as Corinna Moku, who's known as Hope Logan from the Bold and the Beautiful and Veronica "Ronnie" Messing in LA to Vegas.
  • 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 paedophile 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.
  • What an Idiot!: Goran, the Contractor so incompetent he was killed by rain drops and his own inability to prepare for any contingency whatsoever.
  • 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

  • Awesome Music:
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Go figure. The show's love of the Developing Doomed Characters trope makes it hard to get attached to anyone who shows signs of character depth.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: 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.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Several of them. Some include...
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Some people ignore the second season entirely.
  • Funny Moments:
    • 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.
  • Heartwarming Moments: 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."
  • 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.
    • 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
    • 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 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 No Yay 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."

Example of: