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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Black Lagoon: Season 1, Vol. 3 - Limited Edition
Black Lagoon: Season 1, Vol. 3 - Limited Edition
FUNimation // Unrated // August 19, 2008
List Price: $39.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted September 21, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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The Series:

The first season of Black Lagoon wraps up with volume three of the series.  While the season is only 12 episodes long, the show went for quality over quantity.  Filled with deep characters and some kick-ass action, this show is a real winner.  

Series Background:


Rokuro Okajima was a typical low-level salary man working for a large company in Tokyo.  He was charged, unbeknownst to him, with smuggling some data that implicates his company in some highly illegal dealings.  Others could profit from the data, so the Lagoon transportation company is hired to steal it.

The Lagoon Company consists of boss-man Dutch, a muscular man who is as street-smart as he is tough, Benny, an American tech guy who ended up getting in trouble with both the FBI and the Mafia back in the States, and Revy, a tough as nails young woman who is as deadly as she is beautiful.  They're based out of the (fictional) city of Roanapur, Thailand and mainly smuggle contraband with their PT boat the Black Lagoon.

Attacking Rokuro's boat at sea, The Lagoon Company gets not only the data the young man is carrying, but they take him as a hostage too.  They figure anyone carrying such important information must be worth something as a hostage.  They thought wrong however.  When his company hears that Rokuro and the information have been taken, they hire a team of assassins to destroy the data and the young clerk.  When that fails, and Rokuro learns that the company that he devoted himself to was trying to kill him, he decides not to return to Tokyo.  Instead he changes his name to "Rock" and joins the Lagoon Company.

This volume:

The disc opens where the previous volume left off, with the Lagoon Company in the possession of a kidnapped boy, Garcia, and with the family maid, Roberta, looking for him.  The thing that no one realizes, even Garcia, is that Roberta is a highly trained soldier whose nickname used to be 'Bloodhound' since once she gets the scent of her prey, she never gives up.  She's seen Garcia with the Lagoon squad, and there's no way she'll stop perusing them until she has the boy.  The problem is, after Garcia sees his maid kill a barroom full of people, he's afraid of her and isn't sure if he wants to go with her.

The season ends with a two part episode where the Lagoon Company is hired to transport some documents to the CIA of all people.  A criminal obtained plans for an attack on the President's life, and offered to sell them back to the terrorist organization that created them.  Instead of paying up, the terrorists attacked the mobster, blowing up his headquarters which just made him mad.   So instead he decided to sell the details of the plot to the Americans.  The only problem is getting the papers into the right hands.  He's sending out five couriers, but only one has the real info:  The Lagoon Company.  Things are going pretty well until Rock, the one actually carrying the briefcase, gets caught by the bad guys.  That leaves Revy and a bodyguard she nicknames "Chinglish" to break into the terrorists well guarded camp and retrieve him.

The series ends on a high note, with the introduction of some new, fun characters and a great chase scene through an island jungle.  This last story had it all, including an interesting look at one of the terrorist's leaders.  

The ending of the first story on the disc was a lot of fun too, but it was really hard to suspend my disbelief.  Both Revy and Roberta were supposed to be amazing fighters, but some of the scenes were just too over the top for my tastes.  When the two women run straight at each other, firing their guns the whole time and manage to miss each other at a distance of a few feet, I had to roll my eyes.  Roberta is cast in the same mold as a Terminator (something they mention in the show) where nothing seems to hurt her even though she's a regular human.  Viewers just have to sit back and go with the flow on this story, and if you can do that it's very enjoyable.
 
The DVD:


This LE version of this disc (which is identical to the Geneon version in every respect) comes with the same disc as the regular edition and three double-sided metal art cards that are the same size as a DVD case.  While I like bonus items, pencil boards and art cards like these leave me a bit cool.  They're not big enough to display on a wall, and there's not much else you can really do with them.

Audio:

The show comes with the original stereo soundtrack as well as an English dub in both stereo and DTS 5.1.  I alternated tracks for the first couple of episodes but ended up viewing the show with the DTS track.  It really rocks.  The surrounds really come to life in the battle scenes with the sounds of empty shell casings hitting the floor behind you not to mention explosions that fill the room with sound.  They make good use of the soundstage, which makes this a blast to watch.  The English voice actors do a good job to, never resorting to high pitched whiney voices or fake accents.  While it isn't as impressive as a Hollywood blockbuster, this is one of the best sounding English tracks on an anime series.  

Video:

The 1.78:1 anamorphic image looks very good also.  There is some light aliasing during camera pans and some minor posterization, but nothing to get worried about.  Lines are tight and solid too.  The colors are fine and the blacks are particularly nice looking.  Overall this is a very good looking disc.

Extras:

Nothing, just trailers for other Geneon titles.

Final Thoughts:

This is a fun and exciting show that's really worth checking out.  There are few programs that mix action and personal drama so well.  The show never drags or becomes maudlin, but the characters really come to life over the course of these shows.  If you were one of the many people who didn't pick this up when it was being distributed by Geneon, make sure you run out and get a copy.  Highly recommended.
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