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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Nothing, just trailers for other Geneon titles.
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.