The second season
of Black Lagoon picks up
where the first one left off, continuing the story of salaryman Rokuro
up joining a small group of free-lance pirates.
This second set of adventures is a little darker than the first,
still a lot of kick-ass action, excellent animation, and multilayered
that made the first season such a fun ride.
If you enjoyed the earlier releases, The Second Barrage, as it is billed
on the cover, is a no-brainer.
Rokuro Okajima was a typical low-level salary man working for a large
He was charged, unbeknownst to him, with smuggling some data that
his company in some highly illegal dealings. Others could profit
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
in trouble with both the FBI and the Mafia back in the States, and
tough as nails young woman who is as deadly as she is beautiful.
based out of the (fictional) city of Roanapur,
mainly smuggle contraband with their PT boat the Black Lagoon.
Attacking Rokuro's boat at sea, The Lagoon Company gets not only the
young man is carrying, but they take him as a hostage too. They
anyone carrying such important information must be worth something as a
hostage. They thought wrong however. When his company hears
Rokuro and the information have been taken, they hire a team of
destroy the data and the young clerk. When that fails, and Rokuro
that the company that he devoted himself to was trying to kill him, he
not to return to Tokyo.
Instead he changes his name to "Rock", joins the Lagoon Company, and
takes up residence in the lawless city of Roanapur,
This season is
made up of three multi-episode
stories, with the third being the longest.
In the first adventure things are shaken up in Roanapur. A string of killings have taken out some of
Hotel Moscow (the Russian mob) lieutenants, and no one is sure who is
the assassinations. There's a huge
reward put on the heads of the killers, who turn out to be just a pair
kids. A pair of kids who were abused in
kiddie porn snuff films. After being
forced by their captors to kill other children, they eventually began
it and see no reason to stop. After they
take out their targets they turn on their employers and anyone else who
The second story
is a little more upbeat, but not
by a lot. A world class forger is hired
to make some printing plates to counterfeit American currency. She's given the best paper, printing presses,
and technology in the world and promises to turn out perfect copies. That takes longer than she thought, and when
her employers get antsy and kill her assistant to inspire her to work
she takes what she can and runs... straight into the arms of Revy and the
church. Together they have to navigate
through the back alleys of Roanapur and avoid the slew of assassins who
turned up to get the price on the forger's head.
Finally Revy and
Rock take off to Japan to act as
an interpreter (and body guard) for the head of Hotel Moscow when she's
offered some money by a Yakuza family to help shake things up and
competitor. Things don't go so well for
the Yakuza who don't realize that they're hiring someone who works on
terms. In a sub-plot Rock doesn't want
to see his family, even though they're in the same city.
Instead he meets a nice young girl, who just
happens to be the next in line to run her dead father's crime family.
This season was a
bit different from season
one. Revy was the main focus this time
around, and though Rock was in quite a few episodes the other two
Black Lagoon were hardly seen.
In addition to
that, these episodes were markedly
darker in tone. They dealt with snuff
films, suicide, and innocents getting killed.
Several sympathetic characters end up being killed before the
over, most of the time for no good reason.
It was almost like the season's message was "life is shit."
Even though it was
dark and a bit of a downer at
times, this season was still filled with all of the action and
made the first season such an enjoyably series.
The anime is still very good and they continued to flesh out the
backgrounds of some of the main and supporting characters.
This time we get to see some of Balalaika's
history, although the flashbacks raise more questions than they answer.
Like season one, this set of shows is a lot of fun too, but it's really
suspend my disbelief at times. Some of the scenes are just too
top for my tastes. When two fighters run straight at each other,
their guns the whole time and manage to miss each other at a distance
of a few
feet, I have to roll my eyes. This happens time and time again,
just have to sit back and go with the flow on this story, and if you
that it's very enjoyable.
This complete second season comes in a single-width metal case with two
overlapping discs on each side of the cover.
The final 12 episodes are on the first three discs while the
included on the fourth.
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
episodes but ended up viewing the show with the DTS track. It
rocks. The surrounds really come to life in the battle scenes
sounds of empty shell casings hitting the floor behind you not to
explosions that fill the room with sound. They make good use of
soundstage, which makes this a blast to watch. The English voice
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
The 1.78:1 anamorphic image looks very good also. There is some
aliasing during camera pans and some minor posterization, but nothing
worried about. Lines are tight and solid too. The colors
and the blacks are particularly nice looking. Overall this is a
This was a little disappointing. Since
they included an entire disc for bonus material (there are only a few
trailers on the first three discs) I was hoping that there would be
substantial on it. That wasn't the
case. The only items included are a
promo for season two, the Japanese opening, and clean closings for
and 24. The whole disc has maybe five
minutes worth of material on it. Pretty
Though this season was a little more dark and depressing than the first
Black Lagoon is still 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
come to life over the course of these shows. Highly