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Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor (Season 2 + OVA)
Darker than Black is an acclaimed anime
series from writer/director Tensai Okamura (Wolf's Rain).
series is animated by studio Bones. The original series aired in 2007
follow-up entitled Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor
arriving in 2009. A short OVA production followed in 2010. Funimation's
Blu-ray/DVD combo pack release contains both the Darker than Black:
of the Meteor sequel and the short OVA production.
The concept of the series focuses on mysterious
as Contractors. The lead of the series is a contractor and is known as
the Black Reaper.
A contractor is someone with special abilities which are connected and
from the "Heaven's Gate" incident. With new powers, these individuals
gain superhuman strengths and skills but begin to lose what makes them
begin with: becoming cold killers who are often assigned by
work as spies or assassins and get important information for nations
In the second season sequel series, the Black
known as BK-201, comes across a young girl named Suo who he ends up
to his world. After surviving strange events following a giant meteor
Earth, Suo becomes a contractor as well. Over the course of the season,
trains her in the way of a contractor and she experiences style=""> the same process known to BK-201. Meanwhile, a
mysterious and powerful organization known as Section 3 has tried to
destroy BK-201. Other contractors are trying to take them down as well.
Having never seen the first season of the series, Darker
than Black's second outing was hard to follow at times given that I
understand the concept of contractors right away and the series does a
poor job of exploring the idea behind them. While it technically serves
as a sequel series and not solely as a second season, viewers will
benefit from seeing the first season. The series story is also somewhat
convoluted and takes twists, turns, and detours that are unexpected.
The concept of Darker than Black
somewhat vague. It's supposed to have sci-fi undertones and
elements, but it ultimately feels more like a story about contract
working on jobs while a mysterious (and poorly explored) entity,
works against them and wants them destroyed. The series does try and
emotional context to the characters on occasion but the series lacks
of depth necessary to be a more enjoyable story.
What the series lacks in storytelling ability, it
make up for with an abundance of visual flair and style. While the
written by Tensai Okamura are often messy and confusing to follow,
exceeds as a visual director with great technical skill. The framing of
and the and pace established is often non-stop (especially during
sequences). Anime fans hoping for an action-packed show with fluid
and technical finesse will certainly be thrilled by the series as it
excels in exploring
these attributes. The production was superbly handled.
The animation produced by Bones is certainly
There is nothing to be disappointed by with regards to the art style.
character designs are exceptional. The background art is a detailed and
visually pleasant experience. The fluidity is superb. It's clear the
did an immense amount of work on the production. Scenes have a number
intensely choreographed action set-pieces and are always high quality.
level, Darker than Black earns its acclaim and reputation. style=""> No anime fan should be disappointed by the
technical attributes. The
only real production disappointment might
be the lack of score music by Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop,
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex), who did the music for
original Darker than Black series but did not return for the
Unfortunately, Okamura's stylistic strengths as a
director and the
high-quality nature of the animation can't make up for the often weak
storytelling. Okamura's writing isn't on par with his directorial
style. The characters simply aren't that
and it often feels like the series is simply padding a storyline around
action set-pieces rather than the other way around. It doesn't mesh
effectively. Viewers who have seen and enjoyed the original Darker
Black series might enjoy it more than I did, but as a newcomer the
seemed to be much more about flash and a lot less about substance. The
impressed. The storytelling did not.
Darker than Black:
Gemini of the Meteor arrives on Blu-ray
with an impressive 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoded presentation. The
clarity is exceptional. The line detail is amazing and the artwork
visually stunning. The bold colors and style of the series looks
this native-HD release.
The audio is included in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 English
TrueHD 2.0 Japanese. Each of the presentations has a good boost from
lossless audio. The clarity sounds strong and the score and sound
well implemented into the respective sound designs. The English track
superior given the surround-sound implementation and has a slightly
presentation. However, fans of either the English or Japanese dubbing
find this to be a satisfactory release. English subtitles are provided.
The release is slim on extras
(though it's worth noting that the set
does impress with the inclusion of both the second season sequel and
Supplements include: Episode
OVA Part 1 Commentary, textless songs
(clean op/ed), and trailers promoting other Funimation
releases. As with other Funimation releases, commentaries are with
members of the English dub cast and will primarily appeal to viewers
fans of the respective dub VA's.
Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor is
to the acclaimed anime phenomenon Darker than Black. Funimation
released the set with an impressive Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with strong
technical merits and both the entire second series and the short OVA
it. Fans of the series will undoubtedly want this release.
Newcomers should give it a rent or check out the
season before delving in to this follow-up production. Darker than
Gemini of the Meteor excels at great action and animation but the
storytelling wasn't capable of matching the effectiveness of the action
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.