Black Lagoon is a two season action anime which tells the tale of Japanese businessman turned small time pirate ‘Rock,’ who throws in with the crew of the titular pirate ship after they are unable to ransom him back to his company after kidnapping him. Rock then joins crew mates Revy, Dutch, and Benny in their adventures through the underworld of fictional pirate port Roanapur.
- Action. From the very first episode, there’s rarely a dull moment. Whether it’s Revy shooting up a cantina, or Dutch working the Lagoon through some daring maneuvers, the pacing is superb, and drags you along from the very first episode until the last.
- Character Development. The relationships between the characters are very dynamic and realistic. When they’re mad at each other, they stay that way until they make up. Or…sometimes, until they shoot each other. You never know, it’s a show about pirates. Also, Revy’s quasi healthy devotion to Rock is always evolving through the series, and shows itself in sometimes unexpected ways.
- Factions. There are no good guys and bad guys in Black Lagoon, only bad guys and worse guys. And some of the bad guys are truly bad. From the pirates themselves to the ‘Hotel Russia’ mafiya which sponsors them, the Triad, Mofia, and Columbian Cartels, a real who’s who of criminal organizations are trying to make their play on the streets of Roanapur, and the Lagoon Company often finds itself right in the middle of turf wars and power plays.
- Flashbacks. Black Lagoon does have a decent number of flashback sequences, and while they typically do a good job of preventing them from becoming confusing, sometimes they fail, and the viewer simply has no idea what’s going on.
- The bad and the bad. Some episodes, such as those in the Hansel and Gretel arc, are dark enough to be truly disturbing. while not unrealistic, per-se, they can be unexpectedly grim, even when set in the already hardboiled backdrop of the anime.
In the end, Black Lagoon is a superb anime. A must see for action fans, though care must be given to overlook some of its burrs and rough spots.
Black Lagoon is a two season anime of 24 episodes, which detail the adventures of Japanese businessman Rock and pirate gunslinger Revy, in the fictional pirate port of Roanapur
The Crew of the Black Lagoon
From Left: Benny the engineer, Rock the hostage / mastermind, Revy the muscle, Dutch the Captain. A crew of misfits that nevertheless manage to quite effectively survive and turn a profit in smuggling, hijacking, kidnapping, and outright thievery. Remember, in Black Lagoon, there are no good guys.
One of the most interesting aspects of Black Lagoon is the evolution of the relationship between Rock and Revy. After some initial headbutting, Rock stands up for Revy, and gives her credit as a geniune human being (where everyone else sees her as an unsalvagable psychopathic monster), and talks her out of situations where she gets in over her head. For her part, Revy keeps Rock from getting himself killed more times than can be easily kept track of, backs him up when no one else has faith in him, and values that he tries to retain his morals even in the dark cesspool of the underworld.