Monday, April 27, 2009

Thoughts on: Black Lagoon

These past few weeks, instead of watching only one series at a time like I normally do, i've been juggling several different series and watching them all at once (not counting the series currently airing in Japan where I have to wait for eps weekly). In between these series, I was craving for an action series where I didn't have to wait every week for a new episode. I was thinking about trying to watch Soul Eater again, but I didn't like the idea of getting involved with a 51 ep long series just yet, I was hoping to stick to shorter series for now until school gets out. Then I was talking to this one guy and he mentioned Black Lagoon. It was then when it hit me, it was an action series, 24 episodes (broken into two seasons), plus I had been wanting to check it out for some time as well. So it was the perfect choice...

What made me want to pick this series up in the first place was that I heard it had gotten inspiration from Cowboy Bebop, and some folks even said it had somewhat of a CB-like flair to it. Upon hearing this, and loving Cowboy Bebop, I had to see it for myself. It turns out people where right, it may not be an exact carbon copy of the classic series, I was never expecting that, but it does have the same feel. Its like Cowboy Bebop in our present era reality without the kickass soundtrack, without the artistic look, and mostly focuses on the explosive action scenes, gunfights, and even decides to try and go its own way.

Other than the CB similarities, its still a great series. What I liked about it was how realistic the stories where (minus the badass main female lead going around and shooting everybody up), and many of the eps where short 2-3 ep mini arcs. Then, of course, the action scenes where awsome and very well done! One great example is the chase scene in ep 9 where the folks of the Black Lagoon company where trying to get away from the terminator maid. (Yes, a maid with unlimited weapons who's tough to beat, going around and shooting people, don't ya just love anime?) It was incredibly well-animated and it has got to be one of the best car cases i've ever seen in anime! (Perhaps i'm simply still just hyped after seeing this ep not too long ago?) I also find it amusing that here I was just commenting on how realistic this series was, then here I go talking about the terminator maid (don't worry she's not a robot, she's human, an ex-soldier to be exact,, but she sure is alot like the terminator). Ah well, this series still has a pretty realistic feel to it.

Another interesting factor is that the whole series has a very American feel to it. Like an action Hollywood film in animated form. Complete with numerous references to American associated events, people, places, etc. In one episode, one of the characters pulled out a pack of American named-brand cigarettes (it was "Natural American Spirit" don't remember if it actually read that in the series.....and no I don't smoke, but my parents do and they drag me along when they buy their cigarettes, so I know this brand is real because I saw it). It was quite nice watching a series like this, because I felt very at home watching it. Which is a nice change from all these series that usually take place in Japan and/or have characters with a very (or somewhat) Japanese-like lifestyle. The opening is also in "Engrish" as well. Its pretty damn cool and addictive, despite the fact that the singer barely knows any English yet she's trying to sing in English. The awsome techno beat and great images makes up for that.

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest) Black Lagoon wins me over with a 9 for its action awesomeness. Its not a masterpiece like Cowboy Bebop, but I definitely enjoyed watching it. Madhouse did an excellent job with this one, and they still have yet to disappoint me (okay, so the storylines in the Battle Angel Alita OVA and X movie sucked, but the animation was kick ass in both, plus they're both older anime so you can't expect too much).

As i'm typing this, I have only seen the first season and I have just now started watching the 2nd season. Perhaps I will type up my thoughts on it later after I view it.....