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  • Black Lagoon - Season 1 (ep.1-12) Review

    Posted on September 23rd, 2006 by retsgip - 10,744 Views
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    Rating: 9.0/10 (Was too hard to rate this without being biased, sigh)

    After waiting for what seemed like a lifetime, Shinsen-Subs finally subbed the last 2 episodes of Black Lagoon. And after what seems like a lifetime after that, I’m finally reviewing it.

    I’m really happy that I finally got to finish the full season, and I’m DEFINATELY keeping this anime and DEFINATELY watching the second season in the fall.


    Basically, the whole premise behind the show is that this company, the Lagoon Company, is a smuggling company. They do odd jobs for odd people, and usually end up in odd situations. The atmosphere they live in is very corrupt and it seems like only theives and gunman can survive their lifestyle. It’s a hard life, but they seem to enjoy it. Oh yeah, and everyone smokes. Not really sure what that means, but they do.

    This series seriously kicked major ass. The only problem with it is that it only caters to a certain crowd. Practically every scene is devoted to either action or traveling to the action. There are some minor romance scenes, but nothing to make any die-hard romantics enjoy this series. If you just feel like having a fun time watching some kick ass action, then this will definintely not disappoint you. If you liked Cowboy Bebop for its action then you’ll probably enjoy Black Lagoon. It has less episodes and less plot, but I feel the quality of the action and the art is much higher.

    Favorite Track: Edison - Don’t Look Behind (requiem version)


    Fight scenes:

    I don’t think I’ve liked fight scenes as much as I like Black Lagoon’s fight scenes. I’ve watched a lot of action shows, and I find it harder and harder for action to impress me. Black Lagoon rekindled my love for action anime, especially gun style action, which tends to be a hard genre create decent action. Guns seem so simple: “Boom Headshot!” and you’re dead, but Black Lagoon showed how sometimes it’s a little more to it than that(like you know, they dodge it n shit).

    Characters: (see below for character synopsis)

    I won’t go into much depth here, but since there wasn’t anything more than a handful of characters, I’ll cover nearly all of them in the character section below. What I do want to mention though, is that I felt like each character brought a unique and entertaining feeling to every episode. Granted, the majority of the screen time went to Revy and Rock, but I also appreciated what Benny and Dutch brought to the story. All the minor characters have their own personalities as well, and often times make the episodes much more enjoyable.


    I loved the atmosphere in this anime. Everything was so melancholic and almost on the verge of being erie, yet you could always find solace in Dutch and his crew (even though sometimes they have some pretty grim moments). It was almost like they were a light in the darkness, and anything they did always seemed fun and exciting, even in the fucked up world they lived in. Almost all of their jobs ended up taking place at night or in a dark place . I’m going to throw in camera angles and the way scenes were filmed in here too. Some of them were damn artistic and very pleasant to watch. In any case, thumbs up to the atmosphere, I loved it!


    Only a Minor Love Story:

    There’s kind of an underlying love story going on in the series, but it’s definitely not the main focus, at least not this season (hope next season is just as good!). Revy and Rock seem to have a very strange love relationship going on. They both seem to hate each other’s guts, but you can also tell they’ve got something going on. If they ever “accidentally” got themselves in a situation that bred sexual contact, they’d probably go crazy and start ripping off clothes. That’s just my perverted mind at work though *cough*…But really, the love story is so minor but still there that it almost makes me sad they even put it in the series. Sure it makes for some GREAT scenes because you’re so damn hopeful that Revy and Rock might show signs of a relationship, but then nothing ever comes of it and you cry yourself to sleep that night.

    Underdeveloped Plot:

    Seriously, there wasn’t much of a plot. Sure there’s a plot but it’s not an awesome plot. There’s no real closure at the end of the series, and there’s no real motive for anything except getting more money. I say this Anime closely resembles Cowboy Bebop, but at least in Cowboy Bebop, Spike Speigel had motives and it ended with closure. I know there’s a second season, and I’m glad for that, but I think they could have done a better job developing a little more plot this season. It ended up being an extreme action anime (which is still awesome!) but if I had planned on getting more out of this anime, I would have been left severely disappointed.

    Characters: (I’ll try hard not to spoil. More descriptions can be found here)


    Revy is definitely in my Top 5 greatest females in anime list (which I will never complete). She’s a gun toting sexy beast. What more could you ask for?!? Seriously though, she’s an awesome character. I love her attitude and the way she thinks. It’s all so hard and manly, which is probably what turns me on so much. You can kind of tell she has feelings for Rock, but she’s too much of a man to admit it. We all know that men hate to give in to love.


    He’s the typical tragic hero, except not really a hero. Yeah…Well he does do some stuff and is kinda useful. Oh well. He’s really just “the guy” and they all treat him as such. He’s also a character that most of the viewers will relate to since he’s got the most normal personality. Also, coming from the typical cubical infested workplace, he seems like a real human and doesn’t really display super human gunfighting powers, or rather any sort of special ability at all(maybe negotiation?).


    Dutch is like the father of this band of misfit hooligan trouble-making bastards. He always seems to keep his cool, and he’s the mediator to everyone’s problems. He’s pretty crazy with his shotgun, which makes Rock look even more useless since well, Rock can’t do anything. I like how Dutch and Revy view of each other as equals, but they both know each other’s strong points and weak points. Dutch understands that Revy can’t lead but she’s a superstar with her guns, and she understands that Dutch is good at solving problems and not letting feelings get in the way. He also likes to smoke his ciggs like Ray Arnold(played by Samuel L Jackson) in Jurassic Park.


    Who’s Benny? Oh, right, the electrical dude. Well, he’s probably the only main character that could be killed off without much consequences. Sure they need someone to navigate the boat and help with the electrical problems, but he doesn’t really offer that much to the show. Obviously, he’s not one of my favorite characters.


    Balalaika is kind of a mystery throughout the whole show. You find out about most of her past and who she is, but still she remains a mystery. Her most distinguishing factor is definitely the huge scar across the right side of her face, and maybe her “i’m badass and answer to no one” kind of attitude. She often employs Dutch ‘n company and we mostly see her as an authority figure. She kinda scares me.

    Mr. Chan

    Mr. Chan is badass. We don’t really know who he is beyond the fact that he’s someone important and well, he’s badass? Apparently he used to do work like Dutch, but now is some sort of employer. He also seems to have a background with the Lagoon Company. His shining moment is when he escorts them out of the building in episode 11. Who knew he could be so badass?


    Also known as the Hound because of her ability to hunt and kill an enemy. More importantly, she just doesn’t die, ever. Her ability to keep going after taking shitloads of damage reminded me of Terminator 2. She was a pretty big “enemy” towards the end of the show, and became a pretty big source of competition for Revy. She definitely brought some crazy action to the table.


    As you can tell, there’s lots of “badass” going on in this anime. I found it hard to write about this anime because I was just too excited thinking about the characters etc, so sorry if it seems I was at a loss for words(I’m also lacking that special thing called sleep). I strongly suggest anyone who enjoys action to give this anime a try. What have you got to lose(besides time and bandwidth)?! If you end up hating it, come yell at me. Or, if you end up love it, watch the second season which comes out this fall(2006).


    6 comments to “Black Lagoon - Season 1 (ep.1-12) Review”

    Please use <spoiler></spoiler> tags when appropriate, thanks!

    1. Yeh, this series has turned out really well. Looking forward to the second season!

    2. Awesome series.

      In an anime scene where Moe rules hard, we needed some mature no-nonsense, smack-talking, ass-kicking action. Black Lagoon delivered, and will continue to deliver this requirement.

      Plus, something’s wrong if anyone says they don’t like seeing a hardass, mature and sexy woman dual wielding custom Beretta 92FSs. Revy is lethal sexiness personified.

    3. Yeah, I found this to be a rather enjoyable series.

      The best thing about it is that you can recommend it to people who don’t really watch much anime and they’ll love it. There’s so much action and its so fun that they don’t have time to realize they’re watching anime and not doing something else.

    4. hahaha that’s right! minor love, MAJOR con.

    5. Well…you didn’t like Shana because there was “no love story.” So no big surprise there ;p

      Basically, I felt like Black Lagoon was equivelent to watching any action movie that targets a male audience. The only thing it really lacked to be a classic american action movie was a huge amount of sex. The relationship was a lot more subtle, but the action was definately in your face. I’ll think of a good movie thats out and give you a comparison someday.

    6. Rock and Revy have a “Tough” Love relationship anyway.

      But if you are looking for romance, Black Lagoon is the wrong stop. Its more Guns, Sweet Ass and Hot Angry Ladies than anything.

      If you want romance, go and watch Chrno Crusade. :P

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