Black Lagoon

Title:Black Lagoon
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Madhouse
R1 License - Geneon (Defunct)
Okajima Rokuro is a much abused and bored Japanese Salary-man who is sent by his company to a forsaken corner of South East Asia to hand deliver a disk with secret company files. The cargo ship on which he was traveling on is attacked by pirates riding on a torpedo boat named “Black Lagoon”. The three pirates somehow know all about his mission and decide to take him hostage for ransom as well. Later when Rokuro is surprised to find out that his company will not pay a ransom and he learns that he has been ‘written off as a business expense’, he just snaps and loses it. But the company is not done yet with him as they have hired a group of mercenaries to find the pirates, recover the disk and kill everyone involved in this sordid event.

Based on the manga by Hiroe Rei. R1 rights of the manga has been licensed in the United States by Viz.

Animation by Madhouse and Geneon
Episode count 12

Also see continuation - Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage
The DVD/BlueRay disks included a series of Omake Specials.
And 5-ep OVA - Roberta`s Blood Trail.

R1/license by Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc.

1:27min Series Opening - YouTube Video
Episode Details 
1, 99
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 9 9 8 7 8 Ggultra2764 [series:1337#1552]
I've heard enough regarding the rep of Black Lagoon offering a stylish, profane and violent funfest into the world of crime syndicates and racial supremest groups, all focused around the Lagoon Company. And while lacking in the department of character development, Black Lagoon offered enough in stylish, violent and profane content. The series has a diverse cast of characters and crime groups from various different backgrounds like a faux-Catholic Church trading illegal weapons (The Church of Violence), a militant Russian mafia (Hotel Moscow), and a stereotypical group of American Neo-Nazis (Aryan Socialist Union). All the characters have different personalities and beliefs for what they seek to gain in the world of organized crime, especially in the hostile crime town of Ronapour which is home to the Lagoon Company. Such personalities are in a number of cases, an exaggeration of crime character archetypes meant to create some subtle humor in what is otherwise a series divided into several arcs exploring the Lagoon Company's dealings with a number of different criminal groups and their recruitment of Rock into the group. My favorite arc in the series: the Lovelace Family arc. Seeing Roberta's want-on destruction and badass demonstration to get back her young master from the Lagoon Company had me rolling around in both laughter and excitement from seeing the fluid action onscreen and the carnage and destruction going throughout Ronapour from Roberta's actions. The animation's consistently fluid throughout the show's actions scenes from gun fights to car chases to underwater explorations. Character designs and scenery also had a great amount of dark colors and detail.

Be warned that Black Lagoon does lack a great deal of character development. While you're able to get a sense of the type of characters that Revy and others have, they don't really change all that much throughout the series. If you're a fan of character-driven anime titles, Black Lagoon might not be for you. But if you crave insane action scenes with a look at the twisted and illegal world of organized crime, then this series will fit the bill for you.

Last updated Thursday, February 04 2010. Created Thursday, February 04 2010.
Rent 9 8 9 8 9 9 Dreamer [series:1337#2279]
Very violent, but a wonderful series! Worth every episode and then some. The animation was really well done and the episodes in themselves were involving and kept you coming back for more.

The only complaint I have with this series is the lack of development. None of the characters really develop, besides "Rock"... and even then, hardly enough. Overall, awesome series!

*for more in-depth review, see the second series

Last updated Sunday, February 22 2009. Created Monday, February 18 2008.
Buy 9 9 10 8 8 9 chibi [series:1337#2380]
I'm going to do just one review of Black Lagoon and Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage, since the second season is just a continuation of the first, only more intense. In fact, I didn't even realize there were two seasons until I finished 24 episodes and went looking for more.

The protagonist, Rokuro Okajima, a.k.a. "Rock", is an everyday salary man loyally working for what he thought was an honest Japanese corporation. When he finds out the hard way that his corporation isn't so honest and considers him an expendable asset, he goes native and joins up with the gang of pirates who kidnapped him. (Stockholm syndrome?) Rock plays the "fish out of water" character in the city of Roanapur, home of international criminal gangs engaging in smuggling, kidnapping, gun-running, etc. And that's on their good days.

Rock finds a place among them as a skillful negotiator, putting his intelligence to good use, despite his lack of ruthlessness. He tries to maintain his distance from the violence, even trying to save some souls along the way, but finds it increasingly difficult as it dawns on him that innocence is often largely a self-delusion, and a lot of those souls don't want to be saved.

Black Lagoon is definitely not for children. It's violent and vulgar -- so much so that even some of the Japanese dialog was muted out. It's a wild ride through the underground world of organized crime and the people who live in it. The dialog and action are, of course, stylized and over-the-top, comparable to a Tarantino movie like Pulp Fiction. The artwork and animation are both excellent, and the characters (and there are a lot of them) are some of the most interesting I've encountered, all strongly differentiated individuals with satisfying depth to their personality.

If I had a complaint about Black Lagoon, it's that the characters basically don't develop very much. Rock goes through some changes in outlook, but they don't fundamentally alter his nature or how he reacts. And while we meet a lot of interesting characters along the way, none of them change from when we first meet them. But if you enjoy shows with lots of clever macho dialog, lots of interesting characters, and lots of bang-bang violence, this is one of the best.

Last updated Monday, May 28 2007. Created Monday, May 28 2007.
Buy Jan-Chan [series:1337#967]
Hey .. this is a very fun and violent series…

I happen to be a WW2-buff, so seeing an old PT (patrol-torpedo) boat used as a pirate boat is fun. The story takes place in the Indonesia-Cambodia-Thailand corner of the world were things are bit lawless and disorderly. And the way that Okajima Rokuro gets dropped by his company is probably enough to make anyone pissed off.

The three pirates that he gets captured by are - a seasoned-black ex-marine type, a brainy engineer/communications tech and a violently-crazed freaky weapons-girl (lets just call her a modern kendo-gryl). They all seem to be 'nice' people, if a bit violent and dysfunctional. (And lets not talk about any Stockholm-Syndrome...)

While there might not be very much character development, the story is filled with enough bizarre and off-beat characters to make up for this short coming. Be warned that this story is both violent and very disturbing. Some of the stories involve child abuse and sadistic lolis, so it probably should be rated as PG-16 (the US rating for 16+ year olds ...).

I posted some pics of the first episode.

Last updated Sunday, September 21 2008. Created Saturday, April 29 2006.

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