Darker than Black - Kuro no Keiyakusha

Title:Darker than Black - Kuro no Keiyakusha
Darker than Black
Darker than BLACK ‐黒の契約者‐
Kuro no Keiyakusha
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - BONES
Music - KANNO Yoko
R1 License - FUNimation
An inscrutable and abnormal territory, known as Hell's Gate, appeared and caused Tokyo to lose its original sky. In response to it, people who possessed special abilities appeared. However, the cost of gaining those abilities is that those people lack almost all human emotions. They are able to coldly murder other people gained the fear of the populace, as well as the name 'Contractors'. An additional burden of their abilities was a need to satisfy their contract by doing something strange or routine. Intelligence agencies in countries around the world begin to utilize their Contractors to uncover the secrets of Hell's Gate and engage in violent battles of intelligence gathering.

Hei is sent to Tokyo under the guise of a plain abroad Chinese student, Li Shunsheng, but he is in reality a top-level Agent and Contractor from the Organization with the code BK201, "The Black God of Death". Hei is part of a team fighting against other Contractors and agencies, while trying to remain hidden from the local police.

(Summary from Wikipedia)

Animation by BONES.
25 TV episodes.
R1 License - FUNimation.

Also see 2nd season - Darker Than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini
And OVA episodes - DtB Gaiden.

1min English Language Trailer - ANN (high res) streaming promo
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 9 9 8 7 8 8 Ggultra2764 [series:1590#1552]
A decent action title, Darker than Black explores how the Hell's Gate phenomena and the powerful humans known as Contractors affect things within the city of Tokyo. Various organizations work at keeping the existence of Contractors hidden from the public and finding a means of subduing them while the Contractors find themselves the puppets of rival syndicates trying to get an edge over one another or making power grabs for themselves. The main focus of this mess is Hei, a Contractor belonging to a syndicate who behaves quite differently from regular Contractors. Whereas the actions of Contractors in the world of Darker than Black are fueled by reasonable decisions and lacking emotions, Hei's actions are like that of a normal person where he shows and is guided by his emotions. Aiding Hei with his missions are former cop Huang, talking cat Mao and Doll Yin. With exception to Mao, the backstories of the three in the group are unveiled over the lives they had before coming together in Japan with the three coming to grips with their problems concerning their abilities or who they work with. The series brings along plot twists galore over the actions of the many organizations who are using and plotting against any of the Contractors that are working for them. The series also sports fluid animation which makes battles between Contractors great to look at.

I do have some big gripes though that keep me from giving the series a Buy. The major events leading up to the problems faced throughout Darker than Black are left unexplored, especially how Hell's Gate and the Contractors came to be. In addition, I felt the goofball detective and his fangirl assistant were out of place for the dark and gritty mood that Darker than Black gave off as this didn't seem the right kind of series to feature comic relief characters.

Beyond this, the series is a decent watch with interesting characters and a storyline focused on multiple factions trying to get their way with the powerful Contractors and Hell's Gate.

Last updated Monday, June 14 2010. Created Monday, June 14 2010.
Buy 8 8 9 9 9 9 Dreamer [series:1590#2279]
The title really made it seem interesting. I mean, like a cool title "Darker than Black", you automatically think of something evil and "dark".

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork and animation was up a few notches from the norm. Details were excellent and colors were rich. There was some nice CG scenes that did well for the backgrounds.

The OP(s) were mostly rock and alternative pieces that didn't sound too bad at all. The second OP (that came in later episodes), sounded much better... another rock piece. The rest of the soundtrack was pretty okay and at times kinda dark in nature. Fitting for this series. The ED was an interesting alternative piece. The second ED was even better.

Series and Episode Story
At first, it took a little bit getting use to the lingo.. "Contractors", "Dolls", "Gate", however, after a few episodes, it started explaining a few things. After the useful information, it made the series a bit more intersting. It's a "darker" anime with plenty of gore, arms, heads and torsos sliced and diced. What was interesting was all the plot twists, inner-faction or group betrayals and counter intelligence. However, the plot as a whole itself didn't do much to keep me focused. In the end, I was left with questions that were never answered and curiosities.

Overall, this was a decent series but not much as far as a coherent plot. Maybe it was just me, and I missed a few things but either way, you'll have to really pay attention to everything and everyone here.

Last updated Sunday, December 06 2009. Created Sunday, December 06 2009.
Buy 10 10 10 10 10 10 Violet D [series:1590#1393]
He acts so innocent and yet always ready to assist. Good looking, understanding but yet deadly. This is what Darker than Black is all about. Nothing is ever what it seems. I just watched the first episode and I want to see more. You will love this exciting thriller. This one is so good and I can't stop watching it. A thriller in each episode and it always leaves you hanging and wanting to watch more, more. Well I finally finish watching all the episodes to the end and it was worth it. Being a Romantic at heart I was kind of hoping that the female detective and Li would get together. But It didn't happen. But it is still an excellent one to watch Subbed or dubbed you will love it.

Last updated Sunday, August 23 2009. Created Wednesday, July 29 2009.
Buy Jan-Chan [series:1590#967]

Darker than BLACK is one of those inscrutable series that doesn’t tell much up front, but rather tells a tale that over the first few episodes will begin to explain the details on the ‘Hell's Gate’’ and those people who are influenced by it. So hang in there and wait until about episode five. After a while, the story just takes off with a fun roar.

The appearance of the ‘Hell's Gate’ in Tokyo, Japan devastated a part of the city, rendering it uninhabitable and dangerous to traverse. To isolate the area, a large wall has been built to not only prevent people from entering, but to also prevent anything from leaving. The secrets as to its strange influence and powers have become a high priority to those seeking power and profit. Not only is the UN & Japanese government funding a large research program, but other countries and syndicates have sent their agents to Japan to monitor the Gate, and steal or acquire any information that might become available.

One of the side effects of the Gate is the manifestation of ‘contractors’. People who have been given strange powers that allow them to function in super human ways. But the price of these powers is their humanity. They are emotionless beings, behaving more like killing machines than people, with the side-effect of having an uncontrollable and insatiable need fulfill their contract by doing some strange or mundane repetitious behavior.

Along with the appearance of the Hell’s Gate and contractors, a number of other strange things appear; such as ‘dolls’ and memory-erasure (ME) technology. The police also have a ‘Division of Astrology’, a group of specialists who are able to read the stars and follow the activities and movements of contractors – but only in a general sense.

And so the story starts by following a Chinese foreign exchange student named Li Shunsheng, who is hiding that he is both a contractor and part of a team collecting information on the Gate. Working as part of Li’s team are a girl with an ability to spy through the use of water, puddles, streams and such; a contractor who is trapped in the body of a cat and Haung, their handler who is the contact with the syndicate for whom they are working with.

There is no comedy or humor in this series. It is all dark drama with violent and bloody confrontations. With excellent animation and good music, the story is both fun and easy to watch. But that is not enough to make a series stand out. To be distinctive, it needs both interesting characters and a strong storyline. The main character of Li is very human and understandable one minute, and then completely inscrutable the next when he uses his contractor abilities. If one could put up with a lot bewilderment and strangeness as the story slowly unfolds, then this title is well worth the time spent watching.

Last updated Tuesday, September 29 2009. Created Friday, June 05 2009.
Buy 10 10 10 10 10 10 Anonymous #2770 [series:1590#2770]
I can really say this series is amazing some people threw it off after a few episodes but you should watch the entire 25 episode series first it has one of the best plots i've ever seen.

Last updated Saturday, December 29 2007. Created Saturday, December 29 2007.

Other Sites
Japanese Language Series Web Site http://www.d-black.net/
Wikipedia posting for the Anime Series http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darker_than_black
(Warning * site contains plot spoilers)
Funimation's (English) Series Web site http://www.funimation.com/darkerthanblack/

Community Anime Reviews

anime mikomi org