This was going to be a quick thoughts post but I just kept on writing…
After a long while, I’m back with one of my quick thoughts; if I’m honest, I was slacking when it came to anime which isn’t a good look. I have no idea why either, I looked at the manga and anime section of this blog to see when the last time I wrote up some thoughts and it’s been a year. This year I’m going to try not to slack (as much) and with that being said let’s actually get to the point of this post.
So as the name of the post tells you, I’ve been watching Black Lagoon. This is something that I wish I watched earlier (at least I got there in the end right?). The series is about the lagoon company which is made up of Rokuro Okajima (Rock), Revy, Dutch and Benny who are a group of pirates that take on missions from various clients and always end up getting into some crazy shit. The crazy shit as I’ve decided to name it is pretty much a result of the fact that they live in a crime infested city called Roanapur which also houses a lot of scumbags.
When I watched this I didn’t know what to expect, I just knew that it was highly rated but after watching a couple of episodes the first thing that came to mind was the action. If I had to guess, I’d say that the action was the main draw of the series and I can see why, it’s just so in your face with guns, guns and more guns (this shit is actually cool when you watch it). It pretty much got to a point where I’d watch an episode asking myself, how and when is it all going to kick off and it felt like the episodes were moving a lot faster when the action scenes were on screen. Outside of the action, I liked the characters but at the same time I feel like there could have been more done to explore the characters.
Don’t get me wrong, the characters are interesting without the exposition but at the same time I always like to know a decent amount of background information about the characters in question because that’s what really gets me invested. I’ll say this, I felt that all of the characters were captured well, due to the fact that Rock is the moral compass in the series; he’s the only one that has morals whilst everybody else has thrown theirs away. What’s interesting about this is that it seems like everybody else wants to have some kind of a conscience but they just can’t find a reason to because the world has messed them up that badly.
Something that caught me off guard was the portrayal of the female characters. I was really impressed with all of them because when I watch anime I’m used to seeing female characters that have abilities but are ultimately useless. For me the change was refreshing to see, as some of the most intimidating characters were female and on top of that they were actually good at what they did which is something that I’d love to see more of (at the same time it might just be that I’m watching the wrong anime). For me it’s rare that I see a female character portrayed like she’s terminator or I see a group rely on one the way that the lagoon company relied on Revy.
One of my favourite scenes:
It’s a shame that Black Lagoon was the length that it was because everybody clearly has skeletons in the closet that haven’t been cleared out. When watching the two seasons I liked the first season’s focus on the lagoon company and what they were getting into, I’d even say that the most interesting scenario in the series happened in the first season (I won’t spoil of course). The main cast of characters is probably the reason why I really liked the first season, I felt like some of the scenes were manufactured to bring out the best in the main cast which is something I’ve never said for any anime or show in general. The second season wasn’t bad, I could see that the series wanted to bring more of a focus to the other characters and it did reveal a little bit of information which once again I wish they would have gone into more detail on. The thing is that given the amount of secondary characters that there are and the length of the series there wasn’t enough time to focus on them.
The series is deeper than the action that it shows and I’m going to admit, it flew over my head. There are a few instances which involve Rock and other characters comment on his morals and the life that they live in comparison to Rock. When watching those scenes I had to watch them all over again I could only come to one conclusion which was that Rock can’t really take such a moral high ground which was interesting to me (I can’t be sure if this was the conclusion that I was meant to get or if it’s open to interpretation). This is another reason that I wish that there was more exposition in the series and that the length was longer.
Other thoughts: Usually I like to watch anime where the story moves along and then you get the big climax but after watching this and a couple of others, I can see that my tastes are slowly developing. I think I could have possibly packed some of the stuff I wrote about into this section but, you’ve read up to here so there’s not much point now. Roanapur is the most fucked up city I’ve seen in anime so far.