Thoughts on Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail

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(Possible spoilers)

After watching Black Lagoon, I had to watch Roberta’s Blood Trail and to be honest I should have watched it a lot sooner. I wrote some thoughts on Black Lagoon and the second barrage earlier in the year if you want to check that out as well. The OVA is aptly named to be honest and it follows the lagoon company, mostly Rock and Revy as they help Garcia Lovelace and his maid Fabiola Iglesias search for Roberta when she goes missing after the death of his dad. There’s more to the story than the goose chase as it brings the political nature of Roanapur into the light as well as Rock’s descent into the lifestyle of the city.

The first thing that stuck out to me was how much more story based these episodes were than the previous set of episodes. There was the occasional story arc however they didn’t last very long, not that you’d expect them to, given how many episodes were in each season; I reckon it could have gotten away with being a character of the day type show if it really came down to it. I felt like I craved some character development because Black Lagoon has an interesting cast of characters and Roberta was without doubt one of those characters. I’d be lying if I said that the OVA didn’t deliver on that front because I got to see the side of Roberta that she at all costs didn’t want to reveal to Garcia and I also got to see a different side to Rock. I feel like I should have seen the direction that Rock was going in but I didn’t which made it better.

This group of episodes might have been based on Roberta but I found that I was more interested in Rock’s story and his mindset. I feel like he had a less active role in the OVA as opposed to the series yet the focus never really stopped being on him; he gambled the lives of everybody on what came across as a game of chess (I’m still trying to figure out if it was an ego thing or not. He’s also starting to sound more like Light Yagami every time I read this) and you could see the lack of regard that he had for everybody since he seemed to be desperate to win. Yukio Washimine’s words about Rock really held some weight in this arc, at the start of it I thought that Rock was being the moral compass, especially because he seemed apprehensive when it came to helping as he knew that it wouldn’t end well but that really wasn’t the case. Rock really proved that he’s the guy that stays in the twilight zone between being normal and completely messed up and I thought that there might even be a case to argue that Rock enjoys the lifestyle.

I had no problem with the dark direction of the OVA, I felt like Black Lagoon and the second barrage were dark but it kind of creeped around the fact that it was dark if that makes sense. Since this wasn’t Rock actively comparing the morals of Roanapur to his own, it looked as if there was more leeway to show how dark the series could get. In all honesty I felt that the way these episodes were presented made everything better; I feel like I said that in Black Lagoon it was clear that everybody had skeletons in their closet and if those secrets were going to be explored then it only made sense that the series would go down a darker path. I will say that there were some moments that honestly made me scratch my head, I really didn’t expect to see some things and I tried to ask myself if they held any significance which I’m struggling to figure out; namely when Garcia kissed Roberta and when Garcia watched Roberta dry hump a soldier.

Even though five episodes were dedicated to this story, I still feel like I didn’t see enough episodes (or at least they could have made the episodes an hour). One thing that I’ve accepted about Black Lagoon is that it leaves me wanting more, luckily it’s coming back from hiatus so I’m looking forward to seeing the anime come back eventually and seeing the direction that Rock and Revy’s relationship goes after what Fabiola said.

Other thoughts:

  • A couple of the rebellious types I see on social media would like Roberta
  • When the series comes back I want to see more of a story involving Benny and Dutch
  • I wish they didn’t remix the opening theme song
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3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail

  1. It’s good to hear that the manga is coming back after all this time. Hopefully the new volumes get an anime adaptation. This OVA was cool due to the action and Rock’s character development. I guess the lawless environment is corrupting him… or maybe it is allowing him to express an ego that was not allowed to manifest during his office worker days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could definitely see the environment giving him the freedom to express his ego especially given how he was presented in the first episode of Black Lagoon. It really makes the question of how Rock will develop an interesting one. Do you know when the manga is coming back by any chance?

      Liked by 1 person

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