Black Lagoon. [TV]
Within Thailand lies the city of Roanapur, a safe haven for all types of criminals and where corruption thrives to its very roots. Ran by big crime syndicates like the Yakuza or the Russian and Italian mafias, Roanapur is the center for illegal and criminal activities, and is the base of operations for the notorious group called Black Lagoon.
The story follows Rokurou Okajima, a Japanese businessman who lives a routine and monotonous life, who was assigned for a delivery trip to Southeast Asia. Tired of his dull life and searching for new adventures, Rokurou eagerly embarks on his task which was different from his usual job. The simple delivery quickly turns for the worse, as Rokurou gets abducted by Black Lagoon. The group intended to hold Rokurou as a bargaining chip, but negotiations failed as their hostage was betrayed and abandoned by his employer. With nowhere else to go, Rokurou decides to join Black Lagoon, and his appetite for change will be filled quicker than he would have wanted to.
About the Show
Black Lagoon is an anime adaptation of the action comedy manga series under the same name, written and illustrated by Rei Hiroe. Produced by studio Madhouse, the anime series aired a total of 24 episodes (divided into 2 season) between April 08, 2006 and December 18, 2006. It has 5 OVAs, which were aired between July 17, 2010 and June 22, 2011.
The Lagoon Company
Rokurou “Rock” Okajima
Rokurou is born from a decently wealthy but neglectful family in Tokyo. After he was held back a year before getting admitted into college, his family’s expectations of him lowered, especially that his brother landed a job in the Japanese government. Eventually, he got hired into Asahi industries, where he worked as an insignificant white collar salaryman. He quickly found his existence become bland and meaningless.
During a delivery job to the Southeast Asia, their ship was hijacked by the pirate group called Lagoon company, who wanted a data disk he was carrying. Instead of getting rescued from his captors, Rokurou’s boss abandoned him in an attempt to cover up a smuggling operation where he was an unwitting participant. To make things worse, his boss sent out a mercenary group to kill him, and to destroy the data disk he was carrying.
Despite having no previous combat experience, Rokurou was able to help the Lagoon company in their defense against the mercenaries. By using the Black Lagoon’s anti-ship torpedoes, Rokurou shot down the mercenaries’ attack helicopter. Having strangely enjoyed the events he just experienced, he decided to stay and join the pirate group of Lagoon company.
Revy, also known as Rebecca Lee, is a Chinese-American born in the poverty-stricken district of Chinatown in New York City. She was raised by an alcoholic and abusive father. After fleeing from her father’s abuse, she was found by a policeman who beat and raped her. Becoming sick and tired of how she lived, Revy killed her father after returning home. Not much about her past is known, including how she got into Roanapur.
During her time with the Lagoon Company, she became its main gunfighter, known for her skills in wielding two pistols. Rude, ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, merciless, and sadistic, Revy is like a devil who believes that brute force is the answer to everything. She murders in cold-blood, even unarmed civilians.
Initially, Revy was hostile towards Rock, and even tried to kill him in two occasions. Later in the series, she grows to respect Rock, and even becomes protective of him. Although her bullying and foul-mouthed nature remained.
Dutch is the laid-back, polite, considerate leader and captain of the Lagoon Company. He is born African-American, and has served the U.S. Marines during the Vietnam war, before he went AWOL and escaped to Thailand to work as a mercenary.
Being the leader, he tends to stay away from direct combat, and negotiates with the clients and gives out orders instead. However, he is skilled in wielding a Remington 870 Marine Magnum shotgun and a Smith & Wesson 629 revolver.
Later in the series, it is suggested that Dutch lied about his service in the U.S. army, making his backstory mysterious.
Benny, often called “Benny-boy” by Dutch, is a Jewish born member of the Lagoon Company. He is a college dropout from Florida, where he could have died from the hands of the FBI and mafia if not for Revy.
He is usually level-headed and carefree, but tends to be possessive and protective of his computers. His function in the Lagoon Company involves being the mechanic, driver, researcher, and computer specialist. He is not very effective combat-wise, but he can tolerate Dutch and Revy’s barbaric methods unlike Rock.
Balalaika, also known as Sofiya Pavlovna, is the pragmatic but cynical leader of Hotel Moscow, a group that usually employs the Lagoon Company. She was raised by her grandfather, who was the military head of the USSR. During her time in the Russian army, she served as captain and paratrooper in the Afghanistan war. Due to her leadership and unparalleled skills with the sniper, Balalaika is looked up upon by his men, and would follow any orders she commands. Despite being a well-rounded fighter and strategist, her men still sometimes worry for her safety.
Boris is Balalaika’s second-in-command. He served in the Russian army alongside Balalaika, and she still calls her “Sergeant” instead of his real name. He is protective and very loyal to Balalaika, always looking out for her safety.
If you love watching epic gunfights, hand-to-hand combat, thrilling chases, or just generally the Hollywood action genre, then Black Lagoon is definitely a great series to watch.
It features an entertaining interaction and witty dialogue between the set of its interesting characters, usually involving curses and dark humor. The animation is also well-made, creating a dark-themed, detailed, fluid action sequences. Although not being special by itself, the background rock music perfectly does its job complementing the action-packed fights. However, its pacing and plot is criticized for being inconsistent.
Being a show that involves crimes and how the criminals live their lives, the series can become really dark at some points. Overall, Black Lagoon is a great series to watch, and is aimed towards a more matured audience.