BLACK LAGOON

Genre: Action, Adventure, Criminal Sci-Fi, Drama

Original Run: 04/08/2006 - 06/24/2006 (First series), 10/10/2006 - 12/18/2006 (Second Series), planned Third Series in the works

Series Length: 12 episodes (First series), 12 episodes (Second series)

Current Status: First and Second Series completed and available in the U.S.

Location: Formally Geneon, now distributed by Funimation

Synopsis: Rokuro Okajima was a Japanese salary man who was just delivering a business package, when his boat is hijacked by mercenaries and he is taken hostage. Faced with a homicidal, gun-toting woman named Revy, Rokuro can only look forward to either being ransomed off, or receive a very painful and gruesome death at the hands of his captors. However, when his employers decides to abandon him in order to protect their illegal operations, Rokuro cuts ties with the company and becomes a member of the Black Lagoon mercenaries under the name of ĎRock.í

Ratings

Animation: Weíve got some really intense animation here, especially in terms of blood, action and some really nice curves to go with the guns. Score: 8.0

Plot: I have to admit that the overall story of a nice guy becoming a criminal is an interesting twist and sometimes being the bad guy is the only way to make things right. The series is mostly one or two episode stories, but the overall flow is good. Score: 6.8

Sound: With this series you can expect guns, guns and MORE guns, so you better get used to hearing gunshots every 2-3 minutes with the occasional explosions mixed in. Score: 5.8

Special Effects/Features: With Black Lagoon, you can pretty much expect a shootout fest a la Full Metal Jacket. Score: 6.8

My Reviews: I was bit intrigued by the premise of Black Lagoon when it first came out, but the characters and the action soon had me sold on the series. The anime gives you a different view of the underworld and you canít say that there arenít any clear good guys and bad guys. For the most part, just about everyone is a criminal or linked to the Mafia, so itís all a matter of perspective. Overall, the action is fast-paced and the character development of the main characters is solid.

Overall score: 7.9

My Recommendations: Black Lagoon is a very hardcore, wild ride which guarantees a good first run for viewers. With a third series in the works, it promises to keep the action going like the movie Speed. I do want to warn some viewers that there is a bit of questionable scenes which advocate drug dealing and some other criminal activities that seem out of place. Still, Black Lagoon meritís a place in your video library.