Let me first say that I watched this anime in one sitting with a couple good friends. If that isn’t enough to tell that the story is pretty interesting, I don’t know what is. The series pretty much relies on you having seen the first season, which is understandable and allows it to jump right into the story. However, the first two episodes made me question a bit, as they felt extremely different from anything in the first season and I was initially disappointed. However, after that the story picks up. The first season kind of followed a pattern on having 2 episode short stories, but that formula is gone. Instead, every episode is important to the series as a whole, allowing for what I found to be a much more naturally flowing story and eliminates a lot of the unnsicary crap. I think they had the right idea in making this anime 12 episodes unlike the previous season’s 26, had they done it that way, I think the plot would have been much weaker.
That said, not everything is great about this story. Pacing is pretty much out the window and often things are too rushed. Also, I normally give a bit of leeway on plot holes, but by the end of this show I was starting to really question. The ending I think was pretty crummy and left me with almost no satisfaction and a ton of questions.
There is really nothing spectacular about the animation in this series. Things are drawn well, but nothing ever really made me stop and say wow. I would argue that the colors of the series were often too bold and went against the mood the series was trying to set. Also, half of the time Mao’s animations looked like they could have jumped out of a Disney film or something, way too cartoony. But there are no big knocks here, just nothing that would give it a higher score either. And maybe I am making shit up here too, but I feel like the animation was better in the first season, especially the fight scenes.
Yoko Kano did not work on this show like she did the previous, and it shows. While darker than black was not Kano’s best work, it was still pretty good. However, a lot the songs felt akward and out of place. There was one techno-y song that ended up feeling very repetitive by the end of the series and there was another song with a groovy bass line, while sounding cool, stuck out like a sore thumb. The voice acting was one par with the first season, or in other words it was pretty good. The sound effects left a little to be desired as well.
As for the opening and ending,.. The opening was bland as hell and after the first listen it was skipped every time. As for the ending, Abingdon Boys School stands as one of my favorite bands, but this song is one of their weaker one, and the actual PV for the songs is 100x better than the animation in the ending theme.
I think this area would be a little higher if the first season didn’t do a great job in this area. Gone are the interesting minor characters that I found myself liking, even if they only stuck around for an episode or two. Now only the main characters seem to matter. Also, gone is my enjoyment in figuring out the characters powers and their contractual obedience. Instead, we really get a series that focus around 4 characters, Hei, Suōu, Mao, and July. Hei seems to be completely different from the first season, and maybe less enjoyable. Mao seems to kind of fill the role of comic relief. But really Suōu is the only character that I feel gets any real character development in this show. Not that any of this is really that bad, it’s just that it is soooooooooooooo much weaker than the previous season.
Darker than Black: Ryūsei no Gemini is a good show, but not great and misses a lot of what was great about the original. I think the series set out to fix a lot of the problems of the first season, but just ended up overshooting. I would still recommend this show, especially to those who liked the first season, but there are a lot of other shows that I would recommend first.
Wouldn't it be...something...if a cute, sweet, loveable lady randomly became a psycopathic killer ready to destroy an entire race? Wait....what? Enter the nightmare that is Darker than Black 2
Ok well if you didn't pick up on the randomness that I opened with, frankly your a moron. Unlike its predecessor, DTB2 dumps the '2 episode sub story's' and opts to actually follow a continuous storyline from episode 1 right through to 12. Wait...only 12 episodes? And throughout this a random, senseless story somehow takes place? Oh God!!
For the first few episodes we are run raggard following the new sleak teenage chick Suou, who gets kidnapped by an unruly Hei and is forced to train with him. July, another child, also joins this bunch as the group's 'doll'. Screw the Syndicate and random organisations after Hei, I was waiting for Child Services to show up and imprison his ass seriously. After the fourth pimp-slap I was definitavely assured that Hei was NOT set out to ever be a parent, but he would make a good whor peddler....
Anyway from the first episode we are introduced to the idea of Izanami/Izanagi, apparently some myth that I cbf reading or caring about and thus confusion set in. I'll let Izanami reveal herself in the anime, and as for izanagi? There is random speculation circulating which means we know NOTHING by the end of the anime. And guess what? This is the just the beginning of the 'WTF just happened' moments in DTB2. Id say that the show ends about 2 prompted storylines, albeit rather poorly, and introduces about 10 new random ideas. This means that at the end of the show I was left shouting at my moniter as the credits rolled as I was left totally in the dark about EVERYTHING!!!!!!
One new moniter later and I found the OVA, what YOU NEED TO WATCH before watching DTB2, seriously it explains the Hei/Yin storyline perfectly and changes my thoguht procces from 'WTF RANDOM CIRCUS CLOWNS' to "ZOMG I TOTALLY GET IT NOW....I LOVE HEIxYIN SO MUCH'...oh umm cough cough.
We are firstly introduced to Suou, the 'God I love the world' typical teenage character. In fact for the first five minutes I thought I was watching a compltely different anime. I mean she was actually laughing and smiling...something unheard of in Darker than Black! Soon this weird emotion was crushed however as the deaths began to roll out and the term 'contractors' began to be thrown around, a word you DONT want to hear from your local authorities.
And then we are introduced to our previous hero, Hei. Hooray our awesome butt-kicking, electricity using, drunk, hobo looking guy is back!! Wait, upgrades? HELL YEAH! Hei now has the ability to fight whilst drinking a fifth of Vodka mixed with some Sake for his 'special blend'. He also has the ability to pimp-slap any hoe who dares speak back to him, and the awesome power to grow a full face of stubble at will! Less important abilities include: speacking randomly to ones self, obsessing over ones ex whilst ambling drinking and going for long walks on the beach....ok so I made the last one up. Oh and did I mention, he also loses his ability to electrocute people by about the second episode so your stuck with said above talents for the remaining episodes!
Reincarnating themselves from the depths of anime......thoguht process is Kirihara, Mao and July (plus a few familiar faces here and there) who step right back into the action. I would say Mao now provides the comic relief, July does umm not much and Kirihara well she just dreams of Hei and as some random lesbian bitch says 'its cute that your saving your virginity for him'...is it? Is it really?
Other than that, there's new goodies, new baddies, new random throw in characters...like the crossdresser guy and his deranged in-love son..just WHY? Someone please enlighten me!
So after reading this Im guessing your like 'Yeah screw this anime'...but you know what...Dont! Just watch it!!!!!
Why?? As random and ridiculous as the show starts to be, the beauty of DTB comes through and for some reason I was cativated to watch the entire series in one sitting. Then watch the OVA, then watch teh series again!!!! Thats right its bloody addictive and although it comes across as WTF, who cares srsly. People watch Bobo-bo bo-bobo and that is some stupid Motherf****g shit so if you watched the first series watch this!!!!
I must say that Darker than Black is one of my favorite animes. So when I found out about the sequel, I was hyped. Now, because I like the first one so much, I expected the sequel to reach the same level, or even higher than its predecessor. Sort of like Birdy the Mighty Decode.
To be frank. I was dissapointed.
First of all, some things are pulled out of thin air. Apparently, Yin was Hei's "woman". What? Where the hell did that come from? Based on the first series, Hei treated Yin only as a good friend. What ever "romance" (if you can call it that) went on in the first series was between the police detective and Hei.
Another dissapointment was that they showed Mao's human form. I know that's a simple thing, but, that air of mystery of what Mao looked like gave Mao a certain charm. At least for me. Think of it like this. Naruto fans, the fact that Kakashi hides his face adds a bit more to his character. You want to see it, but he never shows it. It just adds something.
The pacing of this show also bothered me. One episode would be action packed and leave you on the edge of your seat, only to have the next episode be the Suo just shopping.
Oh, another thing that bothered me. Apparently Suo falls in love with Hei. Great. A thirteen year old girl, madly in love with Hei, a man beyond his years of twenty.
Also. The ending was completly rushed. I was watching the episodes, and then I realized, that there were two left. "Two?" I asked myself. "How is this possible? Nothing really happend to create an ending!"
It just threw the words Izanagi and Izanami around, attempted to create a major plot twist, (that would have been major if it was paced well!)
I'm being extra harsh on this series because I loved the original one so much.
Animation was pretty good. I've been watching a lot of animes lately with spectacular animation, so everything after that isn't really mind blowing.
Again, the first series had a better soundtrack, even though it wasn't that amazing. To be honest, you don't pay attention to it at all. It leaves no impression what so ever.
This series could have expanded on Hei. I know A LOT was explained in the first series, but Hei still could have developed further. Suo also didn't leave that much of an impression on me. Even after several plot twists occured, (which by the way, were so poorly paced, that these twists didn't even faze me).I would have also liked Misaki's and Hei's relationship to be expanded. Not just simply thrown away. Despite that they had something going on in the first series, this one just made Misaki be all like "I like Hei. Where is he?" Meets Hei, and then you never see her again.
This series could have been a lot better if it was longer. This way, they just sort of threw important facts into your face at the last second and pulled random facts out of its arse. I was dissapointed. Maybe for people who didn't like the first series that much, will find this one to meet their standards, but for me, it was way below average.
I really enjoyed Darker Than Black - Kuro no Keiyakusha. Matter of fact, it's one of my all time favorites. So naturally, I thought I would enjoy this one.
The reality is: I didn't. This is unfortunately due to the change in roles of the characters. I continued to watch it through (Am still watching as I type); just for the love of the background story and settings.
This one gets a low rating from me, and without giving any spoilers it's mainly, again, due to the change in roles of the main characters from one chapter to another.
If you abolutely love the story line of the contractors from Kuro no Keiyakusha then you may want to stick with this short 12 epi anime to get more of that story line. If you didn't like that background and setting; then I suggest you skip this one.
hahaha wondering why i gave such a bad score? This season puts the first to shame in my opinnion. It's not even worth writing a full hearted review on this. As it puts some of my beloved characters from season 1 in these pathetic weak roles. Such as the main character Hei in this hobo outfit without powers throughout like the entire season! It's still a good anime but not up to my expectations of darker than black.