I recently finished this anime, so I decided to review it. That is all.
Story: I'll just be repeating the summary on this site, so I'll make it brief: Your typical Japanese adult man gets kidnapped and stuck on a boat with a potty-mouthed, hot-headed young woman; a black guy who may as well be the one in every stereotype out there; and the geek who lives next to his computer. Our typical Japanese adult male joins his kidnappers, and then sh*t gets serious and stuff starts exploding. The unoriginal (and ridiculous) nature lowers the score of the story, but let's admit it: It sounds freaking awesome.
Animation: The character designs of our main cast are as typical as they come, but it's the side characters who look like the artists know how to take risks. The colors are, for the most part, flat with obviously-cel shaded characters and whatnot... however, I'll admit some scenes do look much better, but those are few and far between. For an action, the action scenes are only mediocre: two people run, shooting, but it's usually a quick fight. For longer fights, there isn't much animation, simply shot after shot fired. I'm not a gun otaku by any stretch, but the guns look realistic (and pretty damn cool) to me.
Sound: Voice acting is fine. I listened to this in Japanese, but of what I've heard of the English dub, it's just as good--if not better than--the Japanese version. The opening song, Red Fraction, is awesome with it's engrish and sick beat. The OP itself is just as cool--the animation fits the music perfectly and has enough action and solemn moments to complement the show's themes. The ending song is a little too slow and melancholy for the high-octane series. I mean, it's pretty and all, but this series is a stunt show on crack. Songs played during the series are just there. Nothing too memorable.
Characters: Unfortunately, most of the male characters are what you'd expect them to be. (This is further explained in the "Story" section.) On the other hand... okay. Think of any anime. Now think of how women or girls are portrayed. Are they bad*ss, shooting guns and killing people like it's nobody's business, or are they cooking soup in the kitchen and comparing their chest sizes? If it's the latter, stand up to sexism. If it's the former... sit back, relax, and enjoy Black Lagoon. Seriously, though. Every single woman in this show is mental enough and skilled enough to win World War 3 alone. Even the Christian nun has her own solid gold gun. Yes. I am serious. You can stop squealing now. If you hate how women are usually portrayed as sluts who are supposed to cater to a man's every will, GO WATCH THIS SHOW. (Except that, you know, most of the women are incredibly sexualized, which kind of defeats the purpose of them being bad*ss.) Unfortunately, don't expect much character development or backstory-ness.
Overall: "Black Lagoon" is one kick*ss anime with so many sexy women with guns, it's one of the best shows in terms of sheer awesomeness. But, since it had to happen, there is no true plot and no real character development. Oh yeah, and the last arc was a little too ending theme for me (if you get what I mean).
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