Black Lagoon... where to start? The story is, to be blunt, epic. It's completely believable, showing the dark underbelly of humanity. The writer(s?) managed to blend the deep emotional and psychological themes common to most Japanese anime (that I've seen anyway) with the senseless violence and brutality that makes Western media just so darn entertaining. Pair it up with gorgeous artwork, an absolutely perfect soundtrack, and possibly the best sound effects ever heard in an anime, and you have a dark, evil masterpiece. The voice actors choses for the English dub were incredible as well, capturing the sophistication of a Russian mob boss, the vulgar humor and trash-talking of a hired gun, and so many other unique and memorable characters. The characters themselves were amazing as well: from the dark and deeper-than-expected mercenary Revy and her horrifying past to the unusually plain but potentially explosive Japanese businessman Rock. Even the minor characters, like the bartender and the various thugs that come, get shot, then vanish into a "muddy hole in the ground" show the signs of having plenty of thought and effort put into their creation. All in all, Black Lagoon is a thrill ride of a series. I've watched it more than a hundred times and I still find myself coming back again and again.
overall score: 10/10
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