So as a fan of the first Darker than Black series I was very happy to find out that there was a sequel, a continuation to a great series! I had jumped into it right away, without reading anything on it. I was confused, where was Hei and Yin? He doesn't show up right away? Okay I can deal with that...wait, he's a drunk? Why the hell does he look like that?!
And with disgust I had dropped the show after three episodes, vowing to never watch it again and pretend that it was never made.....until I decided to suck it up and watch it two years or so later.
I'll admit, it wasn't that bad.
Now I wouldn't say that the story in Ryuusei no Gemini was a direct continuance from the original. It's sort of it's own storyline with throw-ins from the last season with many of the same characters and names (IE The Syndicate). There is a two year gap between the first and second seasons and many things have happened to both Yin and Hei that are never directly answered (although there is a gaiden arc between the seasons, but I haven't seen it yet). Instead we are just left in the dark and are supposed to deal with it. Which may or may not be good, if you consider the fact that Hei comes into the show looking like a haggard empty shell of his former self that has a drinking problem, and WE DON'T KNOW WHAT MADE HIM THIS WAY.
If you're expecting a lot of Mao, Hei, and Yin action-- or any answers to questions you had in the first series then you will be sorely disappointed. Ryuusei no Gemini focuses on Suou, a 13 year old Eurasian/Russian girl; she is THE main character, the star of the show. Hei and Mao are kind of nothing more than mentors and guides for Suou to become the gun wielding emotional teen girl that she is. Yin doesn't show up until near the end, and she is incorporated into the plot in a way that you wouldn't expect.
This is rather disappointing because the first series had enough to go on to continue it, to try to answer some of the questions that it left unanswered. However, instead we get a separate story and a new main character that is vaguely (barely) connected at all. Ryuusei no Gemini is also considerably shorter too, which definitely gave no room to expand on anything but instead forcing us to gun through the plot.
Don't get me wrong, the story was good--on its own. If you let go of practically everything from Kuro no Keiyakusha then you should be alright.
As always the art was great. Keeping true to the style of the first season Ryuusei no Gemini introduced some interesting looking characters as well as brought back characters that are easily recognizable. The animation was pretty great, but unfortunately not as heavily involved as in Kuro no Keiyakusha. This is because there are less actions scene compared to the first season. Mixed with the different color schemes and style, you can see just how tired and different Hei has become, and just feel when the mood is supposed to be dark or lighthearted (which the story/character interactions failed to complete) .
In terms of heart pounding sound to get you pumped up for the upcoming scene, Ryuusei no Gemini did a great job with it's techno/electronic soundtrack, which seemed to fit the mood perfectly. The opening theme kind of didn't do it for me. I know I know 'but it was upbeat and refreshing!' you are telling me, I get it. I'll admit, it does have a certain charm to it, and I could probably listen to it over and over again.
Hei! Why!? Hei was the single most reason I dropped the show in the first place. I HATED the fact that he had sunk so low, that the man known as BK-201, the Black Reaper, had turned into this drunken mope who slapped Suou around. But now that I came back I can see the importance of making Hei be like this. Even hero's fall, and anyone can hit rock bottom. Hei was our fallen hero, and it hurt to see him like that...but as the show went on, he became less and less of an important character and his problems were swept under the rug by the star, Suou. If Ryuusei no Gemini would have focused more on Hei and the Syndicate then him being the way he is would have been powerful.
Speaking of Suou, I kind of hated her. Yes, I get the fact that she's going through a bunch of tough ordeals in the series, and she's trying to struggle with who she is and how she's supposed to be. But it was because of this that I felt like I was just watching a girl go through puberty. And as we all know, puberty is never fun.
Other characters seemed rather unimportant to me. They were either there just to serve as a plot mover, a shit stirrer, or for cheap laughes (which there was a lot of). Many new people come and go in Ryuusei no Gemini, and a lot of them had potential to be great. Unfortunately, the time constraints of the show gave them no time to expand on any particular background story, leaving most of the cast two dimensional, and largely unsatisfying. Largely, I felt absolutely nothing for the vast majority of them.
This is a tough one for me to rate. I was holding onto Kuro no Keiyakusha for dear life, and ended up largely confused and unsatisfied with the ending. But the ride along the way was actually pretty great. I wish that they would have given Ryuusei no Gemini a longer season, because it might have made the show even better.