Black Lagoon is a perfect example of a series which starts out magnificent, but gets rather ruined later on by such small elements. It’s a real shame. It’s an action series, featuring a salaryman who ends up delivering a package for his company, somewhere in the Asian side of the Pacific Ocean, gets attacked by modern-day pirates, abandoned by the company he works for and in the end, joining the same pirates that attacked and kidnapped him.
The pirates appear to have a sortof delivering company. The first thirteen episodes showcase some random jobs who have to be accomplished, with some of these jobs attracting quite some dangerous people. I really have to say that these episodes were amazing to see. I loved how they sketched a realistic picture of the hell Rock (the new name of our main character) ended up in. This first season also managed to create some of the scariest antagonists ever. Especially keep an eye out for the maid with glasses. I also really liked the cast of main characters. Rock, Revy, Dutch and Benny formed an excellent combination when they were with the four of them, with each one of them having their own unique personality.
Then the second season came. It started out quite nicely, with a great tragedy about two siblings who give the term “killer loli” a whole new meaning. But that’s also where this series starts getting off-track. While the first season featured random jobs, the second season places our main characters into situations, just because Revy is looking for a fight. What the second season also does is place Dutch and Benny into the role of mere “side-characters”, even though they were a large reason why the first season turned out so good.
To make matters even worse, the second arc of the second season also contained way too much useless action and way too little substance. Sure, the fights were nice, the aftermaths for the side-characters were interesting, but during the fights, I kept wondering what their meaning was. The third and final arc could have saved this, and indeed, it had an interesting story, but I was too much bothered by the horrible use of Engrish in the beginning. The creators tried to find a way to show a good conversation between characters who only speak English and the characters who only speak Japanese, but that didn’t work at all, seeing that we’ve seen the English characters speak Japanese for ages.
It’s such a pity. This could have become one of the major series of 2006, but because of these small elements, it just didn’t make it. Still, I definitely recommend Black Lagoon, if it only was because of its first season.