Posted by psgels on 10 January 2011 with categories: Black Lagoon - Roberta's Blood Trail, OVA Impressions




The contrast with the previous episode couldn’t be bigger here. Where that one was mostly focused on building up and dialogue, this was was nearly entirely focused on the action part. The first half of the episode showed different skirmishes between all of the different fractions that happened to come together. The second half. Oh boy. Talk about nightmare fuel.

There are still two episodes left, so the combat in the first half was only just the tip of the iceberg of the things that are about to happen. They were quite well written, though: every fraction had its own way of combat and the different skirmishes were quite varied throughout the episode. At the same time, there were also a few great dialogues, like the one between Rock and Chang, and Revy and Fabiola.

In the second half meanwhile, Garcia runs into Roberta. This scene takes up around ten minutes in total, and it was relentless in the incredibly slow way in which it unfolded itself and where Roberta’s demented acts completely destroyed the image Garcia had of her. It was really disturbing, and just shows how completely drugged up Roberta must be at this point. That cliff-hanger especially is a really nasty one to have to wait for another two months.

On a side-note: this episode also featured foreign languages, but instead of voicing them over in that very confusing way like they did in the second season, this episode instead simply subtitles them. Works much better.

Also, I’m not sure if I’ve said this before, but I quite like the OP and ED of Roberta’s Blood Trail. Especially the ED: there is something wonderfully ironic to have such a semi-upbeat tune after all the depressing stuff and for once it doesn’t feel out of place unlike a ton of other dark shows that have bright EDs (I’m looking at you, Uragiri…). I just wonder why they showed so much of Balalaika, because she doesn’t really have that big of a part in this arc of the story.
OVA Episode Rating: 8,5/10

8 Responses

  1. Lock says:

    Unreal. Totally unreal. The second half was the most messed up thing I’ve seen in anime.

    On another note, I find it extremely difficult to drum up any sympathy for the FARC terrorist that Revy executed with a triple tap, knowing what that organization has been responsible for. I cheered on Revy as she shot that man dead.

    And on yet another note, this episode showed us that while Roberta is absurdly strong, she’s not invincible, and a smart opponent can still take her down. I wonder if this is going to lead up to something.

    Also: I was very impressed by the sound of the silenced submachine guns. That’s what it really sounds like.

  2. RollingCamel says:

    No one subbing this?

  3. Ncrdrg says:

    umee subbed the first two. Expect them to do it again.

  4. Troyen says:

    Given the history of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” (famous American Civil War song about returning home from war), I figured it was picked for symbolic reasons. But yeah, I really like the OP/ED too.

    Also, they didn’t really end with a big cliffhanger…?

  5. Zetatrain says:

    yeah, at the end the soldier said they secured a boy so we know Garcia is alive and he’s even in the preview for the next episode.

  6. RollingCamel says:

    The gore level was just ridiculous in a bad way. It is unbelievable how strong Roberta is, smashing the guys head with bare hands and swinging his body like a dummy was stupid.

    Smashing the head with a metal….I have no problem with this type of gore…I guess that is messed up too.

    • RollingHills says:

      She was insane and hopped up on drugs so its not totally implausible. Also those guys she was crushing are in rpg terms mooks so for all intents and purposes, they’re canon fodder whereas Roberta is a named character and if anyone has been paying to fiction, we all know what happens when named characters face off against non-named characters.

      So its understandable.

  7. Kaza says:

    I just finishied watching the 24 ep. series…then I get my hands on these…just wonderful.

    there really should be more anime like B.L. [which remembers me a little of trigun and cowboy bebop, but with more gore and more criminals than bounty hunters, not to say the darker scenario]

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  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 01:13 AM)
    @Ninja: yeah spending a week at Black Rock City with 100k people with all the madness that transpires is pretty exhausting. The thing about Burning Man is that given the open atmosphere of acceptance makes it much easier to socialoze since you can keep the ego bullshit to a minimal.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 12:58 AM)
    @Bam I just mean I don’t have the energy for that type of event any more. It just wears me out. That amount of constant socialization.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 09:15 PM)
    @Ninja: yeah pyro contraptions are a big hit there, but that’s a lofty project indeed.
    And I’m pretty sure you’re not that old, there’s a lot of 50-60 year olds there and they’re having a good time. If you’re not a camping person then yeah … it’s not gonna be easy for you, but given the atmosphere, the music, and the art I firmly believe it’s worth checking out at least once.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 06:18 PM)
    @Bam Ahhhh Burning Man. I had some friends from Indiana who were trying to get me to help them build an organ that shoots fire with each key-press for Burning Man. It sounded fun but I already feel too old for something like Burning Man.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:32 AM)
    @Ninja: no I met most of them at Burning Man.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:23 AM)
    @Bam I see I just figured that if you had a lot of friends in KY you must have lived in the region.
    @Friend Yeah or involved desserts like Palmiers or Croissants. I actually am pretty decent at making croissants from scratch but it’s a pain in the ass.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:21 AM)
    And that’s … The More You Know ;)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:19 AM)
    “Iran” originally means “the land of the Aryans”. The European settlers of Aryan decent are correctly labeled Indo-European as they traveled from north of India across Iran and the Caucasus mountain range (hence the term Caucasian) and settled in pastural lands in Europe. Hence we are the original white people. Go figure.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:14 AM)
    @K-off: some good-looking corn there m8.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @Ninja: No I’m Persian since I was originally born and raised in Tehran/Iran. I am mostly of Parthian decent with a quarter of Kurd in me. I have moved around the globe since I was 16 and now live in Sacramento California.

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