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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  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Mar 2. 2015 01:29 AM)
    Late to this one but
    @BrendanVGC, that’s kinda tough. See there is a huge amount of very different manga that fall under the category “Seinien” You would kinda need to give us a more focused genre to work with here. Like horror, action etc.
    And pretty sure death note is shounen.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:35 AM)
    Damon I am more used to seeing in a drama or comedy role I reckon rather than an action hero.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:24 AM)
    Eric Bana is so underated =<
    I want to see more of the man on film.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:52 AM)
    The story would’ve been much more anchored and believable if the social imbalance wasn’t portrayed so heavy-handedly. It makes no sense for every house in Elysium to have a healing-bed that completely restores you and they dint bother to put a single one on Earth to keep the working class happy and healthy. I mean, c’mon now.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:49 AM)
    Yeah the action sequences were the best parts of Elysium. I don’t k ow, I just don’t feel Matt Damon in these roles anymore and I hope they stayed with Eric Bana like the rumors were hinting; that probably would’ve made it a more personal story.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:55 AM)
    Its been too long since I saw district 9 to have an accurate opinion on it.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:54 AM)
    I can remember giving higher points to elysium when I saw it first because I really needed/wanted to see an R rated action movie. But apart from Sharlto Copley as the villain it was in hindsight fairly miscast, the ending was quite poor and the script could have been improved on, I liked the robots/action scenes however.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:20 AM)
    I have a feeling that the movie’s gonna suck tho. District 9 was good, Elysium was a mess and Chappie looks like a Short Circuit ripoff with nothing new to add. I have respect for Blomkamp since he started as an animator and probably has respect for the medium and a good eye for aesthetics, by he’s doing progressively more conventional stuff as his career goes on.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 01:41 AM)
    Ha, so I wasn’t wrong when I came across that film Chappie and thinking that the robot resembled Briareos from appleseed, the director’s a fan of Masume Shirow’s work apparently.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 12:16 AM)
    @Brendan: That completely hinges on your personal taste, but Vagabond is one of the best Chanbara ones around, with superb art, fast pacing and entertaining storyline. Berserk should go without saying as it’s a codifier for many Seinen conventions, but Vinland Saga is another great series which is in similar vein. Biomega and Drifters are also worth a look.

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