Summer’s been here, and that’s the time to fly through as many shows as possible (even if my school’s calender does not recognize summer because of the constant rain we get here) and time and time again you get to do some throwback hits that create overwhelming wells of nostalgia.. see what I did there? No? Moving on. While on the search for some Beelzebub anime I happen to come across a reference to one of my favorite anime of all time, and I decided to do a search to see if I could get my hands on them, which thankfully I did. Getting the first episode and starting it to see the first scenes and the first looks of the protagonists gave me such a wonderful trip down memory lane I felt high. And then of course the opening theme was so familiar and so dear, I couldn’t help but go along with it including the gun shots in my tunes. Enough of the romanciniciation, what I’m talking about right here is the 2006 anime series Black Lagoon.
Black Lagoon follows the sudden changes and new adventures (not in the fantasy sense) of Rokuro ‘Rock’ Okajima who is an everyday office worker that suddenly gets kidnapped when a ship containing company shipment he was following gets hijacked by the pirate team Lagoon Company consisting of Revy, Dutch and Benny. Revy’s the team main marksman, and is popular known as Two Hand for her extensive use and professionalism of her twin pistols to shoot with ease. Her weapons are custom-made stainless steel 9 mm Beretta M92 “Sword Cutlass Special” pistols, and she’s always in her element with this. Look at it as a Lara Croft but with more profanity, booze, smokes and a bigger lust to kill first and forget that negotiations exist.
Dutch is the leader and employer of Lagoon Company, and was once a marine in the Vietnam War… though he doesn’t really participate in battles like Revy does. He also captains the boat Black Lagoon that the team use, and the one who gave Rokuro the nickname Rock.
Benny’s the Florida fugitive, who according to him did ‘a few stupid things’ and ended up on the most wanted list of most organizations. He serves as the team’s technical expert.
The first episode gives you a good introduction into the ways of the several characters and pushes you into the front of the excitement without wasting time on sloppy developments and flashbacks. The second and third continue the streak, and slowly let more information about the pasts of the protagonists and how they eventually ended up in Lagoon Company. Like Dutch said, their main goal is to put food on the table, no matter what it takes.
Black Lagoon was good to me then and is still good to me now. A good point to note is the fact that the English dub of this anime is one of the best you’ll find around, and I even recommend that you go for that version. The voice actors are spectacular and capture each character in their entirety; Dutch and his voice that commands respect, Revy’s pumped up profane filled high pitched voice, Benny’s cool, calm and fun voice and Rock’s innocent yet accepting-the-fates voice.
The manga is still ongoing, as well as the anime. The first season is just Black Lagoon, the second is Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage and the third -which is so far some OVA episodes- is tagged Roberta’s Blood Trail (though people have argued this isn’t a third season). Again, the English dub is the way to go with this. Last time I didn’t get the chance to finish this last time; this time I’m making sure it’s going to be done.