Monday, May 29

Bullets and Broads

Trash-talking, tattooed, gun-toting, violence-prone Levi. Yep, I like her.

I've already been through every single episode of Avatar, including the latest one (which I was able to download and watch a day after it premiered). Since the next episode of the Aang Gang's adventures won't be for another week, I decided it would be good to get myself interested in another show while I'm waiting.

That show turned out to be Black Lagoon, a slick new anime from Madhouse (Ninja Scroll) and Geneon. While Avatar, a US cartoon, is all about positive values along with the solid, epic storyline and martial arts magical action, this properly Japanese anime is pretty much everything a parent would probably NOT want her kids to see. Black Lagoon is, to put it simply, about the adventures of a gang of pirates. No, not even loveable rogues like Captain Jack Sparrow... these are mean, nasty folk who tote guns and would shoot you as soon as look at you. The only thing that separates the crew of the PT Boat Black Lagoon from the rest of the armed rabble and mercenary scum of their world (which seems to consist of the waters in the East China Sea) is their hard sense of honor and a slight nice streak. Very slight.

The first episode of course introduces us to our surrogate into this vicious world of modern buccanneers- Okajima Rokuro, a young Japanese salaryman who just wants to live a normal life in his regimented, regulated office. Unfortunately for Okajima, he gets sent on a ship to transport a valuable disk containing critical information that gets hijacked on the high seas. The kidnappers are, of course, the crew of the Black Lagoon- consisting of big, black brother Dutch, super-hot and kinda-psychotic superkiller Chinese babe Levi (or Revi) and Jewish tech guy/communicator Benny. As the Lagoon crew takes the disk, Levi snags along hapless Okajima so they can get extra cash for his ransom. Unfortunately, it soon becomes apparent that Okajima's employers have given up on him and the disk, sending a bunch of mercenary assassins to get rid of all of them, in one fell swoop.

And so, in the course of dodging bullets and battling helicopter gunships, Okajima eventually ditches his last chance to rejoin his former world and instead joins the Lagoon crew as a sailor, taking on the name Rock and becoming a pirate himself. Hey, if I had a choice between being continually bullied by either some corporate SOB or a gorgeous babe in super-skimpy cut-offs, I'd become a pirate too. Heh. From there on in, much of the drama in the show will showcase how mild-mannered salaryman Rock interacts with his new (and slightly mentally imbalanced) mates... and how the skills he's learned as an office worker actually prove useful in the dangerous underworld of organized crime syndicates and assassins. Hmm. Interesting.

Anyway, Black Lagoon is excellently animated and seems, for now, pretty much all about brainless, spectacular and violent action and the occasional sexy pose from Levi- not a bad anime combo. It's a pretty mature anime that isn't afraid to be bad-ass and nasty. The fan service though is nowhere near the uncomfortable levels as in the Aika series, so it's really more of a straight action title than a fetish show- so it should be quite watchable by most mature anime fans. It's pretty clear that Levi's a big draw for this title... in any case, there hasn't been a good girl-with-guns anime for a while that really lets itself cuts loose. This looks to be a cool ride.

As crazy as she is hot. Uh-oh...

No comments: