Black Lagoon: Complete Series 1

“Always shoot to kill. Dead men cannot grass.” – Ronnie Kray

Kaze and Manga Entertainment have teamed up for this new Blu-ray release of the action-packed crime anime, with plenty of guns, violence, and some humour thrown in to boot.

The series follows a band of modern day pirates in the early 1990s, based in Southeast Asia, known as the Lagoon Company, who use their ship Black Lagoon to transport whatever people are willing to pay them. The crew of four consist of bulky black captain Dutch, gun-happy muscle girl “Two Hands” Revy, tech-guy Benny, and their latest member, Rokuro “Rock” Okajima, a Japanese salaryman who is kidnapped by the crew but then joins when he discovers that the company he worked for has declared him dead to avoid any incident.

The first dozen episodes mostly consist of a series of shorter storylines, most spread out over two or three episodes. These plots include recovering a priceless painting from a sunken German U-Boat while trying to fight of a gang of Neo-Nazis, and taking hostage of a South American boy whom they discover is being hunted down by his rather destructive maid.

With this series you pretty much know what you are getting. There are guns and blood left, right, and centre, especially when Revy gets into one of her more disturbing and destructive moods. (A word to the wise: If a woman appears in the show, chances are that she has a gun or two on her.) Granted, it is not the most believable of series, but with these types of shows you are sort of expecting that. In terms of fan service, you could argue that there is the odd occurrence, or given Revy’s very short denim pants which just display some of her buttocks, it is an almost permanent feature.

There is also quite a bit of nice, dark humour. Much it lies in the verbal quips that come from the company, whether they are relaxing or in the middle of a fight. As Revy says: “This is a lot more entertaining than Hollywood.” There are so many other examples of this, such as the bird which has been taught to say: “I’ll kill you” over and over again.

On the downside, I noticed that on the Blu-ray discs that I was given to review some of the subtitling is of a poor quality. Other than that, this seems to be a fairly decent series.

8 / 10

Ian Wolf

Ian works as an anime and manga critic for Anime UK News, and was also the manga critic for MyM Magazine. Outside of anime, he is data specialist for the British Comedy Guide, is QI's most pedantic viewer, has written questions for both The Wall and Richard Osman's House of Games, and has been a contestant on Mastermind.

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