0 Items | £0.00

VIEW BASKET

Black Lagoon

Sunday 8th July 2012

Hugh David gets to the heart of darknessBlack LagoonBlack Lagoon’s appeal to its fans seems obvious enough: a down-and-dirty “A-Team” in an outlaw town with a ferocious girl with a gun” on point, tangled up with colourful yet dark villains in crisp action sequences. However, there is also darkness that envelopes the heroine herself, symbolised by the moody final credits, and in a few key moments of vulnerability buried within the fast-cut opening sequence. Revy at first seems like other male-fantasy “girls with guns” charcters, but the depths granted her by her particular darkness lift her above those who preceded her in the fanboy imagination.

One could argue that her sexy curves and cut-offs make her just like all the others, but such a look is ruined by an unsmiling mouth and dead eyes - past simple tough-guy mannerisms to borderline psychotic behaviour. In her world there are no princesses and fairy-tales, no happy endings, nor any notion that she might deserve one. She resembles the kinds of protagonists who peppered the spaghetti western genre, people shaped by crime, poverty, hardship and living on the blunt end of raw, unfettered capitalism. Revy’s take-no-prisoner actions and bad girl attitude may make her popular in the mass market, but her treatment of audience surrogate Rock from the moment they meet, then during Season 1’s Nazi submarine adventure, and right through Season 2’s Yakuza storyline in particular, reinforces everything that makes them incompatible. Such a refusal to make them a genuine couple, to undermine whatever closeness and warmth look to develop between them, goes against the grain for most popular fan-friendly manga and anime. The most likely end for this couple will be her killing him, either for mercy or so she can survive.

The villains of Black Lagoon are frequently even more damaged, while for all the comedic moments generated by their sometimes allies – Russian ex-para mob boss Balalaika, killer CIA nun Eda, knife-wielding assassin Chinglish – they all carry the darkness that made them killers. Even they, however, can be shocked by Revy and her actions, just like her boss Dutch, who sometimes seems to be concerned behind those permanent sunglasses that she’s a mad dog he can barely control. The traditional Girl With a Gun in anime and manga is frequently sexy, alluring, and in some way available (or potentially so) to an audience surrogate. Revy, like the show, takes the tradition and shoots it cold in the street, the way Italian cinema took the American Western in the 1960s and the American crime film in the 1970s and gunned down their traditions – and that makes her, like Italian popular cinema, more brutally realistic.

Black Lagoon season two is out now on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment.

Buy it now

Black Lagoon

MANGA UK GOSSIP

£
was £

FEATURED RELEASE

RELATED BLOG ARTICLES

Naruto: Now & Then

Matt Kamen weighs the difference between the original series and the newer Shippuden episodes of Naruto.
With hundreds of episodes under Naruto’s belt, it can be easy to forget just how far the world’s favourite orange ninja cadet and friends have come since their first days at school. The release of the complete first season of Naruto Shippuden seems the perfect time to look back at some of the key players in the saga, and see where the new series finds them – and haven’t they grown…?

Naruto music: NICO Touches the Walls

Tom Smith dives in to the band behind Naruto Shippuden Box 15
Who’s NICO, and what’s their obsession with walls? It’s a question you may ask yourself upon discovering the artist name behind Naruto Shippuden’s eighth opening theme. They call themselves NICO Touches the Walls and, despite the ridiculous name, they are a pretty big deal in Japan right now.

Out Now: Naruto Shippuden 16

Ninja action sneaking to a store near you
Naruto Shippuden box 16 is out now on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment.

Time Travel in Anime

Paul Browne rewinds from Naruto Shippuden: The Lost Tower into the past
In the latest Naruto film The Lost Tower, the title character and his comrades embark on a mission to capture Mukade – a missing ninja who has the ability to travel through time. Mukade’s plan is to travel into the past and take control of the Five Great Shinobi Countries. During the battle with Mukade, Naruto and Yamato find themselves hurled back twenty years in time. Will Naruto and his friends be able to return to his own time? And will their actions in the past save the future?

Naruto Music: Asian Kung Fu Generation

Tom Smith on the Britmaniacs behind the Naruto theme.
They’re so loud and proud that they insist on writing it all in caps: ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION – possibly one of Japan’s most important alternative rock acts. The group’s tenth single ‘After Dark’ makes for the energetic, guitar-heavy opening theme to the latest volume of Bleach, released in the UK this month, and the group’s sound might at first seem reminiscent of America’s indie scene dashed with elements of punk, it actually has a lot more in common with The Who, their generation, and the sea of British-based guitar heroes that have appeared since.

Naruto Music: Okamoto's

Tom Smith on Naruto Shippuden’s 18th ending theme
As Naruto ups the ante and swears to take on Sasuke alone in box set 18 of Naruto Shippuden, the team responsible for the encompassing episodes’ ending theme have also took it upon themselves to up the pace.

RECENT FEATURED POSTS

Cosplay Winners

Paul Jacques' pictures from the best of London's Comicon...
It's taken a while to shift through the paperwork and read all your indecipherable handwriting, but we've finally managed to sift through the London Comicon cosplay pictures and pick out our winners from a fantastic bunch. And with no further ado...

Who's Who in Dragon Ball #3

Wonder no more, as we reveal the origins of Akira Toriyama’s creations!
The faces may look familiar, but everything else is different in this classic series!

Ghost in the Shell Fashions

Helen McCarthy on Major Kusanagi – fashion icon
Ever since her debut, the heroine of Masamune Shirow's manga-turned-global-franchise Ghost In The Shell has been a high-end product. She's a cyborg combat specialist modified to look like a cross between a top fashion model and a porn star, in a world where most of the women we see are as objectified as in our own reality.

Fam, the Silver Wing 2

Andrew Osmond finds Emperor Hirohito in Japanese animation
The Sara storyline in Fam the Silver Wing seems to echo a view – many would say a myth – of Hirohito, encouraged not just by the Japanese but also by the victorious Americans when they rebuilt the country. Namely, it was the story that Hirohito was a helpless figurehead, at the mercy of his warmongering government.

K the Anime Music: angela

Paul Browne on the pop duo with multiple anime connections
K’s stirring theme song ‘KINGS’ comes courtesy of J-Pop duo angela. Consisting of vocalist Yamashita Atsuko and multi-instrumentalist Hirasato Katsunori (aka KATSU), angela are a familiar name when it comes to anime theme tunes.

Attack on Titan vs Akira

What about a world of kaiju zombies...?
"Anger is what really links Akira and Titan. Teen rage is at their core, driving the action in spectacular ways."

One Piece: Strong World

The Straw Hats Pirates come together for an adventure like no other...
Written by One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda himself, Strong World leads the Straw Hats into the deadly path of Golden Lion Shiki.

Parasyte

Andrew Osmond catches the live-action premiere of Hitoshi Iwaaki’s Kiseiju
The Tokyo International Film Festival closed with the live-action Parasyte, a superb blend of SF, comedy and primarily horror, where the levity of the early scenes freezes into a drama with an ice-cold alien grip.

K the Animation

Andrew Osmond keeps calm and carries on
The start of an action anime series is often a bewildering experience, dropping the viewer into a whirlwind of unfamiliar folk having very big fights. K’s like that, but luckily the main character starts the show as baffled as us. Yashiro Isana is a bit different from the standard schoolboy hero

JORMUNGAND: PERFECT ORDER

Hugh David calls Czechmate on the endgame
"The action scenes remain superlative, designed and executed in a way Western live-action directors would do well to study. The way character moments are woven within elevates them above mere technical exercises. The Prague shoot-out and Tokyo car chase are the sort of gems that prove that anime can still trump live-action in the same creative arenas when it wants to."
Contact Us   |   Refund Policy   |   Delivery Times   |   Privacy statement   |   Terms & Conditions
Please note your card statement will show billing by MVM. Black Lagoon from the UK's best Anime Blog.