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DVD Review

Black Lagoon
Barrage 1 - Volume 2


Starring (voice): Daisuke Namikawa, Megumi Toyoguchi, Hiroaki Hirata, Mami Koyama and Tsutomu Isobe
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 19 May 2008

The seas of Southeast Asia can be a perilous place, especially with the likes of the mercenary PT boat The Black Lagoon - Dutch, Revy and Benny - roaming the high seas. The Lagoon Company are not the sort of people that you would want to mess with and certainly not the sort of people that meek and mild company man, Rokuro Okajima thought he would end up joining. But having been hunted by his employers Rok has no option except to join the privateers...

Black Lagoon: Volume 2 (2006) continues this action adventure anime, directed by Sunao Katabuchi, and contains a further four episodes of this twelve episode show. When we left Rok he and the crew of the Black Lagoon were trying to recover a painting from a sunken Nazi U-boat, whilst at the same time fending off a bunch of white Neo-Nazi supremacists who have an agenda of their own.

If you’re interested in the show don’t start with this disc, as the first episode is a continuation of the previous episode. Also a word of warning, this show is not particularly suitable for younger children due to its graphic violence and the generous use of the F word.

Episode five: Eagle Hunting and Hunting Eagles: Rok and the nihilistic Revy make it to the boat to find it full of dead bodies. Dutch and Benny are driven away from the dive site by a missile attack, allowing the Neo-Nazi’s access to the boat. Following a fire fight in the submarine the Nazis' get the painting. However Remy is not the sort of girl to mess with, as she goes after the Neo-Nazis' and the painting.

Episode Six: Moonlight Hunting Ground, and having lost the first round and the painting to the Neo-Nazis', the crew of the Black Lagoon decide it's time for a little pay back. Both crews are confused about the amount of time and money that both are expending in trying to get what appears to be just a painting. The crew board the Neo-Nazis' boat, which gives Revy a chance to engage in a bit of a blood bath. The more shows that you watch the more difficult it is to defend Revy’s total lack of morality as she not only kills without thought, but actually revels in the violence. Her stance becomes a problem for Rok and, vicariously, the audience.

Episode seven: Calm Down, Two Men: A crew can only work well if they are working in unison and their recent tussle with the Neo-Nazis' has shown up a great deal of conflict between the moralistic Rok and the one woman killing machine Revy. To try and do something about this situation Dutch sends Rok and Revy into town to deliver booze to a character named Rowen. Through a series of events, including gun toting nuns (I kid you not), Revy and Rok come to realise that they are more similar than different. There’s even a shot of them lighting their cigarettes by joining them tip to tip - which looks, all the world, as if they were kissing to make up. Aw, now isn’t that nice?

Episode eight: Rasta Blasta: Another day, another job for The Black Lagoon. This time they are asked to transport a child, Garcia, between two mafia families - cue a new conflict between the moralistic Rok and Revy.

The disc comes with a few extras in the form of the incredibly short Japanese CD commercial, the original Japanese opening and a bunch of trailers. Audio is either Japanese stereo, with subtitles, or a very acceptable 5.1 English dub track.

So another slice of contemporary swearing and violence. On the plus side the show continues with good storylines, even though much of it is driven by the conflict between Rok and Revy. The show continues to be an above average one to watch.


Charles Packer

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