Welcome all, to another week of Throwback Thursday! This was a great week for Black Lagoon, I enjoyed both episodes quite a bit and I like where the show is going. This is also the English week, where we watch with English Dub just to see how it is. Hint hint, it ain’t bad! So without further ado, lets dive into the episodes.
Starting off, lets talk English dub. It’s good! There’s a bit of awkwardness there with the mouth movements, but that’s just an inherent problem with dubs and not Black Lagoon’s fault at all. As far as our leads, Revy and Rock, are concerned I quite liked them. I enjoyed the confidence Rock spoke with, as well as the anger and aggression in Revy. There were also a number of side characters, like the pimp who offered Revy a “job”, who I think absolutely nailed their roles. Ultimately I prefer the JP voices, there’s a difference in audio quality between the two I believe, and since I don’t speak Japanese there’s less to nitpick. If you prefer dub though, Black Lagoon is definitely very high on the list of “Good English dubs” in my opinion. I would not mind watching the rest of the series in English.
Diving into the episodes, first up is episode 7, “Calm Down, Two Men”. This was definitely my favorite of the two, and arguably one of the best of the entire show so far. I loved watching Rock and Revy drive around town, dealing with errands, hashing out their bullshit, all while simultaneously showing us just how much Rock has grown in recent weeks. His new found confidence, finding his place in the group, his niche, what he’s good at. The way he negotiated with the Nun for instance? Bringing in his business knowledge, about how important it is the maintain a reputation and hinting they may take their business elsewhere/out them to Balalaika, his accounting skills noticing discrepancies in their deliveries to figure out they were the ones trafficking drugs. It was great, and it made perfect sense for his character. He fights with words and paper, not guns.
That isn’t to say he’s afraid to stand up to those either though. His confrontation with Revy at the end was great, standing up to her, even daring to push her and grab her gun himself. He may not be a great combatant, but he isn’t a coward anymore either, he can take care of himself to some extent. We also got his side of the argument in the sub, his refusal to back down on what he said, how Revy’s greed and focus on material wealth reminds him of the same corporate bosses who cut him loose to die to defend their bank accounts. It makes perfect sense why he would feel so strongly about this. He isn’t arguing about sentimentality or romance with the loot, but rather pride. Pride in their job, in who they are, in knowing some things are beneath them. That’s cool.
And as for Revy in all of this? I liked that he didn’t dismiss her feelings but rather tried to build it up. Yeah, they don’t know each other, and yeah his life wasn’t the same as hers. But that doesn’t mean his was perfect. He changed his life because of Revy, broke out and defined himself, and he hates seeing her with this defeatist attitude about how shit the world is. Don’t like it? Then become the change you want to see, become the Robin Hood you never found as a kid, anything. Just stop wallowing in self-pity and misery, stand up, and do something. It’s nice, even if a bit melodramatic. I imagine hearing it from Rock of all people is what made it work as well. Suffice to say, I’m satisfied with how they made up.
Lastly there are a bunch of small details throughout the episode I enjoyed. Revy refusing to work for a pimp, not having sunk that low, or how the towns people have started to know and like Rock, he’s no longer an outsider. Most of all though, I enjoyed their interactions with the cops. At first I was surprised this town even had cops, but them being corrupt makes sense. So long as it’s behind close doors they can shut their eyes, and even when “arresting” them they don’t cuff them or yell or anything. Hell, they light their cigarettes while they are in the back seat, it was hilarious. Speaking of cigarettes, that was a really sweet “implied kiss” with Revy lighting hers off of rocks, the ashes mingling and breathing in each others smoke. Felt very intimate, I liked that scene a lot. Great way to end the episode.
Next we come to episode 8, “Rasta Blasta”. While not as good as the previous episode, this was still a good one. Once again we get to see Rock earning his place, proving his worth and finding his niche within the crew. This time? It’s dealing with deliveries, getting paperwork signed, and generally being the client-facing professional side of the business. Something about his white collar nature makes their illegal work almost seem… Normal. Reassuring. Like there’s nothing to worry about. Makes sense right? Well there’s a reason most criminals don’t look like white collar office employees, and we get to see one as Rock runs into his first major moral quandary of this new life: Human trafficking. And even worse? Child trafficking.
The question of course is, will Rock accept this? Will he go along with it because it’s the job, or will he push back because of his “pride” that he just talked about with Revy? Initially it seems like he can’t go along with it. Like he’s looking for reasons to get them to back out, from their client lying to them about who the kid is to this whole thing being suspicious. Makes sense, Dutch doesn’t want to have mercenaries coming for his head, and the Columbian mafia probably isn’t all that trustworthy. Still, Rock seems very reticent to go along with this, doing his best to comfort the kid. Revy even calls him out every chance she gets for this, knowing that he’s going to have an issue with it. I suppose only time will tell if he gets over it or convinces Dutch to pull out.
Of course funnily enough Rock was right to be concerned, as someone does come looking for the kid. Only it ends up being a maid, though a badass one at that. Honestly? I’m down for the maid. She seems cool. I like this “Ex-soldier” narrative they are setting up, how all of her skills are for combat not cooking or cleaning, and that’s why she’s a terrible maid but the only one the Lovelace Patriarch can afford to hire. Black Lagoon did a great job with her design and mannerisms, really selling that “Clueless maid” thing until we get a close up of her eyes. I’m looking forward to her facing off with Revy, should be a great time. Plus she should be a good look in the mirror for Revy, either to see a fellow monster or to see one who found some humanity looking after a child.
The only question is, where will Black Lagoon go with it all? Will Roberta end up as a reoccurring character, possibly as an ally though probably as an antagonist? Or will she be a one and done episodic encounter like Black Lagoon has done for everything else until now? Personally I’m hoping this isn’t the only time we see her. Black Lagoon is putting a lot of effort into her entrance, and it’s working, so it would be a shame for her to disappear forever so suddenly. Plus someone evenly matched for Revy to fight doesn’t come along every day, so when you have one that works stick with it. If she does stick around though, how would that work if she’s bound to the kid? Will they take a job to free his family home from the mafia maybe? I’m not sure, there are a lot of options here.
Finally I want to take a moment to talk and laugh at Balalaika a bit. I didn’t mention it in either episode, but I’m glad she keeps appearing over and over again. Makes her feel like a staple, like she’s going to be important down the line, and getting more comedic scenes like her watching hours of camera footage in a brothel for a specific piece of information, and not getting off to it at all because it’s work and she has hours left to go, is hilarious. Black Lagoon is doing a good job of making here feel… omnipresent, in a sense. She shows up in every plot, even if it’s in a small way, making her feel like the backbone of the underground in this region. Considering she leads the Russian mafia, I’d believe it! But it’s a subtle way of building her power, and I like that.
So yeah, all in all these were a good pair of episodes. Rock and Revy continue to be fantastic, Black Lagoon did a great job progressing their relationship, and it feels like we’re starting to get into more and more important, and criminal, jobs. Feels like Black Lagoon is slowly escalating the stakes, which is appreciated. I’m still not sure what the endgame for the series is, it hasn’t dropped any hints there. But for now I’m content to enjoy our leads yelling at each other and exploring the underground. Good stuff.
The post Black Lagoon – 7/8 [Calm Down, Two Men/Rasta Blasta] – Throwback Thursday appeared first on Star Crossed Anime.