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Black Lagoon – 11/12 [Lock’n Load Revolution/Guerrillas in the Jungle] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome all, to a late week of Black Lagoon! This has been a busy few days for me, so apologies for the delay and shortness of the post. I actually didn’t even get to watch the episodes until Wednesday night, and writing this got put off until Friday morning. Turns out everything is starting to ramp up around here. Still, the show must go on, so lets dive into the murky world of international terrorism, oh yeah!

First up, let’s talk about some production. Black Lagoon continues to run into this “Early digital animation era” problem of fidelity. I’m talking pixelated line work and choppy movement. It doesn’t happen often, this isn’t an “Every scene” sort of issue. But it definitely happens at least once an episode, and it’s noticeable. Additionally, this week the English dub also had some… interesting decisions. I’m of course talking about Shenhua and Leigharch. They sound great, their actors did a good job! But for Shenhua specifically, I can’t help but think it sounds… Kinda racist? It’s a heavily stereotypical Chinese accent done by a Canadian woman? I make no moral judgement, I’m not attacking anyone, in fact I absolutely adored her banter with Revy. Just… In the modern day, almost 20 years down the line, it looks, or in this case sounds… questionable. Still, the quality is good, gotta give’m that.

Getting into the episodes proper, this week I want to merge them since it will just be easier to talk about. With that said, as far as mid-season finales go, Black Lagoon was fine. I quite like how much Rock and Revy’s relationship has progressed, seeing her go out of her way to protect him by hiding the papers and tricking the other mercenaries into coming along was sweet. Sure she’s terrible at showing it to him directly, immediately giving him shit for being captured once the mission was complete, but it’s clear she does care for him now. Add on to that some fun action, even with the production issues I mentioned, it was a decent mid-season finale. There’s only one issue: I don’t understand what job they just completed or why those papers were so important.

Don’t get me wrong, I have the broad strokes. Black Lagoon set this up as a sort of standard anti-America terrorist plot, I’m with it that far. Once we start diving into the characters though, into Takenaka and Ibraha? That’s where it started to lose me. I have no idea what they were planning, or why they were planning it. What are their ideals, what do they fight for? Are they just anti-American stand-ins with no other message? There didn’t seem to be any unifying force or ideology between them, nothing to make us sympathize or connect or care for them. Are they fighting for Islam or something? If so, why is Takenaka, a self-proclaimed Non-believer and Japanese national, working with them? Is he just going from revolution to revolution? It didn’t feel very fleshed out if I’m being honest.

Speaking of Takenaka, I honestly wasn’t a big fan of this guy. I get what he was trying to do, what his role in Black Lagoon is. He’s there to plant that seed of doubt in Rock’s mind, to make him question what he’s really doing with the Lagoon company, what, if anything, he stands for. They both come from the same place after all, both left it for similar reasons, they should both see the problems with their homeland. And they do! But where Takenaka is trying to do something about it, even though he fails, Rock just abandoned it. The issue though… Is Black Lagoon advocating Rock become a terrorist? Or to go back and start something else? Get back at his company? I’m really not sure. Add on to that a lackluster VA performance, and I just wasn’t sold on him.

Outside of that though, as I said, the action and Shenhua and everything was fun. I absolutely loved the banter between Shenhua and Revy, watching badass women work their way through bad guys, wrecking everyone and calling each other various insults, was just great. Shenhua especially had some incredibly timed lines, like when seeing Rock “This the Dumbass you looking for” or her sheer confidence when calling Revy a “Stupid whore”. I may have concerns about the accent, but god damn if the delivery isn’t great. Score for the dub there I guess.

Finally I want to talk about Revy. We get some hints as to her past this week, an FBI agent dropping some lines about the 27th Precinct in New York City (Which doesn’t exist) and how they would be surprised to see her now. I find it hard to believe Revy was a cop at any point in her life, just doesn’t fit her, so it’s more likely that she spent some time there growing up. The question then becomes: Was she just arrested that much and that’s why they know her? Or did she have some adoptive parents in there since her own were apparently shit? Either way, it feels like Black Lagoon is setting up a trip to New York City at some point, that or just future flashbacks. Whatever it does, I’m looking forward to getting more Revy history.

All in all this was a fine week for Black Lagoon. The overall experience was fun, it was only the details that were lacking a bit. Maybe that’s my fault and I just missed somethings, I’m not sure. Whatever the case, Roberta’s bit remains my favorite story so far, especially when coupled with Rock and Revy hashing out their differences. As for my hopes moving forward? I’d really like a sort of… large story in some way. Something that starts to build across multiple episodes, involving and expanding on the entire cast. It doesn’t have to be some grand epic, I just think something lasting a bit longer than 2 episodes would be rather nice.

Anyways, apologies once again for the lateness and length of this post. Work and school got busy this week and I’m behind on… everything. I honestly wish I had more time with it, since I had to cut it short, not terribly happy with it. Going to try and catchup next week so it doesn’t happen again. See you later for the weekly roundup!

The post Black Lagoon – 11/12 [Lock’n Load Revolution/Guerrillas in the Jungle] – Throwback Thursday appeared first on Star Crossed Anime.

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