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DVD Review

Black Lagoon
Barrage 1 - Volume 3


Starring (voice): Daisuke Namikawa, Megumi Toyoguchi, Hiroaki Hirata, Mami Koyama and Tsutomu Isobe
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 07 July 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...

Volume 3 of Black Lagoon continues this action adventure anime, directed by Sunao Katabuchi and contains the last four episodes of the show's first season. The disc continues the story of the Black Lagoon’s crews attempts to deliver the young Garcia to his father.

Episode Nine: Maid to Kill, and the crew make it to the meeting at the Yellow Flag only to find a woman shooting it out with some local thugs, what follows is part Matrix with a heavy dose of Desperado combined to make one great fight scene. The main problem is that Garcia recognises the killer as his father’s house maid Roberta, who pursues the crew as they try and escape, ending up pointing a gun right at Garcia’s head.

Wow, what an opening rush for this disc, the episode contains some of the best choreographed fight scenes I’ve seen in a long time. If you haven’t been following the series, a word of warning, this anime is not for children as it contains some adult themes and definitely adult language. Revy especially appears to use the "F" and "C" words very liberally. That said, the language is not gratuitous as it fits the gritty neo realism of the show.

Episode Ten: The Unstoppable Chambermaid, and Roberta is still shooting up the crews car and try as they might they just can’t seem to kill her - even when they crash the car. Revy is really annoyed, and when Revy gets annoyed people die. But this time Revy has met her match and the two women hunt and dodge their way through a container port trying to kill each other. The battle is only stopped when Balalaika and her group arrive, seriously out gunning both women, with what looks like military troops. Garcia arrives wanting to take Roberta home just as Balalaika reveals that Roberta is in fact a hard core terrorist wanted in most countries.

Another great explosive episode, which spends as much time on characterisation as it does on the pulse pounding action. The animation through the episodes on the disc remains its usual high standard. Revy is her normal reasonable self, even after the action seems to have stopped she still want to rip Roberta a new one.

Episode Eleven: Lock ‘n’ Load Revolution, and the crew are back in Roanapur, when the offices of the Triad are destroyed by the Protectors of the Islamic Front - I guess there’s another terrorist group that looks after the back. The Triad's Mr Chan contacts the crew to deliver a briefcase to the CIA in the Philippines containing the movements of the Islamic terrorists. The Triad will send out a number of fake cases to make sure the real one gets through; before the crew can even get out of Chan’s office they are attacked with RPG’s.

Episode Twelve: Guerrillas in the Jungle, and things for the crew have not gone well. Takenaka, the wanted terrorist who is after Chan’s documents, now has Rok prisoner. He tries to make small talk with Rok who refuses to engage with him, though he is eventually rescued by Revy and Shenhua, the female bodyguard provided by Mr Chan. Things, however are far from over. What can I say? Revy is a girl who just loves killing.

Though the disc has a good four episodes the extras remain a bit thin. You only get some promotional videos, a couple of trailers and a clean closing sequence.

So an explosive finish to a truly original anime, not a demon in sight for once. If you like your anime with balls get this one, you’ll love it. Only the lack of extras lets it down.


Charles Packer

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