Review: Darker Than Black

Finally, on to the juggernauts of last year – at least, the ones that I saw. Code Geass won’t be getting a review until it’s over probably, though it’ll definitely appear in the exceedingly late 2007 review.

Darker than BLACK (黒の契約者) was another Spring anime that I picked up last year, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed for a large part of the ride. The setting is a world which lost it’s real sky around 10 years previously, when a large, inaccessible area known as Hell’s Gate appeared in Tokyo. The sky was replaced by stars that represent changed humans, people who lost their human emotions and gained various powers, for a price. As this increased their usefulness as assassins and the like, they have since been sought after and employed by various rival organisations, and have come to be known as Contractors. At the centre of current events is Hei, known by authorities as BK201, and by his fellow contractors as “The Black Reaper” (黒の死神).

Darker than BLACK started off with a two-episode format, with each mini-arc introducing a new Contractor (or several) and power. From the cool and useful to the ridiculous, the prices the Contractors had to pay were just as varied. Most importantly however, each arc contributed to the development of the mystery around the Contractors, especially Hei. The build-up was extremely successful, and the penultimate episode was sublime, except for the little niggle of a fight missing a few frames. (>_>)

The last episode, however, disappointed a few people, myself included. Whilst many questions were answered, just as many were left unanswered: What caused the appearnce of the Heaven and Hell Gates 10 years ago? Why did Contractors come into existence? Why did they lost their emotions? What happened to Hei, Yin etc after that? Who (see picture below) does that hand belong to?

Perhaps the extra DVD-only episode could shed some light on these. Actually, I could probably live without the answers to those…what annoyed me most was that the ending was a too Evangelion-like in its set-up, although the resolution was quite different. I did like that resolution, just not the ‘getting there’, but I don’t have a feasible suggestions for an alternative. I don’t regret watching this series: besides being very engrossing from about episode 17 onwards, it gave me one of my absolute favourite characters of the year (and I couldn’t resist getting a fastener strap either – I wish they’d released some nice portraits!), I just wish I could give it a higher score. 7.5/10

p.s. I almost forgot…there were also some very amusing references to other popular TV shows, including a former one by BONES and one that was airing around the same time.

About karice
MAG fan, freelance translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

One Response to Review: Darker Than Black

  1. Pingback: Review: DARKER THAN BLACK: Ryuusei no Gemini « opinionated? well…sort of…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: