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Posts tagged “Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage

Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage Half Season Review [Completed]

This can be taken so out of context

As opposed to the previous episodes in which an arc consisted of 3 episodes, the Fujiyama Gansta Paradise Arc is 6 episodes long.

The arc starts with Rock and Revy (who only has a regular pistol) travelling back to Japan with Balalaika, where something astonishing is revealed – Rock is the only one who can actually speak Japanese. Yes; in this anime, everyone speaks /English/, and so Rock has to translate for Balalaika (I should’ve watched the dubbed version >_>).

Anyways, Balalaika’s here to help! …the yakuza group called the Washimine… group. The group’s boss died, and so they rely on another… group called the Kousa Council. But Washimine’s yakuza, so they ain’t gonna rely on no Council and hire Hotel Moscow to KILL THE COUNCIL.

After translating (and blowing up one of the Council’s clubs), Rock and Revy decide to go to some Japanese festival place, where Revy demonstrates her SUPERIOR ENGRISH SWEARING SKILLS that NOBODY CAN UNDERSTAND (English or not).

U MAD AGAIN

Suddenly, some samurai guy comes; Matsuzaki GINJI is a STREET VENDOR who looks a LOT LIKE A SAMURAI but can’t possibly be, right? RIGHT?!

He and his friend, YUKIO, stop Revy from swearing.

The next day, GINJI meets with Tsugio BANDO, the UNDERBOSS of the… WASHIMINE GROUP. BANDO reveals that GINJI is indeed a SAMURAI (woah, never expected that did you?) and asks him to help him do stuff. Ginji declines.

Revy shows off her exceptional non-swearing ENGRISH SKILLS to a group of kids, but is caught off-guard and shot to death. Well, not really ’cause she was acting. Rock reveals that his parents aren’t at home, so they proceed TO THE NEXT EPISODE.

Balalaika is basically MASSACRING the KOUSA COUNCIL ’cause Hotel Moscow’s troops are that well-trained. The line is crossed when they kill a surrendering Council member, but BANDO can’t stop her; she remarks that “Mr. Bando, we will employ any means necessary to secure profits. And we are taking much of that risk. Therefore the decision making lies not with you, but with us.”

After the meeting, Rock gets beaten up by an idiot called CHAKA, even after his matrix-dodging skills.

DUCK AND COVERRRR

Revy decides that she might need her Cutlasses after all.

Rock meets up with Yukio because he’s a lolicon after all. She reveals her last name: Washimine.

Bando tries to assassinate Balalaika with merely a katana. He obviously fails as Balalaika single-handedly dislocates his neck.

With the underboss dead, it is revealed that only a direct descendant of the boss, Washimine RYUZO, can become the head. Yukio’s his granddaughter.

Guess what?

Yes. It’s true.

SNOW IS MADE OUT OF WATER

…Anyways, Balalaika thinks to her childhood when her dream was to go to the Olympics and shoot targets. But fate was twisted and she had to actually shoot at targets… in Afghanistan. After the war, things were peaceful until her second-in-command died. At his funeral, Balalaika commanded the units of her squad and joined the Russian Mafia; Hotel Moscow.

Play The Head Balancing Wars, a free online game on Kongregate.

Meanwhile, Yukio severs all ties to her old life by making her friend cry. She orders a counterattack on Hotel Moscow by killing some stupid ex-KGB guy, Laptev, and Ginji reveals his awesomeness at slicing people’s heads off.

Revy gets her pistols.

Meanwhile once again, Yukio and YOSHIDA, some other random person, go back to her house, where it is revealed that CHAKA IS WAITING.

CHAKA KILLS YOSHIDA and KIDNAPS YUKIO.

"Sorry, there was a spider there. Actually, it's still there, just let me shoot him off..."

Ginji and Revy decide to TEAM UP and RESCUE YUKIO. When asked why, Rock replies that “I hate it when kids, who should grow up normally, can’t.”, obviously insulting Poplar’s absence of height.

They arrive at a bowling alley where Chaka is just preparing to… do bad things to Yukio (NSFW).

But Ginji and Revy are so pro that they KILL ALMOST EVERYONE without a single injury. After dealing with rich philanthropists who can’t pronounce “give up”, Rock comes and hits Chaka with a bowling pin.

How nice of you...

Chaka shoots everyone who tries to run away (cause he’s Japanese), but Revy meets up with him in a TRADITIONAL WESTERN DUEL!

..not. She kicks him and Chaka gives chase only to encounter… Ginji.

They duel, gun vs. sword style. Ginji CUTS A FREAKING BULLET IN HALF, CUTS CHAKA’S GUN IN HALF, and then CUTS CHAKA’S ARMS… off (which is sorta in half). He then shoves Chaka into the water where he drowns.

I'M FLYING

Yukio talks with Rock about how she hates him and such.

Balalaika starts the destruction of the Washimine Group, killing almost 70 percent of everyone in the group in ONE DAY.

Yukio thus orders that everyone abandon their strongholds to avoid the attacks. She then robs a bank with Ginji in one of Hotel Moscow’s vans, leading the police to chase Hotel Moscow.

Clone Wars

Rock tries to tell Balalaika to stop the madness. Balalaika responds by pulling a gun on him, almost killing him. Rock somehow escapes with something witty he said.

The kids meet Revy again. Yukio gets a gun.

The penultimate episode is over.

Rock changes his standpoint and asks Balalaika to COMPLETELY DESTROY the Washimine group. That way, Yukio can continue living her life normally. Balalaika kills the people of the Kousa Council, and then informs Rock that everyone in the Washimine group has already dispersed; thus Hotel Moscow will stop attacking them. She leaves and the police that surrounded the building don’t realize she’s an internationally wanted criminal until… too late.

Yukio CRASHES her van into Rock and Revy’s motorcycle, then opens fire.

But Rock can’t possibly die, so he… survives.

:/

And then Yukio and Ginji KIDNAP him to lead them to HOTEL MOSCOW.

Revy steals a TWUCK and gives chase.

Eventually, they stop and Revy and Ginji decide to fight, Sword vs. Gun once again.

東方文花帖 ~ Cut the Bullet

Rock and Yukio watch and talk on the sidelines; eventually, Yukio admits that she wished her normal life would continue. This makes Ginji hesitate for a fraction of a second; enough for Revy to deliver the finishing blow, ending Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage.

This Black Lagoon is EVEN MORE BADASS than the first season. The lack of plot that I was whining about earlier is fixed, realism is added (somewhat), backgrounds are revealed, and guns keep on shooting.

How so?

While watching both Black Lagoon seasons, I always thought “There’s no plot, whine. There’s no plot, whine and tweet. There’s no plot, whine even more and post on blog.” Then I realized; it’s not that there’s no plot, it’s that there isn’t SUPPOSED to be plot. Each arc’s plot is brilliantly executed, focused, and somewhat seamless (well, at least they’re not filled with plotholes like some certain other anime cough cough). After that, it proceeds to the next plot.

That also solves my character issue; the reason there’s a metric shit-ton of characters is that most of them are plot-specific. Take One Piece as an example. There really is no main plot; he “wants to become the Pirate King” and “find One Piece”, but it’s a hidden treasure so you can’t really just say “I’ll walk over there and I’ll find the treasure”. It seems like there’s a plot, but there really isn’t.
Nevertheless people keep watching/reading it. Why? Because of the individual plots. Each individual island Luffy goes to introduces a bunch of characters; some who we’ll never see again (except on the front cover of the manga issues), and others who may reappear 100 chapters later. Constantly (cough cough Buggy what 5 times now?).

Black Lagoon’s the same. There’s no plot (and people know this), but each arc has a plot. Black Lagoon introduces so many characters because you don’t need to remember them. If you ever do, they’ll probably do something like “Oh yeah, I’m so-and-so, remember? I did such-and-such for you!” *cue flashback*.

Besides, what’s the chance that you will meet someone that you just killed/resides in Germany, Colombia, or Japan while you’re in Southeast Asia/severely wounded again?

Which brings me to my next point; Black Lagoon is realistic. The sad truth is, you DON’T meet someone you just killed again. The sad truth is, our lives DON’T have a plot. We’re not aiming to be the hokage; we’re just stupid anime watchers that don’t have anything better to do (because anime is that awesome?).

But obviously it’s impossible to slice a bullet with a sword, or at least extremely improbable. Doing it twice in a row is even stupider. A sword can slice a bullet in two, and quite easily; but for the sword to even hit the bullet takes a lot of luck.

In conclusion, Black Lagoon is… well, I have to admit; Black Lagoon is brilliant. You’ve got plot, guns, characters, chases, fights, philosophical moments, battle sequences, epic Engrish sections, mafia, yakuza, and obviously, torpedo boats.

Overall Rating: 7/10 (Brilliant)


Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage Half Season Review

Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage is the… second season if Black Lagoon. It counts as another series but the episode listing continues from 13, not 1.

TENSHI!??!

We start hearing creepy children’s voices as they MURDER two of Hotel Moscow’s agents and MASSACRE everyone in some bar with a BATTLEAXE and M1918 BROWNING AUTOMATIC RIFLE. It is revealed that they have murdered SEVEN Hotel Moscow agents, ONE Triad agent, and ONE Italian Mafia agent. The leaders of the four largest factions in Roanapur (Hotel Moscow, Hong Kong Triad, Italian Mafia, Columbian Cartel) meet and realize that Balalaika

TURNED INTO A MUSHROOM

Balalaika ends the meeting revealing that she will PULVERIZE THOSE TWINS INTO A BLEEDING PILE OF DUST. She sets a bounty on the children, and swarms of people meet to kill; assassins, Revy, stupid people with guns, Revy, smarter people with guns, Revy, Eda, Revy, and…

fat policemen.

The children are obviously mentally ill as they’ve tortured a Hotel Moscow agent to death by shooting him in the knees, and then stabbing needles into his head.

The stupid thing is that that's what happened to other children they were with

But then things become REALLY, REALLY creepy when the sister takes off her hair and hands it to her brother; they’ve basically switched personae. Not only do they switch their hair, they change voices, clothes, and weapons. WHAT

"Yay! Thank you for the very nice disembodied head! I shall enjoy this meal!"

However, the line from SEVERE CREEPINESS to DOWNRIGHT SCARILY DISTURBING is only crossed when their backstory is revealed. Balalaika STEALS Rowan (the guy with the afro)’s TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY CHILD PORNOGRAPHIC FILMS so that she can enjoy them.

U SAD

Which was what she was doing when Revy and Rock came last time. Eventually after much torture she found the twins, named “Hänsel” and “Gretel”. Here’s where it gets confusing – the original “Hänsel” (with the battleaxe) is now “Gretel”, and the original “Gretel” is now “Hänsel”. God knows how many times they’ve switched before ’cause I don’t even want to think about it.

They have bad tastes for date locations

They were originally Romanian back when it was illegal to abort. Because their family was poor, they sent them to orphanages. The orphanages forced them to participate in… unsightly activities (of which would consist of the content of certain… films), including watching their “caretakers” beat other children to death or murdering those children themselves. Obviously, eventually they became mentally deranged, sadistic murderers.

"You have no chance to survive make your time."

Verrocchio, the leader of the Italian Mafia, recruited “Hänsel” and “Gretel” to MURDER Balalaika and Chang, but… well…

"It looks like... HE DIED. YEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"

“Hänsel” and “Gretel” break out of the building where Chang is waiting for them; but Chang had not enough forces so the twins escape.

Meanwhile, Eda, Revy, and a bunch of random gangsters are waiting in a hotel for the twins to appear.

THE TWINS APPEAR IN A CAR and the gangsters overkill it.

THEY ALREADY FIRED A FREAKING RPG

But obviously, the twins aren’t that dumb; those were distractions.

They proceed down side alleys where a Hotel Moscow squad ALWAYS APPEARS. Being somewhat stupid, they don’t realize they’re falling into a very, very, well-placed trap.

moneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoney

Not even Hotel Moscow can predict the appearance of Revy and Eda who want to kill the twins themselves, however, their squad fires upon everyone.

FIREFLY SIGN "COMET ON EARTHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"

The twins split up; one to KILL Eda and one to KILL Balalaika (it’s a trap!).

As one of them approach Balalaika to KILL her, she reveals it all – EVERYTHING WAS A TRAP. Like, 10 snipers on different buildings surround them and shoots the twin in the leg.

NOOOOOOOO THERE'S AN ANT ON MY FOOT

The twin reveals that s/he and his/er brother/sister aren’t actually “Hänsel” and “Gretel”; they’re a pair of twins, who both have dissociative identity disorder. As s/he is left to bleed to death (while Balalaika watches), s/he repeatedly changes voices between “Hänsel” and “Gretel”.

Surmounting one last effort, s/he attempts to throw his/er battleaxe at Balalaika; but his/er hand is shot off.

S/HE CAN REGENERATE BY COLLECTING HIS/ER BLOOD OFF THE GROUND AND CREATING A NEW HAND

The Black Lagoon takes the other twin and attempts to carry him/er to safety.

Their getaway driver shoots him/er.

The Hänsel and Gretel arc is over.

For Science!

Greenback Jane is some money counterfeiting person, working for some Floridan people. The Floridan people MURDER her PERSONAL SERVANT and so she lifts some washing machines and runs away.

U MAD

Roanapur is suckish so she runs to the CHURCH OF VIOLENCE which she doesn’t know is a CHURCH OF VIOLENCE. Eda and Revy are DRINKING BEER AND SUCH when the Floridan mafia decide to shoot at the church.

The residents of the church aren’t very happy with this and massacre the mafia ’cause they now have a M60 MACHINEGUNNER.

From right to left: Pistol, Pistol, A FREAKING M60 MACHINEGUN, Pistol! Which one is the odd one out?

After not getting any help from the church, Jane storms out and goes to a hotel.

That Eda told her to go to.

The Floridan mafia wants the money, so a cowboy, “GROOVY GUY” RUSSEL goes to the YELLOW FLAG to recruit people.

Not this guy though. Wait, how'd he fit in a suitcase?!

Among them are Shenhua, SAWYER the Cleaner (a chainsaw-wielding girl who had her throat slit open so can’t speak), Claude “TORCH” Weaver (some fat pyromaniac with an affinity towards flamethrowers), and Rotton “the WIZARD” (some n00b with a Mauser C96).

Anyways, Eda informed the bounty hunters of Jane’s hotel and shows everyone her awesomeness at leeching money through traps and such.

U SHOCK

She’s apparently used the room 7 times before with well-placed posters telling the… victim where to go. Eventually, the victim will get to their car, in which case Eda can GET A MILLION DOLLARS OFF OF HER.

Death is that way

The bounty hunters realize that the job will be much harder with Eda and Revy involved. They speed towards the Black Lagoon so that they can escape, but..

..it’s gone.

Thus, they have to HAVE A LAST STAND AGAINST THE VARIOUS ZOMBIE HORDES RIGHT INSIDE THEIR DOCKSIDE HOUSE

And the fight is on.

You could've just knocked...

Some guy Gatling-guns the door, but Eda and Revy appear and kill the two pistol-guards and shoot the Gatling gun, which is forced to retreat. The hunters hide behind Benny’s car, which soon after explodes to Benny’s chagrin.

As Revy and Eda take care of the front attackers, TOM SAWYER APPEARS, EXCEPT HE’S A GIRL AND SHE HAS A CHAINSAW.

I HAVE A BOOKSHELF AND I'M NOT AFRAID TO USE IT

While they’re fighting, Jane goes down to the dock to try to escape, but is confronted by TORCHWEAVER, who has a TORCH and is WEAVING it.

Eda gets some sort of rocket launcher and… rocket launches some people. Rock and Jane flee up to the roof where they won’t be rocket launched at, while Eda and Revy are trapped ’cause of snipers. Torchweaver sets the dock exit on fire as well.

IT'S OFFICER WATSUP

Just when things couldn’t get worse, Shenhua appears and SNIPES Revy from outside the house. Revy and Eda deduct that she’s on a duct (yay for rhymes) and shoot her off the duct. BUT SHENHUA PLANNED THAT AND TIES A ROPE AROUND EDA’S NECK. Sawyer then appears and Revy has to deal with that, leaving Eda… pretty much dead.

"But... I'm the nun."

BUT REVY PLANNED THAT AS WELL, BREAKS THROUGH ANOTHER WINDOW, AND SHOOTS SHENHUA. Shenhua dodges BECAUSE SHE PLANNED THAT, and knifes Revy with her Sakuya-skills. As she’s about to knife Revy again, EDA SHOOTS SHENHUA BECAUSE SHE PLANNED THAT.

What.

Sawyer goes to the roof to CHENSAW Rock and Jane, but she loses her.. voice device thing and becomes emo.

;_; ...my... voice.. control.. machine... ;_;

The roof collapses due to the fire below and the house is COMPLETELY DESTROYED. COMPLETELY.

The WIZARD takes this chance to appear for all of 5 seconds, ’cause Revy shoots him and he falls to the ground before he even raises his gun.

U ROTTEN

He wakes up after that (cause he wears Kevlar) and drags Shenhua and Sawyer to the hospital ’cause he nice n’ all dat yo.

THE BOAT COMES and the team jumps on it. But several other people jump on it as well…

Hourai "FUJIYAMA VOLCANOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"

To knock most of them off, Dutch turns the boat really, really fast.

"But they've already been knocked off..."

Eventually, Torchweaver gets shot and becomes team ROCKET. GET IT? ROCKET?

Eda confronts RUSSELL down in the cabin and reveals that she works for the CIA.

EDA?!?!

Benny and Jane, being hackers, decide to do random stuff.

HaXXXorz

And finally at the end, everyone decides to…

Yukkuri shiteitte ne!

I was just thinking about what Black Lagoon reminded me of, and I realized – Detective Conan. Not that being a detective and BEING SOME BADASS GUY WIELDING DUAL PISTOLS ON A FREAKING TORPEDO SHIP have anything in common, but their plot-styles are the same. You have this really, really bad plot overfitting everything – In Conan’s case, “I WANT TO GET TALLER LOLOLOL” and in Black Lagoon… well, I really don’t know. It would have been “I WANT TO LIVE A NORMAL LIFE” but he doesn’t. So then what? Iunno. That’s why I said, the plot is really, really bad.

On top of that plot you have a metric shit-ton of characters. First the main characters that you hear of EVERY SINGLE EPISODE/CHAPTER. Then the secondary/recurring characters (for Conan it would the Black Organization, for Black Lagoon, Balalaika et al.). Finally you have those one-time characters that you will NEVER, EVER SEE EVER AGAIN (Conan: every single case character, Black Lagoon: well… Ratchman?).

And finally, on top of those characters you have sectioned plotlines – for Conan, each case is a separate, unconnected plot and for Black Lagoon, each mission is a separate, unconnected plot.

Hmm… separate, unconnected plot. What could this sound like?

Angel Beats, obviously. In AB!, when they finished a main baddie, the team’d automatically go on to another baddie that was never introduced before (ahem programmer ahem). For Black Lagoon, it’s somewhat the same. Take The Second Barrage as an example. First you have 3 episodes dealing with Hansel and Gretel. Then, you have 3 episodes dealing with Greenback Jane. They have absolutely nothing in common, and you introduce characters in every one of them. For Hansel and Gretel it’s the Italian mafia, and for Greenback Jane those bounty hunters (and that priest with the M60).

Though Angel Beats didn’t reveal its really, really, bad plot until the penultimate episode, I’m hoping that Black Lagoon will just cut to the chase and tell us, what’s /really/ going on.

Black Lagoon’s still somewhat unrealistic (why didn’t Chang chase after Hansel and Gretel? Surely he can run faster, especially if Gretel is holding a gun that’s larger than s/he is), but oh well. The badassery makes it worthwhile. More realistic than certain other shows (cough Bleach cough), as in Black Lagoon people actually die (Ratchman, Torchweaver, Hansel and Gretel) at least.

…Back to marathoning, I guess.