Disclaimer - The following journal contains spoilers for Black Lagoon. If you don't want any of it spoiled for you, go watch it now. It's a pretty good anime, great action. And stuff. I've literally tried writing this crap three times. Oddly enough each of these times was during a state of sleep deprivation. Fun. Hope third times the charm
So. Black Lagoon. For a show that was initially presented to me as one of the best action based anime out currently, I somehow managed to interpret it in a way that makes the entirity of it a bit of a downer. Fun fact; I'm someone who see's the glass as half empty. I tend to be a bit of a pessimist when it comes to certain things, including anime, and especially this show. And now I'ma share it with anyone who literally has nothing else better to do with their time. Also, be wary; spoilers be ahead.The ending music
Bit of a weak basis for an argument honestly; music is, like most things, subjective in how we might view it. As it is, while I may feel this way about the ending music that plays with the credits, someone else might not. Which is fine, completely fine. That said, the ending music was one of the first things I noticed whilst watching Black Lagoon; for a show that started off with a helicopter chase by some wannabe mercenaries, culminating with a flying boat and torpedo with a massive explosion and a flip of the bird, why is the ending music so darn sombre. To add to this, Revy, who is presented as both a foul mouthed, dead eye shooting pirate, is shown walking in the darkness; casings fall to the ground. Then magazines, and finally the guns, which are carried away by the waves, ending with Revy pointing a shotgun, ending the sequence.
My thoughts on this? Early on, it just seemed like an odd choice; not so much in the pretentious way of trying too hard to be different, just in the contrast of what was initially an action based show. Eventually however, that opinion would change.Shit as far as the eye can see
Ooh. That fight. Some interesting dialouge that's exchanged between two different types of people, both of whom are, in their own way, ignorant. We have Rock, the "white collar," college kiss ass from a big company in Japan, and Revy, the psychotic murdering pirate who has spent the majority of her life killing to survive. Can you see the contrast here? Two different classes of people, who've had different experiences, different lives. Both of whom find it impossible to understand what the other has been through.
Something I find quite funny is that if I hadn't seen the move Fargo before watching this series, I might not have to come to this mindset.
The scene itself plays out like this; Rock and Revy are at a restaurant after a days work. Things get heated however when Rock refuses to apologize for bringing up a previous job involving looting a submarine; Revy then gives Rock a chance to apologize again, before attempting to shoot him after he refuses. The dialogue that follows helped to reinforce my idea of these two being complete polar opposites; while Rock believes problems, whether they be negotiations of a weapons shipment or a life, can be solved without a gun, Revy rebukes him by saying it's the only way she knows how; she then goes on to tell Rock that he doesn't know that she's been through, and that there are no Robin Hood's, or heroes, in this life.
So, here's a brief recap; Rock chose this life over his old one, on the basis that he was expendable to those above him, and that all of his work up to that point had been meaningless. Revy on the other hand, had been forced into this life at a young age; a long list of bodies and a trail of blood. Compared to Rocks life of head bowing and false impressions, it seems obvious who was worse off. Right?... Eh. Who knows.
Whatever the case, we have two classes of people, and the key line being "That's all I know how to do." Onto the next though. Point. Thingy.
Hansel and Gretal
My first thought? Creepy child covered in blood trope. Weak. By the end of it? That was downright depressing no matter how I look at it, whether it be from the face value perspective of having one life snuffed out so coldly, and another taken before they even had the chance of living. The other is that the events that led them up to this point were similar to that of Revy, and subsequently Rock; it's all they knew how to do.
The Hansel and Gretal arc was probably one of my favorite arcs of Black Lagoon, mostly due to how it shaped my viewing of the rest of the series. We have the two twins, Hansel and Gretal (duh) as they leave a trail of gruesome murders in Roanapur. With most of the attacks aimed at Hotel Moscow, Balalaika, the cold and literal scarred leader of the mafia, orders for the twins capture. While this is happening, we learn that the twins were a part of an orphanage on the black market; the twins were forced to perform acts of murder on other children for snuff films, with the punishment of rape for disobeying.
Think about that for a sec. Take out the context of an action anime with guns, explosions, and great music, and remember that these are two kids. Shit, that was dark.
Needless to say, the years of torture and murder by both the hands of the twins and those who owned them eventually led to the twisted persona's that the they would later take on; Hansel and Gretal, who murdered others on the guise it would make them immortal, because that's all they know how to do. Does that justify what they do?... I honestly don't know; it's the big question of "What if?" What if they hadn't been sold into that orphanage and black market trade? What if they had lived out their lives, with kindness and decency as their moral principles, and not manipulation and murder? Could they have still lived out their lives with such a horrific past if someone had given them that kindness?
Honestly. I'd say no. But what do I know? I don't. Neither does Rock, Revy, or Balalaika; either out of ignorance or a lack of caring, the demise of the twins follows soon after regardless of what could have been. While one was shot by a sniper as he (or she) attempted to attack Balalaika, the other escaped with the Black Lagoon crew. While one relayed their past to Rock, the other bled out, crying in either fear or pain. While Rock tries futilely to convince one twin of their being more to life then murder, the other dies under the cold gaze of Balalaika. Any pretense of hope for the remaining twin would soon be snuffed out as she departed the boat; while Rock see's the twins finally being at peace, I saw a waste of life, something that was however, ultimately inevitable.
And that one word seemed to sum up my feelings for Black Lagoon is a nice dark package; it was a story of inevitability. Try as hard as she might, Revy wouldn't be able to change and take on a normal life, away from the violence and danger of both Roanapur and her line of work, to the life that Rock was used to living. Subsequently, Rock would never fully understand what it was that he had given up, nor the guise that no matter how bad something was, there would always be another way; his optimism and innocence goes to show that, in spite of the life he chosen to take on, he would never fully understand what had led someone to be the way that they are.
Whether it be a soft spoken enemy of the state who can never return home, or a girl who's life is thrown askew due to the actions of her father, they all lead to the same conclusion; blood, flowing from the docks of Japan, to a shitty bar at the end of the world.
Well. That was a thing. And if you made it all the way down here (or if you just scrolled down for any given reason) congrats; you get to see the result of me attempting to type this for the third time running >.> More as a result of frustration for not doing it sooner. Also working on a new sketch. So that'll be nice to put out.
Also, because most of what I put out has been not so uplifting, here's a picture of a cat in a jar.