Now normally something that blatantly shows influence from one source or multiple sources don't really go very far, or things that pack a lot of action and conversation sequences into a 30-minute time slot don't always excel at what they're aiming for- neither is the case for the first season of 'Black Lagoon'. Set in southeast Asia in the mid-1990's, this is a series that that normal moral boundaries and bends them against the criminal underworld in the fictional city of Roanapur, Thailand. We follow the occasional jobs of the crew-members aboard the titular ship and their newest addition, a Japanese businessman by the name of Rokuro Okajima (better known through the series as Rock), who was kidnapped by the crew after acquiring a disc containing shady contents off of him. That's only the beginning of it. As much as they'd like to emphasize on the action throughout the series' first season, it's more the dialog that's a point of notice in here. And this works in the series favor due to the fact that we get most (if not all of) the character development from it, but it also sets up events that will happen later on in the show. And the way the dialog plays out is similar to that of Coen brothers' movies and the works of Quentin Tarantino. The action, on the other hand, is top-notch, just like out of a John Woo flick- be it one of his ones from Hong Kong or stateside. I cannot emphasize enough on how superb the animation is- dark lighting for the dark city's nightlife, bright sunshine for the lazy daytime, the occasional moments of sunrise and sunset against various scenes- gorgeous. And the voice-acting? Let me just say this- WATCH IT IN ENGLISH. Why? Well, for one thing, the English-speaking voice actors know what they're doing better than the Japanese ones do for a change. And the other thing is it fits the series as a whole better, due to the fact that only one real main character (Rock) is Japanese- the others are a hodgepodge of Russians, Italians, Chinese, etc. One of the more recent titles out there, and also one of the better ones to check out to boot.