BLACK LAGOON's a show that’s been talked up to me for years, now.
“You’ll love it, Tom! It’s really macho!” they say.
Well, it’s taken me this long to finally get around to it and, while I suppose the niceties of distribution deals could be to blame, I’ve suspected the difficulty's due to this show being on a special level of demand. Like, it’d probably be easy to go buy a copy somewhere, but it’s proven hard to legally watch it for free anywhere online - - much like EVANGELION, TRIGUN, YU YU HAKUSHO, et al. The rights holders know they’ve got something you want and, even now, they’re only offering a couple episodes on Hulu as a tease. That doesn't happen with less-than-popular shows.
This is all a drawn-out way of saying that I went into BLACK LAGOON with a fair amount of hype…
Now that the round’s been loaded and fired out the chamber, as it were, I’ll say that the production value here is rather boffo and the premise is pretty dynamite. A salary man pals around with the mercs who kidnapped him and (presumably) turns into a kickass merc himself in the process? That’s as easy a logline to sell as WANTED, for sure. Like I said with NATSUYUKI RENDEZVOUS… I really wouldn’t be surprised to see a Hollywood remake within five years or so.
The show was just as mean and brawny as I was told to expect, of course. It’s nice to see some fight scenes rendered by people who seem to realize that confrontations like these aren’t about “dancing” - - they’re about putting your opponent down for good.
However… I recall some of you lunatics saying that the dub offered a better experience than the sub, and I feel like this pilot didn't hit me as hard as it could for precisely that reason. Manly one-liners don’t quite make you want to thump your chest when you have to read them, you know?
Watch this episode, "The Black Lagoon” below and decide for yourself.