This rhythm of two-parters is funny. Out of all the anime shows I’ve watched for this column, DARKER THAN BLACK’s the first that’s been paced almost exactly like your familiar one-hour drama on American network TV. And “pacing” is definitely the right word for it, because these two-parters tend to take a slower pace and have stretches of “quiet scenes” that are long enough to make you forget you’re even watching an animated sci-fi after a while.
And, now that I bring that up, I might as well put a couple questions out there I’ve been wondering about for a while. For one, what percentage of TV programming in Japan is animated? For the sheer amount of anime that comes over here - - not even factoring in the material that doesn’t make it over - - you’ve got to figure that it takes a pretty sizable portion of on-screen time.
Following from that, do you figure that anime shows fill a need for programming that might’ve been otherwise filled by live-action programming in Japan? Like, if the country was larger and there was a more established infrastructure for it, perhaps, would DARKER THAN BLACK be something like a SyFy original instead? Quite honestly, the flights of fantasy haven’t been that outlandish so far. This isn’t something that couldn’t be pulled off with a basic cable budget.
I don’t have as much to say about this part of the new arc. I’ll probably have more to say after Part II, when we presumably break out of this travelogue of the Wall’s janitorial staff’s daily mundanities. Although, I will reiterate my amusement that Hei’s proven to have the secondary Contractor ability of chameleon-like acting skills. Dude gets method, man.
Watch this episode, "When One Takes Back What Was Lost Within the Wall (Part 1)" below and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.