Anime Vice News

DARKER THAN BLACK #12 -- Watch & Learn

Zzzzzzzzzz...

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…

What?! Oh, sorry.

I’m starting to think this show suffers from the same issue as COWBOY BEBOP - - namely that there’s a compelling core concept and setting here that’s better served by one-off romps instead of multi-part “mythology” episodes. The latter type of episode depends to be a lot more self-serious, and too dependent on what’s come before and what’s coming after it. Instead of something that stands strong on its own, you have something that devotes big chunks of airtime on material that sets up entertainment that exists elsewhere.

In simpler terms, this episode was pretty boring, and I was engaged enough to try keeping track of how it fit into the overarching story line. Seriously, here’s a superhero show with an entire episode dedicated to subdued janitorial intrigue. Not exactly the sort of material that’s going to seize your wrist and demand that you come back after the commercial break.

There is something interesting in how Hei’s undercover dealings with the scientist gal seems like poorly-concealed office romance to co-workers. And then how the relationship of power between the two has shifted because feelings have gotten involved. Hei’s flashbacking freak-outs were also good for a chortle-with-grave-implications, especially when he gets carried with vacuuming.

However, by the time they get to serial-killing contractor with the foot fetish and the 2001-style ambiguous hallucination/transformation at the end, I’d honestly checked out. Too little, too late; although, I’m not sure if it would’ve been enough even if the show had gone out the gate with it.

Even though I made such a point of my dramatic return to this series, the next episode is honestly going to be the dealmaker or the dealbreaker for me.

Watch this episode, "When One Takes Back What Was Lost Within the Wall (Part 2)" below and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

metalsnakezeroon April 5, 2012 at 6:47 p.m.

Man, that really sucks that you're not liking the way the series episode structure. It a way, many episode are more character developing than story related. You should also remember that Full Metal Alchemist has the same structure with a few plot developing episodes and more character base ones.

In fact I have a question Tom, Do you like shows that are more character developing than plot developing?

zaldaron April 6, 2012 at 5:29 p.m.

Yeah the episodes of cowboy bebopp I liked best were the ones that actually dealt with character and overall themes. The reason I didn't like samurai champloo is it jettisoned all that for crazy one offs. But then I like shows more that have an overall story and plot and point than ones that don't. (one reason I like b5 better than star trek the next generation actually)

Marshal Victoryon April 8, 2012 at 11:32 p.m.
Starting series over again on hulu to refresh my memory on the show. An no i did not buy it this month got high school of the dead on sale :) .The comparisons to Full Metal Alchemist an Cowboy Bebop is spot on.Larger over arching story some times has um a odd episode that is a bit um less than action packed.But that's one of the reasons i love anime .It does not follow a set path of story telling . This can be really good or really bad .
 
That said ya unless your really into the show you'll miss the trees for the forest.Darker than black starts off with a action beat .That makes one think they will see alot of action in the show.When you do not its got a let down effect.This was my 2nd full anime series i watched .Cowboy Bebop being the first.So this style of story telling im fine with.
Marshal Victoryon April 9, 2012 at 9:16 p.m.
After caching up to this episode now i can see why you might get bored. But it could be the soap opera music helped that a bit.Also tom ya the arch with November 11 did have a x manish vibe to it .Wounder how intentional it was?

Dig Deeper into Darker than Black

After two strange areas-- Hell's Gate and Heaven's Gate --appeared, so did people known as "Contractors," people with no emotions and unique abilities which they pay for by a strange obsessive-compulsion that is unique to each Contractor.

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