Roberta is the seemingly gentle and kindhearted maid of the Lovelace Family in Venezuela, but is actually a trained soldier of the FARC who ran away from the cartels. Now, she is the bodyguard of the Lovelace Estate and the young master, Garcia Lovelace.
Roberta's real name is Rosarita Cisnaros, and she is a Colombian native and soldier of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). She was sent to Cuba for training in combat and assassination. A true believer in the cause of revolution at any price. As such, she killed many men, women, and children. The fierceness and ability to follow all missions through without fail earned her the nickname of "Bloodhound of Florencia." One day when she went looking into the area she was guarding. She discovered what she had been watching over was a drug field. The FARC was in collaboration with the Colombian drug cartel and had been using her as their attack dog. After being disillusioned with her life and all the people she has killed, she left the FARC and was on the run. The Colombians were now after her and all the killings had made her an internationally wanted criminal.
With no where else to go, she found herself in Venezuela at the home of a friend of her father Diego Jose San Fernando Lovelace. He was the head of one of South America's thirteen families, and she hid in his home as people continued to look for her. Before she could leave and return on the run, Diego insisted that she stay the night for a proper supper before she could leave. The one night became several days at the glorious mansion till she agreed to stay. Not as Rosarita, but as Roberta the head maid of the Lovelace Family. She was in charge of the small staff and only Diego knew of her true past. Her home making skills were non-existent but she served as a bodyguard. During this time she was happy and became especially close to Diego's young son, Garcia. She dotted on the well behaved young master and would play with him, often allowing him to beat her in arm wrestling.
When the drug cartels came to pressure Diego, Garcia was abducted. Roberta quickly packed several weapons and went in search of the young master. After extracting information from several sources, her journey led her to the oceanfront city in Thailand called Roanapur, a dirty city filled with crime and corruption.
The character of Roberta is a supporting character in the Black Lagoon series that was created by Rei Hiroe. The series first began serialization in Shogakukan's Sunday GX magazine on April 19, 2002. In a later interview, Hiroe has mentions that Roberta is a violent parody of Mary Poppins and goes so far as to call her "Death Poppins". In an interview with the anime director, Sunao Katabuchi, that was published in Anime Insider magazine. He said that the animation staff also called her "Evil Mary Poppins".
Her first appearance was in Black Lagoon Volume 1 CH. 2 "Rasta Blasta PT. 1", and her first anime appearance was in Black Lagoon - Episode 8 "Rasta Blasta". Her character in the Japanese series is voiced by Michie Tomizawa, and the U.S. dub produced by Ocean Group is done by Tabitha St. Germain.
Many of the images used in Roberta's initial appearance in the story were directly mimicking events from the Terminator series of films. In the story Rock even refers to her as an invincible killing machine.
" Both of you are serving the same master. The loathsome fraud called Ideology or Philosophy. I will never serve a master like that again. There's only one person in this world that can put a collar on me. Garcia....Fernando Lovelace. The master I've chosen. the only master worthy enough that I would drink sewage for and protect with my own life. I chase my mortal enemies only for him, and...like a hound I will run them down and tear them apart! "
Roberta "Black Lagoon" Volume 8 CH. 63
Roberta is one of the most physically powerful character in the Black Lagoon series, and is an example of a character attempting to redeem herself. The source of her monstrous level of strength is never explained. She has very long dark hair and is a native citizen of South America. She's a relatively tall woman with a toned build that is hidden under the maid's clothes she is normally seen wearing. She doesn't require glasses to see, but looks to them as a symbol for her identity as the maid Roberta.
She was a true believer in the path to revolution that the FARC preach about, and murdered many men, women, and children for the cause. To much of the world she is seen as a murderer and terrorist. When she discovered she was being used by the Colombian drug cartels, she left and went into hiding. It was only too late that she realized that she had sold her soul and become the evil she always saw her enemy as.
She went to live with a friend of her already deceased father, Diego Lovelace. There she took on the name of Roberta and worked as a maid/bodyguard for him and her young son Garcia. When Garcia was abducted by rival families, she used her former training to hunt the boy down. She had wanted to keep her past a secret from the young master and expressed shame and remorse that she wasn't what he believed, but to her joy he accepted her and didn't want her to fight again. Though she had always thought of herself as an dog, she was proud of the idea that she was a guardian of Garcia. She saw him as the only one worthy of being her master.
Roberta's quiet life was shaken when the Colombian cartel arrived and abducted young Garcia. She went back to her training and tortured and hunted for where he was being taken. Her hunt led her to a corrupt and remote city in the South China Sea called Roanapur. She made a point of asking around town in her maid's uniform then made her way to the Yellow Flag bar. The local Colombian drug runner leader, Abrego, followed Roberta to the bar and mistook her for just an ordinary maid. They were completely off guard for the assault shotgun she had hidden in her umbrella and the machine gun in her suitcase.
The gun fight was interrupted by the shouting of Revy from the Lagoon Company, who had Garcia with them in the bar. When taking Garcia didn't work, Revy tried to run was knocked out as she tried to run away, and Abrego had realized Roberta's real identity. Before she could save Garcia, the young boy watched her lay waste to the drug lord's army and was terrified. She was crushed to hear that Garcia would rather leave with the Lagoon Company's Rock due to his fear of watching her fight. Roberta then used grenades to finish off the Colombians, destroying much of the Yellow Flag.
After ridding herself of the enemy, Roberta ran after the Lagoon Company and hopped on top of their car. In the chaos the driver, Benny, cashed into the shipping district. Revy was finally awake and wanted payback. Though, their gunfight was halted by the appearance of Hotel Moscow's leader Balalaika with her small army of troops. Roberta was then forced to sit and watch as Balalaika revealed Robert's past evils as Rosarita to Garcia. She admitted her sins to him and being the dog she had always told she was, but he cut her off. In tears, he called her family, she was Roberta to him, and to never call herself a dog again.
This happy ending didn't settle well with Revy, who wanted some satisfaction Roberta shooting her. They settled on a fist fight so no one would died. Revy fell for Roberta's trick about her shoe laces, and their fight went on. Neither went down for a long time, but they eventually knocked each other out. The Russians then escorted Roberta back home to South America with Garcia.
Months after the original Roanapur incident, Roberta was living peacefully at the Lovelace Estate. Though Diego was murdered in a political bombing. She held Garcia close at his father's funeral, and he tried to ask her why this happened. Her anger was quickly building, and one of the maids, Fabiola Iglesias, knew she was taking drugs to calm herself. After discovering the trail of Diego's killers she soon left, despite promising Garcia she wouldn't leave his side. Her interrogation and murder of an American Embassy worker led her to the Grey Fox Black-Ops team that was heading to Roanapur.
Her face was known and she first went to the Yellow Flag to talk to the owner, Bao. about weapons then hired a local information broker, Richie Leroy, to get her weapons and hire the mercenary, Bren, to draw out Grey Fox for her. Though her drug use was eating away at her mind, and she was starting to hallucinate some of the ghosts of her past. With the Americans in the open, she began her attack with a Barreta M82A1 Anti-Material Rifle. The soldiers escaped, and she was attacked by the FARC soldiers that Colombian's had called for aide. The small portion of the city had become a war zone of several factions. Roberta was focused on her stalking and killed anyone in her way. When guns would give her position, she slaughtered the FARC soldiers with her bare hands and coat hangers.
She was captured by Alberto Camarasa, a FARC trainer, who tried to tempt Roberta to help him kill the Americans and return with him. She pretended to go along and even seduced him to think she'd have sex with him there. He held her hand gunpoint for her to undress, but she shot him with the zip-gun hidden in her belt. She used her bare hands to kill him by crushing his skull with her fists. She only stopped when she heard the screams of Garcia, who had watched the whole thing. She ran to him after he passed out, but the ghost of Hironobu Sato haunted her drug imbalanced mind. She argued with her hallucination, and thought that he was responsible for her seeing Garcia. She was willing to shoot him to prove he wasn't there. She was only stopped by the appearance of the Grey Fox Squad. They used smoke to escape and took Garcia with them.
Roberta later ran into the the mercenary team of Shenhua, Sawyer, and Lotton. They took little effort to defeat and they were with Revy and Fabiola. They were too sacred to stand in her way when they realized her state of mind. Roberta tracked the Americans down and even landed on their leader Major Shane Caxton. Before she could strike, they were saved by Balalaika's soldiers, who helped Grey Fox out of Roanapur. While searching for clues to follow once they were gone, she found a bottle of liquor with a note attacked to it for her. She went to the airport then taken to Laos by Eda.
She arrived before Grey Fox, slaughtered the drug plantation they were after, and held their target Shue Yan as bait. She slaughtered the highly trained Black-Ops team by killing several members. Over their radios, she heard the voice of Garcia. She called him to meet her at the clearing at daybreak. She walked out with both Fabiola and Caxton. She still wants sure if he was real, and he shot at Caxton point blank. She aimed her own gun at Garcia and refused to believe he was her young master, but he aimed back at her. He said if he trusted her that his bullet wouldn't kill her. They both opened fired.
To her shock, Garcia grabbed her, tackled her to the ground, and kissed her. Garcia had been hit by her bullet and collapsed on her, then she noticed that Caxton was still alive, having been hit by a rubber bullet. Before she could shoot, Garcia pushed her weapon down and explained that they had all died on this day. He came all this way to tell her that he was going to bear her burden with her from now on. They all boarded the Lagoon Company's Black Lagoon, Garcia's gunshot was treated, and they returned to the Lovelace Estate. Garcia aided in tracking down the family of Hironobu Sato to begin her path of atonement with Garcia by her side.
Roberta's basic weapon of choice are a duel pair of IMBEL M1911 pistols. She keeps these in a double holster on the back of her belt on her pants. She normally uses the standard size clips, but also has used extended drum clips for both guns. IMBEL is a Brazilian state government own company that manufacturers it's military's firearms. This model is exported to the United States under the Springfield Armory brand.
The Franchi SPAS-12 combat shotgun is a created by the Italian firearms company Franchi S.p.A. from 1979–2000. It's a duel mode shotgun that can be fired as either semi-automatic or pump action. It's distributed to the military and police to nations across the world. It's 1041 mm (41 in), stock extended; 4.4 kg (9.7 lbs.), and holds 12 gauge 2 3/4 inch shells only. It can fire up to four rounds a second. Roberta specifically modeled her shotgun to be able to be disguised as an umbrella. The inner living of which is covered with Kevlar to act as a shield, but adds to the weight.
Hidden inside of Roberta's suitcase is an automatic machine gun. This weapon can be be fired without even having to open the case. A quick and deadly firearm that can carried out in public and used at a moments notice. A weapon that can catch an enemy off guard.
The grenade launcher on the opposite end is only shown in the anime.
Roberta owns a pair of modified MAG-7 shotguns. This shotgun was developed in South Africa as a close quarters weapon that combined aspects of a sub-machine gun and a pump action shotgun. Each weighs 4 kg (8.2 lbs.), it's 550 mm (21.6 in.) long, and can hold 5 /12 gauge x 60 mm cartridges. The removed stock and shortened barrel allows it to be better concealed. Roberta is never shown using this weapon, but Fabiola took these from her personal armory when she and Garcia followed after her.
The EX 41 grenade launcher pump-action grenade launcher is another weapon owned by Roberta, but she is never seen using it in the series. This is a United States developed weapon by the Special Projects Division of the China Lake Naval Weapons Center, which provided equipment to Navy SEALs. It weighs 4.63 kg (10.21 lbs.) loaded, it's 875 mm (34.4 in) long, and can fire 15 rounds per minute. It uses a 3-round tubular magazine.
Roberta has shown to be skilled in using an unknown model of .50 Caliber snipe rifle during her time among the FARC.
During her hunt for the Grey Fox team, Roberta initially used a Barretta M82A1 Anti-Material Rifle. This is an enormous rifle that is 145 cm (57 in.) long, and weighs 14kg (30 lbs.). The effective range of this sniper rifle is is just over one mile, but it's maximum range is over four miles. It's heavy .50 caliber rounds can even pierce light-armored vehicles. The power of this firearm can kill anyone is strikes and anything they may try to use as cover. Attached to the bottom is an option grenade launcher that adds an additional ten pounds to the weapon.
Roberta uses a elaborately decorated combat knife. It has a long sharpened blade and spiked handle. It's an intimidating weapon that she has kept since her days with the FARC.
Roberta was trained in Cuba in the martial arts as part of her standard military training, and is one of the best they had ever produced. It's a mixed martial arts style of combat that is designed to be quick and devastating. The only equal she has ever been shown to have is Alberto Camarasa, a FARC combat trainer.
As part of Roberta's training with the FARC, she was educated in stealth, tactics, tracking, assassination, use in a variety of firearms, and bomb making. She also excels in using improvised weapons and can modify firearms to disguise.
Roberta's intense strength borders on super natural. With her bare hands she can crush a skull and lift heavy firearms with ease, including being able to accurately fire the 40lbs Barretta M82A1 rifle with one arm. She even shattered one of the Kuri knives of Shenhua with her teeth. Her durability has even been compared to the Terminator.
The continuity of Roberta's placement in the story is altered for the anime adaptation that was developed by Madhouse Studios. In the manga, her original appearance was directly after the initial first chapter. The placement of the anime was in last four episodes of the first season of the anime. Scenes were also extended in the chase sequence to include parody scenes to moments in the Terminator series of films.
The third season of the anime was sold as direct to market OVA and El Baile de La Muerte story arc. This season was titled, Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail. The first episode released on July 17, 2010. A production delay would push back the fifth episode to July 22, 2011. The finale of the Roberta's Blood Trail was changed from the original manga. The anime adaptation showed Roberta suffering severe injuries during her fight with the Grey Fox Squad. By the end, Roberta is shown to of lost her right eye, right index finger, right leg, and left arm. Some of these injuries contradict the events of the anime that show her using her arm with no problems. None of these injuries were present in the manga.
Roberta, along with several other of the women from Black Lagoon, appear in the free to play online shooter game called MicroVolts (Toy Wars in Japan). The game is themed on toy figures fighting with guns and blades. Roberta appears in her regular maid costume and she uses her umbrella gun as her main weapon.