It’s still hard for me to explain why “Darker Than Black” is one of my favorite series of 2009. The series features the best music from Yoko Kanno to date, with lonely acoustic guitars interspersed with some hard rock fight music. The characters don’t follow a formulaic dialogue either–they simply wander about with their conversations, leading to emotional revelations of their pasts.
Volume two continues the smooth pacing, with nothing forced or excessively overplayed out. Episode five continues the story of “The Red Dream of a Calamity Disappears in Eastern Europe,” in which Li Shengshung interrogates Havoc to find the location of his little sister. However, Havoc cannot remember a thing unless she moves closer to Hell’s Gate.
Other episodes include “The Gardenia Gives Off Fragrance in the Early Summer Rain” parts one and two, which switches from the perspective of Li’s syndicate to two crime detectives, named Guy and Kiko. Guy is a tall man who sometimes smokes cigarettes, and Kiko is…ahem…an energetic pink-haired otaku girl who loves anime and cosplay. The cute duo work on the greatest crime investigation in their career–searching for a woman’s missing cat.
The final two episodes, parts one and two of “The Pure White Dress is Stained By the Girl’s Dreams and Blood,” is a dramatic and violent story in which policewoman Misaki is searching for the elusive VI952, the mass murderer contractor in the Qing Long Tang Chinese mafia.
This anime features both the funniest string of episodes and the most violent string of episodes. Guy and Kiko make for a hilarious mismatched duo. Guy would love to call himself a great private investigator, at least until little Kiko annoys him for not being able to pay the bills. And the battles between Li and VI952 are the most exciting yet, with VI952 destroying an entire rooftop, and brutally blowing off body parts with the snap of his fingers.
“Darker Than Black” is one of the most exciting anime series, with a dark metropolitan feel to it. The story, action, music, comedy and drama of “Darker Than Black” is making me even more hungry to watch more episodes. There in no action anime that’s hotter than “Darker Than Black” right now.
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