In May of this year, Funimation re-released the first season of “Darker Than Black” in a box set.
This anime is a creative show that sucks viewers into a dark, noir world of supernatural battles between humans and contractors.
Think of this show as the Japanese version of the “X-Men.” The story focuses on the lives of contractors, people who are allowed to use special powers as long as they pay a price. For instance, the main character, Hei, eats tons of food in order to pay for his ability to expel electricity from his body.
These contractors all come from different organizations. The British secret agent service, MI6, has three contractors who battle with Hei from time-to-time. An unknown syndication gives each agency different missions to assassinate people and to kill rival contractors.
Our main hero, Hei, takes on the identity of the Black Reaper. He’s satisfied with his life as a contractor. However, he has a secret lover who he struggles to come to terms with. His former girlfriend, Amber, is hatching a destructive plot that could eliminate Japan.
These two lovers were part of some mysterious scientific experiments held by a company known as Pandora. They received their strange new powers through these research operations. However, they eventually get forced to endure the most daunting mission of their entire lives. A mission that literally reaches past the boundaries of heaven and hell.
This series certainly has its share of conspiracy theories. The characters receive very little knowledge about why they have to follow the syndicate’s orders. The contractors live dangerous lives, where they must kill others before they get killed themselves.
Yet, the story all comes together in a strangely euphoric whole. To tell the truth, “Darker Than Black” doesn’t make too much sense unless you look at the entire series as a whole. The storyline is very similar to the film “The Sky Crawlers.” These characters are part of a gigantic life-threatening competition, but they must find a way to cooperate with each other when their lives are on the line.
Is there a way to defy the rules of society? “Darker Than Black” will definitely open your mind up to the possibility of a world where everyone lives in harmony. In the wake of a frightening genocide, it offers the promise of a new beginning. As imperfect as this show is, there is almost nothing cooler than this series.
Well, you could mention “Neon Genesis Evangelion.” With all that said, the Evangelion director couldn’t possibly come up with a script as poetic as this series. No one could ever replicate the sly, chilling tone of “Darker Than Black.”
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