Black Lagoon

Anime Name: Black Lagoon

Writer: Rei Hiroe

Studio: Madhouse

Producers: Jun Nishimura, Mitsutoshi Ogura, Junya Okamoto  

Director: Sunao Katabuchi

Year Released: 2006, 2010 (Roberta’s Blood Trail AMV)

Recommended Audience: ADULT ONLY

Yes, this series is an old one. In fact, I was still in High School when this series dropped. Yet up until this point I had never viewed the series because of its TV-MA rating. Yet as the series popped up in my Hulu feed, I decided to give it a chance. Be warned... it earned that rating.

Black Lagoon is the story of Rokuro Okijama AKA “Rock”, a young Japanese businessman who’s life is forever changed when he gets kidnapped by the Lagoon Trading company, a team of Pirate Mercenaries that bases itself in the harbor of Roanapor. Roanapor is the home of the worlds most ruthless criminals: South American Cartels, American gun runners, Asian Crime Syndicates, the Italian Mob, and the most dangerous of them all: the Russian Mob. Mixed in with these groups are mercenaries that founded the harbor after the vietnam war. Rock, who appears to have been a pushover his entire life in Tokyo, finds himself as a member of the crew  after a strange turn of events. This causes him to question with his own identity and purpose in the living hell of the city and the Asian Sea.

I would like to say, the concept behind this Anime is great. Being a huge history buff of the Vietnam War and the US navy, the idea of a group of Mercenaries operating a Patrol Boat in the Pacific Ocean running odd jobs seems like an epic pirates tale. Good news was it was an epic story, the bad news, this series shows you human depravity at its worse. Since I have already provided an Adult Content warning twice, if you read on after this third warning, blame is on you. Drug trade, drug use, suicide, overdosing, human trafficking, strip clubs, nudity, language that is so overwhelming that even a sailor would blush, rape, mentioning of child exploitation and abuse by the mob, Nazi’s, and of course flat out brutal killing (call it what it is: murder).

As you watch the series, you see Rock try to hold onto his innocence as the crew around him gets their hands dirty in every evil trade known to man. Yet surprisingly, you will find that there is a sense of morals among the criminals of Roanapor. Please note that it is twisted and morbid, but there's a code to be found nonetheless. I would not recommend this series to anyone under the age of 18. While I appreciate the storyline, because of unneeded explicit content and a rather cliffhanger ending even with the movie finale, I can only give Black Lagoon a 7 out of 10. It will have you revisit your worldview about human morality, but be warned: sometimes that's something you may just not want to do.