Thursday, April 30, 2009

Darker Than Black vol. 3 Impression

Three volume in and viewers will get to know more about the story driving Darker Than Black from FUNimation. A dark and gripping series, Darker Than Black volume 3 shows that not even those dolls once thought emotionless are fully sperated from their human past.

Hei enters Hell’s Gate by posing as a cleaning person in the facility investigation the zone. There seems to be a stone in the zone that holds secrets to the events of the recent past and creation of contractors and dolls. Hei is confronted by a kindred soul, a man with similar powers as his and together they bond before being ripped apart. What they do share is a view of the stars that lends to more questions. In order to gain what they’ve lost they must enter the zone … cryptic does not even touch on the mysteries left to be revealed. Next the story shifts to Yin, an emotionless doll who was human, a very human little girl with parents and a love of the piano. As she’s marked for elimination can her current piano playing save her as a sign of humanity still left and will Hei disobey orders that drive his existence and just how will the syndicate paying him react? Seems not all the mysteries are in Hell’s Gate.

Darker Than Black is crisp, both the animation and action. Hei is the perfect example of this as without his mask he is a very normal looking, action guy but when the mask is on he’s a deadly killer with crazy powers. The night and day of the show comes with no drag … guess what I’m getting at is the colors used, time of day used in is crisp, sharp and does not drag out the animation with unneeded shading or detail, it looks good. The use of computer animation allows for smooth backgrounds and vehicles, a nice mix with the sharp animation. Now the character designs are not groundbreaking but the powers of the contractors and Hei’s mask, they are very cool and unique. The story is what will hook viewers. This is looking like a six disc series and after watching three so far the story is moving along swimmingly, especially with its 2-3 episode story arcs. Little by little viewers learn more about the world of Darker Than Black and volume 3 knocks out some info on Hell’s Gate as well as Yin and dolls in general. Humor is present from the returning detective but even he has a background.

Overall Darker Than Black is a total action fest with a nice, deep story slowly being fleshed out. Volume 3 continues the multi-episode story arcs and reveals just a bit more about the characters and settings, something a good anime should do.

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