Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Darker Than Black vol. 4 Impression

What drives a contractor like BK201, the Black Reaper? The answer is in Amber eyes and begins to be revealed in volume 4 of Darker Than Black from FUNimation. The action-packed and intriguing anime continues in all its multi-episode glory with a slick new theme song.

A series of bombings target M16 then the CIA and someone named Amber seems to be behind it. Amber is tied to Hei and they both share a connection to the destruction of the South American gate. She chose to go against the syndicate but why and how is she tied to November? As more of the past is revealed more questions surface that question current motives. A bit of jealousy surfaces in new adversaries which end badly for the young Maki. Yin shows emotion which dolls are supposed to be devoid of and a young wanna-be gangster named Kenji finds he has the courage to step out on his own to free and guide a newly surfaced doll. They are not as empty as once thought. The past collides with the present to influence the future in Darker Than Black.

Volume 4 of most 6 disc DVD series is where the story kicks into high-gear. The first three volumes usually set the stage, introduce characters and touch on key story points while the final three volumes, roughly 12-13 episodes, bring home the bacon. Darker Than Black is no different for one reason, Amber. Her introduction and back-story begins to explain not just BK201’s motivations but hints at the origin and reason for the gate. Four episodes, two stories continue what DTB does, deeper, episodic stories, so nothing new there. The animation is on par with the current generation of 20+ episode series, good but not film or OAV quality. No, with Darker Than Black it’s the story that stands out with contractors and a world that is larger than the main characters. A really good series is about to get much better and at this point it’s all thanks to Amber.

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