Sunday, August 9, 2009

Darker Than Black vol. 6 Impression

As the final confrontation draws near the truth of the past is revealed and a new future set in motion in FUNimations’s Darker Than Black volume 6. Seems BK201 is not what he’s always appeared to be.

South America was a battlefield for contractors. The target was Heaven’s Gate and where that conflict failed and the area was sealed off the past is a lesson learned as the Contractors led by Amber now target Hell’s Gate. Hei (NAME) was in South America but it’s his sister who was designated as BK201 while he was known as the mercenary the Black Reaper. As the past is revealed so do the events of the present move along as the group is marked for elimination by the syndicate. The danger lies with Hei as the syndicate fears his repeating the past as his sister, Pie, did. The government has their own agenda and in Tokyo the battle between military and Contractors begins. The ultimate weapon is the Saturn System which will essentially eliminate all Contractors. Created by Dr. Schrader the workings of the device are revealed to Chief Kirihara as well as her role in a much larger plot. The team falls apart around Hei as he enters the gate to make the final decision. In the end those who thought they were in control are toppled but its BK201’s choice as a not fully human, not fully contractor that forces the world to deal with new truths and changes things forever. For good or bad, the decision has been made.

So much more, SO MUCH MORE, to this volume but it’s a great ending. The art is still crisp, animation fluid and the action really hot, especially in this final volume. The story really comes together in this final volume. Three of the last four episodes string together all the lingering plot points, fill in each gap and offer a resolution to past confrontations. There is a great revelation about BK201 and an open ended-ness to the second to last episode which could lead to more action if the studio so desires. The final episode will leave fans with a smile as it’s a side-story in the whole adventure with all characters alive again (yes, there are deaths and plenty of them). This story is funny and reminds viewers there was more to Darker Than Black than action.

Overall Darker Than Black was a very enjoyable series with good animation, great action, good story and characters and a nice wrapping of all events. Not too cerebral or thought provoking, just a good series to sit down with and enjoy. Pick up the single volumes if given the chance but know that FUNimation will hook up a full box set soon at a better price.

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