Thursday, October 29, 2009

DARKER THAN BLACK 2: Ryuusei no Gemini--For Those Who Liked Darker than Black the first go round

While my hubby didn't get into DARKER THAN BLACK with me in the last few months, I was definitely hooked by the futuristic anime of contractors, dolls, mysterious gates, conspiracies, shadow powers, and such. Plus really cool opening theme (for the first few episodes, anyway) by the Abingdon Boys School, "Howling." Had the mister download it to the iTouch for me. :)

While the first season had some pacing issues--particularly that really rushed ending-- it still asked enough questions and had enough action and emotional stuff going on to keep me hooked. I wondered what new powers would be displayed by contractors and what remunerations (ie, the price they paid to use them, such as eating eggs, napping, breaking fingers, drinking liquor, smoking, earmarking novel pages, etc.) I really wondered sometimes, why the lead character had such lame fight scenes on occasion (and why wear a mask that predictably shattered in an alarming majority of altercations). And how would those episodic sorts of stories cohere? Still, there I was, every week, waiting for Comcast to set up the next chapters for me. And by the time the end came around, yes, there were hints of what was to come set up from episode one. Some episodes were scarily moving and beautiful.

Well, after the last episode of the first season, I didn't know for sure if there was going to be a continuation, though the finale just begged for one. Too many loose ends.

So, here we go. Hei is back (with cool long hair and that "won't stay put" mask again). But whether he'll be the major player, I dunno. Prolly.

Episode 1 of DARKER THAN BLACK: Ryuusei no Gemini brings us into the world of twins Shion (a boy) and Suou (a girl), both of whom were at ground zero during a meteor strike. Shion has since become a contractor, though his power hasn't been evidence. We just see his damage post meteor-strike (as he's chair-bound and seems to have lost an eye.) The scene where we see him ridicule the emotion of love to his own sister is quite chilling. Even so, we can see that he cares about her, to some degree, anyway, enough to try to protect her when the poopoo hits the fan and our girl goes on the run.

Prior to the fleeing and fighting, we have a set-up of Suou as a vivacious schoolgirl into photography (like her mama), and it's easy to like her and her pals. Then her world goes upsy-daisy, and we see one of her friends become a contractor in a heartbreaking scene, horrible to watch because of the youthful sweetness that preceded the change. Great set-up, great complications.

Oh, and a familiar face bites the dust, er, snow in episode one. That tells me that the "all bets are off about who lives" concliusion of the first season carries its tone right into episode one of the second season. Perhaps no character is utterly safe from doom. It's more interesting that way, actually, if sad. We'll see.

The animation is very pleasing to the eye ,and the first fight scene has cool contractey stuff.

Like the first series, the relationship/issues between siblings is key. Hei and Pai's tribulations and powers were a big thing in the first DTB. Suou and Shion will be our siblings in crisis in the second. I'll be rooting for the twins, for sure.

If you've seen the first season, but haven't gone for the second yet. Here. Watch the first few episodes (Japanese with English subs).

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