Darker Than Black

Quick & Dirty

Language: Japanese

Initial Interest: Medium

Favorite Character: Hei/Li

Opinion: Interesting

Likely to Finish: Eventually

Apologies for not knowing most of their names.

Synopsis

In Tokyo, an impenetrable field known as “Hell’s Gate” appeared ten years ago. At the same time, psychics who wield paranormal powers at the cost of their conscience also emerged. Hei is one of the most powerful of these psychic agents, and along with his blind associate, Yin, works for one of the many rival agencies vying to unlock the mysteries of Hell’s Gate. (Source: AnimeNewsNetwork)

Pre-Viewing Thoughts

This is another one of those series that I selected mostly because Netflix said I’ll like it. The synopsis sounds interesting enough and I know that it was pretty popular for a while. That being said, I want to mention that 90% of what has been popular lately I hated. So my feelings on this are kind of in the middle somewhere. Sounds interesting and Netflix seems to know me fairly well, but then popular crap tends to be…well crap. We’ll see how it goes.

Favorite Character

I said Hei/Li for this one…there really aren’t any choices in this. Thus far we have Li, Kirihara and her team and….well I think November is sticking around… Of those, Li is our main character, Kirihara & co are the useless police, and I think November is a bad guy…but it’s hard to say from two episodes.

Overall Opinion

All right, let’s start off by saying that I went ahead and did 6 episode on this one instead of the regular 5. This is because Darker Than Black seems to like doing episode pairs – Such and Such episode part 1, Such and Such episode part 2. So I watched part 2 of whatever the episode name was and rounded it off at 6. That being said, I can tell that 6 episodes is barely even scratching the surface of the story.

What they did well: I’m honestly not sure what to say for this… I know that I liked these 6 episodes, but I can’t really say why. I guess I really did like Li as a character, he’s interesting and fun to watch. Also the plot seems interesting and probably pretty deep as well. Honestly though it’s hard to say what was done well in these first 6 episodes though, because it feels a lot like having watched one episode and trying to do this…even though Darker Than Black seems to be only 26 episodes long, it feels like I’ve barely started.

What they didn’t do well: There is a lot of exposition required for this series. There’s Hell’s Gate, which I don’t feel has been explained properly yet, there are Contractors, of which there seem to be many types that have also not been explained. Really it seems like the basic premise requires so much explanation that in order to make it clear to the audience you’d have to sacrifice some story. Rather than having long episodes of background info on these things, the series is trying to introduce them through story, which to me makes them much less clear and forces them to come slowly, one piece at a time. The first two episodes gave a brief summary of contractors and Hell’s Gate. The second two introduce the idea of moratoriums. The third pair begins to carve out the real story. Also, there aren’t a lot of characters to choose from as I said above…so if you don’t like Li, you probably won’t care much for the series. Maybe they’ll fix that later on, but whether or not they do you still have to get through a minimum of 6 episodes where it’s basically just him…and the cat.

Overall I like it. I want to watch more and I expect I’ll finish it. But I think I’ll have to get Kaze to give it a shot before I do, because I think he might like it too.

Next Official Review: Please give me a suggestion. I will no longer be announcing in advance unless it has been suggested by you rather than chosen by me.

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