Genres: Sci-Fi, Drama, Action, Adventure, Supernatural, Mystery
Finally watched it, even twice starting from the 1st season and because that sequel is the only good anime of Fall season next to FMA Brotherhood, I’d like to write a review about it. Major spoilers ahead, read only if you watched the serie.
Plot quote: “In the sequel, Hei and Yin are now on the run after betraying the Syndicate in the previous season. After leaving Japan, Hei encounters Suou Pavlichenko, a 13 year old Eurasian girl who becomes embroiled in the war and politics of the various factions and Contractors vying for power. Meanwhile, Hell’s Gate remains standing in Tokyo, after Hei’s efforts to stop the Saturn Ring anti-Gate particle weapon from activating. Although Contractors are safe from the danger of having their existences erased, this does not prevent new and old Contractors from abusing their powers. As Misaki Kirihara and her team in the Public Security Bureau deal with the increasing Contractor cases, she also has to keep the Syndicate at bay, who has major positions in the Japanese police and intelligence bureaus around the world. The storyline setting primarily takes place in both Japan and Russia.”
The whole story takes place AFTER the events of up-coming OVA series, which is supposed to explain what happened between Kuro no Keiyakusha and Ryuusei no Gemini. For now we can just guess, as the serie is just like always – filled with mystery.
The First Episode
Skipping the whole ‘how did it happen’ part, the anime starts when we see Suou and Shion, twins with their father spending night outside, when ‘Tokyo Explosion’ happens. Two years after, April sitting in a russian pub, explains what we already heard TWICE from November 11 and Amagiri in the first season about second-hand smoking and already we feel nostalgic when she uses her power to wet bartender’s cigarette. At this point we see another Contractor, August 12 also called ‘The Magician‘, entering the pub and telling April about the Russian authorities movements – so called FSB. So again, we can see the conflicts between organisations, which obviously is focused on main characters of the serie. Well, whole thing is seriously complicated and while watching I focused much more on the characters than organisations and their goals, so skipping that part of the plot, we finally get to see Hei! Standing above April when she’s walking out of the pub and meeting July, awesome soundtrack in the background makes that ‘entrance’ atleast awesome.
After that touching scene, we see a confession of the boy called Nika to Tanya, friend of Suou. Appearently Suou is obsessed with making photos of everything that moves and that pretty much takes about half of the episode. In good taste though, anime doesn’t start with drama but it’s all easy-going and slowly, while heading towards next episodes, it’s soaking into it, reaching its climax in the last episode. At the very beginning we’re shown what a drastic change becoming a Contractor is, when Tanya suddenly becomes one and doesn’t care about her love to Nika anymore, as she sees no goal in staying with him. We also get to see Shion, which looks like some kind of a psycho-nerd, he’s appearently a Contractor also, with his goals unknown, yet we can notice that he actually cares about his sister.
Finally we get to see action, when Russian Soldiers(FSB) enter Suou’s home, she goes in her brother’s room and is entrusted a charm, which at the end of serie actually turns out to mean something. Except for FSB, April is also there, supposed to gather data about Shion and Professor, while she finds out that BK-201 is in Shion’s father room. Suou gets to see her father’s dead body and remembers the voice of his killer. Soon after escaping with April, they get stopped by FSB agent, so called ‘Burger-kun’, whose fandom is unexpectedly big. His power, which is faster-than-bullet speed, turns out to be suicidal against April’s rain manipulation.
The second shocking scene is when we see Mao’s cat dead body. Appearently the cat that April shot at the beginning of the fight was actually him. Damn you April! That cat was awesome!
That’s exactly when the awesome soundtrack starts again, while Hei is choking April, she fights back and then we see a scene of July looking at the sky where star falls. And that’s it for the first episode, action scenes were surely exciting and we learn that people know about Contractors, yet fear them and try not to think about their existence. Contractors seem to be as rational as always, with the difference of Shion, who seems to care about his sister.
In the serie we see different goals for main heroes – Suou wants to meet her brother, Shion(Izanagi), while Hei wants to find Yin(Izanami). Their ways crossed when Hei mistook Suou with Shion and decided to protect her on their way to Tokyo, where both of these goals were supposed to fulfil. Yet organisation called Section 3 is stopping them. I got to say, that was quite a good idea to introduce another character to avoid sticking to Hei 24/7, but Suou’s love for Hei wasn’t really a good plot twist. First it was Amber, then Yin and now also Suou? BK-201’s star shines more brightly than ever!
Even though Mao betrayed the Syndicate, he still had backup of his memories, therefore he stayed the same he was, with the difference that now he’s a Momonga instead of a Black Cat, which surely disappointed me. Mao once again sticks to Hei and soon at the end of season we find out how he lost his orginal body and we can see his real face. Fits so damn well to that voice. Expect for that squirrel part, I must say that Mao’s character plot was interesting.
The Black Reaper loses his powers
Soon at the beginning of the serie, Hei loses his electricity-manipulation power thanks to device used by Section 3’s Contractors. Instead the charm that Shion gave to Suou seemed to absorb it instead, making her a Contractor. That’s a mystery for the next few episodes, why as a contractor she can still cry and feel like a human and the answer is more compelling than what Hei thought – ‘She was incomplete as a human, so she learns to be it now after becoming a Contractor’. Does the anime get worse at this point? Oh yes it does, sailor moon transfo- I meant Suou’s power, which is summoning a big gun, looks damn lame. Except for that, lack of Hei’s power is nowhere as bad as his jacket and unshaved face. The best scene of that anime I consider the moment he shaved, seriously.
Izanami and Izanagi prophecy
Amber, the contractor who was able to look into future, left records of prophecy, about what was going to happen if Izanagi and Izanami met. Kirihara Misaki, considered TOTALLY UNNECESSARY main character, gets to hear it and learns that if these two meet, some kind of tragedy is going to happen. That’s pretty much why Yin and Shion are so important in the serie, they seem to be special for some reason and are wanted by all the organisations.
Different kinds of Contractors
Throughout the whole serie, we see different kinds of those assassins. Firstly, cold-blooded murderers, ready to kill everyone for a slightest reason, first season is just full of them, just like a good example is Tanya in the second. Next kind is ‘contractors who focus on survival’, they don’t kill, they just try to live their rational life, preferably at the side of other Contractors, good example here is Mao. Then also we see Psycho-killers, who are just crazy – Sokolov Ilya was one of them. Finally, there are Contractors who seem to be special, like Hei, Suou and Shion. They don’t act rational, sometimes show emotions towards others and surely do not kill when they don’t have to. I have to admit, the differences between Contractors, made it surprising and exciting while we got to meet every next one, it wasn’t just curiousity about power and remuneration like in first season, but more about their character.
When Suou meets her mother, she’s pushed away once she says that her name is Suou not Shion. As appearently, Suou died in the explosion, the same one that destroyed Mao’s real body. That’s when Suou realises, that she’s a copy, that can’t be accepted by her mother as since long time ago she considered her dead. That was the second best plot twist of the serie, right after Yin being a superior being able to make Contractors suicide and Hei shaving his face. Really.
Even though it was predictable that Yin and Hei would meet, it’s a complete mystery what happened afterwards. Did Hei kill Yin? Or maybe he helped her to come back to the state of being asleep? That we don’t know. Still, it turned out that Izanagi(Shion), gave Suou the charm because it had a meteor core in it, which was actually an experiment to see if the memories given to her using ME were going to last or disappear. Appearently it worked, but Izanami destroyed the amulet, therefore taking away her memories. Yet Shion went through all the trouble to copy the whole world, which people mistook for a moon. July, who was killed by Izanami, plus Suou were living there happily, not knowing about what happened. It was quite touching, I didn’t expect them to kill Suou just to copy her once again, with the meteor that dropped at the beginning of a season to be used for ME network on the New Earth.
It was without a doubt, really good anime – Music was brilliant, animation didn’t stand behind, characters evolvement was not only interesting but surprising and of course the mystery, plus plot twists throughout made it just impossible to drop. Well, still there are few mistakes – when they focus on so small number of episodes, they shouldn’t skip some of the action scenes. I mean, seriously, you can remove Kirihara damn Misaki, but don’t skip the fight between Contractors! First it ends 11th episode that Hei is attacked by Hazuki, and then it turns out that he didn’t kill the girl and bah – It doesn’t focus on Hei anymore so it’s not important! Let’s skip it! Other than that, Hei should be shaved and wear his black-green cloak more and he TOTALLY shouldn’t tie his hair, like NEVER. Also Sailor Moon Contractors aren’t much brighter idea either. Opening was quite good, but ending was just terrible. I didn’t like the music and russian inscriptions. Scenes were quite ok, but overall – should be more epic!
Star that shines brightly once again
There are many things that remain unknown, but for sure Hei got his power back and there’s a new danger – an entity that looks like Yin with short hair, who’s capable of killing people without moving a finger. Who is she ? We can only guess from the orginal Myth:
“Izanami-no-Mikoto and Izanagi-no-Mikoto, the twin deities and spouses, had one final child, Kagu-Tsuchi, a deity of fire whose flame killed his mother Izanami when he was born, thus introducing Death to the world. The parallel in Darker than Black ends at this point of the myth, as what comes afterwards is Izanagi going mad with grief and killing Kagu-Tsuchi.
Now we can only guess and wait for a new season, hopefully even more spectacular.