|By Jonathan Dao||Wednesday, 17 Oct 2007|
After finishing the series this past week, I was feeling pretty satisfied despite the string of questions the finale left unanswered. Forgive the image resizing, I dunno what happened. But here’s the scoop on why you should give this one a shot!
STAFF: Bones, Tensai Okamura, and Yoko Kanno– It’s the company that produced Wolf’s Rain and Full Metal Alchemist and the frickin’ Cowboy Bebop movie. One thing I really have to point out is how the art style is so clean and crisp without overdoing the bright color tones you saw in stuff like Excel Saga. Okamura directed each of those projects and also storyboarded episodes for Full Metal Panic! (another good pick). I’m not too big of a Yoko Kanno fan, but hey, she’s in there…
Name Alone: What the hell is darker than black? Maybe they coined the phrase to describe every badass moment in the series. But actually, many would be surprised to know that the title is a social commentary towards the lingering American white supremacy campaign against blacks. This concept is further supported by the typecasting of black character roles. The two are insignificant characters: a lazy basketball player as well as another male being one of the first characters to die in the series. You can’t forget the concrete evidence that the main character’s codename (BK201) is actually an anagram for B2K Zero One (boy band meets Machine City!).
Powers: Imagine mutants with consequences. In this series, guys with special powers (contractors) have to pay a price (renumerations) every time a power is used. Main character Hei is equipped with electricity, and the other elements of fire and ice make appearances too. The renumerations are the most intriguing aspect of each character: flying, but having to break your fingers each time; destroying South America, but having to take a nap. Zhijun Wei is practically the embodiment of every emo-boy’s dream— being able to disintegrate objects with his blood, giving enough excuse to constantly cut himself.
Oh, there’s also Brita, who teleports with the cost of being naked. Seriously!
Abingdon Boys School: They’re a great new J-rock band named after the school where Radiohead sprouted. Did I mention T.M. Revolution’s Takanori Nishikawa is the lead singer? Granted, their single for the series’ opening, “Howling”, isn’t their best… but it did introduce me to their music. I recommend checking out the songs “Nephilim”, “Innocent Sorrow”, and “Nervous Breakdown”.
The Best Quote Ever: “Smiles don’t belong on people like you.” So this guy’s at his peak in the series: about to kill a father and daughter with his magical invisible javelins, but nope! Hei pops up behind him, takes away all his glory with that one phrase, and zaps his dumb ass. Maybe some of you readers have trouble with your parents always sharing crappy happy stories on the road? Been looking for that perfect line for your head when you play out the day you snap and pull a shoryuken on that annoying co-worker who won’t shut up quoting Austin Powers? I’m still waiting for the right opportunity to whip it out…