?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Black Lagoon, vols. 6 & 7 (Rei Hiroe)

Volume 6 contains the complete "Greenback Jane" arc. Revy and Rock are back in Roanapur. Revy's cracked-out girl-talk reunion session with Eda at the Ripoff Church (featuring cards, booze, and guns) is interrupted by a frantic fugitive from violence: Jane Bai, master counterfeiter, who turns out to be the hottest piece of contraband in play in Roanapur at the moment. The rest of the story is a crazy caper that seesaws between frantic Loony Toons chase comedy and a building-destroying level of violence. There's a little romance (for one of the most unlikely characters), the return of Shenhua (as part of a quirky miniboss squad that puts Black Lagoon squarely over the line into fantasyland for the first time), and some very nice scenes for Eda, ranging from the wacky to the rather sinister.

Volume 6 also starts a new, longer arc, "El Baile de le Muerte" ("The Dance of Death"), which continues in Volume 7 and beyond. Given the name of the arc, no one should be surprised to see the return of Roberta the Maid (a/k/a the "Hound of Florencia") to Roanapur - but she's not the only interesting visitor to come back to the Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy. Her young master, Garcia Lovelace, shows up, trailing the hyperkinetic and well-armed teenaged domestic Fabiola Iglesias, who learned virtually everything she knows from Head Matron Roberta and has a similarly bad effect on bars and other criminal hideouts. Everyone's assuming that Roberta is out to revenge Garcia's father - but he was killed back in South America, so why is she in Thailand?

 

Black Lagoon, vols. 6 & 7 (review)

Poor Jane really gets played like a pinball, doesn't she? Eda ia so evil ... but even she has her soft spots - and Rock/Revy is clearly one of them.

And poor Revy ... she has no clue how to express anything she's feeling to Rock, and what she does say simply whizzes over his head, unnoticed. I have to say that no matter how painful this stuff is to watch, I commend Hiroe for keeping Revy in character.

The bad-guy squad in "Greenback Jane" is pretty silly. I find myself wondering whether they're leftover characters from some early proto-manga that Hiroe never got to publish.

Fabiola's escapade at the Yellow Flag was hilarious, and her sneaking off to take a swim later while Garcia is asleep was such a great counterpoint. I like Revy's reactions to her, too. There's a lot going on there, on multiple levels.

I also liked the nutty gun and explosives experts!

Chang is developing in interesting ways: I liked his insistence that Revy ask Garcia about smoking in the hotel room. I'm hoping Hiroe gives Dutch some more to do in the future, though, because I feel like a great character is being wasted.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
redbrunja
Aug. 29th, 2009 06:10 am (UTC)
Honestly, Greenback Jane is my least favorite arc. Minus the beginning conversation at the church, there doesn't seem to be much point - and honestly, I disliked Jane enough that I didn't really care about what happened to her at all.

And Chang is developing nicely. Although I expect him and the head of Hotel Moscow to have an epic throw down one of these days.
chomiji
Aug. 30th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)

I have to agree about Chang and Balalaika, although I have to wonder what the flash point will be. Chang isn't the sort to lose it over trivialities, and he doesn't feel threatened or uneasy about Balalaika's femininity, unlike many of the gang leaders.

Actually, Jane reminded me of some geeks I know, male and female, who are experts about something and can't leave the subject alone, and I have a soft spot for her and Benny bonding over the computer. Also, I thought Eda's huckstering/con-artistry was fun. But the whole chase scene/warehouse debacle got "meh" really fast.

redbrunja
Aug. 30th, 2009 04:15 am (UTC)
I have to agree about Chang and Balalaika, although I have to wonder what the flash point will be. Chang isn't the sort to lose it over trivialities, and he doesn't feel threatened or uneasy about Balalaika's femininity, unlike many of the gang leaders.

I don't think it will be trivial or about Balalaika's femininity - I think it will be an old-school power struggle over who is going to be HBIC in Ronapour.
smillaraaq
Sep. 4th, 2009 08:45 am (UTC)
Yeah, of all the underworld sorts we've seen, Chang and his organization seem like they're the only ones who are at the same level as Balalaika and Hotel Moscow. Which is all well and good for now, but as crime bosses working the same territory, I really doubt that they're going to happily coexist forever: sooner or later they're likely to go to war with each other to settle who truly owns the city, and *that* will be a bloodbath that will make the yakuza arc seem like an ice cream social.
redbrunja
Sep. 14th, 2009 08:58 am (UTC)
Which is all well and good for now, but as crime bosses working the same territory, I really doubt that they're going to happily coexist forever:

Exactly. I'm surprised it hasn't happened before now.

I must say, though, that that plot arc Balalaika vs Chang with the Lagoon Team caught in the middle would be SO VERY EPIC.
smillaraaq
Sep. 4th, 2009 08:38 am (UTC)
GJ is definitely one of my less-liked arcs as a whole, although there are individual scenes (Eda and Revy's conversation at the beginning, all the Shenhua bits, etc.) that I adored. Jane herself I'm rather of two minds about; on the one hand, like Red, I find her rather unlikable; OTOH, I do recognize that what I dislike about her is just what you've noted, it's a not-uncommon sort of monomaniacal and socially tone-deaf sort of geeky personality type. So while I don't really like her, I like that character exists, if that make sense -- in far too many media you'd only see that sort of character as a nerdy male, and they'd probably be sort of sexless supporting characters. So I love that she's there, in all her abrasive-self-absorbed geek glory, and I love that geeky version of Slap Slap Kiss between her and Benny -- it all ends up being yet another example of Hiroe writing competent, non-stereotpical-role female characters in ways that are usually reserved for males (and the male characters, at least the more sympathetic ones who are likeliest to *not* be killed off before the chapter is over, thinking it's perfectly cool that the ladies are just as smart or ruthless or deadly as the guys are...)
redbrunja
Sep. 14th, 2009 08:59 am (UTC)
Very good points. Because Jane isn't a typical female character, and I find her style of dressing (modest yet attractive) also worthy of note.
smillaraaq
Sep. 6th, 2009 01:42 am (UTC)
I'm hoping Hiroe gives Dutch some more to do in the future, though, because I feel like a great character is being wasted.

I'm partway through the anime now -- if you ever want to see a little more attention paid to supporting characters like Dutch and Benny, I think it would make you very happy! So far it seems to be very faithful to the plotlines and characterization of the manga, but where a lot of adaptations pad things out with original "filler" episodes of often dubious quality, the BL anime stretches things out much more subtly by adding lots of little character moments here and there into the existing storylines -- little extra lines of dialogue or brief transitional scenes between the bigger canon set pieces that really enhance everything. It's remarkably good, and the easy camaraderie between the guys is quite charming.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

cho-vatar - sun & buns
chomiji
Chomiji

Latest Month

April 2017
S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Taylor Savvy