Darker Than Black Review


Synopsis: The sudden appearance of "Hell's Gate" -- a mysterious and seemingly impenetrable field -- wreaks havoc on Tokyo's status quo. But it also adds a new element to the city's social structure: psychics who possess supernatural abilities. The dangerous powers of these so-called "Contractors" are disturbing enough. That is, until one of them -- a killer known as the Black Reaper -- emerges as an even deadlier threat .

DARKER THAN BLACK is a great anime that should be added to one's collection. It contains concepts of conspiracy, essentialist notion, action, some humor, and individualism against totality of hegemonic society that ignores this new breed of humans. DARKER THAN BLACK follows the narrative of two main characters, The Black Reaper, also know as Hei and a female narrative of a detective trying to capture him, Misaki. DARKER THAN BLACK deals with a similar story concept of x-men, you have this breed of new and threatening super humans that are popping up everywhere.

However, the government and police agencies around the world are capturing and imprisoning these “Contractors” and keeping them from the general public. Contractors are beings that contain unusual powers of destruction, they have no emotions, and are driven by two notions: Rationality and Self-preservation. Contractors have to pay a price for using their powers however, these can vary from having to break your fingers, to mindlessly folding the pages of a book. In order to use the powers, Contractors, have to stop and fulfill their payment and it becomes an undeniable urge. Hei is a contractor hired by a syndicate out to make money and disrupt the balance of power between the mafia and the police. Hei is a trained killer Contractor and has killed several of his own kin, but as the story unfolds, Hei becomes enveloped in something far greater that requires him to do what is for the greater good for his kin.

Story: The story development in DARKER THAN BLACK is mixed with several episodes that develop character motives and personalities, episodes of humor and narratives of other characters that are involved in the conspiracy. Overall, the story can be invigorating and hard to stop from getting curious about this strange 20th century japan where Contractors exist. Everything is wrapped around mystery and carefully unwrapped throughout the several missions Hei partakes, and his interactions of the people he meets. Similar to Big O, everything revolves on past events that dictate the actions of the present, and future development of the story.

Characters: Characters range from several archetypes that are familiar, but are certainly not dry. Each characters has several interesting quirks and personalities that tie in well with the interactions of each other. Hei is mysterious and aloof character, but hides a person who has beliefs and dreams. Misaki is a police officer who believes in the law and justice, but it does not blind her from the corruption of the police force and the manipulation of information by those above her. Mao is a contractor that lives in a cat's body, he offers wisdom and becomes the hermit of the series. Several characters and personalities become introduced, while some are added for the sake of story, and other become reoccurring personalities that help tie in the conspiracy or create obstacles for both protagonists.

Art & Sound: The art style in Darker than black is simple and vibrant array of colors. Many scenes and episode take place at night, but the color scheme used for night scenes are still colorful and not dull. The art style used ranges between simple, to complex details which is a good mix and transitions very well through the series. The episode dictates how the color and art style will be used within that episode, instead of recycling 2D models like other mainstream animes. The Voice Acting in English and Japanese are great quality, each persons voice matches their character and there is no characters whose voice make you cringe, since this inst a high school love anime.

Verdict: Darker Than Black is a Great Anime, for people who love action mixed with espionage and conspiracy. People who like Big O, Death note, and anything of the sort will like this anime. People who aren't into it should still give it a try and may be impressed with the story and archetypes of the characters.




EMK Approval

Story and Character(s)

Contractors and Goverment Conspiracy


Art Style

Vivid and detailed, the art suits the series well.





Voice Acting

Awesome voice acting for all of the character in English and Japanese



Final Conclusion

Awesome, Anime..

92% = A

A = An Anime thAt you must A wAtch A fAst, cuz it hAs An A rAting

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