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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. Written by
Let me start by saying, that many people will usually consider this "great" anime, simply due to the many years of hype and the studio backing it. Sporting some decent songs produced by the famous Yoko Kanno helps as well. With that knowledge alone, people will usually be expecting something the likes of Cowboy Bebop or Samurai Champloo. Unfortunately the biggest expectations usually tend to let us down quite frequently.
As far as anime goes, Darker than Black is one that takes few risks and offers very little rewards. While you might hear or see that the series is "gritty" and "gory", it only really shares those two in very specific scenes and easily gets beat by other animes such as Elfen Lied, and while Datker than Black isn't here to give us a gore fest, it still provides with some decent scenes. The bad side?, they really only come sparingly.
Many categorize the series as Noir or the abruptly formed, "neo-noir", and as a fan of such classics as Casablanca, The Big Sleep, and Gilda. I can't say I see it. Wearing a mask and a black trench coat, does not a noir make. There are zero silhouette shots, no femme fatales and the only person that smokes happens to be an uninteresting geezer with a bad case of the Mondays.
The first few episodes are pieced together quite well, but eventually, the plot hits a fork in the road and becomes more about mysteries wrapped in enigmas, rinsed and repeated till they become cliché. At around this time two episodes usually contain the same plot as the director decided he needed two episodes to conclude a very short story.
Ultimately, the characters aren't appealing and the lead (Hei) becomes as stiff as the rest of the cast. The character development is sluggish if at all any. Even the slapstick characters seem to just fall short. The fight scenes are worth the wait, but suffer from quick panels and don't really bring us in on the ride.
Darker then Black feels average, I can't say I will recommend this anime to anyone who enjoys either Noir or animes altogether. Frankly, its too sub par to be considered "good", and in an age where the "next big thing" is still being wished for, DBT isn't even a tease.
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