Before we start, anyone reading this, who is unfamiliar with Black Lagoon should take a few minutes to read the review for that as Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage (to be known from this point on as BL: TSB) is a direct continuation of the series, so while you go read that I’ll sit here and drink some tea… Its okay I’ve got the time to wait and my tea is quite tasty… ahhhh… that’s good tea. You’re back. Great, let’s get started.
After the fun and adventure in Black Lagoon things settle down in Roanapur for a while, long enough for the local crime gangs and mafias of various factions to start upsetting the delicate balance of the truce that holds them together. It seems that one gang has hired a pair of assassins to start taking out the competition, which is getting everyone a little riled up. It doesn’t help matters that the hired pair are actually prepubescent twins, that have gone psychotic due to years of psychological and sexual abuse. It isn’t long before the Russian mafia faction known as Hotel Moscow puts out a bounty on the assassins and calls in a special-forces squad of Russian origin to deal with the threat.
How Lagoon Company fits into the whole mess and how it gets sorted out, I don’t want to spoil too much, but it was interesting in this three episode story arc that they included a vampire origin for the twins. Not to say that they are actually vampires, but that reference is made to the fact that they were born in Romania (the birthplace of the Dracula legend) and there are frequent shots of them smiling with elongated teeth and a lot of talk of living forever. With references also to the twin girls from The Shining, it really backs up the idea that the twin assassins are like boogey men to the criminal element of Roanapur. How the girl twin is able to carry around and shoot a heavy machine gun that is usually mounted on a tri-pod is also par for the course for the show.
Also on this first volume of BL:TSB is the first episode of the Greenback Jane Arc, about a money counterfeiter on the run from her benefactors over arguments about the quality of the final product. There is some really nice comedy in this episode that is different from the darker tone that the twin assassins arc has in spades. Amusing are the characters that seem to be working for an American crime gang, one called Elvis with sideburns to match the King himself and another calling himself Groovy Guy Russell styled after a cowboy.
The Second Barrage is styled only slightly differently from the original Black Lagoon, not in terms of animation but in the darker mood that now seems to permeate the world the characters inhabit. It’s quite possible that Rock, our main character, will loose his soul in this darker world and not be able to return to a normal life even if he wanted to. I also found the English voice acting a lot less annoying than when I watched Black Lagoon.
For those who’ve watched Black Lagoon already and haven’t gotten into Second Barrage because you’re worried that it won’t be the same, trust me when I say that it is what you loved originally plus a lot more. For those still on the fence, I don’t know what else I can say to make you join in the fun of Black Lagoon, but it is worth diving into.