Sunday, 23 January 2011

Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail - Episode 3

After spending a couple of episodes carefully setting up its various factions in preparation for the chaos about to ensue, it's finally time for that patience to pay off as those factions (and of course Roberta herself) get sent off towards their ensuing bloodbath.

Before that though, we get to spend a little time watching Revy preparing for this all-out war just around the corner, purchasing both the required information on Roberta's whereabouts as well as hiring some old "friends" to give her group some additional and much-needed firepower.  While Rock takes a step back to see if his plan will come to fruition, we instead get to sit back and not worry about the plot too much as the show engages in some highly entertaining and bloodily violent "gun porn"... well, gun, knife and chainsaw porn I suppose to be precise, as the various factions in the hunt for Roberta either meet their target, meet one another or (more often than not) meet their maker.

All of this chaos allows us to enjoy a handful of fantastically animated and choreographed (if sometimes incredibly hard to believe) skirmishes between this story arc's various factions, before returning our focus towards Roberta herself as the episode ends, first leaving it looking as though she's finally met her match before, of course, she proves to have one last trick up her sleeve to win the day.  However, in her current mentally unhinged state it seems that nothing will be able to put a stop to her onslaught, not even the appearance of Garcia before her, which she dismisses as simply another hallucination or the like brought about to test her - a mistake with potentially devastating consequences.

Predictably, this was most certainly the best instalment of the Roberta's Blood Trail OVA so far, bringing with it all of the slick action we've come to expect from Black Lagoon complete with an even bloodier outlook than ever thanks to its uncensored Blu-Ray rather than television release.  For all of those stunning and slightly unsettling moments of action, gunplay and the like, this episode still doesn't forget that it has more in its arsenal than simply bombs and bullets, still finding time to pause for some well-scripted dialogues, between Rock and Mr. Chang perhaps most notably.  At last, here is an episode of Black Lagoon that feels like it can sit quite happily alongside the darker second TV season of the franchise in particular, bringing us a lot of what is so compelling about the show wrapped in a visceral yet brutal package.  I have little doubt it can continue down that road for its final two episodes.

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