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Anime 
TL;DR
Darker than Black Season 1 Review
Darker than Black: The Black Contractor
DARKER THAN BLACK ー黒の契約者ー (Dākā Zan Burakku -Kuro no Keiyakusha-)

Synopsis

Ten years ago, a mysterious spatial anomaly is now known as "Heaven's Gate" appeared in South America, shortly followed by the opening of "Hell's Gate" in Tokyo altering the sky and wreaking havoc on the landscape. The real stars disappeared, replaced by false stars. During this time, people possessing various special abilities—called "Contractors"—emerged, each capable of different supernatural feats. Each Contractor has a corresponding fake star, which reacts to their activities. As such, Contractors are usually identified by their star's Messier catalog number. Kept secret from the masses, these individuals are known to murder in cold blood, smothering unnecessary emotions with logic and rationality. Their incredible abilities, however, are gained at the cost of their humanity; Contractors are thus named because of an involuntary compulsion to "pay the price" each time their power is used, which can range from eating particular foods or completing meaningless tasks, to self-harm and change their bodies in peculiar ways. Various nations and organizations around the world train and utilize Contractors as spies and assassins, resulting in violent battles for valuable objects and information.

Directed by

Written by

Screenplay by

Music by

Rating

  • The overall rating of the show.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

Animation

  • Animation quality and consistency for that time. 

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

Story

  • How well the story flows and keeps you engaged.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

Pros

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Cons

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Overview

Darker than Black premiered across Japan from April 5, 2007. It completed its initial run on September 27, 2007, and received its broadcasting satellite premiere on Animax from May 8, 2007, to October 23, 2007.

Alternative title

– Darker than Black: The Black Contractor
– Brama Piekieł
– Dākā Zan Burakku -Kuro no Keiyakusha-
– Darker than BLACK -흑의 계약자-
– Darker than BLACK ‐黒の契約者‐
– Темнее черного
– DARKER THAN BLACK─黑之契約者─

TL;DR Review

Darker than Black, also known as Darker than Black: The Black Contractor, is an anime television series created and directed by Tensai Okamura and animated by Bones.

The action and animation for Darker than Black are top-notch. Combat animation is fluid, if not a bit short. Fights are not drawn out, so it may be over before you know it. Even if you have some awesome power, one mistake and you are as good as dead.

I especially like the first ending song “Tsukiakari” by Rie fu and the second opening theme “Kakusei Heroism ~The Hero Without A Name~” by An Cafe. The music for the series is composed by Yoko Kanno.

The characters are interesting, even character that lacks emotion like Yin is entertaining to watch. If you can’t tell by now, Hei is one of my favorite characters. Despite being a Contractor, which should lack emotions. He appears to be displaying some humane traits.

However, there are a few characters that seem to be there only for comedy relief and stand out like a sore thumb. I am speaking of course about the private eye and his assistant. Most of the arc that involve them tend to feel like filter content.

The first season contains multiple mini-story arcs. Some arcs develop the character and progress the plot along while many of the other does not. You can mix most of the arc in any order and it wouldn’t make a difference.

Despite all my nitpicks, Darker than Black is one of my favorite series. I highly recommend this series to the fan of dark fantasy action. Darker than Black contains graphic violence, some nudity, and some suggestive themes/dialogs. Intended for young adults.

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Featured Music

Darker than Black: The Black Contractor
Playlist

A collection of notable music and song from this series.

Music

Opening Theme

TV Season 1

  1. “Howling” by Abingdon Boys School (eps 1-14)
  2. “Kakusei Heroism (The Hero Without a “Name”)” by An Cafe (eps 15-25)

TV Season 2

  1. “Tsukiakari no Michishirube” (ツキアカリのミチシルベ, lit. “Guidepost of the Moonlight”) by Stereopony

Closing Theme

TV Season 1

  1. “Tsukiakari” (ツキアカリ, lit. “Moonlight”) by Rie fu (eps 1-14)
  2. “Dreams” by High and Mighty Color (eps 15-25)

TV Season 2

  1. “From Dusk Till Dawn” by Abingdon Boys School

OVA 2 (Darker than Black: Origins)

  1. “Darker than Black” by Yasushi Ishii
DarkerthanBlack-Video1-300 Darker than Black Season 1 Review
Play Video
DarkerthanBlack-Video2-300 Darker than Black Season 1 Review
Play Video

Featured Video

Darker than Black: The Black Contractor

A collection of notable videos, ranging from a fan-created trailer, music video, opening, and ending clip.

Hei
"It's ok if people just meet for a moment. Simply passing by each other… You might pass by each other again somewhere. Isn't that fine too?"
Yin
"The light of our hearts is even darker than black, the dim glimmer of Hell itself."
Hei
"If you pretend to feel a certain way, the feeling can become genuine all by accident.”
Hei
"Contractors are not human. They're killing machines, dressed in human skin. In order to keep their risks to a minimum, they make sure to kill all witnesses. They're liars and betrayers."
Hei
"Sometimes, the things we can't change end up changing us."
Hei
"The truth is everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for..."
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Credits

Photo

All images are copyright to their respective owners.

Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.

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