Jan. 27th, 2011

nekonexus: (Darker Than Black)
Kiro and I lay in bed discussing Darker Than Black for an hour the other night when we should have been trying to sleep. ^_^; The conversation ran along the lines of: "and that character? they were totally awesome, too!" ... "and that thing they did there? that was so understated and so effective."

I really really really want to squee about this anime in a way I have not about anything in a long time. The problem is that discussing all the things that make this series so awesome also spoilers the hell out of it, because it is so awesome and so well put together.

This is not a "well, the manga was popular so let's make an anime even if the manga isn't finished (and might never be)" type anime. It is cohesive. The story has an arc. It is a complete arc. It is a logical arc. There was a production team member whose sole job was to be responsible for Series Structure, according to the credits. Really.

It's like... the writer(s) looked at what animanga series were available, what was popular, (Clamp, I'm looking at you), and took the best bits of stories, and polished them up, and stuck some science that shows evidence of having passed through a brain in place of the usual hand-wavium, and said okay, here, this is what people really want.

The cast is also multi-cultural (see my previous squee post comment about the artists paying attention to skin tones), and multi-age, and multi-body-types (including a variety of body shapes and sizes, none of which are treated as anything out of the ordinary, and at least one visually impaired character). Tokyo feels like a real city, not just one where girls run around in their school uniforms and mecha rampage (or people stand on telephone poles).

Netflix's basic description leaves something to be desired, but trying to explain the plot even at the simplest level leads into a spiral of spoilers. Argh.

Okay. Ten years ago, a mysterious region called Hell's Gate appeared in Tokyo. The government built a containment wall around the Gate, and restricts access to the area. Something happened to the sky, and the current ('real') constellations were replaced with a new set of stars. At the same time, two new types of people appeared*: Contractors, who have supernatural (in the 'outside-of-nature' sense, not necessarily psychic) powers, which they exercise at a price (their 'payment'), and Dolls, who... well. Spoilers. Contractors (and dolls) are considered not-human; many contractors are mercenaries for hire. The series revolves around one particular team of two contractors, their doll, and their handler, and the police force - led by an awesome female chief - that is investigating the contractor crimes and trying to put the pieces together.

*(I have not yet figured out how this happened, or how one becomes contractor or doll. It's classified.)

So. Go. Watch. It's only 25 eps, plus the crack-tastic-awesome-for-the-fans ep 26. Then come back and tell me so I can put up the post of massive spoilers and we can squee together! (Kelly and Elisa, I'mma lookin' at you, too.) ^_~ It's available on Netflix streaming in Canada, and via Netflix in the States, too. And it's the first series in a long time where we have declared "let's go back and watch that again!"

(It is worth noting that the very first episode contains self-inflicted broken fingers! Now you are warned. (It is not really a spoiler, as it has no long-term consequence to plot.)) Warnings apply for: blood-splashing violence and some contractors' payments involving self-harm. The only time we got squicked was the finger-breaking. YMMV.

Cross-posted from DW. Comment here or there. comment count unavailable comments at DW.
nekonexus: (Darker Than Black)
(Read this first.)

And lest you think I have become all about the plot and such trivialities...

Come for the story, stay for the eye-candy! )

Cross-posted from DW. Comment here or there. comment count unavailable comments at DW.

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