Sunday, January 3, 2010

[Ended] Darker Than Black Ryuusei no Gemini: The Story Continues

Early on, I wasn't really pleased about this sequel to an anime that I consider to be one of the greatest animes ever made. Although it kept the same art and animation style from the previous series, as well as the plot line, it still feels very different than the original series. It didn't inherit everything from the original series like many sequels do. But later on, it's the qualities which it did inherit from the original series made me too a fan of this series.

Unlike the original series, this story occurs linearly in a single stretch. There are some recurring characters as well as new characters. I was very pleased with the character development in this series. The story may seems simple in the beginning, but later on, you'll realize it too has a pretty complicated plot.

Before you jump right into this series, you should know that you do need to come equipped with knowledge from the original series to understand this one. As much a stand alone story they tried to make it to be, there are just too much background that you have to watch the original series to understand.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 91 (Good)
Comedy: 87 (Not much, but interesting)
Action: 90 (Just like the first series)
Art/Animation: 90 (Same as the original)
Sound/Music: 90 (Love the music and theme songs)
Character: 94 (Very well developed)
Plot: 90 (Not nearly as complicated as the original, but still complicated enough)
Ending: 91 (Wrapped up what it needs to, yet left it open for future development)

Re-watch value: 70 (You might want to go back to certain part of the story to gain better understanding of the overall plot)

Overall: 91 - Inherited everything well

Recommendation: I don't think this sequel measure up to the caliber of greatness as the original series does, but, this is still an equally great anime.
If you are a fan of the orignal Darker Than Black (I can't think of any reason anybody has seen it isn't one), you should most definitely watch this one.


yoekix said...

Overall it is an good anime, most of the episodes had their share of plotlines etc. What i didn't like was that chaotic end, somehow it was like they forced an 40 minute explenation into a 20 min episode, so it would have been much better if they took another epîsode to carfully explain the story and trow in some battle moments.

So , only the ending is chaotic but overall a worthy sequel.

Unknown said...

Same as usual....i don't get a thing until the very end.

Anonymous said...

It's better and worse a second time through.

I get the feeling Season 2 is a "high concept" thing that wound up falling a bit flat at the end,

Specifically, especially on a rewatch the parallels between Suou and Hei are really really strong, to the point that they're almost "twins": contractors but not really, hunting after sibling, get their sibling's power but can't use it as well as the original (Hei can only zap people, Suou can only clone that one gun), and so on.

So I get the sense it was supposed to be a huge parallel: are the meteor twins Suou and Shion (obvious answer) or Hei and Suou (similar enough to be twin-like, and they are unknowingly carrrying around the meteor core the whole time...)?

In particular a lot of the unanswered questions later on get addressed earlier in the season in Hei and Suou dialogues, and although inconclusive it does seem intended to clear up their characters and personalities. EG Suou uses the idiom "it's easier to give birth than be worried" early on, and much later the mitaka documents are discussing izanami birthing a new being (if the prophecy isn't stopped). Not conclusive but suggestive.

It just wound up falling flat, I think, partly for stylistic reasons and partly because of how rushed it all was. Just imagine it as 25 episodes, and with the ova material stitched into regular S2 as Hei's flashbacks.

I worry it really was the end, though: the thing with Shion's new world actually makes a ton of sense thematically in the series universe: a heaven you can make but not get to yourself, in contrast to the gate's private heavens you might be unable to leave.

The end of season two sets up a pretty killer season three: Hei has his powers back, yin might not be dead, Mina is out there, misaki and Mao and so on are a new syndicate, there is evil boy yin and the new gate and the giant tower and the USA invading Japan; could be really killer.