Japanamania: Darker Than Black

Posted by Guest Author on Dec 22, 2007 in Animation |


Our Top Ten Anime and Manga Series to Watch For in 2008: It’s easy to find out about a Bleach or a Naruto once it’s being aired on Cartoon Network, but it can take years for an anime to be licensed, dubbed, and put on TV. So here’s our sneak peek at one of the ten manga or anime series that we feel are likely to hit it big in America in 2008:

Darker Than Black (anime)
Status: Aired in Japan; Licensed by FUNimation

Talk about a pedigree: Darker than Black was animated by BONES, the studio which produced, among other things, Fullmetal Alchemist, Wolf’s Rain, and Blood+. It was directed by Tensai Okamura, who directed the Cowboy Bebop movie and also worked on its TV series, as well as directing the Wolf’s Rain OVA. And perhaps greater than all of these is the music, created by none other than Yoko Kanno, the master who composed music for Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, various Macross series, and a dozen or so others. This collection of anime superstars pulled together a captivating series that is visually and musically stunning.

Like many recent series, Darker than Black is set in a rather bleak future Earth, in which abnormal territories have appeared in both Tokyo and in South America, called “Hell’s Gate” and “Heaven’s Gate.” When the gates appeared, so did “Contractors,” logic-bound humans with unique abilities who must pay for their powers by various “remunerations,” such as smoking, self-mutilation, singing, or drinking.

Hei is one such contractor, with the ability to discharge electricity. However, he is a strange contractor: he occasionally acts on emotions, and it’s unclear whether he even has a “remuneration.” When a terrorist group called the Evening Primrose starts making trouble with Hell’s Gate in Tokyo, Hei is called upon to stop them…but what if the EP is right?

Below: The opening titles for Darker Than Black.

Gia Manry is a Portland, OR-based professional writer specializing in pop culture/entertainment writing. Read up on more of her work at giapet.net or hire her at GiaManry.com.

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