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4.3 out of 5 stars
Darker Than Black: Season 2 with OVA's (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
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101 of 108 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Since Amazons description is a litte vague at this point I was curious just which was a limitied edition. It appears that this version is "Darker than Black: The Complete Season Two {Blu Ray}..The version that is completely black...not the one with white on the side of the box.(they posted this review on both versions).It is in the same style of box as the Limited Editions for "RideBack" - "Dance in the Vampire Bund" - "Chrome Shelled Regios" - "Ga-Rei-Zero" ...etc. I checked another web site (Right Stuf) and here is all the info I could find on it.

"Darker Than Black Season 2 + OVAs DVD/Blu-ray Complete Set (Hyb) Limited Ed."

This limited edition comes with a chipboard art box.

Contains episodes 1-12 and OVAs 1-4 (Kuro no Keiyakusha: Gaiden).

Special Features: Episode 04 Commentary, OVA Part 1 Commentary, Textless Songs, Trailers.

Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.

Hope it helps...At least it helped me buy the right one anyway.
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72 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2011
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
**CONTAINS A FEW SPOILERS, PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK**

The first season of Darker than Black ended with Hei and Yin escaping from the syndicate, and you think that's where season two would begin the aftermath of their escape. Sadly, no. Take a deep breath, and prepare to take in one of the most mediocre sequels to one of my favorite animes. When the second season begins, Hei has long hair and has become a drunk. Why? We don't know why. Meanwhile, we go into a new story about a Russian girl named Suo. Hei just happens to be on a mission that groups them up together, and it starts on of the biggest annoyances of the series - Hei training a little girl. Early on in the series, Hei loses his powers, and it makes the action scenes after this sort of suck. All of the action we were used to from Season One is pretty much all gone, with the exception of our new character, Suo, who wields a giant rifle (which is the ONLY cool thing about her).

You all make think I'm being overly harsh on Season Two. Well, I'm not. If you loved the first season as much as I did, you would hate Season Two as much I do. However, it doesn't mean that the second season isn't worth watching at all. It does fill in a FEW loose ends about what happened to some other characters from Season One. It also introduces some new contractors (who have some pretty interesting abilities). Yoko Kanno's fantastic soundtrack from the first season is also gone, which also makes the music in this season forgettable. The series is also relatively short with 12 episodes, unlike Season one, which was 25 episodes. I'm also not a big fan of the ending.

I was going to recommend avoiding this, but this set also includes a 4 episode OVA (that aired a year after Season Two). This OVA is what should of aired before Season Two, as it shows what happens to Hei & Yin after Season One. The OVA fills in the gap between Season One and Season Two. Watching the OVA before Season Two is mandatory.

I applaud Funimation for packing both the OVA & Season Two together. As I would of avoided buying Season Two altogether if they would of released it separately.

***RATINGS FOR BOTH SEASON TWO & THE OVA***
Season Two 2/5
OVA 4/5
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2011
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Season one of Darker than Black is filled with great action, intrigue, and such and such. Season two lacks in almost every department. Sure, there is some great action, but far too little of it. I'm not going to moan about Hei's loss of his powers: in fact, the way he can still take out contractors without using any contractor power himself just underlines how bad a-- he really is. No, the problem with this show is its focus: a twelve year old girl whose contractor power is a magical girl transformation and an anti tank rifle. Now, she's not as bad as she could be: there's not too much whining from her, she's occasionally useful and can fight decently every once in a while. No, the problem is that she sucks up all the attention and everything's focused on her, and she's just not that interesting, at least not until the last couple episodes. Hei and Kirihara, the other awesome main character from season one, are relegated to the back seat so we can focus on a pretty boring 12 year old.

The OVA's are better than the second season in that, packed into 4 episodes is as much action as the entire 12 season two episodes. The first OVA starts off with a four way fight between Hei and some syndicate contractors, so it's immediately intense. The tone manages to match the first season better as well, being more tense and filled with a real and oppressive feeling of danger to our main characters. It also should be watched before the second season, as it sets that season up.

Now, for the packaging: the blu-ray/dvd combo comes in a nice art box big enough to slip the complete first season set into if you happen to have that version. If, like me, you have the six dvd set released first, it also holds volume six nicely, as long as you didn't also have the big art box for THOSE volumes. It's a nice touch, I guess. I haven't watched the blurays yet, but the dvds look great. The extras include a couple episode commentary tracks which are generally worth a listen, clean opening/endings and of course, trailers. Is it just my imagination or are trailers getting shorter and shorter?

Any way, if you're a completionist you may as well pick this up. The tonal and focus shift may annoy you, but it's not terrible. It's at least worth watching once. Like the first season, there's a lot of unanswered questions, including how the heck a meteor can fall when they can't launch anything off the surface of the planet and the stars are the souls of contractors, but they aren't enough to really break the story or anything. The animation is beautiful over all and there's a couple decent action sequences. The music varies from techno to porno, and is pretty bland. A couple good tracks make it not terrible. So yeah.

TL:DR:
Plot: 3
Characters: 3
Animation: 5
Music: 2
Overall: 3
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2012
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Since coming out everyone loves to complain about the second season of Darker Than Black. I will explain why most if not all of these complaints are a result of the series being misunderstood.

The most abundant one is: its nothing like the first season.
Every anime season is produced at least on some level as a self contained being. There is no `five year plan`in anime. Each season is made with only the amount of episodes ordered (so in the case of DTB S1 they didn`t think beyond episode 26) in mind. When or if more does come the creators odften approach it as a seperate series. ie: GITS:2nd gig,Gunslinger Girl Il Teatrino, or Eureka seven AO (a brillant series also being misunderstood and awfully treated.)
The crew had no intention of doing more of season 1 because thay already did that. They threw away the security blanket by having a diffrent setting and mostly diffrent charcters, allowing the franchise to evolve. That first episode is brillantly structred, showing an entirley diffrent group of pepole with one minor charecter from season 1 in a very diffrent context. The clifhanger being the reintroduction of the main charecter.

2.Suo and other anime cliches: As much as I love it the first season of Darker Than Black isn`t very orignal. Sharing a lot of elements with american superhero comics in particular but using them in a terrific way. Season 2 does much the same thing as Season 1 showed they are aware of the faults currently at heart at the anime industry. The writing team chose a le ts show em how its done approach in this regard. Suo is a strong charecter who wont bow to the adults and some pepole may find that approach noff putting but her story is a good one.(However even I cant defend what they did to Mao.)

3.The sexual elements: Accused by some as being pedophilic (In a thread prasing Black Butler no less.Quite possibly the most phedopilic anime of the past few years)It isnt that simple.The opening really shows what this season is. A young girl seeing the world of Darker Than Black thinking it a nice calm place and learning it is a sick, depraved world. There is a transvestite but the idea there is to add a feeling of absurdisum. Hei and Yins relationship isnt a sexual one either. Its more of a sibling thing. Also at one point one of the main charecters is placed in negative light for participating in events only to get laid and a child rapist is potrayed as a horrifying individual. These elements are not the point of said events but rather an addtional layer of the situation.

Darker Than Black season 2 shows more that anything else that Anime fans are afraid of change. Even with the terrfifc Ovas to transtion them both plot wise and tonally they cant deal with it. No matter how exciting and intellegent of an adventure series it is. But thats okay because the season itself couldint care less what anyone else thinks of it.However I can tell you this much: had the series been a standalone product it would have been justily acclaimed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2011
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I will in the review give my reasons as to why the 2nd season is very good and not worthless in terms of story like most people try to make it out to be. This first part will be a review of the 2nd seasons content and then a product review overall.

The 2nd season follows after the OVA's left off where Hei is now in a stupor as he searches for Yin who was kidnapped, he arrives in Russia working for the CIA where he is sent to capture a boy named Shion.

So the 2nd season of Darker than Black had a lot of hate given to it because of the confusion about what happened to Yin and Hei. Also many didn't like the introduction of a new character a young girl named Suou. This confusion was the result of many people not watching the OVA's between the 1st and 2nd season. This was critical because it explains what happened to Yin. Suou as a character was great or bad she was just along for the ride and this was meant to be because of event that happen in the story with the character Shion.

Another important aspect of where people get confused is the fact that Darker than Black is following the Izanami/Izanagi/Kagutsuchi legend, which helps to explain what the over arching ideas of the story are and how the names correspond to the characters. Most believe that Hei is Izanagi, Yin is definitely Izanami, and the result of their being together would be Kagutsuchi. The last few being speculation by most viewers, but this helps to clarify their story and why Yin is changing from a normal doll to something else

Okay on to the actual product review, this version was perfect for someone who already owns the 1st season if it comes in a single DVD case because the chipboard case leaves room for the 1st season so all of it can be held in one box. Of course the issue being with the set though is if you don't have the first season than you have to keep the placeholder that comes with the box or else you'll have an empty space, but likely if you're buying this product than you already have the 1st season.This box has some great artwork, as well as the Blu rays and DVD have artwork on them that each was distinct and very nice to look at. I checked the quality of the 2nd season on Blu-Ray which looked great and I checked the OVA's on DVD which looked even better than the 1st season. There was no production drop off or budget cuts for this series.

Overall i would give the box set a 5/5 for having a blu-ray and dvd combo, a great chipboard box, and great artwork. The OVA's are 4/5, and the 2nd season a 4/5 because while the show is highly enjoyable, the animation is great, there is the issue of not clarifying everyone's role throughout the series which would require re-watching the series once or twice to catch each important detail and make it clear.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
For anyone that loved the first series and expected the second to be just as good will only be disappointed by it. This season manages to remove Hei's awesome and cool character that you found yourself rooting for in the first season and replaces it with a brainless idiot that makes you frustrated when watching him run around without a purpose. Also they don't follow up on the first season, instead they come up with some random story half thought out in which too much info is left out to figure out the story and your left wondering and trying to fill in the blanks on your own. literally we see more of Suou pulling a giant sniper rifle out of her chest and her inability to shoot anyone then any story as gripping as the first season. To sum it up your not going to get a similar season to the first instead you get a boring(what's going on?) season with annoying characters.
The ova's are decent however also follow the lines of a random storyline in which a character you didn't think much of is suddenly a key character because they had to make a base for the second season. However the ova's managed to regain some of Hei's personality that made him an awesome protagonist so their worth watching... Also if you do end up watching the second season make sure to watch the ova's first.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2011
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I know it has been mentioned here on a few occasions, and naturally I like most I would imagine watched season 2 first and then the OVA. They could have done a much better job just by putting the OVA on the first disk to start with. As for the story, I'll let you judge it for yourself, I personally enjoyed the story, I just would have preferred to see it chronologically
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I will start off by affirming what others have said: Darker Than Black is AMAZING, with wonderful music, top-notch animation, one of the coolest main characters EVER, and an involved plot. Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor (or Darker Than Black Season 2) is a very, VERY weak follow up. Gone is just about everything that I loved about the first series and hardly any questions posed by the end of the first DtB were answered at all. I could describe this whole 12 episode season as being just another small 2 episode-long story in the first season. Nothing happens! It's slow and boring and the main (completely wonderful) protagonist has sunk to such a miserable low. And don't get too attached to any character. It's just not safe.

To the question of whether or not someone should buy this season, I answer maybe. For one thing, purchasing this might encourage Funimation to release the first season on Blu-Ray or even encourage Studio BONES to continue the story with actual plot. Possibly, anyway... I can hope! And another reason is just for the OVA included. This OVA fills in some of the missing time between seasons and further explores many of the characters. This is very helpful and, I think, absolutely worth watching, even if to alleviate some confusion.

(As a side note, more connecting information is revealed through the excellent manga entitled "Darker than Black: Shikkoku no Hana".)

Now, on to the product itself. I have not put the discs into my player to watch yet so I can't account for the quality of the picture, but I can talk about this particular item and how it differs from the "Normal Edition". As far as I can tell, the only difference is the sturdy box it came with that can house both Gemini of the Meteor (Darker Than Black: Season 2 with OVA's (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) and the first season's complete collection (Darker Than Black: Complete First Season). This is pretty useless to me as I already own the individual dvds (having purchased them as they were released) in their artbox (Darker Than Black: Starter Set).

And that's another reason I'm hoping for DtB (the first season) to be released on Blu-Ray! To fit in the empty space that the complete first season left behind!

To sum up, if you were in love with the first season and hate to see a poor successor to it, you probably can get away with not buying this. If you're like me (a completionist, a Studio BONES animation fan, a lover of Blu-Ray, and a hopeful nerd), go ahead and buy this. I certainly don't regret it.

Maybe if there's ever a Darker Than Black Season 3, the compounded questions will be finally be answered! *hopeful nerd*
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
2 years have passed since the events in the first season. Suo Pavlichenko is a teenage girl living in Russia with her scientist father and Contractor brother, whose life is turned upside down one day when her father is murdered, his lab destroyed, and her brother disappears. On the run from several different factions who mistake her for her brother, Suou teams up with Hei to get to Tokyo to find her mother.

I have mixed feelings about this series. I loved the first season, so I started with high expectations. It still had many of the elements that I loved in the first season - mysteries, characters with unknown agendas, Hei - but it also shifted its focus a little by making Suo the main character. This season has more teenage angst then the first, and Suo is kind of annoying. She also has a boring transforming type sequence the animators loved. Hei has gone through some trauma that isn't really explained (though I hear it is explained in the OVA), and he spends the series working back up to his former cool self.

But he does work out of his depression. Suo starts to grow up. Mao is a flying squirrel. And the somewhat mediocre story works up to a sufficiently mind bending ending. I did enjoy this season, but most of it was brightened by my love of the first series. If you really loved the first series, you might enjoy seeing the second just for more Darker Than Black. Or you might just want to stop while you are ahead, and leave your memories of Darker Than Black at the end of the first season.

This series is a nice length, at just 12 episodes, which is long enough for some interesting things to happen, and short enough that Suo can't drive you insane. I still can't say whether or not I recommend it though.

PS The OVA is 4 episodes long, but I haven't seen it. Apparently it is about what happens to Hei and Yin in between seasons 1 and 2.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-ray
After watching Darker Than Black: The Complete First Season I wanted more of the Darker Than Black universe, so I purchased the Darker Than Black: Season 2 with OVAs (Limited EditionBlu-ray/DVD Combo). The chipboard box nicely holds both season 1 and season 2. The quality of the blu-ray is much improved over the DVD release of season 1. The style of the soundtrack is different than in season 1, but I enjoyed it at least as much, maybe more. Ended up ordering the No Gemini soundtrack from amazon's Japan site since the US store was out of stock and couldn't provide a ship date.

Although I'd seen varied reviews about season 2 from fans of the first season, I really enjoyed it. It's an intelligent story that is well told. My only suggestion would be to watch the OVAs (included after the season 2 episodes) BEFORE watching the 12 episodes of Season 2, as they fill in the gaps between the seasons. If you'd rather start with season 2 and see how your guesses about what happened in between compare with the official version, you should probably watch them in the order they appear on the discs.

This series has quickly become my favorite serious anime. (I qualified that because who know what would happen in Kei and Yuri thought I didn't still rank their Project Eden movie - a great remastered version is available in Dirty Pair: Original Features DVD Collection - as the best anime ever made!)

HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION -- BE SURE TO PICK UP SEASON ONE ALSO!!!

Really hope there is at least one more season and that the writing, animation, and soundtrack live up to what we've gotten so far.
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