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Darker Than Black: Starter Set

 Unrated |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Funimation Prod
  • DVD Release Date: November 25, 2008
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001F2U72S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,980 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Darker Than Black: Starter Set" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Everyone Wears A Mask.

A new and deadly breed of covert agent walks the streets. Known as Contractors, these assassins and spies wield bizarre supernatural powers to carry out the dirty work of others. They thrive in the underworld, between rumor and reality, their loyalties always in question. One among these operatives is more mysterious than the rest;the masked killer BK201, the Black Reaper. His true identity and intentions remain unknown, but as his path weaves through the shadows and alleys of Tokyo, blood is spilled on both sides of the law. It's a new age of confusion, and the rules of engagement have changed.

Starter Set comes in a collectible art box.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Now I've lost it, I know I can kill." December 13, 2008
Verified Purchase
To start with, DARKER THAN BLACK is a damn nifty title. And, it turns out, this anime series is pretty intriguing. The deal-io is this: Some years ago, Hell's Gate opened up in Tokyo, giving rise to wide-ranging anomalies and wiping the heavens of its stars, replacing them with false ones. Hell's Gate (and Heaven's Gate, in South America) also gave birth to Dolls and Contractors. Dolls are passive mediums who can spy from remote distances, and on whom can be imprinted temporary identites and personalities. Contractors are assassins and covert operatives, those who have gained paranormal talents and rendered detached and amoral. As such, they feel no remorse when engaged in wet works.

A fascinating fallout of a Contractor's power is that the bearer is forced into obsessive compulsive behavior. After accessing one's ability, a Contractor must then perform a remuneration of some sort (arranging pebbles, dog-earing the pages of a book, scarfing bowlfuls of noodles, etc.). This is how the Contractor fulfills his own personal contract. I dig that there's one Contractor who particularly loathes cigarette-smoking, but guess what his price is, for using his power? Another nice conceit of the show is that each of the new stars corresponds to a Contractor, and so, each Contractor is also associated with his star's Messier catalogue number (from Messier's system of assigning numbers to foreign bodies in the sky, for purposes of identification). For example, Hei's Messier Code is BK-201. But Hei is also known as the fearsome Black Reaper. He's the anti-hero of the series.

So, hey, who's Hei? He's an unassuming Chinese exchange student going by the moniker of Li Shengshun, newly arrived to Japan. Or that's his cover anyway. Hei is a Contractor.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great start for the series December 31, 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Created, directed and written by Tensai Okamura, whose credits include Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ninja Scroll, Ghost in the Shell and Cowboy Bebop (all of them favorites of mine) "Darker than black" first five episodes arrive courtesy of Funimation.

The original series contained 25 episodes and an OVA, the starter set is supposed to include a box where I'd assume the remaining 4 sets to be released can be placed (since my copy came from Vine I got only the disc without the box)

As usual with this type of shows, by the time they start there is already a major plot going on. 10 years before the first episode a territory known as Hell's Gate appeared in Tokyo, causing alterations on the sky. The people built a huge wall to separate Tokyo from this place. Weeks after this happened, people with special abilities appeared, known as `contractors' they have powers and abilities that are used for espionage and similar tasks (including murder)

The show follows a team formed by Mao (a contractor trapped in the body of a cat), Huang, Yin (a blind girl catalogued as a "Doll" with abilities to locate people but emotionless) and the protagonist, Hei. As the series develop it interesting to follow the story and the traits of the characters that appear in it, yes, they do have abilities but they have to pay a price for using them, the price will usually be an odd activity for the contractor to perform (such as break his own fingers)

Episodes included are:

"The Star of a Contract Fell... (Part 1)"
"The Star of a Contract Fell... (Part 2)"
"The New Star Twinkles in the Dawn Sky... (Part 1)"
"The New Star Twinkles in the Dawn Sky... (Part 2)"
"The Red Dream of a Calamity Disappears in Eastern Europe...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a kid, I grew up enjoying old school anime classics such as "Speed Racer", "Star Blazers" & "Battle of the Planets". Since then I haven't really watched any of the more recent incarnations that have come along. So watching "Darker Than Black" for the first time was a real treat for me.

Part traditional action/drama combined with Sci-Fi elements, Asian mysticism, and other key ingredients, "Darker Than Black" tells the story of Hei, a mild mannered Chinese foreign exchange student by day, who also happens to be a killer new form of superhuman secret agent by night. These agents, known as "Contractors," do whatever it takes to complete their missions, and each one is gifted with a unique ability, such as electricity, teleportation, etc. Set in a futuristic period where the world appears to be partly closed off by a mystical gate, the contractors work with an against the police and other government officials in order to get the job done.

The show never fully explains the background of the characters except in small doses, keeping the audience guessing. Is Hei a good guy or a bad guy? Actor, Jason Liebrech, who voices the lead character, can only say that Hei is "probably exceptionally conflicted" with what he does. At times you may begin to question his methods and sense of value or worth, as contractors tend to be nothing more than cold blooded assassins who will lie, cheat, steal and more in order to achieve their goals.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Falls flat for a non-fan
I'm always willing to try things outside of my normal entertainment, and I've enjoyed certain anime films in the past. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Lauryn Angel
4.0 out of 5 stars Like this series
We really liked season one, we haven't seen season two. This is similar to Cowboy Bee bop which is one of our favorite anime series. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Crystal
5.0 out of 5 stars Grate
it was grate. I watched it as soon as it got to me. Id really like to come back for the rest of the volumes.
Published 23 months ago by Hermit
3.0 out of 5 stars A potentially good show that lacks something in the first 5 episodes.
Okay, so I went into "Darker Than Black" knowing nothing about it except that it had a cool title. Also, though I was supposed to receive the "Starter Set", which I assume is the... Read more
Published on September 22, 2011 by Monty Moonlight
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark and intriguing anime tale
Aliens disguised as humans who are engaged in mysterious and nefarious activities is not a new idea. Read more
Published on February 23, 2011 by Michael Birman
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusing and Unfocused, but Moderately Interesting
Throughout the first episode of Darker Than Black, viewers will probably be wondering, "What is going on? Read more
Published on July 22, 2010 by Ron Cole
5.0 out of 5 stars Darker than black!
This anime is so cool! After like the first 2 episodes, I was hooked! It has a mixture of suspense, sci-fi, and comedy! Read more
Published on June 22, 2010
4.0 out of 5 stars Darker Than Black - I'll pay the price!
Years ago I watched the movie Akira and thought it was the most groundbreaking animated film I ever laid eyes on. Read more
Published on August 19, 2009 by The Matrix Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars I Like, Darker Than Black Has Lots Of Light
This series has seemed to single handedly bring me back to being an anime addict. Its very original and has so many positives and things that dries anime fans wild. Read more
Published on July 19, 2009 by Keith A. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark Darker Darkest
When you can forget you are watching anime, you know you are onto something wonderful. Darker Than Black is a gripping tale where you don't always know who are the good guys and... Read more
Published on July 1, 2009 by Jon Kreisler
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