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Darker Than Black: Season 1

4.7 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

Amazon.com

Ten years before the opening of the fantasy-adventure Darker Than Black (2007), a mysterious barrier called Hell's Gate appeared in Tokyo. At the same time, Contractors, humans with mysterious powers, arrived on the scene. Since then, governments and private industries have used Contractors to do their dirty work, from assassinations to waging war. One of the most powerful Contractors, Hei (a.k.a. "the Black Reaper"), fights a complex battle against government agents, the CIA, and various hired thugs. His allies include squat, cynical Huang; Yin, who can trace humans through water; and Mao, who takes the form of a talking black cat. His most dangerous foes are Moratoriums, humans with even deadlier powers--and less conscience--than Contractors. The tone of this violent supernatural series shifts radically whenever policeman-turned-private-eye Gai Kurasawa appears. Fancying himself the heir to Humphrey Bogart and Sam Spade, Kurasawa narrates his misadventures in an over-the-top hard-boiled style. The plot reaches a major point when Hei penetrates a secret laboratory of the Pandora organization to steal a mysterious, powerful fragment of a meteorite, which Evening Primrose agents are also seeking. Darker Than Black delivers plenty of fast-paced, hard-hitting action, including well-staged battles in which Hei slices up his enemies with a sort of piano-wire whip. But the story is so convoluted, it's difficult to sort out, even with frequent Morris the Explainer scenes. The first season ends with a rather inconclusive conclusion as Hei and Yin head for the interior of Hell's Gate. Hei realizes that closer relations between humans and Contractors are possible and he reemerges to help create a new era--a standard anime finale that leads to the OVA "Beneath Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom" and the second broadcast season. (Rated TV MA: violence, violence against women, torture, grotesque imagery, risqué humor, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon

(1. The Fallen Star of a Contract, Part 1; 2. The Fallen Star of a Contract, Part 2; 3. A New Star Shines in the Dawn Sky, Part 1; 4. A New Star Shines in the Dawn Sky, Part 2; 5. Red Giant over Eastern Europe, Part 1; 6. Red Giant over Eastern Europe Part 2; 7. The Scent of Gardenias Lingers in the Summer Rain, Part 1; 8. The Scent of Gardenias Lingers in the Summer Rain, Part 2; 9. The White Dress, Stained with the Girl's Dreams and Blood, Part 1; 10. The White Dress, Stained with the Girl's Dreams and Blood, Part 2; 11. When One Takes Back What Was Lost Within the Wall, Part 1; 12. When One Takes Back What Was Lost Within the Wall, Part 2; 13. A Heart Unswaying on the Water's Surface, Part 1; 14. A Heart Unswaying on the Water's Surface, Part 2; 15. Memories of Betrayal in an Amber Smile, Part 1; 16. Memories of Betrayal in an Amber Smile, Part 2; 17. A Love Song Sung from a Trash Heap, Part 1; 18. A Love Song Sung from a Trash Heap, Part 2; 19. Dreaming Shallow, Uninebriated, Part 1; 20. Dreaming Shallow, Uninebriated, Part 2; 21. City Under Crackdown, Moist with Tears, Part 1; 22. City Under Crackdown, Moist with Tears, Part 2; 23. God Is in His Heaven, 24. Meteor Shower, 25. Does the Reaper Dream of Darkness Darker Than Black?)


Special Features

Episode 2 commentary

Episode 9 commentary

Episode 13 commentary

Episode 16 commentary

Episode 22 commentary

Episode 26 commentary

Cast auditions

Production artwork

Textless opening songs - HOWLING, Kakusei Heroism, Dreams

Trailers


Product Details

  • Actors: Jason Liebrecht, John Swasey, Kate Oxley
  • Directors: Tensai Okamura
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Widescreen, Color, Box set, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Funimation
  • DVD Release Date: April 19, 2011
  • Run Time: 625 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004GZZH6W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,951 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
10 years ago, Hells Gate appeared in Tokyo. Its appearance also marked a new breed of humans: Contractors. Humans who have lost their emotions and gained psychic powers, their existence is kept secret by the government. Hei is a powerful Contractor with a dark past and many secrets. He works for a mysterious organization called the "Syndicate". He works with another Contractor, a Doll, and a regular human, undertaking some rather questionable missions.
What is the Syndicate and what is Hei's real motivation?

The first time I started watching this series was on the computer when I was really tired. I thought it was kind of interesting, but when I stopped watching, I forgot to go back and finish it. A few years later I found it had been released on DVD, so I thought it was time to check it out again. I was completely blown away. I was hooked from the first episode and every episode after. Every time I had to stop watching it to go to bed, I would be disappointed. I spent the day eager to get home and watch some more. I was worried at one point that when the secrets were starting to be revealed, I might be disappointed and not enjoy the show as much. But I worried in vain, 'cause it stayed good all the way through the end.

The thing that makes this series awesome is the way the mystery is handled. The many mysteries I should say, are woven perfectly into the plot of each episode. The episodes start out separate, but connected, and become more and more connected as the series progresses. The excellent story is supported by interesting characters and concepts - I really love how the Contractors were dubbed Contractors because they contract for their power. So every time they use their power, they must pay a price after.
Read more ›
4 Comments 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Full, non-spoiler review courtesy at ~ The Huge Anime Fan blog: http://wp.me/p4tvXf-x ~

Darker Than Black was one of the anime watches you sometimes stumble on and don't realize until later is pretty fantastic. Going in there were no expectations since there wasn't anything to go by. It was completely new. From our introduction to the world of Darker Than Black. Soon, you are brought up to speed on what's going on. In what's considered the world everyone lives in a few years back The Gates started to appear turning groups of regular everyday people into something other than human. They became either contractors, medatoriums, and or dolls. All of which, who aren't exactly entirely human. It's a really intriguing premise which delivers finely throughout the series.

All the plethora of contractors, medatoriums, and dolls can be highly pinpointed by regular people by how they act in a complete rational plain of thought which alters their view of the world. Afterwards, in these various groups there are even more various differences. Contractors being at the top of the hierarchy have different range of powers that they can access after completing unique obsessive tasks. The cost of using your contractor abilities is your obsessive task that is different for every contractor. Varying from smoking a cigarette to undressing in public.

The contractors are always coming across in various situations because of their connection to The Gates. They are set apart from human society even though they are human. Well sometimes. It's complicated but it's what is so fascinating. Contractors come off as dangerous for their abilities which they are but also hilarious in their rational way of interacting with their surroundings.
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This is a great story line. Picture quality is very nice and the animation is way above average. Small effects like smoke add to the overall impact. Subplots usually last two episodes. If you like story lines like Ghost In The Shell then this is your cup of tea.
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
10 years ago, Hells Gate appeared in Tokyo. Its appearance also marked a new breed of humans: Contractors. Humans who have lost their emotions and gained psychic powers, their existence is kept secret by the government. Hei is a powerful Contractor with a dark past and many secrets. He works for a mysterious organization called the "Syndicate". He works with another Contractor, a Doll, and a regular human, undertaking some rather questionable missions.
What is the Syndicate and what is Hei's real motivation?

The first time I started watching this series was on the computer when I was really tired. I thought it was kind of interesting, but when I stopped watching, I forgot to go back and finish it. A few years later I found it had been released on DVD, so I thought it was time to check it out again. I was completely blown away. I was hooked from the first episode and every episode after. Every time I had to stop watching it to go to bed, I would be disappointed. I spent the day eager to get home and watch some more. I was worried at one point that when the secrets were starting to be revealed, I might be disappointed and not enjoy the show as much. But I worried in vain, 'cause it stayed good all the way through the end.

The thing that makes this series awesome is the way the mystery is handled. The many mysteries I should say, are woven perfectly into the plot of each episode. The episodes start out separate, but connected, and become more and more connected as the series progresses. The excellent story is supported by interesting characters and concepts - I really love how the Contractors were dubbed Contractors because they contract for their power. So every time they use their power, they must pay a price after.
Read more ›
3 Comments 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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