I’ve come to like the new anime show in Animax entitled “Darker than Black”. It’s an action-packed anime originally conceptualized by Tensai Okamura of Bones and planned by Seiji Takeda (MBS), Masuo Ueda (Aniplex), Masahiko Minami (Bones), and Takuo Minegishi (Hakuhodo DYMP). Produced by MBS, Aniplex (eg. Girl From Hell, Fullmetal Alchemist), Bones and Hakuhodo DY Media partners, this anime mainly revolves around the appearance of Hell’s Gate in Tokyo and how it created disturbances in the people in the nearby areas.
The appearance of the so-called Hell’s Gate is also responsible for the disappearance of the stars, so all the people in Tokyo (and probably in some areas in Japan) happens to see, “false stars”. Each false star corresponds to a single Contractor – an individual who has the power and the strength to carry out murderous intent without hesitation. These Contractors only appeared soon after the appearance of the Hell’s Gate and they have corresponding Messier codes – sort of like “nicknames” in a plain sense. Along with them came also the “Dolls” –
emotionless individuals created to imitate forms of other people. The Dolls can assume the person’s feelings, emotions, habits and characteristics precisely in a given time. The usual metaphorical sense for dolls, I say.
Contractors also have their own shares of difficulties. For one thing, after they used their power, they have to carry out some kind of a “payment” (contract payment) to atone (sort of) for it. For me, the difficult and the most painful among the payments would be injuring oneself, such as dislocating your fingers (as seen in the episode one). But I can’t deny that I was also amuse that among the list of the contract payments, there are some things like singing a song, earmarking the pages of the book and even writing poetry! I mean, there’s no harm in writing poetry – uhmm, thinks – well, it’s really hard, take it from me. Laughs.
Well anyway, the lead character in the story is the Contractor named Hei, an exchange student from China, also referred to as Li Shengshun, or Li Siangshon when undercover. The character is voiced by Hidenobu Kiuchi in Japanese and Jason Liebrecht in English. He carries the messenger code BK-201, the same code that enables other people to recognized him as a merciless killer and murderer. Along with him are Yin In, a doll who can locate individuals to kill and Huang Han which serve as a mediator, passing down higher orders from above (the Syndicate) to the Contractors. Not to mention, Mao the cat, who appears almost everywhere, (haha!) he was a Contractor who lost his original body.
Hei aka BK-201 was among the list of must-capture of the national police, especially in the case of another character, Misaki Kirihara, the section chief of the Foreign Affairs Division 4 that investigates matter regarding the Contractors. Kirihara is a strong-willed lady police, with eyeglasses and straightforward manner approach.
Actually there’s more characters in the story, and there is more to it in general so don’t forget to watch it on Animax every Tuesday night at 8. Replays at 12 midnight of the same day, and weekend encore on Sunday, 12 noon.
Now, I’ve got to say that I really love the theme songs of the anime. I just posted the Howling by the Abingdon Boys School (Epic Records Japan) – that is the first opening theme song of the anime. The first ending theme of the anime is entitled
Tsukiakari by Rie Fu (Palm Beach Inc.). The second opening theme is Kakusei Heroism – The Hero Without Name performed by An Café (Music Ray’n) and the second ending theme is Dreams by High and Mighty Colors (SME Records). The original soundtrack was officially released in year 2007 thru Aniplex Inc, and these soundtracks were composed by Yoko Kanno, including tracks by Abingdon Boys School, Rie Fu, and Mai Yamane.