Nazis are People Too!

June 17, 2006 at 6:04 am (Anime)

Somehow I keep not noticing when new episodes of Black Lagoon come up, so I had a lot of catching up to do. The catching up ran from the 2nd ep of the nazis arc to somewhere in the mad dog meido arc. Phew. Good show. Still missing…something that could make it great, but definitely meritous all the same.

The nazi arc should have been so camp. But they…the bastards actually used it for character development. Impressive. Because nazis…man, if you’re still going human (zombies don’t count) it’s hard to get an easier villain group. Well, that’s true in the West. I wonder what the Japanese cultural perception of the Nazis is, if there even is a significant one…

Anyway, since BL is So Genre, I was kind of amused that they were going to point out the amorality inherent in the romanticized pirate-outlaw-smuggler image. Particularly since they did it by drawing sympathy for Nazis. Man. Nazis. Nazis make me think of two things really. The first is Indiana Jones, and the second is some sage advice a friend gave (I think quoting a movie or book or something) me once: “Don’t let the nazis get ya down.” “Nazis” is such a generic human incarnation of TEH EVIL in America that I just kinda gape at Nazi sympathy pleas. Well, that wasn’t exaclty what was going on. What we had was Revy going KWAZY and indiscriminately killing these guys who were begging for their lives. The fact that they were also Nazis is really just one of many ways in which Black Lagoon had been manifesting major genre characteristics of action shows.

I knew Black Lagoon was going to try to make a point. Actually, it’s almost another characteristic of the action genre for the story to make a poor attempt at having some kind of “moral,” but the difference here was I thought it actually worked. While fighting in most generic action anime against most generic action villain, there’s the suggestion that this slaugher might be somehow *wrong*. Or it felt that way to me. It was kind of open-ended.

The presentation actually reminded me of Western comic books, and, now that I think about, so does the art, and the dialogue, the characters, and, well, most of the show actually. . This is a lot more like a Western comic-book adaptation than a manga adaptation (is it even that? I think it is). I wonder how well it will do in Japan vs. the U.S.

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