Darker Than Black

Darker Than Black

darkerthanblack

  • Trailer: Fan-made trailer
  • What it’s about: Just over a decade ago, downtown Tokyo was destroyed when a tear in reality opened, warping the space around it and imbuing individuals with impossible abilities. These new talents come with a price, though – an obsessive compulsion unique to each individual that they must carry out after every use. The show is a detective story with a loosely defined continuity, following an agency made up of several such “Contractors” trying to solve the many mysteries that the Gate brought with it.
  • Why you should watch it: It’s a slick, stylish action show with a distinctly noirish vibe to it. The character designs, worldbuilding, and overall “atmosphere” of the show are fantastic, and you want to keep watching to find out where exactly the whole thing is headed. The soundtrack is a melange, drawing excerpts from multiple styles wherever it seems appropriate, just as the story itself is a drawing-together of what, on the surface, appear to be entirely-separate story arcs.
  • Caveats: The characters start off a little bland, and it takes a while to warm up to them and to begin seeing how they deviate from their relevant archetypes. The second season makes some controversial choices and was met with a somewhat mixed reception. Don’t forget to watch the OVAs that bridge the two, it’s not filler.
  • Themes: Power doesn’t so much get rid of your problems, as give you new ones to worry about.
  • Similar works: Outside of anime, I’d say that Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart is pretty similar in style, theme, and plot. Within the medium, Speed Grapher and Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom.
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