Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail 01 (TV-Edit)

In 1969 during the Vietnam War an American soldier, Shane Caxton tried to save a Vietnamese child, he throws her aside and reaches for his gun issuing a challenge to the soldier who demanded that he hand her over, when the other soldier opened fire he dodged to the side and fired.

Figured I should do a post for this, I’ll probably have to rewrite it when the uncensored version comes out but anyway…

Opening Theme:

“Red fraction IO drive mix” by MELL.

Twenty six years later Roberta sees Garcia’s father off as he prepares to give a speech, however he is assassinated when a bomb goes off signaled by Caxton in an operation to silence his political views.

Rain pours at his funeral as Garcia cries in Roberta’s arms asking why this happened to his Father, though she doesn’t tell him she knows all too well. She remembers how Garcia’s father had taken her in and hid her from her pursuers as a maid with her insisting on still doing the chores. And how he had showed her and Garcia the weapons on the wall from when the first Lovelace had stepped foot in the New World with Pizarro resting on the wall as a symbol of peace.

Due to this she takes the rifle from the wall resolving to carry out justice for Garcia’s sake, knowing that the actions of those who killed his father were senseless and that their fight will be as if between beasts.

The CIA is suspicious about what Caxton and the NSA’s actions in their territory, photographing them as they board a plane.

Now they’re in Roanpur with Caxton and his subordinate, Ray hiding in a run down apartment. They talk about their next mission in this area and about Roanpur itself with it reminding Caxton of what Saigon was like in 1969. Among the busy streets they spot a Japanese business man as he walks down the street and bumps into a street urchin.

Having done what he had to do Rock heads back and Revy approaches him with his wallet that the street urchin had stolen. He had wanted give the money he had to him but Revy points out that the kid could have due to this when they went after someone else. A photo of Yukio Washamine with a red cross rests in his wallet as well serving as a reminder for him, Revy reminds him of everything else that had happened due to his actions.

Dutch receives a call from the Roanpur police informing him of a peculiar customer, soon after he finishes telling Benny about it his phone rings again, this time it’s Revy telling him that someone saw a certain maid in the city. He figures out who the customer is and calls a meeting at the Yellow Flag.

Revy and Rock arrive before them and Bao talks to them about how many times his bar has been wrecked with the worst being due to Roberta. The representative for the Columbian group, Gustavo approaches Revy to ask her about the maid, she fills him in and even he finds it a bit hard to believe.

Everyone goes silent and their eyes are drawn to the footsteps of a maid looking for the Black Lagoon company, she formerly introduces herself as Fabiola Iglesias, another maid employed by the Lovelaces. Gustavo’s men don’t drop their guard as one of them lifts her up. Still on their way Dutch and Benny talk about the bombing where Garcia’s father was killed.

Gustavo makes Fabiola an offer to work together but she refuses lifting up her leg to reveal a blade on the heel of her shoe which she swings into her captor’s groin. Everyone draws their guns as the tensions rise, Revy takes advantage of this and smashes a bottle which leads to Fabiola drawing two guns from her sleeves. Revy and Rock jump over the bar as Fabiola kicks anyone close and shoots anyone far away while dodging their fire. Gustavo’s reinforcements arrive outside and fire their machine gun, as the bar collapses Fabiola pulls out a grenade launcher, destroys them and advises that they leave.

Dutch and Benny arrive just in time to pick them up and they head off to the fanciest hotel in Roanpur, the Sankan Palace on the way Fabiola reveals some details of the Lovelace family of how only her and Roberta use weapons and how she serves as Garcia’s backup bodyguard.

They head into the room where Garcia and Fabiola staying and see Mr Chang waiting for them, Fabiola attacks him only to be restrained with ease. After Garcia explains that it’s alright she steps aside and he explains the details behind the bombing that killed his Father was to kill liberal political candidates. How the police didn’t investigate it and the MVR found six people who had left the intelligence department and later worked as security for the event. The leader of this group however was photographed by chance with some Americans and was later found dead.

One of the Americans was also identified, Colonel Simon Dickens of the NSA who’s body was later found in a burnt out building, after Roberta had tortured him for information regarding the others. While she dropped the hot coals into the pot he was tied to and swallowed some pills, Dickens told her that she was picking a fight with entire United States for this, however this was fine by her.

After this she made her way to Roanapur. Garcia then moves onto what he called the Black Lagoon company for but for obvious reasons they refuse to take part of it. Meanwhile Roberta arrives in the ruins of the Yellow Flag and asks Bao for all the stores she needs to wage a war. Rock likens Garcia to Yukio Washimine and Garcia and Fabiola reveal that their intention was to only have Rock help them find Roberta.

Thoughts:

Though this was a “TV edit” it’s been one of the things that I’ve been waiting for since it was announced almost a year ago, and it didn’t really disappoint with the slight exception of how a few scenes were handled. But aside from that it was still good as I find that for me Black Lagoon works a bit better when animated, even though I like Rei Hiroe’s art. Given that this is a TV edit leaves me wondering just how much will be included or uncensored in the official release as well.

It was good to hear a remix of MELL’s Red Fraction for the opening though how Revy centric the opening itself was, was kind of surprising as this arc looks to be more about Roberta with the OVA’s sub-title named after her. The english credits in it make me think that it was made to be licensed from the start, hopefully Funimation will be able to get the same voice actors that were used in the series for the dub when it comes to that. The plot so far to it looks pretty good so far as well, even though it can be summed up as Roberta going around avenging her master’s death it’s still got that level of depth with the likes of why he was assassinated, so things look off to a good start so far.

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