Black Lagoon

May 17, 2015

Tired of the same ol’ life? Tired of the mundane everyday routine? Tired of what life is supposed to be about as dictated by society and culture? Well, I guess most of us have been brought up to believe in such and to enter the rat race. Go to college. Get a degree. Graduate. Find a job. Get paid. Work for life. Then die. Forgive me if I have omitted a lot in between but really, I don’t think you want to be bored over such unrelated details. Because when you really find out the dark truth of humans and how they run things, are you able to face the system? Are you willing to drop all your ideals and what you believed for and step into the dark side? Well, if you have lost faith in humanity in general, then I am sure you will find yourself comfortable with Black Lagoon. A place where death is only a heartbeat away and survival hinges on every miniscule decision to make. So are you willing to take the plunge and join the legions of those who do not follow the norms of society but their guts and instincts for survival? For our main character in this anime, he doesn’t really have much of a choice. Forced into a situation beyond his control, what has a normal salaryman got to do when even his own company abandons him in a pirate hijacking attempt? Time to kick out those sugar coated beliefs and join these guys. Who cares anyway? For all you know, it might have been the best decision ever made.

Episode 1
Rokuro Okajima couldn’t have wished for a more eventful life. A lowly salaryman, often kicked around by his superiors. Oh yeah. Harsh reality. And then the ship he is on got hijacked by pirates. They take an important CD from him and although the ship goes free with conditions, he is taken hostage. Yeah. Life sucks. Dutch contacts Balalaika that they’ve got the goods. Asashi Industries, the company that Rock (our salaryman’s given nickname) works, learns about this and they’re discussing about how the Russian mafia is gaining ground in the waters of South East Asia for illegal trade and such. Because the CD hasn’t reached them yet, they find this is a good opportunity to take it back because it would be scandalous if its contents are revealed. This case has been left to Kageyama to handle. Every action he takes, he will be responsible. Dutch isn’t happy that Revy has taken this Japanese guy as hostage. Her intention is to make extra cash and hold him for ransom. However Dutch wonders if she is going to be the negotiator or has their telephone number or even a bank account to transfer the money. She becomes upset and starts shooting. Thank God the shots missed. Dutch takes him up for a smoke. He talks to him that they are just delivery boys and are in the midst of a delivery. They have their priorities and although the things they do may be in foul of the law, it’s what they do for a living. Rock starts to have sympathy for the pirates because Dutch feels more trustworthy than his corporate colleagues. They stop by a town made up of mercenaries, hookers, junkies and convicts. Yeah. Everyone has a gun. Rock learns their other ‘different’ member, Benny is from a college in Florida but went into trouble with the FBI and mafia for playing with fire. That’s when Revy saved him. Because Revy mocks his drinking skills, Rock takes up the challenge. Don’t underestimate his social drinking skills. Dutch learns from Balalaika that there is trouble coming their way. From a Chinese mafia she caught, Shinginan’s Wan Taikei has sent assassins to kill them.

Speaking of which, the mercenaries are here to kill them. They literally kill everyone in the pub! Of course Revy and co are still alive. She shows us why she is called Two Hand Revy as she jumps into action and pumps bullets into the mercenaries. She makes Lara Croft look like a baby. And she’s smiling. Eventually they flee the place and back to their ship. The mercenary captain is happy that there is someone they can go after. He has been looking for someone with full of fight. As Benny tries to contact Asashi Industries, Dutch tells Rock that they will be rendezvousing with Balalaika. If negotiations for his release don’t go well, they will leave him at some island. Rock isn’t happy and wants to be taken along. After they dragged him into this mess, there is no way he is going to be left stranded. Kageyama is on the line but he tells Rock that the CD no longer matters. It contains plans to build nuclear capabilities for a certain country. He wants him to disappear into the South China Seas. He will be promoted and everyone will be at his funeral. Goodbye. As Rock is reeling from the shock (I don’t think the vomiting is from the drinking hangover), an assault helicopter attacks them. It’s the captain. However he won’t easily kill them and will toy with them for a while. Rock becomes a coward and wants to get off instead of fighting back. This pisses off Revy a lot but the most frustrated one is Rock as his whole life everyone has been telling him what to do. He’s not going to take this suffering anymore.

Episode 2
Rock is visibly upset because he knows his company has sent mercenaries to kill him. Dutch and Benny start to ponder something strange. The helicopter could have made mincemeat out of them but instead is just following them at a distance. And then it stops dead in its tracks near a sunken ship. They soon realize that they have entered the mangrove waterways and ahead is a dead end. They’re trapped. The only way is back where they came from and this means facing them in a death match. Rock is panicking that they should call the police but he gets punched to cool his head. Nothing is solved if they’re panicking. Revy wonders if they should wait till they run out of fuel but knowing they are the mercenary type, they’ll come finish them. Rock then has an idea. Let’s play chicken. He might sound insane with his theory in making them fly but what else choice to they have? Making their way back, Revy fires the first shots so the captain fires back with heat seeking missiles. Rock fires the flare as chaff. Next, not only they use the sunken ship as a shield, it also serves as a platform for them to soar close to the helicopter in which Dutch unleashes his torpedoes. It hit captain right in the face! He got f*cked! Rock doing the middle finger to him for this victory! The ship might be messed up but at least everyone else is alright. Rock is out cold but he has that satisfied look on his face. When they meet up with Balalaika and hand over the disk, she hands it back to Kageyama and will talk about the details at the hotel. Rock won’t go back with his company because he was told he is already dead, right? So be it. Now that he is no longer an employee or hostage, where is he to go? Revy hints there is a sailor opening on a certain ship. I think he knows what it is. He’ll take it. And so Rock in his first pirate operation, trying to make a huge liner with polite gentleman words? They’re not going to listen till Revy fires her RPG and her fires her foul language! That’s the way. Kageyama returns to his home and from the looks of it, he doesn’t care about his family problems. Only about his stocks.

Episode 3
In the lawless city of Roanapur, our delivery boy pirates are having a day off. Dutch is making a call to somebody when he is approached by Chin. Seems Chin is trying to get him to deliver his goods for him again instead of working for Balalaika. However Dutch remembers an incident where his men pulled out. He notes Balalaika has more honour than him and he isn’t going to get a second chance with them. Chin will make him regret this. Dutch summons the crew as they have a job from Donnie Yen (as in that HK actor?) to receive some package from the Vietnamese military. Of course this is a trap laid out by Chin. As they hit the seas, Revy asks about Rock’s pathetic life at work. Well, doing what subordinates do. How the heck does he put up with that f*cked up life? Everyone does it. As for Revy, she’s been doing to same thing even before this. Killing, stealing and other bad things that are more than just f*cked up. Then 6 assault ships pull up from behind. They know what’s going on. First, Dutch hits the brakes so the front 2 assault ships flanking them fire at each other. Then Revy jumps from boat to boat and kills every single one of them! Freaking awesome! Did she input some cheat code to jump like that? Chin is seen packing his stuffs and trying to run away. Unfortunately Balalaika and her men are at his doorstep. She doesn’t look happy especially about the rumours spread about her. Later Dutch gets a call from Balalaika herself and Chin has told her everything. To make sure this doesn’t happen again, she lets him hear a ‘beautiful’ explosion setting off in the background. Yeah. Chin was tied up with explosives laced all over the room. Boom! She will have a job for him soon and will contact him. Dutch then treats his crew to drinks at a bar for today’s inconvenience. Up for it?

Episode 4
There is this flashback in between the scenes. A German submarine flees its fatherland at the end of World War II. Part of their delivery mission is to return a Japanese military back to his homeland and a lieutenant colonel to Batavia (Jakarta). Along the way, there is an ally ship the captain wants to sink but the lieutenant colonel doesn’t think it will have any effect on their fatherland. However the ally ship drops sea mines and it critically hit them. They sink to the bottom of the sea. The captain addresses his men and relieves them of their duties. He is sad that they won’t be able to bring the Japanese back as he has committed suicide. Then talking to the lieutenant colonel, he seems to be clinging onto a painting as he believes it will bring hope for the future of their country. The captain regrets for dying with a man like him. He continues to speak of the end of Hitler’s empire and this only serves to upset him. He cannot take it anymore and shoots the captain. Back in present time, Dutch is leading his crew to do some treasure hunting. Benny explains the history of a German U-boat being sunk just before it reached its destination by the allies. But any untold version has an officer with a painting forcing his way onboard. What does this mean? The painting is worth millions, right? A Spanish collector into Nazi art contracted them to find this painting believed to be lost. There is hope since a French telephone company was laying cables down the sea and discovered the wreckage. Since this area has lots of countries fighting over it, nobody can make an easy go for it. That’s where they come in. So put on your scuba gears because it’s diving time. At least for Revy and Rock. As Dutch and Benny hold the fort, they see a strange ship coming and seeking for their identity. They know there isn’t supposed to be any other ships on this route and feels something suspicious. They are actually the Nazi and won’t let anybody take their treasure. Benny spots them firing a missile as Dutch quickly speeds off. Hold on tight.

Episode 5
Dutch manages to avoid the missiles and stay clear at a safe distance. All they can do now is wait and watch. Revy and Rock enter the sunken submarine. There are bones everywhere. Of course. There is a part like as though everyone had a death match with each other. Revy could guess what happened (which it does). After the lieutenant colonel killed the captain, the other crew were devastated and came in. That mad guy continued killing them until he was shot dead. Rock finds the painting but Revy wants to go pick up valuable stuffs. This trip will be a waste if they don’t bring back other things worth the money. It’s too good for fish down here. Meanwhile the commander of those Nazi guys (he looks like a joker) is giving his speech to those descending down to retrieve the treasure. Yeah. They’re close to tears to die for their land. Such jokers. Uh huh. They’re even playing their anthem… Once Revy has returned with her loot, Rock seems to have a conscience for stealing from the dead. He thinks it is not right to steal medals of these people who earned it. You think she cares about that sh*t? Now it’s her turn to lecture Mr Priest about the harsh facts of life. These are just ‘things’. The only thing that makes it worth is its monetary value. Money is more powerful than God. She learnt it the hard way. She was beaten up by cops for something she didn’t do. Then she found out it wasn’t God she was supposed to cling on. It was money and guns. Because for some reason, God and love were always sold out. She also warns him that if he tells others about this story, she’ll kill him. The Nazis enter the submarine. What are they going to do? Isn’t it obvious? Kill them all! During the gunfire, Rock drops the painting and the Nazis get it and flee back up. Revy and Rock chase them and since they don’t know who they’re up against, the ship prepares to fire back. If not for Rock pulling her back down, she could have been dead. The Nazis think the grave robbers are dead and go away. Dutch picks them up and although they’re not happy those skinheads got one up against them, this isn’t over yet. They’re going to turn this Nazi party into a bloody party.

Episode 6
Our crew are wondering somebody must be filthy rich to sponsor those Nazis with lots of sophisticated weapons just for a painting. It’s like their employer too. So while the Nazis are drunk and let their guard down, Dutch and Revy ride their little raft up to their ship and start killing everybody! No mercy! Revy is pissed. Don’t mess with her. They can’t. Because they’re dead. I think they’re all drunk to even fight back because the duo are just super fast. Revy is even going to kill the innocent ship crew. She doesn’t care about those not relevant to it all. Dutch had to stop her. He lectures her about using her emotions to shoot. It is fine if she decides on that but if she screws up, he will die too and in no f*cking hell way he is going to let that happen. He thinks something must have happened with Rock because she is always like that with new guys. The same happened when they picked up Benny. With Revy back in her groove, she kills off some dumb big wrestler Nazi who is jus yapping how great his golden gun is. Just one bullet enough for the job. Meanwhile the commander calls his boss and from the sound of it, the boss isn’t panicking and knows he has lost. Then here comes Dutch. Game over. The boss praises Dutch and it seems he is the one who hired them too to make them clash. Dutch knows that it is not the painting that is important but what is inside. At the end of the war, the Nazis pooled all their resources, gathered their capital and created a file with all their signature and account numbers. They are placed into 4 paintings as they escaped Berlin. That painting is the last piece. Even if Dutch throws it back into the sea, the boss doesn’t need it as he is already financially successful. The commander is upset he has been used and betrayed but as told, he should have known better. Dutch and the boss exchange ‘pleasantries’ before the call is ended. See you in hell. With Revy coming in, she wants to make a bet. She throws the commander a gun. He takes it and is about to kill himself but chickens out and fires back at them. Nothing. Not loaded. They knew it. They are all the same. No balls. Time to finish this sh*t. Blam! As they take a smoke while waiting to be retrieved, Revy talks to Dutch about Rock. He belongs to the other side. He is not like them. She cannot partner a guy like him.

Episode 7
Dutch makes Rock run several errands with Revy. But will they get along? Not his problem. So as they go from places to places, they finally stop at the church. Even the sisters are so badass they carry guns. What religion do you believe in? They are supposed to get their stocks but it seems only a grenade launcher is not available. Revy is not pleased and whips out her gun and has a standoff with Sister Eda. Meanwhile Rock is just calm, sipping his tea and talking to old Sister Yolanda. He might seem being casual but he seems to be hinting the church has been doing something illegal under the radar. Something about illegal drug trade routes. Because the mafia hasn’t found the culprit yet, it could mean there is a blind spot in a place where they shouldn’t have to look. Like a religious connection and proper NGO members. Rock also has very keen observation on their activity like how the weapons leaving and entering this place doesn’t match up. He hints their company and Balalaika’s might be on friendly terms but it doesn’t mean they’re working together. Yolanda is impressed and passes him. They’ll give him the launcher. Yolanda commends Dutch for having a good eye and that Revy could learn a thing from him instead of swinging her gun around to get what she wants. At the food stalls, Revy is still sucking and you know why. Rock says he won’t apologize anymore. There is nothing to apologize. This riles her up. She points her gun. He dares her. She fires. But his hand was fast enough to grab her hand and thus miss. He fights back and has had enough. He tells her off that she is supposed to be a wild pirate but turns out to be a greedy person who scavenges from dead bodies. All she thinks is about money and does she have no pride? Sure, he doesn’t understand her life. But how much this she understand his? There is always suffering in life and since she has no intention of understanding that, she turns into a tragic heroine. That is the most cowardly thing about her. Go ahead, kill him. It will be proof of that. She lands a big punch in his face. He makes her remember why he is here. His bosses conveniently cut away his life to protect their money and place to eat. When she picked him up, he felt something blew through him. Something snapped. His rat race life was meaningless. It all doesn’t matter now. She taught him that. Now she is acting like the ones who betrayed him. It descends into a children’s argument when the local police picks them up. They’re on the take too and they don’t care what they do as long as they do it in places that cannot be seen. So it’s to the station for some paper work. Revy asks Rock which side he is on. The place where he is standing. Nowhere else.

Episode 8
The job this time is to hand over a kid, Garcia Lovelace to some Colombian mafiaso buyer at a designated point. Since Revy’s temper is bad for baby-sitting (Garcia just throws food at her), I guess it is Rock’s job. At first Rock might seem not to believe Garcia and thinks he is making up stories but he is just trying to ascertain things and get more info. Seems Garcia is from one of the 13 famous families in South America. His dad is doing well in his plantations till mafia came to buy land because it was found to have rare earth. He refused and that’s when they threatened and caused trouble on his farms. He continued to resist and this is where Garcia got kidnapped. He is the only son and heir to the family. Rock suggests Dutch wait a little while before handing him to the mafia because from the information they have and Garcia’s, the cartel was lying and this means trouble. Dutch doesn’t understand something. If they have got the kid, they could have demanded a ransom and accomplished their goal instead of keeping it a secret and selling him off. Revy’s answer: They’re upset and for revenge. Dutch is going to put a little insurance on their package and calls Balalaika for help. Dutch wonders if the Lovelace household would spend personal resources to deal with this hostage situation. Rock says they only have resources to only hire a maid. Finally. The maid has come! Roberta is at Roanapur asking the locals if they know whereabouts of her fellow countrymen. Garcia explains Roberta is a klutz and was never good at anything. But he knows she is hell stronger than all of them. Revy couldn’t believe as she laughs her ass off while badmouthing all the jokes she can think of. As Garcia lacks friends, Roberta often played with him and he loved to play arm wrestling because he always won. But one day he saw her true strength. That day when the mafia came to harass his father again and they were playing arm wrestling, it was like Roberta knew they were coming and steeled herself. She was so strong he couldn’t budge. He realized she always lost to him on purpose. There is a reason why she acts like a weak maid. Meanwhile Balalaika has obtained some information on the fallen Lovelace family. She can feel trouble coming because she knows that look in Roberta’s eyes are that of a soldier. Roberta is in the bar when the Colombian mafia of the Mainsarera cartel walks in. You looking for them? They laugh when she says she wanted them to find her. But they won’t be having the last laugh because she takes out her umbrella and starts shooting.

Episode 9
So sorry for Garcia who had to see the red light district of Roanapur. Not a sight for kids. He is sure Roberta will come save him and while Revy won’t do the same for Rock if he gets kidnapped, despite their character, Rock feels they are worth it to stick around. They just walk into the bar when the action starts. Roberta blasting away the baddies with her shotgun hidden in her umbrella and using her hard suitcase metal as shield. Cool! See them fly! Uhm, didn’t the bar master recently remodelled this place? Our Lagoon guys are caught in the crossfire and Dutch wants to leave Garcia here since they don’t want to get involved and there is no more money in this. Too bad the exit is being blocked by the gunfight. The cartel realizes the kid is here instead of being delivered. Garcia and Roberta reunite but the kid is afraid after seeing her killer moves. He never knew she could kill a person. Roberta and Rock’s eyes meet. She is going to kill him but Garcia doesn’t want her to fire. That is when Revy takes Garcia as hostage and tells her to back down and if she stops shooting, she’ll get her master back home in one piece instead of seeing his brains splattered on the floor. Roberta has decided. She recites some Spanish poem which is the family’s creed. She fires her RPG and Revy almost takes a direct hit but she is out cold and has a concussion. Dutch takes her and run. Garcia pleads to Rock to take him too. He doesn’t like this Roberta. Those words shock her. The cartel remembers who she is. She was from the Colombian Revolutionary Army and every drug cartel to Interpol has been on her trail since. They’re going to kill her and get that fat bounty reward. No can’t do. Because Roberta drops all the grenades from her skirt! OMFG! She keeps it there?! Enough for the place to blow up. Rock has a feeling she is not dead and can feel she is coming for them. It’s like she is a killer robot from the future. Only difference is that Schwarzenegger isn’t here. Haha. So funny that you can’t even laugh! Better believe it. Because here she comes out from the fire! The entire bar is destroyed and the best part is that her outfit is still clean and pressed! Balalaika knows there is trouble and summons her entire Russian mafia to war. They owe Dutch that much and need to repay the favour. Roberta is hot on their heels. She even has the strength to grab Dutch’s hand with an iron grip while driving! Rock, better wake Revy up! Even if her radiator was shot, she can find another car and come crashing to wherever they are! Truly fearsome! And if cars don’t work, she runs after them on foot! Fear the killer maid! Now you believe she is a robot from the future?!

Episode 10
I don’t even know how Roberta can defy physics doing all that stuffs while the car is moving but what the heck, it’s cool! After the car crashes, Revy wakes up. She’s grumpy. Why not? She missed all that action. Thankfully the maid is still alive for her to go give some payback. The women faceoff. Roberta says the taboo word that makes Revy tick: You’re a coward. And so begins another great gunfight although Revy got hit once. While our guys are reduced the balls-less cowards staying inside the car, the safest place for now since the ladies are tearing up the pier. Really. Dutch even joked they won’t get out of this no matter how many lives they have. Garcia gets out to yell to Roberta and give her motivation to win. The fighting continues till they are exhausted and at point blank in each other’s face. Balalaika and her men arrive and she tells them to stop wasting their energy. Since they won’t let up, she orders her snipers to shoot away their guns. A friendly reminder. She is not asking them. This is an order. Garcia wants Roberta to come home. Balalaika starts revealing Roberta’s bloodied past as a hardcore terrorist much to her dismay and Garcia’s surprise. Roberta didn’t want to deceive him but there are some truths that are better off not known. She joined the revolutionary as she really believed revolution would come. Therefore she went from places to place and killed anyone including women and children for her ideals. In the end she found out they were just guarding the cocaine fields for the mafia and the revolutionary worked with the cartels. She was disillusioned and left the army. She was picked up by her late father’s friend who is no other than Garcia’s father. Garcia doesn’t care for all that. Roberta is her family. That terrorist is dead and buried somewhere along the way and has nothing to do with this Roberta he knows. Everybody is going to settle for this happy ending but not Revy. She won’t put up with this sh*t. It’s settled. They’ll fight to their hearts content without weapons. Roberta tricks her with the oldest trick in the book: Your shoelaces are untied. Then a swift uppercut to her chin. And the fist fight begins. The guys are taking bets but Rock wants to stop them. Can he? Go ahead. If you can. At least you have to hand it to him he had the balls to go try. Like the wuss he is, he backs down when the angry girls tell him to stay the f*ck out. They’re not done with each other yet. Many cigars later (from Balalaika anyway), is this fight ever going to end? It’s getting boring. A final punch to each other and they’re out. It’s a draw. Garcia picks up Roberta and won’t let anyone help because she is his house maid. Roberta has a final request and wants him to pick up her glasses. Why need it even though it is fake? It is what she needs to become the Roberta he knows. Rock is curious about Balalaika’s mafia. They seem like from the military with those sharp skills. They are ex-military from Russia’s special forces and have enough experience and killing machine mentality and whatever it takes to survive hell.

Episode 11
Dutch and co have got an emergency job from one of their usual clients, Mr Chang. It all began when some dumb Bulgarian tried to make a quick buck in selling weapons in his territory. Of course he was given some ‘warning’ but greatly misunderstood it as a crazy joke. What they got from him is a suitcase containing papers of a terrorist group, Protectors of the Islamic Front (POTIF). These guys are the ones responsible for the bombing of a US embassy in Roanapur. So Chang went to tell that group that they dropped something but before he could tell what it would cost them, they were attacked. Soon, his office got bombed. Now here is the job. Dutch will leave for Basilan in the Philippines to deliver this suitcase to his CIA contacts. There will be another 4 groups leaving at the same time to various destinations as insurance. Before the talk can end, Revy spots a few guys outside. Oh sh*t! They’re firing the RPG! Get down! Looks like Dutch can’t get out of this deal since he will have to bear the repair cost. Revy and Chang go guns akimbo to make a clear path. Meanwhile Ibraha and Masahiro Takenaka from POTIF are discussing the possible routes that the suitcase will go. Takenaka is relying on his intuition on where it will be. As he waits at the airport, a fellow Japanese tourist thinks he looks familiar. He pretends to be an often mistaken popular Japanese comedian but in actual fact his face is on the police’s wanted list. POTIF’s boat crew is seen chasing after our Lagoon guys. Dutch will be the decoy while Revy and Rock take the suitcase to the destination. So when Takenaka receives report of Dutch’s movements, his guts feeling tell him it is not possible and the rendezvous point will be in Basilan. Revy and Rock reach the island by day time and it seems Takenaka contacts them first and he plays it very cool and smooth like as though he is their contact. However he messes up on the password so Revy knows he is fake. They start shooting at each other but Rock got kidnapped. That’s when all the militants start descending on Revy. Too much to handle? Shenhua and Leigharch who are the real contacts help pick her up. Revy wants to finish the job but their mission is to send her to the base. Revy reminds them Rock is the one holding the papers and it means they’ll be ‘dancing’ before their boss if they come empty handed. You know what this means. The girls hate each other so much that they’re ready to slice the other’s head off. Just don’t bloodied the jeep, okay? Rock is taken back to the military’s base and it seems the suitcase is empty. Takenaka is going to have a long slow interrogation with him but Rock has his mouth sealed tightly.

Episode 12
The Japs talk about how similar and yet different they are, their beliefs and everything. Ibraha cannot stand anymore of this idle talk that doesn’t go anywhere and threatens Rock to reveal the documents. Takenaka continues telling some revolutionary story about some guy who continued preaching to change the world even if nobody listened. He never stopped because he gambled his life on this back then. Since Rock doesn’t say a word, Takenaka gives him until tomorrow morning before being taken to the firing squad. Ibraha disagrees because every second counts. Takenaka says he is just a delivery boy and has no reason to be loyal. Otherwise, they can just find the other woman. Speaking of Revy, she and Shenhua are staking outside their camp. Ready for some action? Soon Ibraha confronts Takenaka that Rock is the real key because the other duds are fakes. He thinks Takenaka is trying to change the subject but he tells him that the squad they sent in to hunt for Revy hasn’t reported back yet. Why take so long? It only can mean one thing. She hasn’t been found. Oh, you don’t have to. Here she is. Revy shooting them down like flies and Shenhua slicing and mincing everyone like meat. They bust in to save Rock and escape. Leigharch is their getaway driver but I think the Irish can only drive in such a speedy and reckless manner when he is high on drugs. Yeah. Something about Liverpool and Klingons. Don’t ask. Just drive! The girls are having fun and think the enemies are easy since Rock didn’t break. Yeah. Nobody gives a sh*t on how depressed he is.

Revy and Shenhua even play a game to see who to take out the chasing pack. Shenhua won and we see how cool this chick slicing off everyone’s head with her machete strung to a rope. Of course it’s Revy’s turn to shoot. There goes Leigharch hallucinating some nudist beach and Playboy playmates. They are safely through the DMZ as impatient Ibraha becomes blinded by his goal and orders his men to go after them (which is of course like a death wish). Takenaka tries to calm him down and whatever he is doing won’t bring his son back (must have died in some conflict in the Middle East). They have a job to do. Ibraha is still upset about bringing down America and since he isn’t thinking rationally anymore, Takenaka shoots him and orders the enemy to retreat and regroup to another base. When Revy and co reach the delivery point, Rock remembers the briefcase. He left it behind! Don’t worry. The important papers are in Revy’s cleavage! Just a little sweaty. Shenhua and Rock are in shock. Why the heck did they have to go save this wuss kid if she had it along? Or else they wouldn’t have come. The CIA guys give their thanks to them after retrieving it and they tell her about some police chief back at Buffalo Hill. Revy is no happy to hear it. They hope she doesn’t misunderstand since their job is to destroy enemies of the State and not paid to chase criminals as well. With Revy now in foul mood, when Rock wants to thank her, she takes it out on him that she’ll never pull this sh*t for him again and if he wants to be saved next time, he better pray to God.

The Second Barrage

After that unsatisfying ending, which isn’t really an ending if you look it at anyhow, justice is served with another season. After taking just a season’s break, we’re back with more action, blood, gunshots and violence. That is why we watch this show, right?

Episode 13
Sergeant Boris from Hotel Moscow (Balalaika’s main company) calls Rock to inform their scheduled meeting is off. Dutch and Revy can tell it could be those murders. There have been 6 murdered Russian corpses found and it is like somebody is trying to target Hotel Moscow. Balalaika is in a meeting with the rest of the factions that hold a fragile balance over Roanapur, Chang, Verrochio and Abrego. Balalaika isn’t agreeing to this cooperation so Chang mentions that a couple of his agents were hit too. They think it is some outside force and decide to send out a warning together to prevent bloodshed. Balalaika is only here to send a clear message on their stand: Hotel Moscow will show no mercy for those against them. Revy and Rock are at the bar discussing about this. There is a bounty of $50,000 offered by Balalaika but the problem is they don’t know who it is. Because they will know if it’s an outsider. Since they don’t it means somebody is protecting it. Eda comes in and after a few insults to Revy, she lets them know that this place is going to be a great gathering of mafia and free lance assassins. Also, this morning a bar of Hotel Moscow is bombed and another subordinate killed, you bet pissed Balalaika is going to war. She is at the site as the local police tells her a statement from a witness who barely survived. A pair of young twins in fancy clothes came in and took out a business card believed to be from Balalaika’s company and claimed they meet guests on her behalf. Later when Balalaika’s collectors came into the place, one of the twins wanted to play with them. The collectors instantly recognize them when he took out an axe. He was clobbered. His sister took out a machine gun and started shooting everyone with no survivors. They seem to enjoy this. Also, although they were Caucasian, they weren’t speaking English and greeted each other in weird words. The twins, Hansel and Gretel are back at their place and their supposed employers and babysitters aren’t happy they’re draining blood out from a corpse, which just makes everything totally sick. Of course the incestuous twins don’t like to be scolded even if they’re always smiling. Balalaika calls Rock for his opinion on those strange words. At first he couldn’t put his finger on it, that it could be European. When he remembers Dracula, he clearly remembers it has something to do with vampires. So now you know why the twins love blood so much, eh?

Episode 14
The twins pack up and leave. They seem ‘happy’. After Balalaika realizes the kids are from Romania, everything starts to fall into place. First she nabs some video porn guy, Rowan and he almost sh*t in his pants as he gave them 250 kiddie porn videos featuring Romanian twins. As I understand, the twins were sold to the black market by institutions that couldn’t afford them after the Romanian revolution. As children of a dead dictator, they were made into toys for sick perverts. Something like finishing off their victims as a form of amusement was part of it. Balalaika proposes to Chang to team up and teach those guys a lesson. It seems Verrochio is the one behind this mess because he is panicking and beating up his subordinate to a pulp when he suggests to make it look like they took care of the guys who messed with this city. And then the twins show up. Macaroni before borscht? Time to party. Eda calls Revy as the game is about to begin. Chang and his men surround Verrochio’s place but the party has already started. This party is going to get quite chaotic. The twins after slaughtering everybody make a run for it. Chang’s men were unfortunate to get in the crossfire. Only Chang was skilful enough to avoid their gunfire. Meanwhile all the bounty hunters are waiting at designated spots in hoping to catch their target. However Eda senses something amiss because Balalaika, the one with the biggest grudge isn’t here. With Revy they discuss the possible places where they could be. When a sedan car believed to be carrying the twins, they start firing all they’ve got. They realized they’ve been fooled when the twins turn out to be local orphans in disguised. The real twins paid them off to impersonate them and they paid the price. As they are traversing through the dark alleys, Balalaika’s men are already in position as they attack and retreat to lead the twins to a predetermined location. All is going well till Eda shows up before the twins. Gretel asks how much the bounty is on their head and offers to give all of the money they took from Verrochio’s office in exchange that she never saw them. Eda is going to give into temptation when Revy tells her not to panic. They’ll take all the rewards and kill them! Once Balalaika knows Eda and Revy are disrupting their plan, she gives the green light to crush them.

Episode 15
As the gunfight starts, the Russian guys are here and start firing. Both sides are forced to retreat. The twins plan to confuse the Russians and split up. When only one of the twins is seen chasing, Balalaika could tell what is going on and wants her men to continue with the plan, play their game of being confused and into thinking they have the upper hand. Revy and Eda start blaming each other for the screw up. But after realizing they didn’t make a single cent out of this, they split up and go home. Suddenly Gretel pops up from the darkness and holds Eda hostage. She’s been waiting for this moment for her to be alone. She wants her to be their getaway after her brother kills Balalaika. Speaking of which, there he is confronting her. Although he couldn’t kill a single man he chased, he starts mocking the ones he previously killed. She is not cowed and in fact wants him to apologize for his mischief before he dies. She makes him kneel when a sniper shoots his knee. He is about to throw his axe but his hand was shot off. Balalaika would love to torture him to death on behalf of her fallen comrades but that is not to her taste. She will just watch him die. The Lagoon guys become the getaway for Gretel as she has them him a lot. Rock babysits her as she sings to him in an angelic voice. She can tell he is a good person. It isn’t long before Dutch gets a call from Balalaika. You know what this means, right? They got to do what they’ve got to do. Balalaika has got the Vietnam navy sealing the routes to the south seas so their only chance of escape is going to Bighorn Elroy. Gretel talks to Rock about their twisted and tormented past. They and the other orphans became slaves for the secret police. They realize something when they had to kill other orphans. The adults were laughing. They were laughing. They thought this was how the world works and so they went on a killing spree. Kill or be killed. Rock wonders if she is sad if her brother is dead. She isn’t and she takes out her wig. Hansel is Gretel? Or is it the other way round? Or they’re both? Anyhow, they’re always together and eternal. Rock is so sad to hear all this that he hugs her and believes there is still happiness in this world for her. As a reward, she shows her scarred body (or offer him kiddie sex?!) and this makes Rock sick. He couldn’t take it. Now it is Revy’s turn to babysit her and she isn’t showing any sympathy as she punches her. She warns she will kill her if she screws with him. Benny had to console Rock and tell him the hard facts. There will be no happy ending for the twins. After Dutch hands over Gretel to Elroy, he shoots her right in the head. Sorry. Hotel Moscow paid him well. His son is in South Africa and has cancer. He knows it will be the end of his job. It was his last anyway. He is tired of walking the tightrope. Dutch wants a canvas to cover the corpse but Rock doesn’t think it is needed. She looks fine sleeping and watching the sky and sea.

Episode 16
Janet Bhai AKA Jane seems to be in trouble with the gangsters. After they shoot her computer guy, they tell her to get it done within 48 hours. Then I guess the next day, stress got to her so she dumps the PC monitor on one of the guards and makes her escape. Meanwhile Revy thought the church had air-conditioner in this heat wave. Too bad it’s spoiled. Thus she and Eda start complaining and b*tching about things. Till Jane knocks on their door to plead for help as she is not from this town. But Eda will not help her till the gangsters led by Mr Elvis start firing a warning shot. It almost hit Eda and destroyed Revy’s alcohol glass. Pissed? Yeah. The heat must have got to their heads. They start firing and Elvis and his men won’t let up either. Lobos who is with Elvis tries to calm things down that this is a misunderstanding but the girls don’t give a sh*t and continue exchanging gunfire. Even the new young amateur priest, Ricardo AKA Rico joins in with his machine gun as well as Yolanda with her golden gun! Elvis and his men are forced to retreat. As they hear Jane out, she explains those guys are from some cartel and hired her to make counterfeit money. The problem stems from their different taste in making the fake money. Jane goes on ranting about the technical stuffs and her passion of being a perfectionist of making counterfeit money that just pisses off impatient Eda and Revy. Real trouble began when she went over the deadline and they shot her operator who was supposed to manage online information to the other members. All their efforts were wasted. Though she wants out of here, she’s in luck that Revy is her getaway girl but the price she offers for selling the counterfeit plates do not interest them. Try looking elsewhere. Before Jane leaves, Eda strikes a deal with her for a place she could stay for a meagre donation money. Meanwhile Elvis is in hospital and he can’t wait to get back to Florida after this sh*t is done. He has his man, Russell the cowboy to handle it. Russell walks into the bar to recruit people to capture Jane alive (he knows where she is staying). Among the mercenaries include Shenhua, Frederica Sawyer the Cleaner and a couple of new faces, Claude Torchweaver and Rotton the Wizard. After seeing each other’s weapons, they all go out to get the job done. Well, the bill is on Russell, right? Yeah, they’re making fun of this cowboy. Eda, Revy and Rock are waiting outside Jane’s inn. Eda is sure something interesting will happen.

Episode 17
As they wait, Eda explains the scenario that is going to happen. A bunch of scoundrels will be looking for Jane in this inn. They’ll start firing into the room but of course it will be the next room that Jane is in as Eda leaked some false information. The gunfire will startle her as she goes out to check. When she sees a bunch of guys before her, she’ll lock back the door. The room she is in is bulletproof, although it will only hold for a while. Once the baddies bust in, they’ll find the room empty. Because Jane would have seen ‘signs that will guide her to escape death’. Revy and Rock don’t buy her story and are going home. Suddenly Jane is seen running past them. So it actually happened, huh? Since the baddies are hot on her tail, Eda tries to make a deal with her if she wants to be saved. No choice, Jane is forced to accept her deal. The baddies confront Eda and tell her Jane is their prey but she shoots them seeing this is her million dollar job. Rock becomes the best getaway driver while the ladies exchange gunfire with the chasing pack. Shenhua and some of the mercenaries realize who they’re dealing with. They want Russell to increase their reward many times fold or else he can just use his men to get the job done. Eda is confident that Jane’s getaway will be Dutch’s torpedo boat but as Rock points out, it is not in the dock. Her perfect plan is ruined… Seems Dutch and Benny are away for an emergency job. Lobos calls Dutch to apologize for the misunderstanding of his fellow countryman who doesn’t know about the law of this place. Jane is locking herself in the storeroom trying to get access to her bank account but thanks to the layer of security, she is unsuccessful. The baddies are outside the office and thought they could do an ambush. But Revy and Eda are ready for them and another gunfight begins. Too bad their car got destroyed in the process. Rock tries to take Jane to escape via backdoor but Sawyer is waiting for them. Jane is freaking scared sh*t. Who wouldn’t when someone swings her chainsaw like that! I don’t know how long the metal cabinet can hold out. Jane runs off on her own but encounters Claude. This guy loves burning things down. So back in she comes. Revy comes to their rescue to chase away Sawyer as Rock and Jane make their escape to the rooftop. If it is not bad that Eda is using their weapons to be sold, Claude is burning the dock exit. Burn! The worst possible timing when Revy faces off with Shenhua. She cooks up a plan with Eda to draw out Shenhua. Rock and Jane are on the roof. What’s his plan now? He’s thinking about it.

Episode 18
Eda is unsure if she has shot Shenhua. When she takes a peep out of the window, her neck got wrapped by Shenhua’s ropes. This is just a distraction so Sawyer could run up to the roof and then cut the ladders. Revy goes after her and Shenhua knows Eda is just buying time to delay the inevitable. But Revy didn’t go after Sawyer. She went around the other side while Eda was distracting her to attack. Although Revy got hit by some of her daggers, Eda was able to pump some bullets into Shenhua and let the Taiwanese free fall downwards. Dutch is rushing back and he is freaking pissed to see his dock being destroyed. Sawyer confronts trapped Rock and Jane. What now? Rock is trying to lead her to a certain place to step where the wood is weak and she’ll drop down. However Sawyer starts ranting about her cleaning job and missing the spot she I supposed to step. The fire below makes some high octane explode. This causes Sawyer to drop her voice machine. Once she realizes it is gone, she panics and throws a tantrum! She throws away her chainsaw and sits there depressed… That’s it? So they don’t need Eda and Revy coming to her rescue even if they’re this late? But the dock is crumbling. Then Wizard pops up making his grand introduction but Revy just shoots him. That’s it for him?! Revy and co survive the collapsed dock. Dutch just arrived as they jump onto his boat but some of the baddies made it on board. Wizard survives thanks to his bullet proof vest. Shenhua is alive too but barely. With such wounds, she knows she has not long to live. Wizard becomes a gentleman and picks her up to see a doctor. They see Sawyer alive too and do the same.

Elvis has become impatient and wants to summon his army but Lobos warns him about starting a war with the Chinese and Russians on this land. Dutch turns his boat into a rodeo ride to fling some of the baddies off while Revy and Eda hold on tight. Jane is taken to Benny’s room and she is disheartened to find her bag is missing. Her very important PC is in it. Without it she can’t do anything. As the data of plates is uploaded on the web, all that is left is to collect some data around the world and create it. Because her comrade is dead and the password changes every day, she can’t get it out. Rock says they’ve been paid by the church. The problem is Eda. If she ever finds out the plates are gone, you don’t know how scary she’ll be… Jane wants to use Benny’s computer but he won’t let anybody use it. Unless he himself is doing it then it is a different story. Revy faces off with Claude while Eda takes on Russell who is trying to destroy the engine room. Because Claude’s flamethrower is blocking Revy’s vision, she wants another rodeo ride. In great timing, Claude is thrown off as Revy puts a bullet into him. He explodes in the sky like a rocketman. Russell surrenders and laments how he will contact Elvis. Eda assures Lobos will take care of it. And him. Russell believes he has seen Eda somewhere before in Washington DC. He thinks she was with some senator discussing about some deal. Eda denies all that and then hints she is from the CIA and shoots him. Benny breaks the code and wants his reward. A great passionate kiss from Jane!!! OMFG! The most f*cking romantic scene ever in this series!!! I guess computer nerds get attracted to each other, she calling him cute and sexy. Want a second round? With everything fine now, they are soon approaching the port and Eda believes everything is all right with the world. Yeah. There’s always a God when it goes your way.

Episode 19
Rock is going back to Japan. No, it’s not like he missed his old home or got kicked out. It’s business. With Revy, Rock is Balalaika’s translator (English and Japanese, not Russian) as she speaks to a local yakuza as she intends to setup a base in Tokyo. The head of the Washimine group, Tsugio Bando agrees to cooperate seeing that they want to expand their power too and despise the Kousa Council. Balalaika demonstrates by blowing up one of Kousa’s clubs. As Rock and Revy chill out, Rock is in a dilemma about his own country. It is a place he knows well but yet he doesn’t fit in. His family doesn’t get along and he is like the black sheep. For once Revy sounded like she cared. I mean, she tells him to go see his parents since he is here because there will come a time he won’t see them anymore. He made it this far without stealing or killing and it is not like he is arrested or something. At the shooting gallery, the stall owner accuses Revy of cheating and refuses to give her prize. She starts scolding in English! A fight could have erupted if not for Ginji Matsuzaki stepping in. Revy doesn’t give a sh*t and is ready to fight him till Yukio suggests everyone to cool down with a drink. Rock seconds that. I suppose Revy must be disgusted seeing Rock and Yukio in their typical polite Japanese conversation. Meanwhile Hotel Moscow raids and kills several Kousa guys. They didn’t know what hit them. Balalaika is seen talking to one of the Russian bosses, Laptev in the area and she isn’t fond in cleaning up his sh*t. He threatens her but you think a corrupted bastard like him can scare her? Bando goes to talk to Ginji who is manning a stall at the festivals. Better than selling drugs and women, right? They talk about the old times when they had influence. The previous head of Washimine and Kousa took each other as brothers, the reason they came this far. Now that they’re gone, things haven’t been going well. They’re left behind only because of their sense of obligation. Bando reveals he sought the help of the Russians and wants Ginji to come back and take up his sword again. However Ginji doesn’t feel a shred of justice in what he is doing. While Rock goes to see his parents, Revy shows off her shooting skills to a group of young neighbourhood boys. Heck, her English accent is so thick that I can’t hear a damn thing she’s saying. She even teaches them how to die like real instead of those you see on TV! And Rock was watching it all… You know she is very embarrassed when she threatens to cut his balls and feed it to him if he ever says this to Dutch or Benny. And oh, he didn’t get to see his parents since they weren’t in.

Episode 20
Bando and Balalaika’s side are in another discussion. Because Kousa is a big group, they need to move into the next gear. Balalaika is going to do the ultimate of kidnapping Kousa’s head, which doesn’t sit well with Bando and co since all they want is just to ease the pressure of them but she’ll create a mess that will be hard for them to clean up. Balalaika reminds him that they are taking all the risks so the decision making is not in his hands. One of Bando’s wild subordinates, Chaka realizes who Revy is. He tries to flirt with her but she doesn’t give a sh*t. When Rock comes by to tell her to go back to Balalaika, he gets beaten up for interrupting. Revy just stood there until Chaka’s men come to stop everything. Revy and Rock knew about the former’s inaction because Chaka was trying to lead her to draw her gun as he had his hand on his all the time. Rock happens to bump into Yukio again. They generally talk about their families and choices. Yukio gets a call from Ginji that Bando is at their home. When Rock hears this and learns her surname is Washimine, the dots suddenly connect. She goes home to find Bando talking to Ginji about some peacekeeping council finding out about this and they’ll be thrown out of the region. Ever since their head passed on, their group wasn’t allowed to have a head unless of a direct descendent. This means Yukio is the only choice. As Bando leaves, he knows a car is tailing him and then a panic call from Yoshida that the Russians are going all out because they bombed a car in front of a police station when a Kousa guy turned himself in. Rock is very worried about the situation and asks Balalaika what if the group abandons their promise. They’ll just kill them all if it comes to that. The world will still turn. Next morning, Bando prepares his stuffs and leaves. Yoshida knows what this means and couldn’t contain his emotions. Bando throws him his gold watch and wants him to see Ginji (who is the acting head of the group) for their next move. Bando sees Balalaika and is going to kill her but obviously he was never a match. She has Rock translate bluntly to him the truth that all she wants is destruction and domination. Nothing else interests her. Rock feels sick seeing and hearing that. War is inevitable. Yukio talks to Ginji that she can’t run away from this. She will do what she has to do. If they accept her on equal terms, she will go. She asks Ginji if he would protect her and he swears his loyalty on that.

Episode 21
Balalaika was once set to enter the Olympics but she had to take part in the war at Afghanistan. After losing her second in command and the disbandment of Soviet Union, she and her little band of military continued to return to their own active military duty. Yukio is picked up by her yakuza gang from school (shocking her poor friend Maki). She initiates the next move against the Russians. They are prepared to not go down without a bloody fight. Tonight will be Ginji’s first job. Laptev is running scared when the yakuza starts firing into the restaurant. Ginji comes in to slice all his bodyguards. The sword is faster than the gun. Because Laptev the chicken couldn’t speak Japanese, he is deemed useless to find Balalaika’s whereabouts as Ginji cuts him. Meanwhile Rock is very worried about Yukio and wants to go save her after seeing how Balalaika works. However Revy points out their position and that despite this is Japan, how different is this place from Roanapur? Eventually she hints that she is his bodyguard for this job and will ‘do what his master wishes’. When Yukio and Yoshida get back home, they see Chaka and his men waiting for them. Chaka kills Yoshida and claims they won’t take sides that won’t make a profit. Whoever it is, if they have Yukio as a present, nothing bad will happen to them. Yukio tries to run but bumps into one of them. He gets mad and beats her up! Chaka then beats him up for messing with the ‘present’. By the time Rock and Revy arrive, only Yoshida’s dead body is on the floor. They don’t think Hotel Moscow did this because Yukio would have been dead too. Ginji just returned and almost sliced Revy but sensed she had no gunpowder. He goes off on his own but Rock deduces this must have been some doing by their own men. They kidnapped Yukio knowing Ginji will come rescue her even though it is a trap. Based on the footprints, there are many of them. Ginji might not stand a chance alone but what if he has a gunslinger by his side? And so they hijack a car and head to the bowling centre where Yukio is held captive. Ginji doesn’t understand why Rock is doing this. He believes she doesn’t belong to this side and hates it when kids who should grow up normally can’t.

Episode 22
Ginji and Revy turn up in a cool fashion to slaughter those cowards. Chaka must be having a fun time sending his scared men into the fight while he escapes with Yukio. But he slips down the stairs due to some cleaning detergent. Courtesy of Rock. He knocks him out with a bowling pin and takes Yukio along with him. Nobody gets out alive as Revy kills everybody in this hell. Some of Chaka’s men are fed up with him so he shoots and kills them. Revy is disgusted of his ways but Chaka wants to have a gunfight with her. She plays dirty and kicks him first and won’t fight a third-rate guy like him. She leads him to where Ginji is waiting. Chaka thinks his gun is faster but Ginji’s sword slices the bullet and then he cuts off his hands and pushes him into the pool. How can you swim without them? Meanwhile Yukio corrects Rock’s misunderstanding that she has been dragged into all this. In fact, she is the centre of it. Now that she has succeeded to become deputy of the Washimine group, he is her enemy. Yukio continues explaining the position her group is in and the reason she chose this life instead of being forced into it just to keep the order. Rock argues Bando and Ginji fought to keep her out of this life and forced to live with a burden she doesn’t have to carry but Yukio believes all this would not have happened had she stood there sooner. The more he argues, then she just snaps back at him he can say all that because he is staying in the twilight. What else can she do but fight for them? Rock remembers Revy’s story and feels nothing has changed. He is powerless before her. Yukio asks him about his stand now. He might be seeking something for his life outside Japan but the way she looks at it, he isn’t returning to the normality of the sun or sinking deeper into the darkness. He is just hesitating in between. If he wants to save her then do it. Save her group too. He can’t right? It’s because he doesn’t actually want to save her. If he sees her die, then he loses the very last of his memories of Japan. To choose something is to leave something behind. He doesn’t want to lose anything or those he has thrown away. He wants to cling on to everything he yearns. If that’s the case, what can he save? Who can he protect? Can’t answer that back, can’t he? She should be in the same place as him but can’t help feel angry and jealous. That’s why she hates him. Once Chaka is drowned, Revy is impressed how Ginji cut the bullet. She wants him to show it to her again but Ginji stops her because he owes them both. But he hints if they’re unlucky, they’ll fight the next time. After Ginji takes Yukio, she hopes they will never meet again. Balalaika orders her men to begin the operation of eliminating everybody from Washimine.

Episode 23
Hotel Moscow begins eliminating all those from Washimine. They’re dropping like flies. Yukio goes to see Kousa’s head and it seems he doesn’t plan to make her succeed even though he set the conditions long ago. He is more concerned how she will deal with the Russians. The negotiations end when it goes nowhere. They know seeking the peacekeeping council to mediate is no use because everyone is consumed with greed. Justice is dead. They are going to create their own opportunity with their own hands. Yukio and Ginji rob a bank and escape in a van resembling the Russian’s to have the police go hot on their tail. Yukio deduces Balalaika’s fighting style isn’t like the mafia but the military. How could she have entered the country with so many weapons? By ship. Rock and Revy get another job request. Balalaika is going to talk to Kousa now. Reflecting on Yukio’s words, Rock couldn’t take it anymore. He suggests she shouldn’t ally with Kousa and should destroy them instead of Washimine as this group is already weakened. Balalaika reminds him of his position as a translator. Since he is persistent, she pins him down and points her gun right in his face. She talks about justice and that his is as rotten as hers. Revy has already drawn her guns but Boris is pointing his at her. Everyone better calm down because who knows how much longer Revy’s finger is going to give way. It’s becoming tense. Rock tries to persuade that Balalaika has nothing to lose but apparently to her it isn’t enough. He then says this entire thing is his hobby and that he is just like her. This makes her laugh like mad. Was it funny? At least this makes her put her gun away and lets him park her car. Revy then scolds the hell out of him that they were damn lucky that she put her gun away. Revy would have shot him if she didn’t know him better. Rock then has her accompany him back to his town. He says he is already dead. Roanapur is a city of the dead unlike this city which is of the living. Therefore to a dead man, this is like a mirage. He came here not to go back but to forget. She thinks he’ll regret it but he finished that a year ago but didn’t have the resolve. He believes he has it now. Those neighbourhood kids spot Revy and want her to show her shooting skills again. She pulls out her real gun and shoots the can until it becomes nothing! Scared the sh*t out of you, kids? Yukio requests a more powerful gun so Ginji gives her some Russian model with big bullets and fires like a machine gun.

Episode 24
Ginji intends to go fight Balalaika one on one. Right before the meeting, Balalaika talks to Rock that this will be their last job. After this a Moscow agent will take it from here. But Rock has something to request of her. He wants her to completely crush Washimine until it has no chance of revival. At first she is surprised to hear this but realizes that this way Yukio will be free from her group and go back to her normal life. Quite the good villain he has become? Balalaika initiates her meeting with the Kousa head. She requests to see his bodyguard’s guns. After looking at the second one, she becomes very appalled they are using this kind of weapon and thus the deal is off. She kills them. The rest of the council in the house are also killed. The police who are surrounding the house barge in after hearing the shots. They cannot touch Balalaika since she is a foreigner and from the embassy. She tells Rock to deliver a message to Yukio that Hotel Moscow will cease all attacks from now. He is shocked to hear that Yukio may be trying to establish her base and her remaining members at Roanapur. Revy takes Rock and rides away before the police could catch them. When the international investigator arrives, he laments the police didn’t arrest Balalaika or take any identification of her since she is a big fish and one of the powerful people at the top in Moscow. Rock wants to go tell Yukio that the war is over but Revy won’t allow him since the place is going to be quarantined and they’re tight on their departure schedule. Suddenly a van rams into them. Don’t worry. They’re okay. It is Yukio. She fires several warning shots at Rock and wants him to come along with her to Balalaika’s base. Gee, you can say this guy got kidnapped by a high school girl.

Yukio talks to Rock about her Roanapur wish. It was just a passing one. As long she and Ginji are here, Washimine will still exist. Rock wonders why she keeps coming back to this life. If she carries on, only massacre awaits. Balalaika packs up and returns to her ship. Operation is over and they’re going back to Roanapur. Revy hijacks a truck to chase them. When the vehicle chase is over, it is time for the ultimate showdown. Ginji and Revy begin their face off while Rock tries to convince Yukio that she isn’t bound by this obligation. And then it starts, Revy’s gunshots either misses or swift Ginji cuts some of them in half. Having fun? Rock laments that there was a way she would have avoided ending up like Balalaika and thought she would chose it. However he was mistaken. She isn’t here to save face as yakuza but struggled against being absorbed by the night. He wants her to tell Ginji to drop his sword and run away together. And become wanderers again? It feels like a joke. He doesn’t think it is. It is where the real her is. Although Ginji cuts one of Revy’s gun, he makes a blunder and was too slow. Revy pumps a bullet into his head although the price she paid was his sword stuck into her knee. As Rock pulls it out and treats the wound, Yukio is sad things turned out this way. She will end it all now. She picks up Ginji’s sword and pierces her own throat. I wonder if Rock will be traumatized after seeing this. Now that they are back in Japan, Rock has this bitter look but life has to go on. Revy is drinking with Eda and the latter is interested if she had made any progress with Rock. She is not in the mood to tell. Eda calls for her to die but Revy insists villains like them don’t die easily.

Omake

2-3 minute specials when you buy the DVDs. No blood, no violence. Just plain silly nonsense to laugh out loud.

Special 1
Rock is worried. Because with a high school setting he is worried what the other characters will be. Let’s say everyone is badass. Revy the gangster anego as expected. Roberta might look like the most polite of them all till you realize how she is juggling her knives… Then there is Balalaika the badass teacher, Dutch the badass gardener and Benny who is playing truant to go trolling over the internet back home.

Special 2
Magical girl Revy?! The world is going to end… She bugs Rock to use her. Have any grudges lately? This guy just wants to be left alone but she continues bugging her. So Rock mentions about how Balalaika stole his lunch money or something. Revy didn’t use her magic wand. She uses her guns and blasts everything away! Who needs magic when you can solve things with guns! Think that is over? Revy remembers Rock has money problems. Here you go! Where did she get them? From the bank! Oh no… Poor Rock is arrested and looks like is magical maid Roberta here to the rescue. Or not.

Special 3
The melancholy of Balalaika. She is such a stressed mother of naughty twins, Hansel and Gretel. Make that devilish twins. She has to apologize to the headmaster for their doing of burning a classmate’s hair with bug spray, apologize to Roberta for turning Garcia into a traumatic wimp wetting his bed all over again (because they wanted to play doctor like grownups do) and when she thought they look innocent in their sleep, she sees caged cats and a book on how to make shamisen… Stress levels rising… The next morning, the same naughtiness. She’s gotten so used to it that it’s just normal.

Special 4
What’s this?! Gender bender arc?! Rock is freaking shocked to find himself turned into a woman with big boobs. You know what this means. Our guys like Dutch and Benny are turned feminine and the ladies like Balalaika are just bloody handsome. Mind boggling question: Are Hansel and Gretel the same or different even if they switch genders? When Rock sees Revy as herself, he is so relieved. Till she pulls down her pants to prove that she is a guy! More womanly screams from him… And oh, Roberta the butler serving her oujo-sama, Garcia? Okay, this does it. You can change everybody but don’t mess with the maid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Special 5
Time for scary story telling. But you know our guys will sound anything but scary. Like Balalaika’s running out of supply in Afghanistan story or Revy’s blunder story or even Yukio’s painful story (toe nail flapping like a toilet seat, that is). Gretel did sound like a genuine horror story with the build-up and all but in the end the rest were just too dumb to get it. Finally there is Rock. Ah yes. They think his is nothing. But as he slowly delves about the girl in a red skirt and how everyone hears this story will meet their fate in 3 days, everyone really starts getting scared! Even if Rock admits this is all just made up, it is too scary for them now! And Balalaika is the scardiest of them all since she needs some company to go to night toilet.

Special 6
Time to turn back the clock again. Rock and co are little kids. Yeah. Revy the brat, Benny have this bully victim looks, Dutch ran away so we don’t know what he looks like and this sexy seductive vixen can you guess who she is? YOLANDA!!! Then Eda must be the cheerleader… We’ve also got Balalaika a cute loli but the most surprising one is Boris who is totally a handsome teen character! This tough ass military dude is such a handsome kid?! Yeah, he claims he was teased for this looks and underwent military training to toughen himself up. And the rest lament all that good looks went to waste…

Special 7
Yukio wants Maki to do a manzai comedy for their school festival. Maki is being told how to do such manzai the yakuza way (since Yukio belongs to a yakuza family). It starts off normally till it reaches the retorting part, the idiot is beaten up for real with metal knuckles! Oh sh*t! Real bloody violence! Maki thinks Yukio is going to do her in since she is getting ready for the part. Come that day, Yukio is bloodied and stretchered into the ambulance since panicky Maki didn’t want to be done in first and grabbed the crowbar in the middle of the routine. Then those yakuza guys start bringing out the knives and guns. They all got arrested. Maki too. Revy and Balalaika want to form a manzai trio with Rock. Sorry, he passes.

Roberta’s Blood Trail

I guess you can’t leave out the best character of the series. Yes. The maid gets her own mini arc series in the form of OVA episodes. Who wouldn’t want to see this Terminator rip off the heads and balls of those who bring harm to her family? That’s right. Don’t mess with the maid.

Episode 25
There is a short scene during the Vietnam War whereby an American soldier is protecting a little girl, the sole survivor of a massacred village from his other uncouth mates. In present time in Venezuela, a bombing rocks some political ceremony. Among the dead is Garcia’s father and poor kid is left crying about his father’s death. Roberta is mad that she cannot tell him the truth because she too walked down that path. We see her teething in anger and as hinted, call it what she wants, it sounds like revenge to me. Back at Roanapur, Rock is still depressed. Can’t get over Yukio’s case. Yeah. He keeps a picture of her in his wallet. Heck, he doesn’t even mind it getting stolen till Revy brought it back. There is word that a certain maid is back at Roanapur. All sides mobilize their teams to go find her. At the bar as Revy exchanges information with the Columbian side, suddenly the maid walks in! But wait. That’s not Roberta. Despite her similar talking fashion like her, this petite maid, Fabiola Iglesias wants Revy and Rock to come with her to the hotel where Garcia is waiting for them. One of the guys holds her up (because she is that short) and as they tease her whatsoever, she got enough of the charade. A hidden knife in her shoe as she stabs that guys balls!!! OMFG!!!!!! THAT GOTTA HURT!!!!!!! The rest of the guys point their guns at her but Revy seems to be itching for something interesting to happen. She purposely drops a bottle to distract everyone. Fabiola instantly goes into action mode. Wow! See her shoot, kick, somersault her way busting those useless guys. Awesome! Does she have some sort of cheat code on? Even when the Columbian guys call for artillery backup and destroy the bar, they still cannot best and are left running with tails between their legs! OMFG! That’s why you can never beat a maid!!! Dutch and Benny pick them up as they head to the hotel. Fabiola explains there are currently 5 maids employed including herself by the family. She is assigned to protect Garcia as Roberta who is her matron is currently missing.

At the hotel, Chang is seen talking to Garcia. He begins explaining about that terrorist bombing which was ironically setup by those who didn’t want to see the liberal politicians gain power. There was something suspicious about it as they had no means or reasons to create a bombing of that scale. The police acted as if the case is closed. That is when some airborne forces, MVR called them that they had found out something. They went through the staff list of those participated in the ceremony and went missing after the explosion. There are 6 names who were also from the military personal affiliated with the General Directorate of Military Intelligence. They left the agency 2 months prior to the incident like as though they were planning something and were employed as security of the venue on the day of the bombing. There is another photo that shows them together in Caracas 6 months ago when an officer accidentally took it while investigating another different case. The leader of the suspicious 6, Marcos Jose Luciendes was found dead. It is assumed Roberta did this. The rest are foreigners and Colonel Simon Dickens from NSA was also subsequently found dead. But we see clips of him being tortured to death by Roberta to extract information and doesn’t care if she makes war with that nation. Witnesses say she travelled to Roanapur after that. Speaking of which, she has just arrived at the bar and is asking for all the places to visit before starting a war. Dutch turns down whatever job they’re offering because this isn’t about the money anymore. They dealt with this crazy maid once and hell they aren’t going to do it again. However it seems they are not requesting Lagoon’s help. They want only Rock to help track Roberta down. And that guy looks awfully surprised that he has to do it. Even we wonder if he has the guts and balls to pull something this big off.

Episode 26
Dutch and Revy are still against this because Roberta is up against Uncle Sam and his allies. Chang suggests they return to Venezuela and let them handle this. Dutch doesn’t believe he is this charitable even though as Chang says what may come isn’t going to do their town any good. Besides, unlike others, Rock is someone that is seen to have a neutral position, not harmful to others and won’t complicate the situation. After they leave, Dutch tells Rock that in the event if Roberta and the US army clash, they get out. No buts about it. Back in his room, Rock is doing a lot of serious thinking. He calls Dutch to ask about the incident that had Balalaika owing him a favour. It’s going to be a long story. After so much thinking (this includes many beers, many cigarettes and writing all the possible scenarios all over the wall – I think you can call this art), he concludes it might be a 3 way battle between Roberta, the US and the Columbian revolutionary army, FARC. But he still has a hard time putting the rest of pieces of the puzzle together. Revy talks to Eda about the current situation and she sits up after hearing the US agency involving in this. Next morning, Rock and Benny go around with Garcia and Fabiola to ask for information. First stop, that bar owner. Bumming around in an inflatable pool? With chicks? Yeah, his business establishment is destroyed. So is the brothel above it. At first he was reluctant to answer Rock but after seeing his pitiful face, on condition that he doesn’t want to be involved, he reveals Roberta asking for all the shops with items necessary for war. She was also chugging down anti-depressant pills like popcorn. She had this mad killer eyes. They go all over town talking to people of the shops Roberta supposedly visited but were not entertained. Fabiola is not happy they were rejected and made no headway. It’s no surprise. She’s dressed like that crazy maid, surely people aren’t going to entertain them. Fabiola wants to get things going themselves but Garcia notes they can’t do it themselves. It becomes a talk of Fabiola’s past how she grew up in the poor slums of Caracas and self taught herself capoeira as self defence. Eda talks to Yolanda about the turf tussle between NSA and CIA to expand their control over espionage movements.

Chang is hosting a party for all the triad heads to discuss about the situation and reveal the big clash between Roberta and USA. This is part of the scenario that Rock has come up. Those who aren’t aware of how serious while treat it like a joke. Balalaika will be interested when she learns the US military is involved because her comrades were trained to match them. The Colombians will react differently because they want to maintain their relationship with FARC and will go after Roberta’s head. Chang reminds them this place was never on the agenda of world leaders because they kept outside for out of it. If they start to intervene, nothing will be left. The biggest problem for Rock now is Roberta’s location. Where could she be? We see Roberta praying hard to the Lord. A guy thinks she is already on overdose and should stop taking the pills. As for her revenge, she believes she will shoulder the sins of her master and Garcia but he doesn’t think she cannot compensate for the past no matter how much she repents even if she drives herself to ruin. She is going crazy and about to shoot but her partner, Richie Leroy tells her to stop before she puts a bullet in him. He wonders who she was talking to. I guess she’s already hallucinating. Revy gives Rock another pep talk. Something about guns and bullets. If Rock is the bullet, he is the unpredictable silver bullet. But if he misses, the monster will devour him.

Fabiola is caught with her pants down. While Garcia is asleep, she sneaks off to have a dip in the pool (they are currently staying at Chang’s yacht mansion). Then Revy came. Embarrassed? This time they are going to revisit all those places but Revy is tagging along. At a gun shop, the old owner mentions Roberta didn’t come to look for a weapon. Instead, she already had one. An antique Spanish rifle. She wanted it refurbished. Garcia and Fabiola recognize it as one of the family guns decorating their banquet hall. The other place she went is gunpowder for the rifle. That fat guy is freaking scared to see the maid again. After calming down, he mentions that Roberta didn’t come but a guy who is working as a broker or tip-off. He has a hard time remembering without his drugs… Better remember or you want Revy to shove that gun up his ass? Meanwhile Chang goes to the church to get more information from an agent (Eda in a voiceover). She tells him the group of people Roberta is after. This SOCOM or JCS unit is called Gray Fox Command Group. They are positioned all over Roanapur standing by in motels disguised as backpackers to carry out advanced political selections under NSA. Eda wants Chang to reveal his countermeasure but he wonders if their trust between them is only this far. Calling her company a dog of the US government, she warns him that although his organization can bring individuals and companies down, theirs can annihilate an entire country. Think of them as a multi-headed Hydra. Finally the fat guy remembers Leroy’s name. Rock and Revy make haste because he is the final piece in the puzzle who is directly involved with Roberta.

Episode 27
Revy threatens Leroy to reveal Roberta’s location. After that, Rock drives like a mad driver rushing there. Revy knows they can’t make it in time and calls for backup. Yeah, she calls Shenhua that she will get paid to kill. Hey… Sawyer and Wizard playing video games? Meanwhile the US army on standby also decide to make their move. The place is deserted and they expect a bloodbath. Similarly, the Colombian side is also here. They cut off the electricity and sneak in. But the US army is more tactical, lacing bomb traps to kill many of the Columbian guys. Then they bomb big holes in the wall to escape. Once on the rooftop, they spot Roberta across. The gunfire begins. Roberta is pumping powerful shots enough to take a chip off the wall. Rock and co arrive too late. The party has started. Rock reminds Garcia that Dutch told him to withdraw here but if he wants to go on, he will join in. Garcia will not back out since he needs to bring Roberta home. Rock gives Garcia a letter for him to open later. Everyone goes off while Rock remains in his car. He is not the fighting type. While Roberta has a field day slaughtering the soldiers, so do Revy and co. One of the soldiers is barely breathing so Fabiola translates to the rest as he reveals the US army’s position and thus where Roberta is. Once he is done, Revy shoots and kills him. This shocking scene has Fabiola pointing her gun at her for doing such a cruel thing. She is close to losing it but ironically Garcia is cooler. He calms her down that even though this town is corrupt and everybody dancing with death, she needs to act what she believes is right. Then only they can return home together. Rock is deducing what is going on. He knows the US army is trapped and cannot escape Roberta’s slaughter. He wants to save them but is waiting for a syndicate to join in. Only then he can move. He gets a call from Chang reminding him to get out now but of course Rock can’t since he has his obligations. Chang proceeds to lecture him about hypocrisy and everyone being pawns on the chessboard which makes Rock mad and calling him a cruel mother*cker. Chang once was like him and upheld justice with passion and pride with the Hong Kong police but then he learnt about the hypocrisy and all. You can figure out the rest. Anyhow, it is Rock’s call. Do as he pleases.

The US soldiers and Columbian guys run into each other and start firing. Revy and co join in to slaughter them all to let Garcia and Fabiola go ahead. However they stumble on another army unit. Fabiola stalls them to let Garcia move on. She might have been done for if not for Wizard waltzing into the scene and ranting some passionate yet corny. However he took too long and Sawyer cut them all down with her chainsaw!!! WTF?! They were actually listening to him?! In a building, Garcia hides thinking the enemy is coming. However it is Roberta making her way up. Once Garcia sees the anti-depressant bottle, he immediately knows it is her but the army unit is here. Roberta fights the soldiers and her fists are powerful enough to crush their skulls into a bloody pulp! But when she faces off with Alberto Camarasa, he overwhelms her as he knows all her move. He pins her down and explains he had so many chances to kill her but didn’t. Although he is from the Cuban Special Naval Missions Formation, he is acting on the orders of FARC’s commander. He wants her to come back with him. The organization still needs her. Even if she is to live a simple life as a maid, she cannot resist the smell of the blood. Garcia at this point and hiding while overhearing all this. Roberta agrees with him that that place is boring and her master’s death was a good opportunity to return. Even so, she doubts the commander will not forgive her for her betrayal. Camarasa says he is powerful enough that the organization listens to him.

In this weird twisted scene, it turns Roberta on and they make out with their tongue!!! WTF?! I don’t know how Garcia is feeling right now but I know it isn’t good. He’s a strong kid for trying to hold in his sanity. Roberta wants him to take off her pants but he tells her to do it herself. As she slowly reaches for her belt, she shoots a hidden mini gun in it. She returns to her insane self and tells him she will never join him or others because they serve the same master. She will never serve that swindler again. There is only one person who can control her. That person whom she is willing to die for. He is Garcia and only for his sake she shall pursue and kill the enemy. She’s beating him to a bloody pulp beyond recognition… Again I don’t know how Garcia feels. Honoured that she is loyal to him but at the same time wants her to stop the mindless beating. Finally he yells out to her to stop. At this point, Roberta is shocked to see him. Her scream is enough to echo throughout the entire town. She fears she has seen her ugly side. What has been seen cannot be unseen. So devastating that Garcia just collapses and becomes paralyzed although his conscious is still much intact. Roberta panics over what to do. So much so, she starts seeing visions of that guy who blames her she hallucinates him to avoid this from happening. He explains how she killed him 7 years ago after ripping his family photo. It was one of her little emotional wounds remaining. Had she continued her maid life with Garcia, it could have been healed but ruined that chance. How can she be forgiven then? She accuses him that he follows her around so she can never forget. Now she becomes crazy thinking he wants to get rid of her so badly and that this Garcia is just an illusion. The real one is waiting back at the mansion for her return. She is going to prove it by shooting this illusion boy.

Episode 28
Thanks to the American soldiers intervening and rescuing Garcia, Roberta is forced to back down. When Revy and co arrive, Shenhua wants to strike first. But she learns the true meaning of fear when Roberta grabs her machete with her teeth and breaks it! OMG!!!!! Look at Shenhua’s fearful face! Sawyer tries to cut her down but her chainsaw breaks! OMFG!!!! JUST HOW FREAKING TOUGH IS THIS WOMAN????!!!! They’re paralyzed with fear and are about to meet their fate when Wizard comes in with his cool pose to take her down. He gets kicked in the balls!!! This guy is a real joker! Wait a minute. His balls didn’t break?! Fabiola tries to talk to Roberta but seeing how broken she is thinking Garcia is still back at the mansion, she too breaks down. Garcia wakes up with the American soldiers. He starts going crazy but they calm him down. They think he is a kid who got caught in the crossfire and it is their policy to not bring harm to children so rest assured they will protect him. However Garcia pulls a gun from a nearby body. Although he is restrained, Major Shane Caxton tells them to lower their gun. Garcia explains they are the ones who ruined his family and killed his father. Now another person is also ruined. Shane gives him a gun and tells him to decide because he has the right to revenge. Garcia remembers showing his father some hidden picture and because he failed to spot certain things, he thought his friend was a liar. But father soon points them all out and explains the need to look from all angles. Could the person Rock is waiting for is Eda? Nah. She’s just here to tell him about the things he ordered this morning have arrived. The syndicate Rock is waiting for to take action is Hotel Moscow and despite their late appearance, Balalaika and her men are already in position. Balalaika calls Shane to inform that Roberta is close by. True enough the mad maid hops down to attack. After seeing Garcia, she promises to make him tea once she kills all the enemy. She retreats after the soldiers fire back.

Rock explains to Eda about his plan and scenario. Because the US soldiers will have their ground operations compromised, they lack the resources to go back to their original position and that is where he comes in and provides them with those stuffs. Due to their pride, they will not back out. Then there is this back story he heard from Dutch about Balalaika’s gratefulness to him. There was a time Chang and Balalaika fought over the control of Roanapur and it ended in a stalemate. When they face off, Chang shot her in the guts and she fell into the sea. Dutch picked her up. Therefore she is greatly indebted to him for giving her another chance to strike back at Chang. Also, Chang seems to be deliberately giving openings for her to strike back. Then he mentions about the need to get a backer. Something about Chang and his triads are the ones holding true power in Roanapur and the true overlord that is pulling strings behind Chang’s back is the person he is after. Rock then calls Dutch who is not happy on what he is doing. But Rock says that they have been commissioned for work by a US government agency and this is a legitimate job for Lagoon. Their job is to get rid of the troublemakers and if they take them out as courier, another troublemaker will leave as well. Someone gets to put an end to this turmoil and they’ll be the ones enjoying it. Dutch knows what he is getting at but will hear no more of it and hangs up. Shortly, Chang calls him for a job. I guess he can’t escape. Revy and Shenhua are ready to ambush the Americans. Suddenly they are shot in the arm as warning. Hotel Moscow warns them not to interfere as this war is theirs. The next shot will be in their head. Garcia shows the letter from Rock to the soldiers. It contains a map of their getaway.

Balalaika contacts Shane again. Something about the wars they have fought in. Despite different setting and location (the Russians were in Afghanistan while the veteran Americans were in Vietnam), she feels their unit has fallen to a point that they have to depend on gangster duels rather than genuine warfare. She wants him to remember the sense of honour, the discipline and power they maintain. Shane spots Roberta riding up on the opposite street. He puts Balalaika on hold and has his men ready to fire. However Balalaika orders her men to take out Roberta. They used up all their ammunition but do you think that killed her? Your guess is as good as mine. Shane commends her for pulling off such a feat but she seems to be upset about not being in the same unit as them. He guesses that she was discharged from the military with some illness. She reveals during the war she saved a child from the refugee camp and the mass media saw her. Thus she was deprived of her military position in that arbitrary discharge. She tells him to quickly leave the island. Dutch is furious. Not only he has to take the American soldiers with Garcia and Fabiola, seems that the stuffs Rock ordered were all sorts of international passes and IDs for their trip to get them to the Golden Triangle. And with Chang commissioning them for the job… Well, they’re in this sh*t now. Chang’s subordinate praises him of his plan. To deal with Balalaika, he invited that cowardly Japanese and he already pulled off this much. If the Americans leave the island, that maid will soon follow.

And as we have predicted it, Roberta is still alive and boards a plane. The person sitting next to her is Eda. Seems she is the one who planted the ticket, did some arrangements to let her get through the airport security, etc. Otherwise, you’d think she had it this easy up till now? Roberta really wants to kill her but Eda calms her down and says she is trying to help her catch those American soldiers. As gratitude, Roberta will give her a painless death at the end of it. Revy talks to Fabiola that they may have to rely on her using her gun since her arm is out of action. Then there is this Fabiola’s deduction of Revy’s mindset of Rock. Something like she views him as some sort of ideal and at the same time not wanting to get too close to him or she’ll lose that fascination. In a way, she sought salvation for herself through him. She views they are different. Revy is brought up in a rough family unlike hers. Fabiola’s dad was a frugal worker while mom never tolerated sinful deeds. One time she stole something, she was beaten up by her. Violence indeed but she felt her love and affection. Rock talks to Garcia about their next stage in plan. Now that they have all the actors on stage, he is the golden key. Oh Rock, that evil scheming look on his face. You’re turning into a rotten apple…

Episode 29
Rock gives Garcia a gun and wants him to use it. When he does, it will mark the end of the game. Later Garcia dives into the river and pulls Fabiola with him. No, they’re not going to drown. Just cool their heads. Garcia has decided. He will not hesitate anymore and is done being manipulated. He believes what Roberta is looking for is atonement for her past sins. Fabiola believes Roberta will not recover and turn out worse than before. Even so Garcia will go rescue her even if it’s by himself. Seeing his resolve, Fabiola will see it through with him. Meanwhile Revy is pissed after Fabiola’s little lecture. She can’t believe about their family love ideology that will save the day. Because back in those days, nobody protected her. She was beaten up and raped by a police officer before she killed him. Shane talks to Garcia and notices that gun was the one he tried to shoot him with back in Roanapur. Garcia decides to hear Shane’s side of the story. Fabiola isn’t pleased that Rock pre-meditated this entire thing but Rock is just eliminating all possible variable factors aside luck. Something about textbook gambling. Once they reach the Golden Triangle, the soldiers head off with the kids. In the dense of the jungle, they split into several teams as they make their way. They see strange cylinder rods around. Garcia knows that Roberta is here (she’s using the musket to shoot them as bullet). The little factory amidst the drug fields, there is no life whatsoever. And they come to realize it because there are corpses everywhere. Yup. Roberta is here. It’s like she knows the soldiers have arrived and goes into action. She even takes the last remaining hostage of the factory in attempts to bait them.

No matter how careful they are or the experience they have during Vietnam war, Roberta is always a step ahead, picking them off one by one. Even when she is injured like having shot in the leg, she still continues moving. Heck, even the lost of a few fingers don’t bother her! Hate and revenge overcome pain? That’s really madness. After Roberta kills an entire unit, she communicates back to Shane that she is going to get them all. To her shock, she hears Garcia’s voice to come meet him. Rock and Revy talk about what is to happen. Rock explains the entire scenario from why Chang allowed him to leave Roanapur despite his disobedience. When Balalaika realized what Chang was doing, she let Roberta escaped easily. Chang’s objective isn’t just to hide Roanapur from the rest of the world but destroy the American military investigation. As this place is the source of drugs production, Roanapur is the distribution centre. Chang made Roberta attack the US military and planned to prevent US investigators from entering Golden Triangle. Revy thinks this is his revenge against Roanapur. Rock continues that he was helpless to anybody who went down the path of destruction for that city. But this time he will end that misfortune. Revy is not convinced by his sh*t especially when he left the rosy life and come walk the dark side and punches him. When Roberta and Garcia meet, she is not pleased Shane is with them. She explains she cannot tell what is not real or not anymore. She doesn’t know if this Garcia is the real deal. She keeps seeing dead people (this is not Sixth Sense!). Heck, she doesn’t even know if she is alive. Garcia tells her revenge is not important to him. But she doesn’t agree. Because of them, they have caused them pain and taken everything for her. Garcia lets her know that no matter who she punishes, her sins cannot be absolved. Therefore it is not her job to end this but his. He takes the gun and shoots Shane. Now everything will end. Roberta cannot believe this. Her master will not do such a thing. It shouldn’t turn out this way. Nobody will be saved this way.

Garcia points his gun at her and says if she believes in him, the bullet that he is about to shoot will not kill her. She will not die no matter what. After seeing everything thrown at her, I really think she WILL NEVER die! They both shoot at the same time. Roberta is shock that he is still alive. Well, I’m sure she missed his vital organ. And what did I tell you? Roberta still lives. He runs towards her and hugs and kisses her! OMG! I wish that was me… On second thought… Now that everything is over, Roberta is still furious that Shane is alive. Garcia says he was shot him once and died. So are they. There are no victors here but sins. He will carry them with her. From now on, he’ll support her so let’s live together like before. By daybreak, Rock sees the soldiers carrying a few corpses and the injured ones back. He is happy this is the best outcome. But Fabiola is not happy. She points the gun at Rock and claims he was very lucky. Then she shoots him. Turns out the bullets were empty. They’re done dealing with people like him. Rock believes despite all that, he managed to win one thing. Meanwhile Eda is seen on the phone with some director of the CIA. They talk about some meeting with the US president and NSA about making the borders clearer at the next meeting and on top of that the CIA is getting custody and rights of everything. Few months later, Rock realizes nothing in Roanapur changed a bit. But as Dutch tells him, the value of money and guns decide everything. Rock deduces somebody somewhere on this planet went beyond him. In the end, he still can’t save anybody. Garcia and his maids are back at his mansion. Roberta is in a wheelchair and lost a few limbs. They greet Shane and his children as they visit. Revy wonders if Rock is still looking at Roanapur painfully with those living eyes. But if he chose this way, the only way is to become the dead. Maybe someday. But he feels now is not the time.

Bloody Lagoon…
Well, what can I say? What more can I say? In terms of this anime itself, this series is pretty amazing. It is a wonder why I have not picked it up earlier a few years ago despite I know it was around. I wonder whose approval I was waiting to watch this. Maybe I wasn’t ready to handle it. Oh, who cares, if you are not the soft type and the kind who isn’t naive and staying innocent about the world, this is one of those series that you must see. It opens your eyes to the dark side of human beings and what they will do all in the name of money, power and other greedy desires. And to ‘reward’ you for that, they put in lots of action and blood for your viewing pleasure. Thanks to all the dead people in the anime all for our enjoyment and entertainment.

Action is definitely the biggest draw and plus point of this series. You stay and watch this series because of all the violence, blood, gore, and whatever aggression this series throws at you. Each episode doesn’t disappoint because of the wild and perfect execution of the action. You can tell that these hard bitten and hard boiled characters are no strangers to dicing with death and aren’t afraid to stare it right in the face. From guns blazing akimbo style to sword slicing and even fist fights, you’ll either be smiling with glee at all the brutality and blood or cringe at how violent and gory those scenes will be as they burn into your cranium. Yes. Blood splattering everywhere, limbs flying all over the place, deaths guaranteed in almost every episode and the body count of those unimportant extras you would care less about racking up just to satisfy our inner lust for blood. Aren’t we as bad as those guys, eh?

The series is nicely divided into small mini arcs so the flow of it is smooth and doesn’t drag on too long and overstay its welcome. My only grouse for the Second Barrage was that Dutch and Benny were really reduced to minor characters and do not have decent screen time. It is like they have been casted aside and not important and just make short appearances just to tell us that they are around. It was mostly Rock and Revy as well as Balalaika. I feel that the second season was building Balalaika up and revealing her true colours as a villainess of the series (since the yakuza arc takes up the most number of episodes and half of the second season). But the kind of villain who will not meet her doom soon and gets away with it.

As for the characters, there are so many of them but yet so little. You have this dilemma of whether to root or hate them. Each of the main and supporting characters have their own distinct and unique personality and thus it makes them quite likeable despite you know what they do are not. Heck, everyone you see here has some sort of moral issues. If you compare your standards of society to them. But then again, who cares? Some of the characters like Revy and Balalaika have their tragic past but we don’t delve deep enough and just the surface. I mean, since it is already ancient that it is old news that nobody cares. Do you care? Can you change fate? Guess so.

For a person like Rock, I suppose he is the most conflicted and confused person in this series. Because he is caught between a rock and a hard place (pun not intended). For a salaryman like him to suddenly be shoved into this deadly world of survival, it is pretty odd to see him still breathing right at the end. He really is the odd one out in a place like Roanapur. Normally guys like him become a corpse after a while. Thus you can say he is one very lucky son of a gun. Of course it is partly thanks to his Lagoon Company. As the series progresses, you can see Rock becoming bitter and frustrated the more he learns the workings of the world. It’s one big sh*t up place. It is not that he doesn’t know it when he is doing his previous job. Roanapur is just like the same like everywhere else. Only difference it is not masked or sugar coated with artificial fakeness. So I suppose the turning point is when Yukio killed herself. That was a really tragic arc because they never get to face off with Balalaika but got a rematch with Revy instead. In the end, it’s like all that Rock has worked towards for ended up a big waste. Not to say that Rock is perfect too and what Yukio said to him is true. Therefore I surmise that if Rock needs to change something, he needs to be more proactive. You fight fire with fire. And thus in Roberta’s Blood Trail, we see him turn into some sort of villain and playing that part like a pro while Chang and Balalaika take a back seat. And of course sadly in the end, as he learns, he is nothing but an individual. You can’t save anybody. Will this make or break him? Only time will tell.

I don’t know what the deal is with Revy’s relationship with Rock because in the first season she was like somebody who doesn’t like Rock, viewing him as a useless new member. There are many instances they are paired together for missions and she even revealing certain parts of her past. But all that suddenly changes in Second Barrage. Suddenly it is like he has become her partner because she really looks out for him and protects him (not in the knight in shining armour kind of way, that is). It is like something happened in between to suddenly turn Revy into one who places her trust in Rock unlike the character we see her in the first season who doesn’t give a f*cks about him and willing to shoot him anytime. But I noticed that there are many faces to Revy. You see the serious Revy, the sh*t killer Revy mode (you don’t want to mess with this one – those dead eyes will scare the sh*t out of you) and surprisingly there is a silly Revy look. Silly Revy? For example, there was this one time Revy was observing Balalaika editing some porn stuff, and she put up that really unbelievably silly face just watching it.

Of course my favourite character has to be Roberta. In addition to be a maid, I think she is one of the best, in terms of being super indestructible maid ever in all maid characters in anime. I know it is freaking unbelievable that whatever you do to her, she comes back stronger like as though all your puny attacks were nothing. It’s like she has got all the cheat codes activated and no one can touch her. Not only she could hide so many things in her black hole apron or her mind is installed with all the killer techniques that you would never think of or the impossible moves she makes or like as though she can read your mind and know where you are and what you do next, also it is like there is some sort of spell that makes enemies miss and waste all the barrage of bullets if they’re just firing from 3 feet away. So how can you kill this maid? You can’t! Once she sets her mind on you, you better start praying to your God. Because not even He can save you. I really want her as my maid. Garcia you lucky bastard! Oops. I hope I didn’t earn her wrath for insulting her master that she is so loyal to.

My little complain is that despite her mini OVA arc named after her, she hardly makes any appearances in the first half. Because I was expecting to see Roberta going mad and just killing everybody in the way. I mean, that is why they call it Roberta’s Blood Trail, right? Even a little more disappointing was, she wasn’t in her maid outfit during her revenge run but dressed somewhat like Revy. Except for the final episode during that jungle warfare (maybe she doesn’t want to let mosquitoes bite). I know from the looks of it she can manoeuvre better but from what I observed, even when she is clothed as a maid, she moves even faster than those useless gangsters. Makes no difference. She should have just put them on for the entire time. Heck, it’s not like people don’t recognize her without her maid outfit, right? So I guess that is why we have Fabiola substituting her for the maid appearance.

Other characters are okay too. If I had to pick my next favourite character, it would be Shenhua. Somehow I just love the way she speaks with an accent. It’s funny. It’s amusing. Then she coolly slices off everyone’s head with her machete. Sawyer is not bad too because this goth girl likes sawing up things and it makes that girl from Lollipop Chainsaw looking more like a slutty wuss. The funniest character award goes to Wizard because as far as I can see, all his appearances end up in some sort of comedic fashion, if not something that isn’t really important. I suppose this guy thinks style is more important so when he starts posing or something, by that time, the action is over. Yeah, you don’t get to see him in action and wonder what the heck is his special ability. To pose? Some other hardcore characters like Eda, Chang, Balalaika and Dutch are cool by the way they fight although I would have loved to see more of Dutch-Revy combo. Revy-Eda combo isn’t bad either. But sometimes I feel that she likes teasing and mocking Revy a lot just to piss her off. Eda just like the rest is a mysterious lot since she puts up lots of facade and you don’t really know her true colour. Is she a double agent or something?

Others that aren’t so ‘impactful’ like Benny and Leigharch because they don’t have fighting abilities. Like Leigharch you wonder what happens to this hallucinating dude after his only appearance in the Philippines arc. Speaking of Benny, I also wonder what happened to his romance with Jane. I caught a glimpse of photos of her on his workplace so there must be something romantic going on, right? Alright, who cares about romance in this series anyway? As long as you love blood and violence, you’ll be fine. That’s this series’ romance ;p. Then there are those who appear only for that arc and never seen again like Takenaka and Rico (Jane as well). You wonder what their fates are. Maybe they’re not that important after all. Of course those like the Romanian twins, Yukio and Ginji met their tragic end so there is nothing more to say about them.

As you can see that there is no discrimination when it comes to the dark side of human beings. There is no short of many people from various nations and nationalities shown in this anime. It is like a big melting pot of different culture and people. Take the Lagoon guys for example. With Rock as the typical Japanese guy sticking out like a sore thumb, Revy is an American Chinese while Benny is a Jew. Dutch can be safely assumed to be an American black (I believed it was mentioned he served in the Vietnam war too). Then you have Russians, Italians, Hong Kong and South American people running the show in Roanapur. Even small minor characters are made known their nationalities like Jane an Indian, Shenhua the Taiwanese and Leigharch an Irish. Even the ‘antagonists’ are a colourful bunch ranging from German Nazis, Islamic extremists in the Philippines to Japanese yakuzas. So as you can see Roanapur and this anime particular is very international! Heck, when you have nuns doing shady things in the name of God, you know this world is already so screwed up. Yeah. Money is their religion. Now ever wonder why the US greenback has the word “In God We Trust” printed on it?

Having said that, this brings me to a point that I have been pondering. What kind of language do they speak to communicate? I didn’t actually think of this till Rock being a translator for Balalaika in Japan. Of course everyone is speaking flawless Japanese for the sake of this anime’s convenience but during the stint in Japan, it just feels weird that you know, Rock and Balalaika may be speaking a different language although what we hear is conveniently in Japanese. So when Rock is translating the English for the sake of translation, it just feels odd. I mean, Balalaika as we hear her speak usually in Japanese and can communicate with Rock, right? Thus this shows that in actuality they may be talking a different language instead of the Japanese we are hearing. Because if Balalaika can speak Japanese like how we hear her communicate with Rock, there isn’t a need for him to be a translator in the first place. Unless it was all a show. Besides, everyone’s English sounds like they have that Japanese trying to speak English accent. Especially with Revy who is so heavily accented or mumbling her English words, it is ironic that I can actually hear her Japanese much clearer and concise compared to her speaking just a few English words! Therefore this language thingy although is just a minor issue, sometimes confuses me if the characters really do speak a certain language.

Bad influence. You see everyone smoking a cigarette in the opening credits. Even Rock pops one in his mouth like it is candy. Smoking is cool, right? Yeah. We all know the dangers of smoking but I suppose when you have people who do shady jobs, smoking is the least of your concerns of what is good or bad. Just like how we assume people with tattoos are part of some criminal organization, probably smoking cigarettes here could mean the same thing. Don’t even mention about Balalaika who is mostly seen with a cigar like as though it is part of her face. I guess big bad bosses can afford better smoking alternatives.

Red Fraction by MELL is the only opening theme. It is featured in all seasons. This hard rock piece is definitely suitable for the pace of this anime. With tough badass lyrics to go with, it gets you into the mood of what to expecting while watching the episode. And sometimes maybe you want to sing along too? As for the ending theme, it is a very eerie yet sad sounding instrumental, Don’t Look Behind by Edison. It isn’t anyhing much actually. The suspense of the eeriness doesn’t turn into something climatic in the end. Oddly we see the ending credits animation as Revy drops all her arsenal while walking on the shore and when it ends, she points at us with her shotgun that is only left in her hands. Although this ending theme is the main one for the first and second season, The World Of Midnight by Minako Obata is the special ending theme sung totally in English for the Romanian twins’ arc. It is a sad church choir-like piece with only voices covering the song. Sad but yet sounds so angelic beautiful. For the final episode of the second season, the hard rock techno piece of Peach Headz Addiction by Breath Frequency gives a fitting finale to the season. The ending theme for Roberta’s Blood Trail is a version of America’s Civil War marching tune, When Johnny Comes Marching Home. Oddly the animation shows pictures of Balalaika’s past and maybe that is why this version sounds a bit Russian-like.

I don’t really want to touch about the dark side of human beings and comparing the ones you see here and the reality of living in society because we’re just about the same. I can go on for paragraphs and pages about it and even write a thesis. Because it is endless. The true colours of humanity’s dark side are deeper and scarier than the deepest parts of the ocean or even hell itself. So for everything that you see in this anime that is supposedly morally wrong, let me just say that there is no clear cut to what constitutes to be wrong or right. You can be both or neither. A very big grey area. It all depends on your stereotypes, bias and prejudices of everything. Therefore there is no love lost when you see something less palatable happening here (especially murders and killings). No holds barred. Because trust is the biggest issue for everyone and the only thing that you can trust is your guts. It’s your only ‘friend’ for survival to let you see tomorrow’s sunrise.

Watching this anime doesn’t make me want to give in to my dark side or throw away my day job and become a pirate and do shady delivery jobs. Hey, I’m an otaku and a dreamer. All those fancy stuffs of doing great in everything are just in my head. Even before watching this anime, I already knew about the inequalities in life although I am not sure if I can say that I am lucky not to have experienced very terrible discrimination in my life. Not that I can change anything either. Because really, who cares? Hah. Looks like I’ve got some bad influence already from this anime. Sure, keep this anime away from your little kids but still, eventually nobody can escape from the clutches of life. It is only the question of sooner or later. So you see people, we can’t stay innocent and pure like virgins for the rest of our lives. We lost our virginty since coming into this world because life has already got us all f*cked up since the day we were born. And I hope you are praying to the right God…