Left in the Darker than Black

Note: Darker than Black is actually a great show. Don't listen to anything I say after this sentence.

Darker than Black sucks. Darker than Black thinks it's better than you. Darker than Black treats you like shit. First of all, lay off the Pizza Hut ads.

Darker than Black is yet another anime that dismisses coherence and reason in the name of style. There are many ways to do this:

1. Overblown Theatrics

For more examples of overblown theatrics, take a close look at the characters in any drama by Kyoto Animation. Their faces quiver approximately 14.67 times per tear. Give me a break.

2. Throwing the episodes out of order for no damn reason

3. Pretentious bullshit

If you got fed up with Cowboy Bebop's smorgasbord of shitty metaphors (see what I did there?), don't bother watching Ergo Proxy. The title alone reeks of pretentiousness. Ergo. Proxy. Two words nobody ever uses unless they're trying to sound smarter than they actually are.

As I indicated in its midterm review, Darker than Black takes after Cowboy Bebop, and in the pretentious bullshit department, it's only a few steps shy of its predecessor. For example, there's this random old hag who starts spewing jibberish in the second to last episode.

Quickly traverse the banks of Styx
do not lose your way, stars
do not lose sight of your leader

The lives that those stars represent will fade
until every last one of them falls and disappears
where are you going, fallen star?
don't go without me!

in the dark skies where nobody resides
lies a large hole
beyond the glow
cackle, cackle, cackle...

it's one thing after another
it's one thing after another

That is not a spoiler, becuase I have no fucking clue what she's trying to say.

For more on pretentiousness in anime, read this post from In Search of Number Nine. Don't be fooled by the bland layout � there's some excellent content on this blog (and this is coming from a guy whose idea of sexy web design is a black background, green-brown text, and a purple-hatted dinosaur mascot).

4. Intentional plot obfuscation

This was Darker than Black's self-inflicted deathblow. DTB had great drama, action, character development, and even some pretty sweet comedy. Unfortunately, it also had shitty plot revelation.

DTB thought it did its viewers a favor by leaving us in the dark. Case in point: contractors. DTB is all about contractors, humans with supernatural powers who aren't really human but might be human after all (yet another wussy played out theme). That's the best definition I can give you, because for some stupid reason, nobody bothers explaining what a contractor is or why they exist. Instead of trying to answer questions the viewer might care about, DTB goes after (but never answers) "deep" philosophical questions such as "do contractors dream?" and "do contractors have feelings?". Nobody cares. Please, just tell me what a goddamn contractor is and move on.

In search of number 511