Blu-ray Review: Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail – The Complete OVA Series

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After several unexplained delays by Kaze, the final instalment into the Black Lagoon anime franchise has finally arrived onto UK Stores but what exactly do we think of it? Find out in our Blu-ray Review of Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail

Synopsis:

Deadly assassin-turned-maid Roberta returns to the criminal’s paradise of Roanapur, dead set on revenge – no matter the cost. Against a backdrop of violent chaos, the smugglers of the Lagoon Company team up with Roberta’s employer to save her… or at least to stop her bloody rampage.

Our View:

Unlike previous reviews this one won’t be as long winded, mainly because both the Blu-ray and DVD versions of Roberta’s Blood Trail do not offer much to the viewer other than the included 5 OVA (OAV?) episodes, each of which ultimately bring the series to its conclusion. You see to enjoy this release of Black Lagoon you must have watched the previous episodes of the franchise, as characters from the main series make a reoccurring comeback in this OVA Series, if only very briefly.

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As mentioned Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail is a continuation of the Black Lagoon Anime series, and as such the whole Lagoon Company (which consists of Rock, Revy, Dutch and Benny)are back, with support characters such as Mr. Chang and the bar owner making a comeback. Of course while the Lagoon Company may seem like the main focus of this OVA Series it is infact the deadly assassin known as Roberta (who always made an appearance in the main anime series).

Roberta’s origins are explored and explained in this OVA series, such as her harsh childhood and unbringing and when her current friend (employer) is killed in an arson attack Roberta goes on a rampage to find the people responsible. This is when Garcia Lovelace, current head of the lovelace family, along with his bodyguard maid Fabiola Iglesias recruit the lagoon company in order to help track down Roberta and bring her home, while at the same time killing anyone that gets in their way.

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This is pretty much the OVA Series in a nutshell, a cat and mouse chase between the Lagoon company and the rampaging Roberta which comes to an explosive conclusion. As you’d expect there is plenty of foul mouthed (but comedic) elements and blood-shed thrown into the mix, but without them it would not be a Black Lagoon episode.

Extras:

Officially there are no extra features included on this UK Blu-ray release of Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail, which is a shame as the remixed opening sequence is pretty cool. While there are no extras on the main menu there is a ‘music-video styled trailer’ for Black Lagoon Season 1 and Season 2 which appears before the main menu, a trait that has been apparent in most Kaze releases so far, even if the trailer is old.

Specs:

Media: BD50
Region: B
Running Time: 2:50:00
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio:  DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English), LPCM 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

The Whole OVA Series is about the Lagoon Company attempting to track down Roberta, via various violent means, while on the other hand Roberta is travelling the country destroying anything and everything in her path of vengeance. It’s a traditional Black Lagoon story of rampage, destruction and foul language but since its stretched out of 5 Episodes (each of which last around 35 minutes in length) it provides a more detailed story than compared to the 20 minute rushed anime episodes.

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In regards to this Blu-ray release you’ll find all 5 OVA Episodes packed onto a single Blu-ray disc with no additional extra features, which isn’t surprising considering it’s a KAZE Production. Surprisingly (unlike previous releases) the audio is provided in English 5.1 DTS-Surround in addition to the standard English & Japanese Stereo options, this means that the “explosive” action portrayed within the series has a more cinematic feel. All 5 episodes are absolutely stunning in its 1080p High Definition format and as expect look better than the previous Blu-ray releases of the series.

This being a KAZE release also means limited menu functionality, which results in the Audio only changeable via the pop-up menu (which covers the right hand side of the screen) and it also means that the English Subtitles are locked to the Japanese Audio track. Another “interesting” fact is that the English Subtitles (and Japanese Audio track) are a lot more ‘milder’ than the English Dub, as if the English version was “beefed up” with swearing and mature themes to make it more appealing to adult viewers, like if guns and explosions weren’t enough.

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Overall this UK Blu-ray release of Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail is great, but it could have been better. The presentation and audio options available are as you would expect them to be, i.e superb, but the lack of any extra features and a limited menu design (even if it is easy to navigate) hurts the overall presentation slightly. Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail continues the “gun-ho!” attitude the previous seasons had, but with a more “distinctive” story it is a lot more enjoyable, but those new to the franchise will have no idea what is going off as after all it is a continuation of the Black Lagoon story.

Score: review-stars-4

Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail will be available on Blu-ray and DVD from the 2nd December 2013.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

One Response to Blu-ray Review: Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail – The Complete OVA Series

  1. Pingback: Unboxing: Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail – Complete OVA Series (Blu-ray) [UK] | AnimeBlurayUK

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