In Venezuela, Garcia Lovelace and his ex-terrorist maid Roberta enjoy peace after their harrowing experience in Roanapur (during which Garcia was kidnapped, then retrieved by Roberta through extreme violence). When a political party meeting becomes the site of a terrorist bombing attack, however, Garcia’s father Diego Lovelace is among the victims. When Roberta learns that the bombing was actually an NSA assassination as part of their political agenda in South America, her grip on sanity is loosened by her towering rage. She begins to track down and torture the perpetrators and eventually follows them back to Roanapur, where the main NSA agents are lying low. Garcia wishes to prevent Roberta from further violence, so he asks Rock for help in finding Roberta and diffusing the volatile situation which is developing due to her actions. All of Roanapur’s criminal factions have their hackles up after Roberta’s last visit; the NSA are prepared for war with the one-woman army; and the CIA is unhappy that the NSA is trampling all over their turf.
Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail is a five-episode continuation of Black Lagoon and Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage (check out our review of the previous series). Black Lagoon is a violent “stylish action” omnibus series consisting of the wild exploits of Lagoon Company, a mercenary transporter group based in the fictional crime city of Roanapur. Dutch, the enigmatic war veteran, is captain of their vessel and chief of operations, while Benny the hacker provides tech support and Revy “Two Hands” is the firepower for the group. The three take on a hapless Japanese businessman at the beginning of the series: our protagonist, Rokuro “Rock” Okajima. While Rock starts out as the voice of reason and morality, life in Roanapur and the events of the series soon have him questioning himself as he develops into an excellent—if criminal—negotiator and strategist. At the beginning of Roberta’s Blood Trail, Rock is depressed because of previous events in which a Japanese high-school student committed suicide before his eyes. Garcia’s request for help might be his chance for redemption… or it might be the final straw that pushes him over into the complete moral darkness that is Roanapur.
Roberta’s Blood Trail is not for the squeamish or for those who want to watch edifying content; it is violent entertainment along the lines of the Kill Bill movies. It is arguably darker than its predecessor, in which Roberta’s bloody rampage in Roanapur was—as a tongue-in-cheek homage to the Terminator series—one of the lighter and funnier story arcs (“That’s no maid, it’s a killing machine sent from the future!”). The music, animation, and acting are all good, and it was a good idea to flesh out Rock and Roberta’s characters while showcasing Roanapur’s significance and precarious state as a no man’s land for the evil powers of the world. Fans of the previous series will definitely want to watch this one, but even newcomers will not find it difficult to understand if they already have some experience with the genre. I kind of miss the crazy, inappropriate humor of the previous series, though; this one is serious and dark all the way through.
DVD and Blu-Ray Combo pack, runtime 168 minutes. Extra features include the usual textless song and trailers. Notes for extreme violence, mentions of rape, guns, minors wielding weaponry, drug abuse, sex witnessed by a minor, nude shower scenes, torture, and organized crime. Adults only.
Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail
Directed by Sunao Katabuchi
168 minutes, Number of Discs: 2, DVD/Blu-ray Combo Set
Company Age Rating: TV-MA
Related to: Black Lagoon by Rei Hiroe