(Originally published and formatted for Livejournal on 3/12/11)
Anime Review Final Thoughts:
Darker Than Black: Gaiden
What this is about: Wrapping up the very last of the 2010 anime shows that I have watched. Rather than in-depth reviews with lots of pictures, here’s just a few quick thoughts to finish up everything before I move on to 2011. Just get it all out of the way, already!
ep.3 tl;dr review: Yin and Hei relax at a Contractor sanctuary; Almost everyone dies.
ep.4 tl;dr review: Hei tries to rescue Yin from her kidnappers; She ends up going ‘nuclear’, setting the stage for the second series.
My Thoughts: First, there was the original Darker than Black animated series. Then, there was the “Gemini of Meteor” sequel to the series. And then after that there was the four-episode “Gaiden” story arc, which detailed what happened to Yin and Hei between the two series. Why for the love of all that is holy did they release them in that order, I don’t know — but if you’re going to watch Darker than Black then PLEASE make sure to watch it all in chronological order, because the whole “What the fuck is going on with Yin” from the second series will make so much more sense that way.
As for this four-episode story by itself, it really doesn’t make much sense unless you’re quite familiar with Darker than Black to begin with; and if you are a fan, then you’re going to want to watch this anyway. As a stand-alone for non-fans, you’re going to be lost. The story itself is less interesting than the two full-length series, because Hei is a dour-faced sad sack of a character and Yin is literally an emotionless robot. The only really interesting character bit was to watch Yin actually turn from a blank slate into more of an ‘awakened’ being, showing flashes of emotion and humanity as she evolves.
FINAL SERIES GRADE: C+ – Darker than Black fan? Yeah, you’re gonna want to watch this, but don’t expect any flashes of brilliance. Not a fan? Then avoid.
What’s Up Next: Final thoughts and final grades on Katanagatari, Sora no Woto, Durarara, and Time of Eve.