Black Lagoon

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Black Lagoon
Cover of the first manga volume
(Burakku Ragūn)
GenreAdventure, crime, thriller[1][2]
Written byRei Hiroe
Published byShogakukan
English publisher
MagazineMonthly Sunday Gene-X
Original runApril 19, 2002present
Volumes11 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed bySunao Katabuchi
Kenichi Kawamura (assistant)
Produced byJun Nishimura
Mitsutoshi Ogura
Junya Okamoto
Written bySunao Katabuchi
Music byEdison
Licensed by
Original networkChiba TV, Tokyo MX, KBS, tvk, NBN, abn, TVN, GYT, ITV, GTV, TV Saitama, OX, KBC, NCC, ITC, Sun TV
English network
Original run April 8, 2006 June 24, 2006
Episodes12 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage
Directed bySunao Katabuchi
Produced byJun Nishimura
Mitsutoshi Ogura
Junya Okamoto
Written bySunao Katabuchi
Music byEdison
Licensed by
Kazé UK
Original networkOX, KBC, SUN, KBS, tvk, NBN, abn, TVN, ITC, GYT, ITV, GTV, TVS, CTC, Tokyo MX, NCC
English network
Sci Fi Channel (Animax)
G4techTV Canada
Sony Movie Channel, Animax
Starz Edge, Funimation Channel, Adult Swim (Toonami)
Original run October 2, 2006 December 18, 2006
Episodes12 (List of episodes)
Light novel
Written byGen Urobuchi
Illustrated byRei Hiroe
Published byShogakukan
ImprintGagaga Bunko
PublishedJuly 18, 2008
Original video animation
Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail
Directed bySunao Katabuchi
Written bySunao Katabuchi
Licensed by
Kazé UK
Released July 17, 2010 June 22, 2011
Runtime35 minutes (each)
Episodes5 (List of episodes)
Anime and Manga portal

Black Lagoon (Japanese: ブラック・ラグーン, Hepburn: Burakku Ragūn) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rei Hiroe. It has been published in Shogakukan's Monthly Sunday Gene-X since 2002, and eleven collected volumes have been released so far. It was later adapted into an anime television series by Madhouse, that aired from April to June 2006 for twelve episodes. A second season, subtitled "The Second Barrage", ran for twelve weeks starting on October 2, 2006. A five volume original video animation series, titled Roberta's Blood Trail, was released from July 2010 to June 2011.

Viz Media began releasing an English translation of the manga in North America on August 12, 2008. The anime was dubbed and originally licensed in English by Geneon Entertainment in North America; it is now[when?] licensed by Funimation.[citation needed] Funimation later licensed the OVA, which also was licensed by Kazé in the UK, for release in spring 2013.


The story follows a team of pirate mercenaries known as the Lagoon Company, that smuggles goods in and around the seas of Southeast Asia in the early to mid 1990s.[3] Their base of operations is located in the fictional harbor city of Roanapur in southeast Thailand near the border of Cambodia (somewhere in the Amphoe Mueang Trat district, likely on the mainland north/northeast of the Ko Chang island or on the island itself).[4] The city is home to the Japanese Yakuza, the Chinese Triad, the Russian mafia, the Colombian cartel, the Italian mafia, a wide assortment of pickpockets, thugs, mercenaries, thieves, prostitutes, assassins, and gunmen. The city also has a large Vietnamese refugee population following the Vietnamese refugees exodus after Communist takeover of Vietnam in 1975.

Lagoon Company transports goods for various clients in the 80-foot (24 m) Elco-type PT boat Black Lagoon. It has a particularly friendly relationship with the Russian crime syndicate Hotel Moscow. The team takes on a variety of missions—which may involve violent firefights, hand-to-hand combat, and nautical battles—in various Southeast Asian locations, even going as far as Phu Quoc island of Vietnam. When they are not working, the members of the Lagoon Company spend much of their down time at The Yellow Flag, a bar in Roanapur which is often destroyed in firefights.


In an interview with Otaku USA, Rei Hiroe stated that Black Lagoon was inspired by James Ellroy, John Woo, Quentin Tarantino and Stephen King, as well as hearing about actual piracy cases in the East China Sea in the 1990s.[5][6]

The "Fujiyama Gangsta Paradise" arc showed that most of the characters throughout the series actually speak English, with the Japanese simply being done for the audience.[7]



Written and illustrated by Rei Hiroe, a pilot chapter of Black Lagoon was published in Shogakukan's Monthly Sunday Gene-X's April 2001 issue and the main series premiered in the May 2002 issue.[8] Chapters run monthly and are later collected into tankōbon volumes by Shogakukan. The first was released on December 12, 2002, and to date eleven have been published, the last in 2018. The series first went on hiatus in May 2010. It resumed in January 2013[9], before being put back on hiatus in January 2014. In the January 2017 release of Monthly Sunday Gene-X, it was announced that the manga will resume in May 2017;[10] it went on hiatus again in September 2018.[11] The December issue of Monthly Sunday GX revealed that Hiroe would resume the series in spring 2019,[12] however the series did not resume its publication as planned. In June 2019, Monthly Sunday GX announced the manga will resume in September.[13]

The manga was licensed for an English-language release in North America by Viz Media.[14] The first volume was released on August 12, 2008. Black Lagoon has also received domestic releases in many other countries; in France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Mexico, Poland and Finland, by Kabuto, Carlsen, Jade Dynasty, Panini Comics, Chuang Yi, Haksan Publishing, Norma Editorial, Grupo Editorial Vid, Waneko and Punainen jättiläinen respectively.


An anime adaptation of Black Lagoon covering 9 arcs of the manga was produced by Madhouse, Geneon Entertainment and Shogakukan and directed and written by Sunao Katabuchi, with Masanori Shino designing the characters and EDISON composing the music. The series aired for the first time on Chiba TV from April 8, 2006, to June 24, 2006 (and later on 15 other terrestrial stations), for twelve episodes. A second season, labelled Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage and consisting of twelve more episodes, ran for the first time on Sendai Television from October 2, 2006, to December 18, 2006. The second season focuses less on character development than the first season and more on the jobs they do. A five-volume original video animation titled Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail that covered the El Baile de la muerte arc of the manga was released in July 2010.

On July 3, 2008, Geneon Entertainment and FUNimation Entertainment announced an agreement to distribute select titles in North America. While Geneon would still retain the license, Funimation would assume exclusive rights to the manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of select titles. Black Lagoon was one of several titles involved in the deal.[7]

The first season was released on three DVDs, each containing four episodes, between August and December 2006.[15][16] The second season mirrored this, being released from January to June 2007.[17][18] The Blu-ray Disc releases of the two seasons included a total of seven short omake specials, each no longer than five minutes, that depict the characters in various humorous situations. In 2010, the series was released in four, two for each season, boxsets from August to September.

Geneon's North American dub was released on three DVD compilations, each containing four episodes, between May 22 and September 18, 2007. After being released individually, with volume one having a limited edition version containing a steelbook box that comes with a bonus disc with slots for all 3 volumes, the boxset of the entire first season was released December 30, 2008. The fourth bonus disc, available in the season one box set or the volume one steelbook edition, has a 15-minute behind the scenes with the English crew and voice actors, the "Red Fraction" music video performed by Mell, promotional videos, the creditless opening and ending, and Japanese opening. The Second Barrage volumes were released in the same manner, with the box set released in North America on April 14, 2009, case with episodes 13–24 on three discs with English/Japanese audio and English subtitles. The box set/steelbook version bonus disc includes promotional videos and the creditless opening and ending. At Anime Expo 2010, Funimation announced their licensing of the Roberta's Blood Trail OVA, which was later released in 2013.[19] The first and second seasons were re-released on Blu-ray Disc/DVD combo pack on December 4, 2012.[20] A Blu-Ray release of all 29 episodes is due to be released on the 4th June 2019 [21]

Geneon USA’s English dub premiered on G4techTV Canada as part of its Anime Current block on October 26, 2007 and STARZ Edge as part of its Animidnight late Tuesday night/Early Wednesday morning late-prime Japanese Anime programming block, began airing it on February 29, 2008 to American audiences. The series returned to American television on the Funimation Channel on February 15, 2013.[22] The series began airing in Adult Swim's Toonami block on March 22, 2014.[23] The anime has also aired in Australia on the Sci Fi Channel, in Italy on MTV Italy, in Russia on 2x2 TV-channel, in Sweden on ZTV, on Animax in Spain and Portugal, and in Germany on Animax and Tele 5.



  • "Red Fraction" by Mell (Episodes #1-23)
  • "Red Fraction (IO Drive Mix) by Mell (Episodes #25-29)


  • "Don't Look Behind" by Edison
  • "The World of Midnight" by Minako "mooki" Obata (Episode #15)
  • "Preach Headz Addiction" by Breath Frequency (Episode #24)
  • "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" by EDISON (Episodes #25-28)
  • "This Moment: Prayer in the Light" by Minako "mooki" Obata (Episode #29)


The first 9 volumes of the manga have sold over 6 million copies in Japan.[24]'s Deb Aoki listed Viz Media's English release of Black Lagoon as the best new seinen manga of 2008, along with Gantz.[25] The anime series has received internationally positive reviews.[26][27][28] With Chris Beveridge of Anime on DVD going so far as to say:

“To my surprise, knowing practically nothing about the show beyond a two minute clip at a convention, Black Lagoon manages to kick all kinds of ass. In English no less. The draw of a full bitrate 5.1 mix got me to watch it in English only to find that with most of the characters being western and in settings outside of Japan it works very well.”[27]

Escapist Magazine contributor Tom Tonthat reviewed both seasons of Black Lagoon separately. Both seasons received a positive review with the stylized action scenes and the strong female characters' being praised, while also criticizing the somewhat repetitive nature of the plot.[29]


  1. "The Official Website for Black Lagoon". Viz Media. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  2. "Panty & Stocking DVD Plus Black Lagoon Blu-rays Released Monday". Anime News Network. July 30, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  3. In the El Baile de la Muerte arc, the tombstone of Diego Jose San Fernando Lovelace showed that he died in the year 1991, although the North American translation/publication showed that he died in 1996. Also, in the same arc, American soldiers are seen using EO Tech holographic weapons sights, which were not developed until the mid-to-late 1990s.
  4. Based on the map sen in episode 26, at 6:32 seconds in
  5. Otaku USA August 2011 Issue, Page 106.
  7. 1 2 "FUNimation Entertainment and Geneon Entertainment Sign Exclusive Distribution Agreement for North America" (Press release). Anime News Network. 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  8. "ブラック・ラグーン 広江礼威 | 小学館コミック -サンデーGENE-X-" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  9. ""Black Lagoon" Manga Returns!". Crunchyroll. 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  10. "Rei Hiroe Resumes Black Lagoon Manga in Spring, Works on Original Anime". Anime News Network. 2016-12-16. Retrieved 2016-12-16.
  11. Mateo, Alex (August 17, 2018). "Rei Hiroe's Black Lagoon Manga Goes on Hiatus". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  12. Hodgkins, Crystalyn (November 18, 2018). "Black Lagoon Manga Resumes in Spring 2019". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  13. Rafael Antonio Pineda (June 14, 2019). "Black Lagoon Manga Resumes in September". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  14. "Hiroe: Black Lagoon Manga to Resume in January/February". Anime News Network. 2012-12-17. Retrieved 2012-12-17.
  15. "BLACK LAGOON 001" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  16. "BLACK LAGOON 006" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  17. "BLACK LAGOON The Second Barrage 001" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  18. "BLACK LAGOON The Second Barrage 006" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  19. "Funi Adds Live-Action Moyashimon Live Action, More". Anime News Network. 2010-07-02. Retrieved 2010-07-03.
  20. "Black Lagoon DVD/Blu-ray Complete Series (Hyb) – Anime Classics (Seasons 1–2)". Archived from the original on 1 February 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  22. "Funimation Week 7 of 2013". Funimation. Archived from the original on June 2, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
  23. "Cartoon Network's Toonami Block to Air Black Lagoon Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  24. ブラック・ラグーン : 5年ぶり新刊 最新10巻5月発売へ. Mainichi Shimbun Digital (in Japanese). 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2015-04-20.
  25. Aoki, Deb. "2008 Best New Manga". Archived from the original on 2012-12-25. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
  26. Theron Martin (2007-05-18). "Black Lagoon DVD 1". Anime News Network. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  27. 1 2 Chris Beveridge (2007-05-22). "Black Lagoon Vol. #1 (also w/limited edition)". on DVD. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  28. Rob Lineberger (2007-06-04). "Black Lagoon: Volume 1". DVD Verdict. Retrieved 6 January 2009.

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