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Darker than Black: Ryuusei No Gemini Episode 1

October 9, 2009

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Thanks to the rather enigmatic way that the original series of Darker than BLACK handled itself, you could argue that it was always ripe for a sequel despite doing away with a number of major characters… and here it is, with Ryuusei no Gemini kicking off some two years after the events of the original anime.

Before that however, we do step back in time for the show’s introduction, meeting a pair of identical twins sat out in the snow of Siberia. The twins in question are Suou and Shion, a girl and boy respectively, and as they talk with their father about the shooting stars in the sky so something lands in the vicinity, causing a massive explosion. While all three survive, Shion becomes a contractor from that very day, and the meteor which kicks off this chain of events is clearly going to be of great significance to the series as whole.

From there, we move back to the present while remaining in Russia, including some brief glimpses of one old face in the form of MI6’s April in the midst of what seems to be the very normal school life of Suou as she watches her friend be confessed to and excitedly photographs anything and everything, inspired by her mothers own career. However, that placid school life hides some far more interesting secrets at home, with Shion kept in hiding by his father, who is also secretly performing research on contractors and the like.

This tangled web soon brings these disparate elements together, as military types invade the family home/research laboratory in what appears to be a hunt for Suou, while April is also on hand and clearly looking for something. She isn’t the only one, as inevitably the episode ends with the appearance of Hei, who it seems hasn’t been able to afford much in the way of haircuts for the past two years.

If you’re a fan of Darker than BLACK (and I’ll be the first to confess that I very much enjoyed the first series, but not to the point of loving it unequivocally like some), then this first episode of Ryuusei no Gemini ticks all of the right boxes, warming up nicely into an intriguing and mysterious set of events with virtually nothing given away to the viewer, and if anything an even more ambitious and visually impressive rendition of the contractor powers than we saw from the original series. As opening instalments go there isn’t really anything to criticise here – We’re set up very nicely indeed for a continuation of many of the things that made Darker than BLACK what it was, although I can’t help but wonder if it’s going to do away with the two-episode story arc structure we’re used to, and if so how that will effect the story-telling process of this series. Either way, it’s great to get back to black, and I’m well and truly looking forward to more.

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