Black Lagoon: Vol. 1, by Rei Hiroe

As frequent readers of the site know, I have been sick with the Cold from Hell for days, and I spent most of that time reading. I read well-written books, thoughtful books, uplifting books... and I read the first volume of Rei Hiroe’s manga Black Lagoon. Black Lagoon might not be well-written, thoughtful, or uplifting, but it is an awful lot of fun.

Hiroe’s manga features on a group of smugglers operating in the seas of Southeast Asia. The smugglers, known as the Lagoon Company, include a hot Chinese-American woman with the ability to shoot two-handed (and a seeming inability to button her teeny-tiny shorts), a former soldier, a goofy American college dropout, and Rokuro Okajima, a hapless Japanese salary man who is first kidnapped and later adopted by the Lagoon crewmates. The manga follows the group’s various adventures, most of which consist of working for a Russian crime syndicate and getting drunk out of their minds in a seedy Thai bar.

If you’re looking for sleek, stylized violence or significant character development... well, look elsewhere. (I suggest Cowboy BeBop.) Hiroe’s manga is what it is: a gleefully trashy shoot-‘em-up with plenty of explosions and some fish-out-of-water humor. It might not be War and Peace, but it was the perfect way to brighten up a very long, very boring, very sniffle-y afternoon.
Posted by: Julianka


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