Darker Than Black (Episode 2)

In case you didn’t notice, the full version of the opening song for Darker Than Black, Howling (by Abingdon Boys School), is available for download free of charge. In respect of the owner, I disclaim the ownership of this song. This song was available for download in my blog for the sake of the fans of this series. All copyright reserved. So don’t sue me!

As I watched this second episode of Darker Than Black, I’ve to love this anime title more and more. Not only the opening theme sounds more catchy to me (well I felt the song fits the title), even the story gotten better. The opening anime PV really attracted me to this anime, suggesting superb quality of animation. What’s more the episode this time is a lot better as more and more details are explained regarding the Contractor (Keiyakusha) and the Doll, the Hell’s Gate is still left unexplained though. It’s better that way, otherwise the story won’t be able to develop. Some shocking revelations were also made in this episode. This caught me off guard. So I did not know who are the main characters of this story. Nonetheless the whole cast of this anime were shown at the end of this episode. I get to know who is who – especially who should be central persona.

Darker Than Black
Last Supper?

At the beginning of the episode, the animation seemed a little slacked but managed to pull off good stuff with good action scene at the end. Sorry for being so stereotype but I prefer sword fights for an action scene. The episode begins with Haraguchi piggybacked on Li as she explains to Li that the stars in the sky are fake and a falling star signifies a Contractor’s death as explained before in episode 1 (duh!). She also talked a little on the Contractor and the Doll. Then a bit of her history – how her parents died. She was told that her parents died in accident but she witnessed herself how her parents were murdered by a Contractor. She was attracted by the Contractor by their amazing ability and joined the research team as a consequence. It was also known that Jean’s ability is teleportation when Misaki was with the astronomical division. Guess what? Jean is a Frenchie.

Upon reaching the room, Haraguchi found her room being ransacked. She then was taken to Li’s room. Both of them lied down on the mat and Haraguchi told Li that she was only been here two weeks but felt more alive for the first time and saying she likes her job at the research centre though she thought she’s not really good at it. Li then said meeting her is fate and asked her to run away together. She advised him to go off on his own but he said that the people who are trying to catch them already seen his face, leaving no other options. She appeared touched by that and embraced Li. Suddenly footsteps were heard. It came from the two detectives from the first episode as they checked on Haraguchi’s apartment, only to see it in a messy condition with both of Li and Haraguchi missing. They hear a noise outside. It was only a black cat but the two still managed to escaped (thanks to the cat for the distraction). Bear in mind, this is the cat as we see since the first episode in case you didn’t notice. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Darker Than Black
She looks DEAD tired

Later Li and Haraguchi were in a restaurant. Li discussed about their next move to run away – passport forgery and flee the country. Haraguchi doubted him being a foreign student but he told he that he had his own circumstance. She said her main problem is money. Li suggest her to sell her information that she got from the Pandora centre (this is the research centre by the way) especially on the Hell’s Gate which can get a very high tag price. She noticed that she was addressed as Haraguchi by Li and told him her real name – Shinoda Chiaki (at this point onwards, I will have Chiaki as her name in respect to her real name). Soon after food was brought to the table – it was a meal fit for 10 person although there were only two of them. Some light comical moments going on (I decline to detail on this) when suddenly as Chiaki spaced out (somehow) with those glassy eye. She excused herself to the restroom. As she left, a man sitting behind Li talked to him praised him of his skills but persisted Li to get “the item” already. Remember the man who spied on Haraguchi Chiaki from a coffee shop in episode 1? This guys is actually an associate of Li. This was the confirmation point of Hei being Li.

Darker Than Black
Chiaki learns the truth

Li glanced out to the window when he spotted Jean’s acquaintances heading towards the restaurant. He left the table and met up with Chiaki who just came out from the restroom. He brought her to escape the restaurant but the henchmen of Jean’s spotted and trailed them. As they escape to the back door through the kitchen, one of the men blasted a bag and released splashes of deadly flying beans (coffee beans I presume). Deadly…. Anyway they still managed to escape them as the men head out to the back of the restaurant. What a commotion! Then the man who spilled the beans (literally) ate a flower (?!) as the other guy contacted Jean. Yummy!

Darker Than Black
Essential source of vitamins and minerals

The whole cast came to light finally. The cat named Mao (in Chinese, cat is also called as mao) informed the rest of the group that they lost contact with Hei (at this point onwards, I just address Li as Hei only to use Li where necessary). Over here, the man who talked to Hei earlier was seen with Yin. So the cat is a main character and the damn cat can talk. Salem the Cat (from Sabrina the Teenage Witch)? The man argued that Hei acted differently and hesitated to kill Chiaki when he had the chance. Salem Mao couldn’t agree more. He The cat asked Yin on Hei’s whereabouts. Yin was not able to find him since he was away from any water source (recall Yin’s ability from the first episode). Later Hei and Chiaki were at a building with Hei suffering a wound from the “deadly” flying beans. Chiaki patched up the wound by stripping (guys, not that stripping as for stripping naked) a piece of cloth to make as bandage. Chiaki looked dead tired (the glassy eyes again) and Hei asked to have a rest. She rested her head on Hei’s head and eventually made a one night stand. Hei is lucky with girls – that SOB! Chiaki could not forgive for those who tried to catch as they disturb her life. She also told that she was not able to testify for the murder as she was not able to identify the killer who is a Contractor. She said the Contractor glowed in the darkness in eerie blue aura and she claimed it was so beautiful, it seemed dream-like. Upon hearing this, Hei told her to forget everything about the Contractor. She did not want to do so because forgetting the memory is the same as not being herself. Then she opened the heel of her high heel and took out a key which leads to a locker. A key to her memory? Hei then said to her that Contractors are just killing machines in human form. To minimise risk, they must kill witnesses in order to avoid any possible contact that leads to their existence to the world (I mean from revealing themselves to the world).

Darker Than Black
Chiaki is a Doll

The next morning, they trailed on to the locker. A book was revealed inside the locker. Unfortunately Jean with his men arrived (coincidently) and the tow make their escape. As they approached the passing police station, Hei told Chiaki to forget everything. Chiaki halted from moving and slipped out from consciousness. From the commotion, Hei made a run for it as Jean and his men are hot on his trail. Hei wore on his usual (superhero-like) black coat as he was moving away. At the same time, Misaki (the same lady in the car from episode one) was told about Jean’s location and also Shinoda Chiaki’s dead body was found in the river. WTF?! Chiaki’s dead body in the river? It was evident at this point that the Chiaki that we have been following up is not real one yet also not an imposter. Behold a Doll. By now the concept of Doll is pretty much explained bits by bits. Yes, the Chiaki we know is actually a Doll, a passive medium controlled by a Contractor. If you are questioning since when did Chiaki became a doll, based on conjecture, it was done when Jean caught up with Chiaki as she was unconscious. She was dead by then but her memory was stored into a Doll when she was conscious in a warehouse with Jean and his henchmen. The Doll was devised as a trap for Hei after knowing Hei’s true identity as a Contractor. Hei too became aware of the trap when he checked the book being empty. He was surrounded by Jean and his men. Chiaki (the Doll) arrived at the scene and went to Hei’s side. He reminded her that Contractor’s are liars when asked about what is going on. Jean pointed a gun to Chiaki and shot towards Chiaki. Hei shielded her. Jean explains that Chiaki is actually a Doll before his men made a few shots to Hei to make sure that he is dead.

Darker Than Black
Blanks pages? WTF?!

Jumped in Mao as he revealed that the coat was bulletproof. Bummer! The shots were for nothing. Hence Hei sprang to action and choke on one of the men with his trusty string. Remember the flower-eating guy? He used his exploding ability and blew off his dead partner. Nasty. Hei evaded it in time and strike his string to that guy and kill him off with his power. That leaves Jean alone. Jean was quite to use his teleportation power to take out Hei’s brain out of his head and changed his aim for his heart. Hei was dazed and motionless as he was powerless to do anything. However Chiaki barged in time to save Hei as she sacrificed herself for Hei and have her heart removed. No sympathy please – she was dead long before this already. jean then escaped as he changed himself into a splash of water. Water? Big mistake because Yin was able to track him down. By then it was too late for Jean to escape as Hei arrived to his location as finished him off. At the end of the episode, Hei who became Li at that time was approached by Misaki and her detective. He was interrogated about Chiaki but Li denied knowing her as he just moved in to the apartment quite recently.

Darker Than Black
A different game of Hangman

Darker Than Black
One dead loser

As far as the story goes, this will get more and more interesting. Make notice of the episodic nature of this anime so as to know the whole story, you need to follow up every episode to get the whole picture. Each episode are just related to each other. This is a great episode to watch, packed with decent action scenes and some unexplained behaviour (flower eating, stone arranging, you name it).

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