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monir 2006-12-16 22:41

Darker Than Black [1st season] generic discussion

Production Company: Bones

Genre: Fantasy

Expected Release Date: 2007


This is a original Bone concept and it will be directed by Okamura Tensai. The animation director is going to be Komori Takahiro. Both of these names have been involved in good serieses such as Wolf's Rain and Scrapped Princess respectively. The synopsis in the following is taken from animenfo:
Suddenly anomalous field impossible to analyze appears in Tokyo. As if they responded to the field named “Hell’s Gate”, people that have new powers and completely different from the current human begins appear. They have lost their minds and sometimes kill people cruelly. People call them “Contractor” with fear.

wao 2006-12-17 03:45

I guess I'll copy the stuff I crappily translated out from Newtype + the DtB website over here.

I never realised there was a prelude in the official site though, that's where the animenfo synopsis was translated from. It seems that these "keiyakusha"="contractors/contractees" (I don't know which of the two it is) have got supernatural powers (this is mentioned in the scans as well) which is related to the Hell's Gate.

But what I want to know is, what's with all the Chinese? Surely they're not going to put something stupid like saying that the Hell's Gate is really a conspiracy of the Chinese government or something, right? :eyespin:

Anyway, the following info is taken from Newtype Jan. and also from the Darker than Black website both.

It's not all direct translations, I kind of threw them both together and picked out what I understood. I don't think I left out any details though.

Spoiler for saving space:


Spoiler for saving space:


Spoiler for Saving space:

Sonhex 2006-12-17 06:12

Techno spy action anime from BONES! From the director of Wolf's Rain!! A talking cat with a wireless network!!! SOLD.


Originally Posted by wao (Post 771511)

Spoiler for Saving space:

Fascinating comments, the last paragraph in particular shows why BONES remains one of the most exciting and inspiring anime studios. They want to produce original IP despite the commercial pressures to adapt manga, games etc...and this is why we get gems like Eureka 7. Hopefully DtB will be something memorable. I'm hoping for something like Kurau: Phantom Memory as I'm getting similar sort of vibes from the visual style.


Originally Posted by wao (Post 771511)
Anyway, the following info is taken from Newtype Jan. and also from the Darker than Black website both.

Any chance of a scan? :p My Newtype is still 'lost' in the Christmas mail.:(

wao 2006-12-17 07:15

LOL at your first comment. Well, I'm hoping it has a mood like Kurau too, like all.... whoa, and cool and stuff. Although I haven't watched all of Kurau...

Spoiler for off-topic rambling on about Bones and original productions:

And of course I can provide a scan.

But... you've seen it before in the New Announced Anime thread, though :heh:
Pardon the bad scanning, I'm still n00b at scanning nicely and the pages are larger than A4, plus the mag's a tad wavy... and I refuse to dismantle anime mags unless there is some phenomenally amazing art, or there's like... an Iroha spread. >_>

Plus I am lazy to re-scan and adjust... and I have to disappear now

If you would like any other scan from any of the other mags even I would be glad to provide you with one. There's a kind of nice Romeo and Juliet one for starters which I've been thinking of doing a better and larger version of one day....

Sonhex 2006-12-17 08:46

Cheers wao, those scans are great. I wanted to take a closer look at the char designs and actually I quite like them up close. The eyes are especially affective on Yin, which is ironic as she is blind. Hei looks quite enigmatic though.

As you said elsewhere BONES's characters always have a particular look about them that transcends their actual design. Sort of solid and uncluttered lines, even when their design is quite elaborate. I don't think I've seen one of their shows that doesn't have credible and likeable characters. This is the area they always seems to excel in, I guess, that and building convincing worlds in which they inhabit. It seems this is one of the key aspects to DtB, the 'world view'; but I hope it's not a Code Geass style 'them and us' standpoint.

From your translations I detect this might be a kind of supernaturel casebook format? Possibly. With each episode centred on a case for the Organisation, revealing an aspect of the keiyakusha and the wider plot. I like that approach, it works well in Ghost Hunt for example.

Nightengale 2006-12-17 09:07

Interesting. Is it weird that first that pops into my mind when I connect chinese + spy is Jong Quo Len Te Ling Ling 7 aka From Beijing With Love? XP

Even the main character, Hei looks a weeny bit like a young Stephen Chow back before his GoG days....what's with the eyes and hair and all....

Was it ever mentioned if DTB was inspired from any particular sources? Chinese to be more exact? I can't say too much about it, but the whole setting of spies using chinese colours as codes seems eeriely similar to an old chinese drama I've watched about 10 years back, similarly where a divided family of a scholar, traumatized girl servant, and beggar who answers to an emperor works behind the shadows as dark assassins using coloured hankerchiefs to differentiate themselves. I can't really remember much besides that, other than the servant being smitten with the main bad guy, and there was a whole slew of chinese mystical arts with magic circles that seem almost voodooish in nature.

wao 2006-12-17 10:33

They didn't mention where they got their inspiration from; I suspect that'll come in later. Actually they're unlikely to reveal much at this point of time, really... got to keep the information in so you can release it timely (and hence force suckers to buy the magazine).

They also didn't mention anything Chinese apart from Hei posing as a Chinese student. Hm, I'm still curious why they're doing it, I hope it's not just some 'cool' thing only.

Of course I haven't actually like scrutinized the other parts of the mags to see if there's any other bits talking about it...

As for the type of show it's going to be - I'm not totally confident with my understanding of the Japanese language myself so I might have missed out the nuances of what was being said, but my own guess based on the text plus my own warped expectations... I think they'll probably unwrap the standard mystery behind the Hell's Gate through the individual encounters with the guest characters in an episodic manner, and then around ep 18 or 20 or so (if this is 2 seasons long) they'll have some continuous conclusion arc. Or they could go with the mostly-episodic-with-2-or-3-short-continuous-arcs approach.

For 'world view'... I dunno, I think they might be talking more about the flavour of the show and the way of looking at things being carried out? I'm not sure. But I don't think they'll make it very Code Geass-ish, it seems more like a mystery detective thing than a political/"whose side are you on" type of thing. And I'm sure it'll be a lot more um... "calm" than Geass. I think.

Well, for now I'll just keep a vague eye on it... I'm not particularly hooked to it, yet.

wao 2007-01-15 12:03


Uh... Darker than Black was in February Newtype. Because I am useless and pathetic and Hei is turning more and more into the irresistable "zomg I won't tell anybody about my ANGSTY SECRET PAST!" type of silent low-key guy, I scanned it in.

We also get to see more of the characters from the Agency.

Misaki Kirihara 霧原未咲
The section Head of the whatever-department-it-is-which-I'm-too-lazy-to-translate. Being at such a level at the tender age of 27, she is obviously the "elite of the elite". She's out to find out about the shadowy activities of foreign "contractees". Or something.

Yuusuke Saitou 斉藤雄介
Assistant section chief. A faithful underling who provides support for Misaki's work. 4th grade Judo, 2nd grade Karate. It's rumoured that he's slightly interested in Misaki.

Yutaka Kouno 河野豊

Misaki's underling. Playboy who is popular with the chicks. Saitou is supposed to be his senior but their looks and personality are the complete opposite. (Well, that's what this says.) Despite all of this, he does his job well.

Nothing substantially new about Hei (except that he won't open himself to anyone and has TEH MYSTERIOUS PAST ZOMG LIKE WE COULDN'T GUESS!).
And about Yin, they say that ii seems that she used to be a bright girl who loved music, but obviously... Something Happened!

Finally, there is this unintroduced mysterious C.C.-ripoff in the background. I swear I thoguht she was C.C. the first time I saw her. No, really. Go look at the scan and tell me she doesn't even look vaguely like CC.

Some info from the text at the bottom: the Tokyo they intend to depict is full of foreigners. They said they chose Tokyo as their background because they wanted to get a feeling of reality (現実感が欲しかった) and they didn't want to create a completely unreal type of spy show, also they think that mixing fantastic elements (people with superpowers fighting) with a realistic backdrop would produce Interesting Results.

They aparently did a lot of location-hunting and spent a helluva lot of time taking photos and stuff (they seemed to be stressing on this). They claim that the level of detail to which Tokyo is portrayed in various episodes is so good that you could almost do a tour of it by just looking (if I understand this correctly). Okay.

There's a spread on Kissdom - Engage Planet - or whatever, but it's getting late.

Sonhex 2007-01-15 12:36

Bizarre, she looks a lot like C.C, same eye colour too. That's an really odd creative decision, unless they designed her way in advance of CG's debut and it's just a coincidence. I like the way Hei looks in that first pic. He looks cool and mysterious and less dorky, unlike that char design on the website.

EDIT: Incidently I was flicking through the January Newtype (as I wait for the February issue to crawl its way to me from Japan via Europe via Pluto...on the back of snails >.<) and I noticed that Hei has a kaonashi-type mask with a zig-zag marking on it. Any ideas what that's about?

Haohmaru 2007-01-15 15:53

Thanks for the news Wao. I just thought I saw C.C. :).

cyw1988 2007-01-30 10:46

Well this is the 3rd anime I am picking up this spring... will watch a couple of eps to make sure if it is worth continueing... but i am sure there wouldn't be a doubt as like eureka 7, you will never go wrong watching a bones production

ZeusIrae 2007-02-08 16:56

Intresting,the character design is a little weird(the eyes) but I am looking forward to this.I am sure it will be intresting.

MrProphet 2007-02-10 00:29

I just visited the website (to watch the new trailer) and I must say that your comment about the eyes is something that I wanted to mention as well.

The characters look really... sneaky. Like they are a bunch of tanukis, for lack of a better comparison. But, interestingly enough, in the teaser trailer the main character looks rather manly. 8)

wao 2007-02-10 02:21

Pardon me for being a n00b, but how did you manage to access the trailer? I get a 404 even when I change the URL to movie.html... maybe I'll find out something on 2ch...


Oh my god! Seriously is it true? People who watched the trailer, does it say so on it?

I'm sorry if I'm jumping the gun and getting too excited or possibly spreading misinformation, but uh... man, if she's doing the music then I don't care, I've got to watch the whole thing.

EDIT: I saw the TV spot here: Which has nifty music!! But... no mention of Kanno. And I still cannot access the trailer.

monir 2007-02-10 02:24

I'm having the same problem as wao at accessing the trailer. I tried Opera and Firefox with the same result. Guess the page has run out of bandwidth? Here are the links by the way for those of us who are wondering about, "what trailer?"

LQ Version and HQ Version.

Mitheor 2007-02-10 02:25


Originally Posted by wao (Post 828309)
Pardon me for being a n00b, but how did you manage to access the trailer? I get a 404 even when I change the URL to movie.html... maybe I'll find out something on 2ch...

wao 2007-02-10 02:43

Oh. That's the same as the TV spot on the site.... Surely these 2chers are not spouting out Yoko Kanno from nowhere? How do they know? I'm dying to find out. I'm flaming in the pits of agony, clutching at the sky in angst and crumbling in suspense. I really, really, really, really want to know.


aardvark 2007-02-10 04:00


Originally Posted by wao (Post 828330)
Oh. That's the same as the TV spot on the site.... Surely these 2chers are not spouting out Yoko Kanno from nowhere? How do they know? I'm dying to find out. I'm flaming in the pits of agony, clutching at the sky in angst and crumbling in suspense. I really, really, really, really want to know.


I think they're only speculating based on the music from the trailer. AFAIK it hasn't been revealed yet who is doing the music.

But, it DOES sound like Kanno imo. I wouldn't be surprised at all if it was her.

7Th 2007-02-10 10:11

The trailer was rather uninteresting. Not because the series will be so, though, probably for it shows nothing about what the storyline will be about nor in demostrates some animation quality since they're all still images. The music was still pretty fitting, nevertheless.

FireChick 2007-02-10 10:45

For those who watched Ai Yori Aoshi, have anyone noticed? Darker than Black and Bluer than Indigo?

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