Black Lagoon

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Just your everyday group of couriers.
"Rock, if you think about it, other than this, what do we really value in life? God? Love? Don't make me laugh. When I was a brat, crawling around in that shithole city, it seemed God and Love were always sold out when I went looking. Before I knew better, I clung to God and prayed to Him every single night -- yeah, I believed in God right up until that night the cops beat the hell out of me for no reason at all. All they saw when they looked at me was another little ghetto rat. With no power and no God, what's left for a poor little Chinese bitch to rely on? It's money, of course, and guns. Fuckin' A. With these two things, the world's a great place."
Revy

Black Lagoon, a Seinen action manga series created by Rei Hiroe (which received an anime adaptation courtesy of Madhouse), starts by introducing the audience to Rokuro Okajima: after barely graduating from a Japanese community college and landing a job as an underpaid Salaryman in the shipping and handling department of Asahi Industries, Rokuro seems destined to live a life of abused mediocrity as a small cog in a large corporate machine.

Rokuro's life changes forever when the company asks him to deliver a data diskette to a customer in the South China Sea—his ship comes under attack by pirates with a torpedo boat, who nab the disc and bring Rokuro with them as a hostage for ransom. Twenty-four hours later—after a series of events that include being nearly shot by his captors, surviving a bar shootout, being chased by a gunship helicopter, and being declared legally dead by his own company—Rokuro (now rechristened with the nickname "Rock") joins up with the pirates, who run a small boat courier service known as the Lagoon Delivery Company.

Rock's compatriots in the Lagoon crew include:

The crew makes their living out of the fictional Thai city of Roanapur by "acquiring" goods (legal or otherwise) and delivering them, no questions asked, on behalf of the various criminal elements who effectively run the city—and at times, the crew has to "persuade" the owners to hand over the goods...

Do not confuse this series with Creature from the Black Lagoon.


Tropes used in Black Lagoon include:
  • A-Team Firing: When two main characters are fighting. The most egregious example is Revy vs. Roberta.
    • Not to mention whenever mobs of enemies try to shoot major characters. Mister Chang stands in place without being hit while enough bullets are fired at him to completely destroy his car.
  • The Abridged Series
  • Action Girl: Fabiola. The other female warriors are considerably darker about their action.
  • Action Girlfriend: Revy most assuredly counts. Rokuro was a normal salaryman with a dead-end job and there's nothing special about him aside from being pretty smart. Then she kidnapped him and tries to sell him for a ransom. The girlfriend part isn't confirmed yet, but the hints are there on both sides.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime version adds more characterization and mood-setting moments to the story compared to the more action-oriented manga version.
  • Affably Evil: Most of the main and supporting cast have rather pleasant and upbeat personalities to go with all the nasty things they do for a living.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us/The Siege: The "Greenback Jane" arc.

Dutch: Somebody set my dock on fire! MOTHER FUCKER!!

  • Anachronism Stew: Mild version. The series takes place in the early 1990s, but the computers they use are pretty darn 2000s-esque, and the Gray Foxes use EOTech sights.
  • Anti-Hero (Type V)/ Villain Protagonist: They are pirates. And not funCaptain Jack Sparrow pirates either. Hell, they're introduced by having them hijack a boat...during which time Revy proposes that they execute Rock to tie up loose ends.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted: In the "Greenback Jane" arc, the only hired gun to walk away from the warehouse siege under his own power was the one who thought to wear a bulletproof vest.
    • Later used completely straight in the "Baile de la Muerte" arc. Most, or all of the Black Ops unit are wearing ballistic vests, most likely with trauma plates. Not one of them manages to stop the black powder sabot flechette rounds fired from a musket by Roberta.
      • Bear in mind, though, that 90-plus percent of Roberta's shots were fired at close range and that it is also likely that tubes carry a large amount of propellant proportionate to their size. Seeing as they are entirely self-contained, it's also possible that they are reinforced to accommodate nitrocellulose instead of black powder.
  • Art Evolution: At the start of the manga, Balalaika looks in her 20s, Revy has short hair and definitely looks Asian. Revy's hair gets longer and longer through the first arc (which takes place over a day or two) and slowly becomes less Asian-looking. Balalaika shows up in the second arc looking about 10 years older. The designs don't change much after that though.
    • Also, while not as a drastic change as the above, Roberta hair grows at an incredibly fast speed, from chest height to waist height in her introductory arc.
    • Garcia's hit puberty in El Baile de la Muerte, but is obviously a tad older when in the boat with the Gray Foxes. Compare when he tried to kill Caxton earlier.
  • Artistic License Gun Safety: By now, Revy should have her eardrums blown and her hands arthritic. Courtesy of excessive recoils from dual-wielding 9mms and prolonged gunfights in close quarters. But hey, Rule of Cool.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Balalaika and Mr. Chang are the heads of their groups, and among the most lethal people in the series, and Dutch is shown to kick much ass in his own time. Also subverted, in that Roberta and Ginji are even deadlier than just about anyone else in the series...and have jobs as a maid and a manservant street vendor respectively. Also subverted in the case of the bosses of Colombian Cartel and Sicilian Mafia, who end up as mere Mooks compared to the protagonists or major villains, though they don't have very much authority to begin with.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Revy's twin shoulder-rig. In real life, shoulder holsters are terrible from a retention standpoint (it's easy to lose a gun kept in a shoulder holster, especially if the wearer moves around much), and drawing from a waistband-level holster is almost always faster and easier, with the exception of drawing from a seated position (which would be why the only people who consistently use shoulder holsters are people who stay in that position, e.g., professional drivers and pilots). They do, however, look damn cool.
    • Eda uses a shoulder holster as well, but it's probably justified by concealing it under her nun costume veil.
    • Also, Fritz Stanford's Eiserne Reich Luger Special: gold finish, .454 Casull chambering, massive barrel, thickened grip to accommodate double-stack magazines...... the thing appears sufficiently oversized and overweight for a sidearm simply by the sound of it, and unfortunately Fritz himself is nowhere nearly as bright as any Arnold Schwarzenegger character with a Desert Eagle.
  • Ax Crazy: Hansel and Gretel, as well as Revy herself when the "Whitman Fever" takes hold in the Nazi arc. Roberta, during the course of the El Baile de la Muerte arc.
    • It should be noted that Hansel is literally axe-crazy. He kills people with a hatchet almost as big as he is.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Revy and Chang blasting a way out of the Lagoon Company's office past Ibraha's goons.
  • Badass: Let's play it safe and go with everyone that has dialogue, barring mooks and other cannon fodder. This even includes the pacifist Rock, who is able to argue with some of the most psychotically violent characters on the show, and not get killed. Sometimes he even wins.
    • In episode 2 he comes up with the idea of launching a boat into the air and firing a torpedo at an attack helicopter.
      • More importantly, it works.
    • He negotiates his way through Sister Yolanda while Revy and Eda are pointing guns at each other, without looking up from his tea. He's an intelligent Badass.
    • Late in the series, while Roanapur is going to hell in a hand basket, Dutch and Benny are relaxing inside the Lagoon office. At one point, they comment about the craziness going on outside their front door and each one agrees that it would be much worse if Rock actually learned how to shoot a gun. Think about it for just a second.
    • He's also the only character to cross Balalaika and live to talk about it.
    • How about actually snatching Revy's gun from in front of his face before she can pull the trigger? Admittedly she hesitated and may have only pulled the trigger because the gun jerked in her hand, but it still takes balls of titanium to attempt it with Revy's gun in your face to begin with.
    • Subverted with Rotton the Wizard. While he has all elements that'd point that'd he'd be the coolest badass ever, he ends up being a Joke Character. To his credit, he's survived getting his balls crushed and getting knocked off a 20 foot building.
  • Badass Army: Balalaika's Vysotniki. Justified as they are all former Russian Special Forces. Through all the story arc's they've been in, we've seen a total of two fatalities. Two. And boy did Hansel suffer for killing them.
    • There's Caxton's Gray Fox Unit. They survived a few dozen hired mercenaries (albeit mook-level ones), contact with the elite FARC soldiers, disarm Revy and Shenhua rather easily, as well as close contact and a gunfight with Roberta. Thrice. Especially when they were funneled into several situations that should have killed them. Eda even tells Chang that if he pursues them into the jungle, he and his men are as good as dead. Their established badassery only shows further how dangerous Roberta is when she kills a good deal of them. And even then, they're under orders not to kill her by that point.
      • In the anime adaptation, the battle is less one-sided, as Gray Fox cripple Roberta for life as she tries killing them. By the time Garcia manages to put his plan into action, it's ambiguous whether he's saving Gray Fox from Roberta, or Roberta from Gray Fox.
      • Balalaika even goes as far as to call the Vysotniki Gray Fox's dark reflection.
  • Badass Boast: Heavily subverted. Wacky Nazi Fritz/Blitz Stanford boasts about his .454 Lugers... giving Revy enough time to calmly reload, and shoot him.

Stanford: Are you afraid?! There's no way you're not! Now witness the awesome power of__
*BANG*
Revy: Shut the fuck up.

    • Eda's retort to Chang in chapter 56:

"And another thing, smack talk has no effect on those stronger than you. You and your men have the power to bring men and whole companies to your heels, but we have the power to bring entire nations to our heels, if not to ruin."

  • Badass Longcoat: Hilariously subverted with Rotton the Wizard. While he does carry a Cool Gun (a Mauser C96), Cool Shades and wears a Badass Longcoat, his first appearance in an action scene ended with him being shot off of a rooftop before he could finish his In the Name of the Moon speech (the Longcoat did work in that it hid his bulletproof vest, though, so at least he was able to walk away from it...). It hasn't really gotten any better for him since.
    • Hasn't gotten any better for him? I think becoming the Morality Pet to Shenua and Sawyer worked out pretty well.
    • Meanwhile, played straight with Balalaika, Mr. Chang and Ginji.
  • Bad Guy Bar: The Yellowflag, exploded on a seemingly weekly basis. The bartender has armored the bar to survive inevitable shootouts. It never helps.
    • Actually, it does. He armored the actual bar, not the establishment, and he survives catastrophes by hiding behind it and shooting troublemakers with a shotgun.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: During Balalaika's retelling of Hansel and Gretel's past this trope is in effect at one point. Black Lagoon being the kind of show that it is, this scene may or may not be a example of this trope at all, but the alternative would be much, MUCH worse.
    • Averted in season 3; Roberta's nipples are clearly visible when she is in the shower mourning the loss of her master. As are Revy's later on. Same in the manga.
  • Batman Gambit: Eda's bushwhacking of Jane.

Revy: It's like you gathered together all the 'ifs' in the world for this lameass plan.
Eda: Hey, this has worked four of the last seven times I tried it!

  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted completely. Any female who gets in a fight will not get out unblemished, even in the face.
  • The Bechdel Test: Roanapoor isn't exactly the place to worry about how to get a man to love you if you're a woman. Thus, most conversations between the Badass chicks of the series are about anything BUT men and romance, barred very few exceptions.
  • Berserk Button: Just about every character has at least one of these. Harm one of Balalaika's men, question Revy's cynicism, hurt Rock in front of Revy, harm someone Rock's trying to protect, shoot at the Rip-Off Church, do anything even remotely unpleasant to Garcia, and you might as well call your undertaker now to save time.
  • Between My Legs
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Rock, Garcia. Holy shit, Garcia.
  • Bishonen: Rotton the Wizard, to an extent. He basically exists just to look cool and talk fancy. Revy even asks him if he's a man whore.
    • Though still more of a cute kid, Garcia's beginning to grow into a handsome young man.
    • Hansel also shows signs of this. Unfortunately he didn't live long enough to grow into the adult version.
  • Bi the Way / Situational Sexuality: As of Chapter 81, Revy.

Revy: In prison... I've won over some sex-starved dykes by playing the man's role. And... after that, their fingers just weren't enough for them ever again.

    • Notable for being a deliberate invocation of Depraved Bisexual, as Revy was saying that as a threat.
    • Also somewhat evident in "Calm Down, Two Men" (anime episode 7, manga chapter 9), where Revy seems very interested in the porn that Balalaika's editing.

Revy: Hold on a sec...Is she taking it up the ass?!
Balalaika: Sure is.

    • She can be seen, at one point in the manga, looking at a porn magazine with a naked woman on it.
  • Black and Grey Morality: The Lagoon Company is not really "evil" per se, they're just Hired Guns who often do morally questionable things for money. Just about the worst thing they've done so far was to unintentionally help kidnap a child (Garcia) and plan to sell him off for money. With few extraordinary exceptions, most characters in the series don't go out of their way to be particularly nasty, but the trades they're involved in are unquestionably immoral.
  • Bland-Name Product: The Lagoon Company's beer of choice is "Heireken", complete with green-and-white cans. Odd, since they explicitly mention other name brands, such as Bacardi rum and Beretta pistols.
    • Don't forget the use of American Spirit cigarettes. Benny acts as if they're low-grade cigs, however.
  • Bleached Underpants: Rei Hiroe has released doujinshi under the pen-name TEX-MEX, some of which feature characters from the show.
    • It should be noted that while he releases mainly hentai-doujinshis under that name, the one based on his Black Lagoon characters are actually quite tame, being two artbooks featuring designs of the characters, with short explanations on how he designed them and one swimsuit special showing the characters in bathing clothes (albeit skimpy in some cases).
    • It also features an obviously embarrassed Revy, Balalaika, and Roberta in cosplay clothes at an anime convention, and a parody of Yuri.
  • Bling Bling Bang: The head nun of the Rip-Off Church sports a golden pistol. Not any gold-plated pistol, a gold-plated Desert Eagle. The Captain of the Neo-Nazis himself had a gold-plated long-barreled Luger (for all the good that did him). Revy and Mr. Chang both have custom engraving on their guns; Revy's "Sword Cutlass" Beretta 92Fs are further customized as well.
  • Bloodstained-Glass Windows: Parodied in the Greenback Jane arc. In Heroic Bloodshed movies, the church is usually there to be a cool and somber shootout spot, and not so much for its ability to sport gunslinging nuns who blow the ever-loving crap out of the invaders. Like this.
  • Blown Across the Room: And oddly enough, also lampshaded in a 'that's not how things work' way. Once.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Made particularly obvious when Gretel unloads a seemingly endless wave of bullets from her BAR without reloading once. The number of shell casings easily exceeds the magazine's capacity by degrees of magnitude.
    • Inversely played for drama: The more Revy has to reload, the more serious the scene is.
  • Braids of Action: Roberta, the killer maid, has braids.
  • Broken Bird: Revy is a particularly dark and violent version. Balalaika as well. Sawyer too.
    • And then there's Roberta, who was broken, reasemmbled, and broken a second time. The results aren't pretty.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: The Lagoon Company's Elco PT boat. Keep in mind most of these were destroyed after WWII as well.
    • A practically literal example occurs with both Fabiola and Roberta, who borrow a few select pieces from the Lovelace family's private collection whenever they go to the city.
  • Break the Cutie: Balalaika. For proof, see these two pictures of her before and after the war. Not to mention Hansel and Gretel. Oh God, were they ever broken. Yukio gets her mind snapped due to the pressure of being forced to lead a Yakuza clan as well as getting kidnapped, beaten up, and molested. Garcia, who has it broken SEVERAL TIMES during the El Baile de la Muerte arc..
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Most of the Roanapur gangster community, in one way or another. For example, Sawyer. A Cute Mute goth (teenager?) who specializes in corpse disposal and uses a chainsaw in combat. She's rather sociable when able to communicate with others, but becomes downright catatonic when she can't.
  • Butt Monkey: Bao might qualify---how often has his bar been shot up since he opened it?
    • At least fifteen times, nearly destroyed six times, and utterly demolished once as-of Roberta's Blood Trail part 1.
  • Car Fu - See: Goat, Rock, and Jihad.
  • The Cartel: One of the four main power factions in Roanapur.
  • Carnival of Killers: In the "Greenback Jane" arc, we have an obese pyromaniac who is always smiling, a chainsaw-wielding "cleaner" goth lady with an artificial voicebox, a flamboyant gunslinger calling himself "Rotton the Wizard," a cowboy, and a Chinese knife fighter hired to hunt down and kill the titular Jane.
    • In fact, one of the episodes that features them is titled "The Roanapur Freakshow Circus."
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Happens quite a bit, rather justified given the nature of the series.
    • Especially note Revy and Shenhua having a friendly chat while trying to kill each other.
    • No mention of Revy's tendency to sing along to her Walkman while getting in shoot outs early in the manga?
  • Character Development(?!): Takes a while but it happens.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: The series is set in 1990's Thailand, but with characters like Sawyer (who can deflect bullets with a chainsaw), Shenhua (who takes out military vehicles with knives), and especially Roberta (who has enough muscle strength to bite through metal, and just generally seems invulnerable) this trope comes up a lot.
    • Taken to Up to Eleven levels with Shenhua, whose favorite weapons are twin kukris. On chains. That she is able to throw and whirl with impressive accuracy. Kukris are not throwing weapons - they're closer to a axe/machete hybrid.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The pistol Balalaika used to slay Boss Kousa and then threw into the ornamental pool is clearly shown to have a fingerprint on it, presumably Rock's from when she handed it to him. It's likely this will bite Rock later on in the series.
    • It's true meaning is to show that Rock can never return to his home country, because now he is a prime suspect in the murder of a Yakuza boss.
  • Child Soldiers: it is mentioned that Balalaika and her at least some of her men fought them back in Afghanistan.
  • The Chessmaster: Balalaika usually plays this, Rock becomes one in Baile de los Muertos, yet he is defeated by Eda and the CIA.
  • City of Badass: If you live in Roanapur and you have a name, you are a survivor. Even if your name is Rotton.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The English dub, as evident by Black Lagoon: The Fucking Short Version. The original Japanese is not lacking in English profanity, either.
    • And since this dub uses The Ocean Group, a VA company that dubs many anime and Western children's cartoons, hearing these voice actors dropping F-bombs and S-bombs all over the place is pretty surreal. Case in point: Revy's VA voices one of the sisters in Johnny Test for crying out loud!
    • The funny bit? Pay attention: Revy is a minimum of half of the Fucks spoken. Everyone else Cluster Bombs. She Carpet Bombs.
  • Cool Boat: The Lagoon, a WWII - vintage PT boat, retrofitted with metal armour plates and having had its deck guns removed.
    • The Lagoon operates as a courier, so having the guns on deck probably doesn't bode well when dealing with authorities (those they can't bribe anyway). They can probably pass the torpedo tubes as either ship weight, empty, or just too big to unattach.
  • Cool Car: Lagoon Company's main mode of transportation on land is a sexy and rare 1965 Pontiac GTO.
  • Cool Guns: And how! Rei Hiroe (the mangaka) appears to be a gun enthusiast, given the sheer number of appropriate firearms used by the various factions. For the interested, a complete list has been compiled at the Internet Movie Firearms Database.
  • Cool Shades: Dutch, Mr. Chang, and Eda. Rotton subverts it.
    • Hell, at certain angles, Eda's shades bear a striking resemblance to Kamina's.
    • And Rotton is still pretty cool. Just not as cool as anyone else in the cast.
  • Corrupt Church/Church Militant: The Rip-Off Church; it's uncertain if it is an actual church, a Catholic-flavored gun cartel, or something more complicated. Volume 7 of the manga shows that the Rip-Off Church is involved with information brokering as well as gun-running, with Eda working as a Deep-Cover Agent for the CIA. The head nun, Sister Yolanda, appears to have an Intelligence background herself, as her offhand comment naming Eda's boss indicates.
  • Covers Always Lie: See those cute kids on the fourth dvd cover ? They are not as harmless as they look.
    • Though to be fair, by the time you get that far in the series, you will NOT be fooled.
  • Crapsack World: Boy is it ever!
  • Creepy Child Hansel and Gretel
  • Creepy Children Singing "My mother has killed me... my father is eating me... my brothers and sisters, sit under the table, picking up my bones! They'll bury them, under the cold marble stones..."
  • Creepy Twins Hansel and Gretel take this trope to a whole new level, to the point that they were put in our pantheon (the family one).
  • Curb Stomp Battle - After holding off droves of pissed gunmen and FARC troops, the U.S. Black Ops are summarily slaughtered by Roberta.
    • Though they had managed to hold off Roberta earlier. Their main weakness was that when they confronted her in the forest, they were trying to take her alive and she tears through their cover quite easily.
    • And they put up a much better fight in the anime, by operating under a looser definition of "alive".
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!
  • Dark Action Girl: See World of Action Girls below. Just about every female warrior on this show counts. Well, except Fabiola.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Half of the damned cast, though Hansel and Gretel take the cake.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mostly Dutch, but everyone seems to swing by it at some point.
  • Death Glare: Much is made of the "Mad Dog" eyes of Roberta. Most other badass characters in the series have this as well, combined with a Slasher Smile.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Balalaika and Chang, sort of. More like Shooting Each Other In The Guts Means Grudging Respect With A Hint Of Sexual Tension.
  • Dirty Cop: The entire Roanapur police force. Mr. Chang was likely one too, before he became a full Triad member.
  • Discriminate and Switch: Maybe? Greenback Jane takes to calling Feng Yifei (a Chinese hacker) things like "Miss Fu Manchu" and "Miss Peking Duck," but this might only be because she was spying for the PRC.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Rock. Everyone else, on the other hand...
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Revy's follow-up to the page quote, including a threat that she'll shoot Rock if he ever tries to bring it up again.
  • Downer Ending: The Hansel and Gretel Arc. It's not entirely their fault that they're psychopathic murderers but it's explicitly stated that all they will do is kill people, so they both are killed. The same can be said about the final Yakuza arc.
    • Lampshaded by Benny, "Stories like this don't have happy endings."
      • The worst part is that there are several hints that Benny is wrong, and Gretel COULD have been redeemed. Maybe she'd never be normal, but perhaps she could have learned to be selective about her killing such that a place like Roanapur could tolerate her.
  • Dress Hits Floor Gretel does this. It's intended to be disturbing. we also aren't sure of her gender, It Makes Sense in Context
  • Drinking Game: One right here.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Leigharch is implied to have become irreversibly fucked up after snorting too much coke in the manga.
    • In the case of Roberta in the El Baile de la Muerte arc, she becomes addicted to Ritalin, which may play some part in her apparent psychosis.
    • Then she starts O Ding on them, which do jack to stop her from hallucinating.
  • Dual-Wielding: Revy and Chang.
  • Earn Your Title: Oh so many. Revy is known as Two-Hands for her style of fighting. Roberta is known as the Bloodhound of Florencia because once she has a target there is no stopping her and presumably also was earned for what she does when she catches her target. These are just for starters.
  • Elite Mooks: Balalaika's enforcers, they're former Russian Special Forces, and the name is, surprisingly, NOT just for show.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: Used in Episode 10 of the anime.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Both Lagoon Company and Balalaika take a dim view on their more sadistic, cowardly, or just plain petty enemies.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Not to mention a few boats, although various high explosives and incendiary rounds were applied to them.
  • Everybody Smokes: Especially Revy. If she's not drinking, she's got a cigarette hanging out of her mouth. Or both.
  • Everyone Can See It: Rock and Revy. Eda constantly brings him up with Revy, and the one day Rock wasn't with her Bao asked if they were in a fight.
  • Evil Versus Evil: You're either a mafia leader, apathetic criminal, an asshole, or a complete psychopath. Or Rock.
  • Finger in the Mail: Balalaika has a yakuza boss who betrayed her killed and (offscreen) cut into pieces. She then sends a box containing some of the pieces back to his organization as a reminder that she's not to be trifled with.
  • Flipping the Bird: You got FUCKED!
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: Revy is the Cynic, Rock is the Optimist, Dutch is the Realist, Benny is the Apathetic.
  • Friendly Enemy:
    • On the rare occassions that anyone in Lagoon antagonizes Balalaika she's usually rather nonchalant about it. Takenaka embodies this trope.
    • During the "Greenback Jane" arc, Revy and Shenhua seem to accept that they're against one another, even to the death. They even have a bit of small talk in between shooting.
    • Before that, they continued to threaten each with death all the while when they went to save Rock after he got kidnapped. They even fought over who got to take on the enemy first (with rock/paper/scissors).
  • Freudian Excuse Hansel and Gretel
  • Gangsta Style: Dutch does this once with a shotgun in episode 6.
    • Fridge Brilliance: Some shotguns from the 70's and 80's were less unlikely to jam when reloaded sideways since the cartridge could leave the gun more easily. This does not justify actually firing it sideways, but then again it's a shotgun...
  • Geeky Turn On: The one thing to cause a positive reaction from Jane? Benny's hacking skills.
  • Genre Savvy: Despite being rather a Joke Character, Rotton actually had sense to utilise body armor against gun users AND a groin protector while chasing Roberta. And IT WORKS.
    • When Roberta blows up the bar and the whole thing is up in flames (with her still in it):

Rock: I shouldn't be able to hear anything, but I can feel it; her footsteps getting closer and closer. And I could swear that any minute now, her black maid's outfit will appear from that fiery exit.

Guess what happens right after they drive away. (Although under the circumstances it could be a case of unintentionally Genre Savvy.)
  • Girls with Guns: Nearly all of the major female characters have picked up a gun at some point, and for the ones who haven't, it's only because they're too busy playing with knives and/or chainsaws, or are just schoolgirls.
  • Gratuitous English: And Russian, and Spanish, and German... But especially the English. Not Thai, surprisingly (written script, anyway). In the English dub, Gratuitous Japanese turns up in the 'translation' scene during the last arc. The Yakuza uses his Japanese seiyuu for the scene, while Rock gets Brad Swaile trying to speak Japanese.
    • Just what is a "Mass import of ammunition and economic reality"?
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: For a given value of 'good'. Balalaika sports a nasty burn on the side of her face. Call her Fry Face at your peril. Sawyer has a nasty scar on her throat from where it was apparently cut, explaining why she needs the voice synthesizer.
    • Hiroe's Black Lagoon swimsuit special reveals that Sawyer also has multiple scars on her wrists.
  • Gorn: In the Roberta's Blood Trail OVA's, you get to see what happens when a chainsaw meets a human chest among other things.
  • Guns Akimbo: Revy and Mr. Chang. Possibly Rotton as well, if he'd ever last long enough to actually shoot.
    • Roberta and Fabiola have been known to dual-wield firearms on occasion too - it's not really their signature fighting style, though.
    • Lampshaded in the Viz edition: the liner-notes in the back make sure to note that, while the 'gun-kata' style used by Revy looks awesome, using it makes aiming all but impossible, not to mention reloading.
    • Oddly enough, while both Revy and Chang are veritable destroyers of worlds with their style of dual-wielding, it's also noted that becoming as good as they are was incredibly hard and just as rare. Even similarly powerful pistol-users like Eda or the Texan mercenary only use a single gun. And Rotton's Mausers are fully automatic, which leads one to assume that his doubling up is meant for, beyond looking cool, increasing his spray.
  • Gun Porn
  • Harmful to Minors: Hansel and Gretel have quite possibly the most fucked up and tragic Backstory you could hope to find in the series. Or pretty much any series.
    • And look what happened with Garcia when he found his head maid doing... that. She engages in a rather animalistic seduction of a FARC leader before shooting him with a gun hidden in her belt buckle and beating his head to a pulp with her bare fists just off screen, while shouting about how she was doing everything for Garcia
      • He's further in shock in the manga, displaying Tranquil Fury and wishing for people to go to Hell, especially the Black Ops commander.
  • Heroic Bloodshed: Playing most cynical subtropes straight and demolishing the idealistic ones.
  • He Will Not Cry, So I Cry for Him: Rock, the only truly decent human being one from just of handful of genuinely good people (and the only one optimistic enough to believe in redemption) in the Crapsack World of Black Lagoon, listens with sadness and horror rather than disgust at the coldly delivered Hannibal Lecture of Gretel, a little girl so traumatized by rape and torture with her twin brother Hansel back in Romania that murder has become the sole source of joy for them. He holds her in a tight embrace and weeps, begging her to accept the possibility that there is hope, and still a possibility of a new and happy life for a little girl like her. This act of sincere kindness, so alien to Gretel, was enough to move even a mass murderer like her to blush like a real little girl for the briefest of moments... Cue one of the few Squicky Tear Jerkers in existence with how she tried to thank him: Lifting her skirt and giving him a show.
  • Hidden Badass: The Texan mercenary from the Greenback Jane arc. He's the butt of many a joke (given his unfamiliarity with the pecking order of Roanapour), and relentlessly mocked by the more 'experienced' mercenaries. Then he gets into a gunfight with Eda...alone. He matches her shot-for-shot for quite some time, and with a revolver, no less. It's probably no coincidence that Eda's male counterpart in one of the extras looks eerily like him, albeit in a priest's smock.
  • I Call It Vera: Revy's twin custom Beretta 92FS, the "Praiyachat Sword Cutlass Special".
  • Intertwined Fingers done by hansel and gretel
  • Israelis With Infrared Missiles: Ibraha's son was killed during the invasion of Lebanon by "Those monsters from Jerusalem!". We don't get to see them, though.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: It seems that every enemy or otherwise non-primary characters (and even primary characters if they get in a fight with each other) seem to have come from this academy.
  • Inaction Sequence: Repeatedly mocked; trying to deliver a Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner or In the Name of the Moon speech with Revy around is a sure-fire way to get shot mid-sentence.
  • Indirect Kiss: The notorious "cigarette kiss" between Revy & Rock right after their heated confrontation is a definite winner and also one of the series' numerous Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • Infant Immortality: The creepy twins Hansel & Gretel and the two civilians unwittingly used by them as decoys didn't get any special treatment.
    • Played Straight with Garcia and Fabiola, at least for now.
  • Jerkass: Chaka, Verrocio and Chin, assholes even by the show's standards. They all die gruesomely at some point during their introductory arcs. Their deaths aren't just gruesome, they're fairly amusing as well as well deserved.
  • John Woo: If he ain't a Trope all by himself, he should be. The series as a whole owes so much of its action to him. The anime sports many of his film stylings, even having a character (Mr. Chang) based off his movies. There's even a shoutout from his American film Face/Off, when Chang pulls his guns out from behind his back, from the same midback, mirror-holster that Nicolas Cage had.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Ginji, who slices bullets and gun barrels with ease.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Revy is especially fond of doing this. The musclebound Neo-Nazi was arguably the best; she not only shot him down mid-sentence, she lazily reloads her gun and THEN kills him. Later during the Greenback Jane arc, she tries to do the same to Rotton, who is saved only by his bulletproof vest.
    • The latter case is not so much a matter of "trying" as "Rotton being an idiot and standing on a rooftop silhouetted against the moon". She shot him out of reflex.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Balalaika does this to one of the Creepy Twins near the end of the Vampire Twins arc. With a sniper. Demonstrating once again why you never want to piss her or the Russians off. The scene is even better in the dub:

I said KNEEL!

  • The Ladette Edda and Revy
  • Leave No Survivors: The E.O. captain. "There's nothing I hate more than survivors".
  • Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: For at least a couple of organizations in the city, if not all of them. The worst offender is the Rip-Off Church, which doesn't seem to do anything remotely religious at all.
  • Likes Older Women: Garcia concerning Roberta (as of the end of El Baile de la Muerte).
  • Little Miss Badass: Fabiola Iglesias. Basically, a nicer, cuter version of Roberta. Gretel also counts, but the fact that she/he/whatever it is may not be a girl...
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Arguably.
  • Made of Iron: Most of the recurring characters ignore or survive attacks that would cripple or kill any real person. And then there's Roberta, who is in a category of her own.
  • The Mafia: The Verocchio family.
  • The Mafiya: Balalaika's branch of Hotel Moscow.
  • Menacing Stroll: Seen in the Final Battle between Revy and Ginji. Yakuza enforcer Ginji walks upright and straight-shouldered, as befitting someone who uses their height and reputation to intimidate people. The diminutive Revy is slack-eyed and hunched over, creating an appearance of weakness but conserving her strength for the eruption of violence to come.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: It's a thinly-veiled action movie parody, what do you expect?
  • Mexican Standoff: Between Revy and Dutch during the Nazi arc following the "Whitman Fever" incident, and between Revy and Roberta in episode 10. Again in the Yakuza arc, between Revy, Balalaika, Boris, and Rock (though Rock wasn't armed).
    • Rock is always armed. Just maybe not with guns.
  • Mismatched Eyes: Balalaika to an almost subtle degree. Mostly visible in close-ups, the eye surrounded by one of her many scars is slightly paler and greenish (a blunt injury can cause heterochromia).
  • Miss Kitty: Madame Flora
  • Mistress and Servant Boy: Revy and Rock, to a degree.
  • Mooks: You better start praying if you aren't a main character. If you're really lucky you might come out of it as lucky as Bao.
  • Moe: Invoked with Hansel and Gretel, who deliberately invoke this to fool their enemies.
  • More Dakka: The Rip-Off Church responds to a stray shot denting their door by bringing out an M-60.
  • A Mother To Her Men: Balalaika.
    • The male version of this trope is in effect as well, as the commanding officer (the Major) of the US Special Forces team is fully willing to sacrifice himself if it means that the rest of his team will survive.
  • My Kung Fu Is Stronger: Quoted almost verbatim by Benny during the Greenback Jane arc.
  • Musicalis Interruptus Gretel's song is interrupted by gangsters walking in on a not so pretty sight.
  • Neighbourhood Friendly Gangsters: The Washimine group. The rest, not so much.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: Averted so far. Save for Fabiola and Roberta who were taken in by a wealthy widower, no female character ever mentions a relationship to a man to justify their success, line of work or skills. Their positions in the story were hard-earned and based on their own abilities.
  • Nice Hat: In at least one flashback, Balalaika and some of her comrades are shown wearing spiffy sky-blue berets that mark them as members of the Russian Airborne Troops, while Gretel sports a nice black sunhat with cloth rose when she disembarks from the Black Lagoon.
  • Non-Action Guy: Rock and Benny.
  • Non Sequitur Thud: Leigharch is made of these when on coke (manga) or pot (anime). To whit:
    • (When Revy kicks him in the head to get him moving) "I forgot! We have to go to Liverpool! Jimi Hendrix is calling for me! To defeat the Klingon-alien!"
    • (When the car gets shot up) "Barbarella is holding an anti-war sign in the nude!"
    • "Playmates! There are exactly one hundred playmates! Starting from the nineties! It's attack of the Playmate Army!"
    • "WHAT? My application to the Black Panthers was denied AGAIN?!"
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Rock doesn't even seem to notice Revy's stripperiffic outfit. She doesn't seem to care all that much about how much of her he sees either, since he had to wake her up when she had no pants on at one point.
    • Not that it shows much more...
  • Not So Different: Heroic version, Balalaika and Rock.
    • Also discussed between several characters, like between Fabiola and Revy, Garcia's opinion about Caxton and Roberta. Also Gretel's opinion about Revy and herself.
    • Played with by Gray Fox and the Vysotniki:

Balalaika: Though our allegiance and the places we've fought differ... My unit has seen the same things as yours, and fought the same battles. But tell me, Major... How... How did we end up... so different from you?

    • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Fryface-sama ga Miteru?
    • Manzai: Yukio and her kohai try to get into the manzai business... but no one gets this "slapstick" thing, or if there's any such thing as moderation. Knuckle dusters get involved.
    • Maternally Challenged: Balalaika trying to raise Hansel and Gretel, who enjoy everyday childhood activities like constructing pipe bombs and skinning cats. Featuring Dutch as a school principal, Garcia as a highly unfortunate babysitter, and Mr. Chang as the father.
    • Summer ghost stories omake, everyone trying to scare each other. The winner is... Rock. The loser... Balalaika, who demands that Boris escort her for bathroom breaks in the middle of the night.
  • Outlaw Town: Roanapur
  • Out of the Inferno: Roberta. It's even Lampshaded.
  • Pair the Smart Ones: Benny and Greenback Jane.
  • Panty Shot: Greenback Jane, especially in the anime. And again with Yukio's kohai Maki. Apparently not for titillation.
    • One of the longest one is during the Toyko arc and from Yukio Washimine after she was saved in the bowling alley. The camera just stares at her panties while she is yelling at Rock. It's disturbing on so many levels.
    • At least one shot of Revy in her panties when Rock's trying to wake her up to get out of bed. Considering how little clothing she wears normally, she doesn't really care that he sees her in her underwear, and for that matter, neither does Rock.
    • Roberta also provides a nice one in chapter 75.
  • Papa Wolf: Ginji. Lay one finger on Yukio and he will deliver a horrible Karmic Death to you.
    • Also, Rock. Harm or threaten a child that Rock is trying to protect, and you'll see quickly why he's a member of the Black Lagoon crew.
  • Parasol of Pain: Roberta's umbrella is made of Kevlar and has a built in shotgun. And that's just one of her many pain-inducing items.
  • Perma-Stubble: Benny, though it's not very Badass Perma-Stubble.
  • Pet the Dog: Revy showing a group of kids what gunplay's really about—using their popguns. We even get a Luminescent Blush after she sees Rock was watching!
    • Later on, she and Rock meet the same kids, and Revy blasts the same set up of cans she did the first time...with her Cutlass.
  • Pirates: The Lagoon Company, as well as several of their opposition.
  • Police Are Useless: The Roanapur police. Totally corrupt and impotent to the point that they can't stop crime at all, and so turn a blind eye to practically everything while taking bribes.
    • The Japanese police aren't exactly useless and are competent, but they're pretty ineffective at dealing with the sudden rash of explosions and massacres that occur during the Tokyo arc.
  • POV Boy, Poster Girl: Rock is the "average" protagonist, but Revy is the main fighter, and primary muscle of the Lagoon Company.
  • Precision F-Strike: Despite the company he keeps, when Rock swears at you, you know he is VERY angry!
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Revy is very fond of these.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Used AND averted. Gretel had a (most likely large) head wound conveniently covered by his/her wig. Ginji had a significantly larger response when shot by Revy at the end of Fujiyama Gangsta Paradise.
    • For a "little wound" Gretel sure did have blood coming down over a large part of her face.
    • In the anime, Ginji takes the bullet in the throat rather than the forehead.
  • Psycho for Hire: Quite a lot of people; Hansel and Gretel are the most overtly so. Most of the city of Roanapur. Look no further than "Greenback Jane". And that started as just $1000 a head.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Everyone in this city, at one point or another, has tried to kill each other, if for no other reason than they either had conflicting interests at the time or they were employed by a party who wanted the other dead. Hardly anyone takes this personally, and it is not uncommon to watch most of the same parties who tried to kill each other hang out together later.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The bounty hunters in the "Greenback Jane" arc.
  • Rape as Backstory: Episode 5 of El Baile De La Muerta shows a flashback of a corrupt cop beating and then raping a young Revy.
  • Rape Discretion Shot: The OVA has a flashback of Revy's Prison Rape, which shows pretty much everything but the actual act.
  • Rare Guns: Let's see...
    • First off, we have Eda's gun: a Glock 17L. The interesting thing here is that although the Glock 17L is a rare gun today, it had just been introduced around the time that the series takes place (early-to-mid 1990's)
    • Then there's the Luger used by one of the Neo-Nazis. Its modifications already make it rather unique, but what truly makes it a rare gun is that it's an Artillery model Luger, which are uncommon among the few thousand or so Lugers currently in circulation.
    • Roberta has a SPAS-12, which she conceals in a parasol.
    • Revy uses an APS Assault Rifle during the Neo-Nazi arc. This is a gun designed to shoot underwater, and was given to her as a gift from Balalaika. Needless to say, they're pretty hard to get ahold of, as it's strictly special issue by the Russian government. Its use is justified though, what with her and Rock going diving. It isn't that sup rising that Balalaika can get her hands on one when you know she has the clout to get diplomatic immunity despite being a gang leader.
    • Yolanda's gold-plated Desert Eagle has been previously mentioned, and it should be noted that while a regular Desert Eagle can cost over a thousand dollars new, a custom job with some sort of decoration or modification can cost several times more than that.
    • Fabiola uses a China Lake grenade launcher in the bar room shoot-out. At this point in time, there are only four examples in existence, with only one open to the public and the remainder locked up in private collections or armouries.
  • Rated "M" for Manly: Or M for Macho, anyway. Most of the ass-kickers may happen to be female but the trope still applies.
  • Hand Cannon: Seventy-year old nun with a gold-plated Desert Eagle. She fires it one-handed.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Balalaika and Chang.
  • Reflective Eyes: Gretel's eyes reflect the beautiful blue sky above her after she is shot in the head
  • Refuge in Audacity: In the final episode of season two, Balalaika arrives at the home of an influential Yakuza leader where she shoots him with his own gun and massacres his staff. She then proceeds bluff her way past a police barricade by impersonating an ambassador, casually walk to her fancy limousine and drive away, all before anyone has had a chance to figure out what just happened.
    • This could also be considered a Gaijin Smash (the act for which the blog is named.)
  • Retired Monster: A retired SS officer turns out to be the one behind the plot where both Lagoon Company and some neo-Nazis were going after the same treasure. Setting them up to fight each other was his way of testing the neo-Nazis. Since they all died, they don't get a passing grade.
  • Retroactive Wish: Revy jokes that the Lovelace family maid will come to rescue Garcia, who the Company has just taken custody of. Funny that should Revy should mention that, since that's exactly what happens. And boy howdy does it make their lives a nightmare.
    • It's more that she laughs when Garcia says that the maid will be his rescuer.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Ibraha and the ex-JRA member from "Lock And Load Revolution."
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Dutch uses one of these. So does Chaka, which Revy takes as another sign that he's a poser and a show-off. Also, one of Florida gangsters uses one with surprising competence, and probably could have survived... if he had shut his big mouth regarding Eda's identity.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The Lovelace family maids are prone to these. Revy could also have been said to indulge in them in Japan and on the Nazi vessel, except that her anger wasn't directed at the people she was killing.
  • Romanticism Vs Enlightenment: Strongly romanticist from art style and shot composition to character motivations to the heavy Rule of Cool in action scenes. Balalaika's rationalist ideology and fighting style make her that much more intimidating as a result.
  • Rule of Cool: And how! Season 3 might be a "Quentin Tarantino Presents" feature.
    • Rotton doesn't seem to quite get it though. He fulfills everything needed aesthetically, but his only mentionable talent seems to be not dying. Granted, given that he spends a lot of time posing dramatically in the middle of gunfights full of ultra-violent psychos...
    • And if his only real talent is not dying, he's still better than most male secondary characters in the series, especially when he takes countless hits that would have killed almost anyone else.
  • Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: Hotel Moscow plays this straight in the Yakuza arc when they make a landing on Japan. Usually, though, the trope is subverted, as Roanapur is too much a Wretched Hive for any one gang to control, and both the Italian mafia, the Columbian cartels and the Florida mafia finds that out the hard way—the latter being the prime examples as their group is treated as Naive Newcomers by the hardened resident gangster community.
  • Ruthless Modern Pirates: The eponymous Black Lagoon company.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: Mostly played straight, occasionally averted. Hansel is led into a trap that Balailaka notes no one who was sane and not blinded by bloodlust would have fallen for. Sawyer collapses into catatonic depression when her audiovox is lost (though she gets better). On the other side, Roberta, in her second appearance is clearly cuckoo for coco puffs, but remains a devastatingly effective combatant, with complicated strategies and maneuvers other insane characters have lacked. In fact, Roberta becomes far more powerful when she loses it.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Roberta, as well as Dutch during episode 3.
    • Inverted with Eda, who's at her most intense and intimidating when the glasses stop hiding her eyes.
  • Scenery Porn: The anime is full of gorgeous scenes of the South Pacific, and for all the shithole it is, Roanapur is certainly a lavishly detailed shithole.
  • Second Face Smoke: In the Yakuza arc, Revy does this to Chaka in response to his talk about having a gunfight with her.
  • See You in Hell: Yukio's last words in the manga.
    • Also Balalika's words to Tsugio Bandou before she kills him.

"I'm only interested in how much I can dance in the pit of hell when it's all over. See you there some day." (Neck Snap)

  • Ship Tease: Remember that odd cigarette lighting scene at the end of episode 7 that was a hell of a lot like a kiss?
    • Chapter 76: Garcia/Roberta at the conclusion of El Baile de la Muerte.
    • Somebody on the OVA's animation team seems to be a fan of Garcia/Fabiola...
  • Shout-Out: One of the more obscure ones was Sawyer the Cleaner's rendition of Leatherface's rage dance from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
    • A less obscure one would be towards the end of Season 1 Episode 12 where it's mentioned that Revy's still wanted in New York's 27th precinct.
    • One of Revy's gunfights in the 2nd season looks an awful lot like a Grammaton Cleric in action, considerably more than usual.
    • The whole Roberta sequence is a huge and Lampshaded shout-out to Terminator.
    • The U.S. Army squad in El Baile is called the Gray FOX unit. And features one guy with a bandana.
    • Madame Flora, the mistress/pimp who runs the whorehouse upstairs in the Yellow Flag, is based off Divine.
    • The flashback scenes to the German submarine in episode 4 are rife with references to Das Boot. The submarine even ends up stranded on the sea bottom like the U-96, although it, unlike the U-96, doesn't manage to escape.
    • The Vampire Twins arc has a few The Shining references, one of which was exclusively manga, in which gretel sings a song from the shining (in the anime she has a song written for her).
  • Silly Rabbit Idealism Is For Kids: The Anime : So much so that this entire franchise seems to be an Author Tract of "It's pointless to even try to be a decent human being in the real world. Fight, Fuck, Kill, Don't Care About Anybody and Be Content."
    • Alternatively, the story can be about how wallowing in nihilism and cynicism makes you a pathetic wreck of a human being. As Revy so aptly puts it, Roanapur is the city of the walking dead; nobody there is happy or content, they just exist and let their nihilism control them.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: The second half of episode 7 is a drawn-out Slap Slap Indirect Kiss for Rock and Revy.
  • Slasher Smile: Revy and Hansel/Gretel are fond of these, as well as Roberta during her Ax Crazy phase.
    • Rock has recently started using it in chapter 72.
      • Rock first showed one when Revy challenged him...a Japanese salaryman...to a drinking duel in the first episode.
    • This is actually one of two signs that a person is an incredible badass, with the other being a Death Glare. If one has the glare, but no smile, chances are they're holding back.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Far, far on the cynical end. Except for Rock. But that appears to be changing, much to Revy's dismay (at times).
    • Revy herself seemed to be picking up some of Rock's idealism... And she and Fabiola had one last talk at the end of El Baile de la Muerte.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Gretel with her BAR (which is drawn much larger than it is in real life). There's also Fabiola and her EX-41 China Lake grenade launcher.
  • Smoking Is Cool
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Revy had a few problems with this in fan translations, being called Levi instead until her first name was revealed as Rebecca.
  • Start of Darkness: Episode 21, "Little Soldier Girls", which details Balalaika's transformation from idealistic little girl to disillusioned war veteran to the nihilistic Magnificent Bitch we see in the series.
    • El Baile de la Muerte includes one for Rock.
  • Stealth Parody: Black Lagoon is either a Stealth Parody of the action movie genre, or just turned Up to Eleven. Probably both.
    • More acurately, most of the characters outside of our "heroes" are Captain Ersatz of notable action characters/movies. Hansel and Gretel are Gunslinger Girl (with bits of Hellsing) dialed to 13, Greenback Jane looks and acts (down to the above-noted pantyshots) like she came over from Gunsmith Cats. "Babe" is Chow Yun Fat, etc..
  • Story Arc: With few exceptions, Black Lagoon contains nothing but self-supporting arcs describing the crew's current job. They will reference past events, however.
  • Surprisingly Good English: The manga. The anime, on the other hand...
    • The anime did a good job when Rock was translating for Balalaika during the yakuza meeting. Also, when Revy was talking to Ginji during the same arc.
  • Surreal Theme Tune:
    • The theme song contains Gratuitous English that puts such gems as "YOU WA SHOCK!" to shame. It still sounds rather threatening, however.
      • The theme song IS Gratuitous English. There isn't a single word of Japanese in there.
    • The World of Midnight in relation to the Twins. Deeply beautiful, haunting lyrics, and disturbingly fitting for two of the most fucked-up characters in the entire series.
    • "World Of Midnight" can also be heard playing in the background of some of the young Balalaika flashbacks.
    • After some episodes the beautiful instrumental ending theme becomes really haunting.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Rock gets into this quite a bit.
  • Talk to the Fist: Revy's response to blowhards who shoot off their mouths is often to shoot them mid-sentence.
  • Tempting Fate: Revy laughs when Garcia says the Lovelace family maid will show up to rescue him. You'd think this trope would be reason enough for her to keep her mouth shut.
    • Poor old Bao has his in spades, too. Virtually every time he said something along the lines of "As long as my bar doesn't get shot up, I don't care about it", you could bet that either in the current episode or arc the Yellow Flag would end up in ruins.
  • Terrorists Without a Cause: Masahiro Takenaka. Having long since outgrown all ideals about perpetuating a worldwide communist revolution through his actions, he now considers his acts of terror to be his purpose in themself.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: ...Estrogen Poisoning? If testosterone is the poison, estrogen is the cure.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Revy invokes this trope in episode 3 when she plays a heavy rock song on her CD Player and proceeds to destroy 5 PT boats that were attacking the Black Lagoon. Single-handedly, using only a grenade launcher and a sub-machine gun; oh and she manages to blow up the last one when they try desperately to escape with their lives. The same song ("Peach Headz Addiction") also plays when Revy lapses into Whitman Fever in the Nazi arc.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Rock, definitely. Garcia, by the end of El Baile de la Muerte. And in one of the Omakes. we see that Sgt. Boris of the Vysotniki used to be a scrawny, girlish-looking boy...until he joined the Soviet Army.
  • Two Shots From Behind the Bar: The owner of the Yellowflag keeps a shotgun behind the bar handy for inevitable shootouts. It doesn't hurt that the bar itself is fully armored to withstand shots.
  • Traitor Shot: An extremely subtle one in the conclusion of the "Freakshow Circus" arc. A minor mob boss, out of his element in the pirate city of Roanapur, is spazzing out that he needs the mob in Florida to send him more men after he got all his own men killed by Lagoon Company and other Roanapur denizens. The local expert on Roanapur keeps trying to tell him that things just don't work the same here and that it's not their turf, but the minor boss won't listen to reason. The advisor leaves the room, sighs, and as he leans we see a concealed gun in his coat. Another character strongly implies later that the advisor is probably just going to shoot the minor boss to clean up the mess rather than let him create a bigger one.
  • Translation Convention: English is the universal language used when most of the characters communicate, although the mafia and yakuza gangs presumably speak their native languages internally. For easiness' sake this trope is in effect, with the exception of scenes where people who don't speak each others' languages appear.
    • Which gets kind of weird in the Japanese audio, because characters who have been heard in Japanese are revealed to have been speaking in English all along, and thus have to speak Gratuitous English when in-universe Japanese characters are around.
    • Gets even weirder in the English dub: When Revy gets pissed at a street vendor and starts yelling at him, he yells right back at her, but in the Japanese audio he clearly didn't understand her and was snapping at Revy to speak Japanese. Also, since Ginji magically speaks English now, his dialogues with Revy are rewritten so that they actually understand each other instead of talking past one another in the original Japanese.
      • A shortcoming of the English dub is that in the Fujiyama Gangsta Paradise arc, Laptev and Balalaika's lines in Russian (present only in the Japanese audio) are omitted and simply replaced with the English equivalent.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Gretel states she feels a little bad about killing a couple of orphans so they could used as decoys.
  • Threshold Guardians: Yukio to Rock. Subverted when he decides to Take a Third Option.
  • The Nineties
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Lots of people give them in this series, especially Revy and Balalaika, but one that's of special note is Eda explaining to Mr. Chang why the Triad is nothing but street trash compared to the might of the United States, which is probably the first time in the entire series that anything made him lose his cool.
  • The Triads and the Tongs: Mr. Chang and his Sun Yee On syndicate.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: The neo-Nazi group from episodes 4-6. The actual forces of Nazi Germany seen in the flashback however were portrayed as more affable and humane (save one).
    • Mostly because they were only German soldiers, and not actual Party Members. The one exception is an SS Officer, who is played as a fanatical Jerkass.
  • Together in Death: Hansel and Gretel, as shown in the ending of episode 15. Ditto Yukio and Ginji.
    • Garcia claims this at the end of El Baile De La Muerte, which I just realized is dance of the dead, for himself, the Major, and Roberta. Although it is more psychological death. Maybe they died for real it was not very clear.
      • I think it's safe to assume that they didn't all die in some sort of unseen Resevoir Dogs moment. The death's were purely metaphorical: Garcia essentially lost his innocence and his childhood, Roberta lost a bit more of whatever was left of her humanity and also lost her original image in Garcia's eyes, while Caxton...well, he'd actually come to terms very well with the moral ambiguity of what he did. Although most of his team was killed by Roberta, so that might as well count as his "death," seeing as he's shown many a time to be willing to put himself in harm's way for their sake.
      • The magazine edition of Chapter 76 cut out almost 15 pages. Read the actual Volume 9 version of Chapter 76, it ends the arc in a much more satisfying manner.
  • Token Good Teammate: Rock for the Lagoon company; Rotton the Wizard for the Carnival of Killers and later Sawyer and Shenhua's Power Trio.
  • Too Dumb to Live: This one sees heavy use throughout the series. There's the crew of a pair of gunboats that don't think to stagger their positions before shooting at a target between them. An oversized and loudmouthed Neo-Nazi captain goes on and on about how astounding his personal sidearm is, and Revy finally tires of it and shoots him. A Chinese mafioso sets a trap for the Lagoon crew, who were currently Balalaika's favorite workers, and then brags all around town about how clever he was.
    • Some cases are very annoying, usually among mooks. For example: while Roberta is standing in the middle of the Yellow Flag, pointing her gun at the Lagoon Crew, a random thug of the Colombian Cartel hops out of cover BEHIND her, takes aim at her, and then, instead of just giving her a headshot, completely wrecks any advantage of suprise he had by yelling "We're not done with you yet, you fucking bitch!" and then not shooting, but charging towards her. Cue the guy getting Blown Across the Room via Offhand Backhand.
    • Chaka. Just... Chaka. At the same time you're seething with loathing for him, you're also shaking your head in disbelief at just how incredibly dumb he is. Revy and Genji are more than happy to point this out to him.
    • Subverted with Rotton the Wizard. When he goes face to face with Revy and company, he starts off on a spiel about how their doom has come and he will bring them down...and Revy interrupts him with a bullet. However, he was the only person out of the band of mercenaries hired that thought to wear Kevlar, so he actually survives the ordeal.
  • Trigger Happy: Revy. A lot of other characters too, but mostly Revy.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Hansel and Gretel. Also, Revy.
    • Though not displaying the same maladjustment, Fabiola and eventually Garcia get in on this as well.
  • Twelve-Episode Anime: Two series, and a third in progress.
    • The third is going to be an OVA, since it only covers the El Baile de la Muerte arc.
  • Understatement: "Rock, could you take over babysitting? As you can see, not a lot of maternal instinct there." Dutch, in response to Revy opening fire on an unarmed child hostage.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Revy and Rock, we think.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Roberta, in El Baile de la Muerte. Oh, so very, very much.
  • Villainous Crossdresser: Hansel & Gretel OH SO MUCH! They are very good at swapping genders, and more disturbingly personalities, to the point that there is literally no way to tell what their true genders are. All we really know is that the "Gretel" carries the Browning Machine Gun and Hansel carries the Axe.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Revy. Hurt Rock in any way, and Revy will either beat you up or kill you.
  • Villainous Incest: Hansel and Gretel
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Revy and Eda.
  • Warrior Poet: Revy and Balalaika occasionally fall into this. Ginji even more so. And especially Dutch.
  • Watching Troy Burn: The Greenback Jane arc, when the Lagoon's dock and offices are destroyed during a firefight.
  • What Could Have Been: At least one piece of old artwork shows Rock with a gun, as seen here.
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: Roanapur has a giant defaced statue of Buddha at it's entrance. The narration doesn't even try to be subtle.
  • What Have I Done: Roberta, after she blasts GARCIA, of all people, in a fit of murderous rage in an instinctive trigger-pull near the end of El Baile de la Muerte.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Fabiola to Revy after the latter summarily executes a wounded FARC fighter who they told that they would take to the hospital if he gave them information.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Rock; incredibly enough, he never gets completely jaded.
    • That's not saying much. Barely anyone is "completely" jaded. Revy is protective of Rock, even when she shouts for him not to watch Yukio's suicide, fearing that it would harden him, Balalaika is completely devoted to looking after her men, and the list goes on. It's all shades of gray...albeit often very, very dark shades of gray.
    • In the epilogue of El Baile de la Muerte, Rock laments that he may have acted like a crook, even if his goal was to save everyone. Then again, what caused Fabiola to call him out on it was his belief that survival and being "saved" went hand in hand.
  • With Friends Like These...: Revy and Eda, again.
  • World of Action Girls: Black Lagoon is pretty much the poster for this trope. While Mr. Chang and Dutch certainly are no slouches, compared to Revy, Balalaika, Roberta, Eda, Fabiola, Sawyer, Shenhua, and others, they might as well just toss their guns up and kick back.
  • World of Badass: And Rotton.
  • World of Cardboard Speech: Delivered by Rock at the conclusion of the penultimate episode of the second season.
  • Worst Aid: After the final fight of the Tokyo story arc, Revy's leg is impaled all the way through by Ginji's sword. Rock, coming to her aid, proceeds to rip the blade out; que massive blood gushing and screaming. He's lucky Revy didn't bleed to death right then and there!
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: Hansel does this with Balalaika, describing in detail how one of her comrades refused to give up and kept calling out to her and how interestingly he died. It doesn't end well for him.
  • Wretched Hive: Roanapur.
  • Yakuza: A war between two rival yakuza groups makes up the final arc of the second series.
  • Yandere: Played for Laughs in the Manzai omake, wherein Yukio takes a slap from her kohai very seriously. And then prepares to punch her lights out as part of some friendly slapstick.
    • Revy has started acting this way about Rock, if her little speech to Jane is any indication.
  • You Have Failed Me...: What sets off the Greenback Jane arc. The boss of the counterfeiting ring decides to do this to motivate everyone else. Problem is he just killed the only person that can access the servers that has the patterns on it. So he just destroyed the entire operation.
  • You Monster!: Greenback Jane is running away from gangsters, while Sister Eda is driving next to her in a car.

Sister Eda: Do you want us to save you? Think hard. If you don't want to hand over the plates, I guess we don't have a choice. You'd better run to a mosque next time. What do you think? [snip]
Greenback Jane: 30,000 dollars!
Sister Eda: Rock, it's almost my bedtime. I'm going back to the church.
Greenback Jane: You monster! 100,000!