Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor: anime review

Review: The first season of Darker Than Black earned very high rating from me for its witty entertainment, mind twisting storytelling, interesting premise and great set of characters. In Gemini of the Meteor, the anime generally and cleverly retains most of its predecessor’s charming features and it seems like the creators are ready to take greater risk in storytelling and the ending knowing that lots of fans will follow the series no matter where it takes them. I am one of the fans.

Gemini of the Meteor sets in the now familiar universe where new race of human known as the Contractors and the Dolls walk the street. The story in the anime is not a direct continuation of the first series but, fortunately, still revolves around the matters of the Contractors, The Syndicate and government secret services. Suou, a Russian high school girl, is the new lead characters. Her life changes dramatically when her house is attacked, her father killed and Shion, her brother, goes missing. In order to find Shion, she joins Hei, July and Mao on a journey to Hell’s Gate, Japan.

Choosing a young pink-haired girl as a new lead character creates significant deviation from the first season which looks and feels very mature. At first it seems like Gemini of the Meteor has traded the heavy and dark mood of its predecessor with light-hearted high school romance but as the show progresses and Suou becomes a Contractor, the true intention of adding Suou is clear. This is the first time the viewers get to see a normal person turns into a Contractor. Suou’s transformation provides new and interesting opportunity to explore and learn more about the Contractor’s mind. This is exactly what sequels should be able to do; going deeper and pushing the limit set by the original.

To my delight, Hei also returns but he is now an alcoholic, having lost Yin. I find it fascinating to see a logical minded Contractor relies on something as illogical as drinking. Combining with Suou and July’s stories, I believe Gemini of the Meteor tries to tell the viewers that Contractors do have feelings, that they are still human despite all the monstrous powers. Other characters also change and evolve according to this same idea including Hazuki and Tanya. Despite the good characterization, I still fail to see the necessity of bringing Misaki back.

Gemini of the Meteor wisely preserves the best feature from the first season which is the swift pacing and compelling storytelling. Actually, I think this series handily outdo its predecessor because this time there is no more separate story arcs, just a single, continuous, unstoppable, insanely fun story arc. The action scenes are masterfully choreographed and are extremely witty and unpredictable. I am most impressed by the sense of danger this anime is able to create. Every time a fight occurs, someone dies. There’s no typical ‘prolonged’ fight usually seen in several shonen anime (we all know which anime I’m referring to).

Technically, Gemini of the Meteor provides first class animation and natural mixture of 2D and 3D shots. The movements during combat scenes never cease to thrill and the slow motion sequences are used very effectively. Though the anime contains little to no musical moments, several tracks are surprisingly memorable especially the electronic piece used during action scenes.

As puzzling as the first season, the story of Gemini of the Meteor is overarching and convoluted that it took me more than half the series to have the vaguest idea what it’s all about. There are so many groups in the play; the CIA, the MI6, the Internal Affairs, the Russian Intelligence and the Syndicate. The anime never tries to clear things up but instead always move forward. I didn’t have problem with puzzling story because it was so fun but I had problem with its conclusion which, though extremely imaginative, is just too rushed and ultimately somewhat unsatisfactory. Shion’s ability and what he does for Suou is so stunning that I lost my words for a while and the fate of Yin remains a mystery. But what really annoyed me is the finale that lacks good build up and the few unanswered questions that has lingered around since the first season; what the Syndicate is and what, exactly, the Hell’s Gate and the Heaven’s Gate are. It’s just unacceptable that the Syndicate and its final moment is presented with one still shot of a murdered old man and a single sentence! I was expecting some clearer answers but what I got is more questions. I assume that the creators must be planning for another sequel that they deliberately leaves so many loose ends.

Putting the frustration about the ending aside, there is no deny that Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor is one of the best anime of the year with top notch production, great characterization and compelling storytelling; a brilliant cerebral entertainment.
Rating: B+

Title: Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor (Darker Than Black Ryuusei no Gemini)
Genre: action, sci-fi, supernatural
Released date: October 8, 2009 – December 24, 2009
Episode: 12
Director: Tensai Okamura
Animated by: Bones

Read my review on the first season of Darker Than Black here

Just a note: Looking at Ms. Oreille’s red dress in the last episode, it’s as if she has just ransacked the wardrobe of some cheap sci-fi movie set. She looks silly.

Bad costume design

26 responses to “Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor: anime review

  1. Your.

    Damn, wish I could use english that fluently and widely. I read it all in one, fast go, just as if I fell into a river. We agree in all aspects of the anime, in my DTB review I focused on details too much, while you managed to sum up everything with really cute border of words.

    Keep it up Canne-chan~ ^o^

    • Thank you for the complement! Each of us has different syle of writing and expression so don’t be discouraged by difference in pattern of writing. Hay, I did enjoy reading your post (that’s why I showed up every once in a while^^)

  2. Sorry for double comment, but I forgot to mention that you hit a bullseye with Oreille(oh, found a typo, you wrote Orielle) – Even that gun looks ridiculous.

  3. :) So many questions really. The ending was perhaps the largest detractor overall, as it was too big imo. I can guess at what happened but I do hope another season comes about in the near future.

    Enjoyable, but wtf. ^^ Cheers

  4. Very amazing review ! Especially on first year’s day, i was too tired to write something that complex yesterday so i’m impressed.
    Reading you is a true pleasure.

    Back to the anime, i haven’t watched it yet but i loved the first season. I must watch this one or i’ll never be able to forgive myself.
    Too bad Yin is gone … sigh

    • Thanks!
      Actually I started writing this post a few days before new years eve but completed rearrangement/editing on Jan, 1 (I have to work that day so I wasn’t celebrating X_X)
      About the anime, I’m not convinced that Yin is gone. There were two Yins and…well I’m not giving you spoilers…anyways, Yin’s fate is totally left out to the viewers’ guess. There’s no scene depicting Yin getting killed. So there’s hope :)

  5. Just a scene when Hei is carrying her body, either unconcious or dead, my guess is ‘He sealed Izanami in her again’ or killed the Izanami and created even more powerful entity by doing so.

  6. I started to watch this today but i have all the pain in the world to find the episodes … poor me :(

    • Though I shouldn’t discuss about where to get the anime, I don’t think it’s hard to find since the series is still fresh. Just look around. You will surely find it :)

      • Found them ;-)
        For now i totally love it ! The characters are so amazing, no dead gaps, great fights and a thrilling plot with some touch of humor.
        Sure this anime is awesome, not disappointed at all !

  7. I continue to put DtB off because I hate having to wait for another season.

    “I assume that the creators must be planning for another sequel that they deliberately leaves so many loose ends.”

    I suppose I will need to wait some more, especially since the ending sounds like it was rushed.

    Thanks for the review.

    • You can watch the first season right away. It may leave certain points unexplored but the main plot concludes well. But I can’t say the same thing for Gemini, though :)

  8. I like Yin’s micro tits. Why the show ended so open-ended though…

    i have no idea. :|

    The Ending made me wanna rage.

  9. Eh you missed the part however, that Hei/ Li isn’t actually a contractor so your sentence involving “I find it fascinating to see a logical minded Contractor relies on something as illogical as drinking.” when in fact he never really was a contractor, but only received his powers from his sister Pai after her death, also he has no remuneration after utilizing his electricity, speed, and physical abilities.

    • Thanks for pointing that out. I did miss that details but it was still fascinating nevertheless :)

    • I don’t believe hei,s sister died, but was transported with amber and crew to another reality or dimention leaving her powers to his brother Hei to protect him from danger.

  10. could you reassure me that the new characters get less annoying? The new characters’ payments are almost unbelievable considering the ones of the first series, their personalities are more weird and less human. one thing I liked about the first series is the humanity of the contractors despite the popular belief. I also appreciated Hei’s internal conflict. I stopped watching the episode after Suou got her transformation sequence. Is there any reason I should go on?

    • I think this one is generally similar to the original series except for the rather puzzling ending. If you like the first one especially for the actions, you should keep on watching, I think :)

  11. I believe, Yin made a wish to izanami, to be with Hai forever but she needed to pay the ultimate price. Remember everyone, Yin was practically begging Hai to kill her so many times and according to the story if You are inside an active Gate and Your wish comes true You got to give something of value back.

  12. I am very satisfy, with Suon’s ending in the story, she is a very fortunate Girl, but it will make My day if Season 3 , if it comes would end up with a happy ending for Hei as well.

  13. People, I strongly believe, the story will continue with Season 3 and this time Hei will have a new set of powers and be much more stronger than before, how do I know that, I don’t but, if you seen Season 1, originally , Hei was a normal human traine by the sindicate for the sole purpose of killing either contractors or humans, PK201 was originally Bai (XING) Hei’s beloved Sister a contractor, at some point in the past during Heaven’s Gate War, before Bai disappearence, she use her powers to infuse herself inside his brother’s body, making him a Contractor/Human hibrid with no renumeration what so ever, OK, know look, in Season 2 at the end of the story, Hei kills Yin, but that is impossible because you can kill a non coporial entity (Ghost) with a knife, Remember People Yin’s real body still back there inside a metallic cryonic freezer chamber. I believe Yin made some kind of a deal with izanami, so that when Hei tick his knife on her, she would infuse her life force inside Hei ‘s body, the same thing that happened with Bai in Season 1, the evidence speaks for it self, look at the brightest Star in the sky at the end of Season 2 surprise is PK201 Star. OK soo some of you might be thinking , what was the price Yin paid for her wish to be granted, her lifeless naked body back there in the cryonic freezer chamber, duh!!! Who has the body know, Mr. Loverboy Hei probably taking Yin’s body to a secret place to beried her.

  14. So does anyone have any info on if there will be a season 3? I cant seem to find any information online about it

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