English: Darker than Black
Japanese: Darker than BLACK -黒の契約者-
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 6, 2007 to Sep 28, 2007
24 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.351 (scored by 144136 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action drama mystery sci-fi supernatural
SynopsisIn Tokyo, an impenetrable field known as "Hell's Gate" appeared ten years ago. At the same time, psychics who wield paranormal powers at the cost of their conscience also emerged. Hei is one of the most powerful of these psychic agents, and along with his blind associate, Yin, works for one of the many rival agencies vying to unlock the mysteries of Hell's Gate.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Darker than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha
Side story: Darker than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha Special
Sequel: Darker than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha Gaiden
Characters & Voice Actors
Darker than Black, what an adventure it has been. Darker than Black takes place in a near future world where two gates appeared, Heaven's Gate and Hell's Gate. The mysterious appearance of these gates brought with them the Contractors. Contractors are people who have entered into a contract with an unknown force and gained a unique power in return. The nature of the contract however requires them to give back each time they use their power. Payment is anything from smoking a cigarette to writing a poem. The main story is told through an omnipotent point of view with the "camera man" being at the scene and generally following a certain group of characters, but can focus on other characters as the protagonists for an entire arc. It is a very unique telling of the story and hard to put into words, but that isn't a bad thing.
The animation and art style of Darker than Black are superb. Each character is completely unique and unlike some other shows with several similar looking characters, Darker than Black does an excellent job of giving each character an unique style and a winning personality. The fights of Darker than Black are done very well and are very fluid. Although short at times, it is after all not a shounen series, they are excellent none the less. Some fights are extended and are a real treat for the eyes. Bones, the producers, did an excellent job with the series and I am looking forward to seeing more of their work.
The soundtrack for Darker than Black is up there with my favourites of all time. An excellent mix of various genres of music. At one point it will be a jazz track, then later it will be an orchestra piece or a rock track. Overall the music is really well done and accurately depicts the scene. At some points I found myself with the hair on the back of my neck standing up as the music heated up in preparation of a coming battle. The voice acting is top notch. Hei has two distinct voices: one serious and the other calm or even clumsy sounding. The other main characters: Kirihara, Yin, Huang, and Mao also have top notch performances. Overall the casting and voice acting are very well done.
Each character has their own special traits and have very well written dialogue. Although it is for the most part an Action/Drama type of series, there are often Comedic undertones to help break up the suspense. When Hei is not masquerading as BK201, his codename, he is a very funny and sarcastic individual. Most every character has moments that make you want to laugh, especially Gai, the off the wall private eye, and his partner, the pink haired money hungry Kiko. All in all the characters have a very nice chemistry and it is interesting to see Hei's interactions with the people who are pursuing him. The only thing that is holding back the characters is, with the exception of Hei and Yin, there is very little back story provided for many of the main characters. This is hard to do of course though with an episodic type series.
The series seems episodic as the story is generally told in two episode mini-arcs, with the final arc being three episodes, it never really feels very episodic. Especially toward the end where the main plot runs into each new arc. Although there is a sense of conclusion after each arc, it never really feels like it is of an episodic nature (if that makes any sense at all). I immensely enjoyed Darker than Black and it had a very satisfying conclusion. read more
Ah, the age old question; what to do when certain people suddenly begin manifesting mysterious superpowers. Darker than BLACK responds with a classic solution found in series ranging from Witch Hunter Robin to X-Men: Form secret organizations to monitor and control these people. However, despite the similar theme, this show is anything but derivative.
In the beginning of the series, the premise of the show is somewhat vague as little is known about where the powers of the contractors come from, or how they are related to the gates. As the series progresses more information is inevitably revealed, creating good plot exposition and allowing the story to move at a decent pace and keep each episode interesting. Where this series really shines however, is the characters.
Hei is portrayed brilliantly, having a rather comicbook superhero-like persona but adding a unique spin to it. His motives are not initially apparent, nor is his true relationship with the syndicate to which he belongs. Also, while contractors are known to be emotionless and purely rational, Hei somehow manages to retain his humanity, an anomaly which many of his acquaintances and opponents comment on. The true reason for this, as well as the origin of his powers remains hidden until the end of the series.
The other members of Hei's organization are similarly well portrayed, each being represented uniquely and interestingly. Huang, Yin, and Mao each have a well written back-story that is both engaging and important to the overall plot. The other characters in the story are outstanding as well, especially the antagonists. Despite the fact that the contractors are supposed to be unemotional, each character still manages to have a unique personality which often even enhanced by this fact.
If there is one weakness in this series, it is the ending, which is unfortunately rather inconclusive. I'm kind of hoping for a sequel, but this may be difficult for reasons that would be hard to disclose without revealing spoilers. The ending also has a "suddenly everything got weird" part to it that seems common in final episodes of supernatural anime, but at least it makes a lot more sense than many I've seen. If you like shows about people with supernatural powers, I think you should definitely watch this series. read more
Darker than black, combined with a few "American hitman movies" like Bourne, Leon, Wanted... would get you Requiem for the Phantom,
as both main characters are assassins working for a crime Syndicate.
Darker than Black and Phantom are animes that give me a dark and mysterious feeling. Both the main male characters are much alike, and are in an organization which they have to obey.
Both of the character are a good fighter.
Darker than Black and the re-make of Phantom surely do share a lot of points:
- both face stories involving around assassins and criminal organizations
- both have a main male character (Hei / Zwei) which a similar personality and job
- both main characters are accompanied by two emotionless girls (Yin / Ein) which they both somehow develop to love
- both series have this dark atmosphere all around characters and places
- very good, and maybe similar a little, art style and character design for both anime
- well done the character development in both series too
Mystery, action and fight scenes wont miss in either of them.
So, for all listed reasons i see a strong connection and similarity between DTB and Phantom, due to this i can't avoid to advice to watch one if you already liked the other :3
Both anime deal with cold blooded assassins as the main characters and organizations that use these super skilled assassins to achieve their goals. Although unlike Phantom, Darker than Black has some supernatural elements these two anime have the same kind of atmosphere.
zwei and hei are "actors" in their own way...
they have emotionless companions: ein (who gradually changes) and yin (who, slowly changes... as i see her)
they are both under a powerful organization from which they cannot easily escape: inferno and syndicate
Not very similiar story but İf you love yandere characters, Yin and Ein too smilar.in both action and romance anime.two anime protagonist contractors Hei and assassin Zwei.
For one, main characters use almost indentical masks and work for Underground organizations (mafia).
Whenever it comes to assasin work, both characters are unemotional and are good actors.
The difference is that Reiji is far more lively, believable and emotional than Hei who most of the time doesn't give a damn and sometimes seems two dimensional.
Also in Phantom they use real life guns, no super powers.
this is similar to phantom
they similar in the main idea about the animation
you know.. about the gangs and another things
and There are similarities in Hero of the animation
Dude in a mask that works for a shady organization goes around killing the shit out of people.
Psychic of the main characters is similar. Both of them under the mask of calmness and silence are very emotional. They both got their girls ;). The fight scenes are other but also very good. I enjoyed Phantom really much and i think if you like DtB than Phantom is something for you.
They both have Assassins and an organisations that they work for If you liked Darker Than Black then you will more then likely enjoy Phantom ~ requiem for the Phantom~
I thoroughly enjoyed both series for a lot of the same reasons, particularly the changes in the main cast as the series progressed.
I would say Phantom has a darker theme with more powerful and memorable scenes, however Darker than Black I felt had an overall more intriguing plot and cast of characters.
So similar. Both have underground organizations groups working as the main background figures. Main characters are used for killing (assassins).
It is impossible to say that Darker than Black (specifically the first season of DtB) and Phantom: Requiem of the Phantom are not similar, especially the characters. Hei and Zwei are both assassins who work for an organisation they don't really know much about; while Yin and Ein both start out seemingly emotionless but undergo significant character development throughout the series. If you liked one, it is very likely you will enjoy the other one as well.
i think Hei (DTB) is like an assassin who works for a private organisation Called the Synicate (although he has supernatural powers which makes him a Contractor) and as such killed with his powers and with guns; Renji in Phantom: RFTP was turned n trained in Assassination, working for a private organisation called Inferno and has killed with guns, both men were apathetic/indifferent at first but then began to have emotions. Both assassins turn against their Organisation at the end of their respective series and go on the run with their partners, both men taught little girls how to become assassins/contractors (though in DTB it was in the second season when Hei did this) both men betray the little girls for another woman that they have been partners with; (hei was trying to save Yin and by doing so, condemned Suou to death) and (Renji killed his Calie to be with Erin) ....
Though Darker has a supernatural/scifi premise and Phantom is about brainwashed mafia assassins, both series follow a protagonist of dubious morality embroiled in a violent underworld who becomes motivated by a faint hope of redemption. Both also have a female figure from the protagonist's past who shows up later to oppose him, although Phantom attempts to develop (quite literally) this character type while Darker leaves her origins somewhat ambiguous. And although the assassins of Phantom don't have superpowers, the action sequences and plot points in the series can be almost as implausible. ;)
Both focus on assassins who don't quite have everything figured out. Both have emotionless female characters. Both focus on criminal aspects and some stories tend to be alike.
Both main characters are assassins working for an organization, both animes have great batles and are very sad. Same feelings.
The sense of thriller, action, drama, and the darker side of anime tends to be rare these days. But when you watch Darker than Black, it's hard not to think about Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom.
As such, these two series have quite a lot in common.
First of all, both series features a main protagonist with a stoic personality with extraordinary abilities after a certain event. Not only that, but in both series, the main male protagonist wears a hollow mask. Additionally, they are both assassins owned by a governing power.
Secondly, both series has a darker tone that has a thriller feeling to it.
Third, both series has a similar feeling as well as artwork that reflects more on the darker side of anime.
Both series also has plot twists, emotional drama, and occasionally some comedy.
Both series also has a main female protagonist accompanying them who also has a cold/indifferent attitude. Nonetheless, DTB and Phantom should be on anyone's watch list if they enjoyed one or another and vice versa.
Feels very similar in terms of atmosphere and character wise. They have one thing in common is to complete tasks/missions
Both of these series share many areas such as:
Mood: the same dark mood, us against the world
Topic: an elite group working for a secret organization
-Well developed story which is revealed through the series
-Very good character development
Some Of The Similarities -
- Both Main Characters Are Top Notch Assassins Working For A Criminal Organization.
- Both Main Characters Try To Escape From Said Organization.
- Both Main Characters Wear Extremely Similar Masks :P .
- Both Are Sort Of Darker Actions Dramas With Psychological Elements.
- Both Heroines (Yin/Ein) Start Generally Emotionless, But Slowly Develop Throughout The Series.
Some Of The Differences -
- Hei (Dtb) Has A Goal And Is Using The Syndicate, Zwei (Rftp) Is Forced Into The Origination Via Kidnapping And Brainwashing.
- Darker Than Black Is Based Around Super Natural And Sci Fi Elements.
- Requiem For The Phantom Focuses More On The Mental/Moral Difficulties Of An Assassin.
Both Stories Are Great And If You Liked One You Will Probably Like The Other; I Did :)
If you enjoyed the neo-noir themes in DtB you might enjoy Requiem for the Phantom; while lacking the supernatural element present in DtB the protagonists share a few similar traits. They were both ordinary citizens before going through a life changing event which is wrapped in a conspiracy.
- awesome action scenes
- mask wearing protagonists
- work for a less than legal orginization
- (lack of) supernatural elements
This is my first recommendation sorry if it's a bit choppy and long.
Darker than Black deals with similar moral convictions that people have regarding death, survival and friendship. Both are vary intense more so Phantom, but DTB can still be a lot to handle.
Both basically the same thing: some badass asassin main character who goes around killing people. They have generally simillar atmospheres except Darker than Black also has some comedic moments. I guess it's slightly less serious. Basically, if you like watching people kill other people, you'll probably like both of these.
Both main characters are involved in the world of assassins/contract killers. Both main character duos are trying to leave said world of crime. Both are top-notch action/drama series!!
The concept of these anime series is quite similar, but Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom executes it far better in my opinion.
Both anime revolve around a cast in the midst of a emotionless and cold vs. humanistic and livable lifestyles. Characters will fill nihilistic ideas with reason and logic whilst being forced to deal with unforetold emotion and gut feelings. Filled with only the slightest glimpses of hope at some times they show you what it's like to hang on. I recommend if you like high action, suspense, and strong characters.
Both feature a episodic set up of episodes and share a very similare way of advancing the plot, through encounters with different antagonists each episode. One episode of Darker than BLACK is also very similar to a certain episode of Cowboy Bebop furthering their similarities.
It shares a lot of the same themes and the main characters are somewhat similar. Both are unable to forget their past and move forward. The most obvious is the the style and the music as well.
A lot of similarities. Each series is very episodic, though Darker Than Black has more stories that span over 2 episodes. Interesting choreographed fight scenes. Music is great in each series.
Both have a similar sci-fi episodic adventure format, where the main characters take up missions and jobs in order to make money. The main difference is that DtB's adventures span 2 episodes whereas CB spans 1. ^_^
Both are episodic (though Darker Than Black's stories span two episodes rather than one) sci-fi anime. They're both frequently said to be neo-noir, so take that as you will. Of course, that means crime shows up frequently in both. The main characters in both series are well-developed and all have their own pasts to explore; with one important similarity being in the question "Who has moved on from their past?"
Both main characters do their missions in a non-sentimental and pasive way. Also the plot are differents mission that usualy are not conected with the exception of the very last episodies
Both shows have episodic formats (although in DTB each "episode" is actually a two-parter) and involve the main characters taking jobs involving tracking people down for money. Both of them are, when you get down to it, about characters trying to escape the past (and failing, for the most part). They also both have kickass soundtracks by Yoko Kanno, and many of the people who worked on Bebop went on to join Studio BONES, which produced DTB.
Similar plot mechanics, where a sub-story is treated every few episodes but also constitute the main plot of the anime.
Also, an important focus on characters and character development.
Moreover, some aspects of OST are similar.
Both Darker than Black and Cowboy Bebop are both episodic anime which eventually lead to an overall plot that is tied in with the main character's past in some way(ie Spike and Hei) that are presented in the last few episodes. They also both feature a soundtrack done by Yoko Kanno
Both shows are episodic escapades that focus on style above plot. The characters are well-established and explored, but minimally developed in both series, meaning that they are both a comfortable watch. The action and ease of viewing make them great for group viewings.
Adult protagonists, realistic graphics, lot of action, short-arc based plot.
they are both kind of dark and investigationy. they have the same atmoshpere but darker than black has less humor
They have the same kind of feel to them with the episodic plot and the main group doing missions together for their jobs and you discover each character's past little by little. and the characters take on personal matters sometimes. there's definitely a very similar plot development in both series. if you liked one you will probably like the other.
both are episodic, similar protagonist, similar ovarall plot, same music composer the difference is that darker than black is more supernatural and bebop is more of a sci-fi
They both share similar plot and give the same atmosphere. Both are episodic, and have specific music style. The endings have an unexpected emotional twist. If you liked DTB you'll probably like Cowboy Bebop.
- If you like awesome soundtracks (Jazz) , story telling in an episodic fashion with an underlying depressing story, awesome fight scenes + good character development, than these Animes are for you! Bebop is a classic, and Darker Than Black should be recognized as Anime at its finest also.
Opening Theme#01: "Howling" by Abingdon Boys School (eps 1-14)
#02: "Kakusei Heroism ~The Hero without a Name~" by An Cafe (eps 15-23, 25)
Ending Theme#01: "Tsuki Akari" by Rie Fu (eps 1-14)
#02: "Dreams" by HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR (eps 15-24)
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