Mainly inspired by some recent online forum discussions on Japanese anime imports, I happened to run across my Japanese DVD imports of the DARKER THAN BLACK: Gemini of the Meteor release while going through my anime collection and thought I’d make a spur of the moment post for it!😛
To be honest, I almost forgot that I had even imported this series from Japan until the all hoopla surrounding Funimation losing the license for both season 1 and 2 of the series sparked a big heated discussion on various anime forums. It was from a discussion on the lack of Japanese subtitles found on anime home video releases in Japan that got me to look through my imported anime collection in the cabinet (to see if I had any that listed them), which was when I saw the Japanese DVD imports for season 2 of DARKER THAN BLACK lying on top of the Fate/ZERO BD boxset!😄
Looking at the release date for the first volume, the 2nd season home video release in Japan started towards the end of 2009. I hadn’t gotten a blu-ray player yet during that time so decided to import the DVD format release instead of the BD format. Looking back now, I wish I had bought a blu-ray player earlier so I could’ve imported the blu-ray volume releases instead…but oh well, there’s always Yahoo Japan Auctions and Mandarake for used copies of those, or the BD boxset re-release on Amazon Japan!
All of the volumes I imported were the first press editions with each volume containing an artbox, metallic artwork jacket and a booklet. Some of the volumes contained more physical extras or on-disc content as well.
Volume 3 came with a bonus CD containing character theme songs and instrumentals as well as an external bonus art portrait. Volume 5 also came with an “EXTRA SOUNDTRACK” CD containing background music and songs that didn’t make it onto the official TV commercial soundtrack release for the series.
Also some sample pages from one of the booklets.
The first press edition of Volume 7 included bonus complete footage (approx 1 hour and 20 minutes) of a special live event for the series held in Tokyo back on the 4th of April, 2010 (called DARKER THAN BLACK -流星の双子- お台場エクスプロージョン) (Odaiba Explosion!). It was the special event where raffle tickets were placed in the first press Volumes 1 & 2 of the series where they randomly drawed out a number for a lucky winner to attend.
Did some digging around for my old summary post I did on the live event and found it’s still online! Lol I might as well copy and paste them on here to save myself the time of re-typing it all but gonna add some new screencaps of the event!
So I just watched the special event and it was an event where the seiyuus for Hei, Yin, Suou, Genma, August 7th, Mao & Mina appeared on stage together for various segments. They talked about each seiyuu’s favourite scene, photos of the locations depicted in the anime, had short stories acted out on stage, August 7th interviewing them and a live music performance of the Gaiden OVAs ending theme “Darker Than Black”.
There were 3 short stories acted out on stage where they just used their voices to act out the scenes while reading from a script.
Short Story 1
The first involved Hei, Suou and Mao where Mao is telling Suou about his days as a cat and a human. He reminisces about a heavily pregnant woman he met in Ikebukuro but suddenly stops telling about it because it might cause some trouble despite Suou wanting to know more, so he decides to change the subject asking Hei if dinner is ready when Hei tells him he just ate dinner.
Suou tells him he’s gonna get fat if he keeps eating but Mao tells her he can keep eating since Hei’s cooking is delicious. Suou gets jealous saying her cooking isn’t that bad to which Hei asks “are you serious?”. She then says her cooking is from the heart and Hei reminds her that contractors have no heart. Mao then says he used to be a cat being all nostalgic and Suou gets surprised by this. She asks him when did he become a squirrel but Mao begins to hesitate, Hei also wants to know since he doesn’t know when Mao transferred his mind into a squirrel’s body.
Suou suddenly remembers that Mao is the squirrel that flew into her bathtub and grabbed onto her chest in episode 1. Hei asks Mao if that’s true but he ask them to give him a break. She tells Mao he’s a pervert and he is shocked. He asks Hei to help him out but Hei is stunned saying he has not heard this before. Mao continues to proclaim his innocence but realises they’re just staring at him.
Short Story 2
Genma is mumbling to his usual self wanting to meet “honey/kawaii-chan” when Mina walks in and asks what he ate for lunch. Genma suspects that Mina’s remuneration must be coming up asking if she has to kiss him to which Mina angrily tells him not to call it that. He gets cocky saying how many times she’s kissed him and Mina says it’s because of her remuneration that she does it otherwise who would wanna kiss him.
Meanwhile, August 7th appears but the other two pay no attention to him and continue to argue until he shouts “LADIES & GENTLEMAN!’ and telling Genma how long has he not been aware of his presence. Mina asks Genma why August 7th seems like a colleague of his deciding that he must also be another pervert but August 7th makes it clear that he has no relationship with either of the two saying he’s just a magician and has something he wants them to hear.
Mina asks what does he know but August 7th just mumbles something random and Genma makes comment that makes Mina to draw out her sword and attack August 7th, nearly cutting Genma instead. He tells her to watch where she’s attacking but she says “shut up pervert! Get out of my way! I’m gonna look for him” August 7th sees that she wants to fight but says now is not the time and performs a disappearing act.
After he is gone, Genma remembers what he and Mina were talking about earlier and sees that Mina’s remuneration is starting up. He asks her to give him a break but she says she can’t help it since she was reckless and used her powers against August 7th, she tells him she’ll kill him if he tells anyone even a little bit about this before giving him a kiss and gagging right after.
Short Story 3
Yin’s split personality truly comes alive in this one lol.
Hei: “Yin? Are you awake? Everything’s alright. I’ll be here.”
Yin: “Hei, I don’t want to be separated from you”
Hei: “We’ll be together. Always.”
Hei: “I’m not lying.”
Yin: *in an angry bitchy voice* “Then what the hell is your relationship with that red-headed girl?”
Hei: *shocked* “Yin? What are you talking about?”
Yin: “Answer me!”
Hei: “Suou is just following me to get information”
Yin” “That sure doesn’t look like it to me…
Yin: “-also, what is this talk of you being with her forever?!”
Hei: “T-that is…how did you know about that?”
Yin: “Don’t think I don’t know anything!”
Yin: *reverting back to normal gentle voice* “What’s wrong Hei?”
Hei: “Seems like you were someone else before”
Yin: “Did I say something?”
Hei: “You don’t remember?”
Yin: “I don’t know”
Hei: “It’s okay, don’t worry about it”
Yin: *back to the angry bitchy voice* “By the way, what do you think about that detective girl Hei?”
Hei: “How did you hear about that?”
Yin: “Who cares, just answer me!”
Hei: “What’s wrong with you Yin? Are you feeling tired?”
Yin: “Are you dodging the question?”
Hei: “Uh-I just happen to always bump into her in the middle of something”
Yin: “Didn’t both of you ate lunch together and gaze at each other for a long time?
Hei: “How do you even know about all these?”
Yin: “I have a very long doll network”
Hei: “Well we certainly did go and eat together and hang out in the city at night but you’re talking about season 1!”
Yin: “Is that so?”
Hei: “Yin, you don’t have to worry about anything, believe me!”
Yin: *reverting back to gentle voice* “What did I just say before? Hei?”
Hei: “You don’t remember again?”
Yin: “Did I say something again?”
Hei: “It’s okay if you don’t remember”
Hei: “It’s alright, don’t worry about it. No, please forget everything”
Hei: “It’s okay, I’ll protect you. I won’t ever leave you alone”
And they DO have a Mao plushi in his squirrel form! Too bad it seems like it was only a special gift to Ikuya Sawaki for his role as Mao. I wish they actually did sell plushies of both his cat and squirrel form as official merchandise then I would definitely buy it.
And for the heck of it, also adding in a photo of the TV soundtrack release of the series! It’s the first press edition containing a bonus sticker sheet of Mao in his squirrel form!😄
After making this post, I’m considering on purchasing the Japanese BD boxset re-release of both seasons for DARKER THAN BLACK sometime in the future! (but probably gonna have to rewatch both series to see if I really want to make those purchases. :P)