Black Lagoon, Vol. 7 – Manga Review

Review by: Edward Zacharias

Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Rei Hiroe
Genre: Graphic Novel (VIZ Signature)
MSRP: $12.99 US
Rating: M (Mature)
Release Date: Available Now

La cancion de la venganca y el baile de la muerte.

It took a few seconds for the tall, graceful and seemingly harmless woman wearing glasses and a maid’s uniform to tear a saloon apart with bullets and grenades when we first met Roberta … the loyal maid of the Lovelace family in Volume 3 of Black Lagoon. In Volume 7, another maid – this one smaller and cuter – finds herself in Roanapur recreating Roberta’s path of destruction in the same bar filled with criminal scum in a volume that’s simply one of the best yet.

In the final chapter of Volume 6 we met Fabiola, yet another maid working for the Lovelace family or, more importantly, working for Garcia Lovelace. After the assassination of his father, Roberta has apparently gone rogue so it’s not a surprise that Fabiola has come in search of the head matron who has come to Roanapur in search of those responsible for the death of the man that had taken her out of her brutal life as a member of the FARC in Colombia. As the Colombians begin to make their way into Bao’s already torn up bar the diminutive younger maid turns to the Lagoon Traders for help.

Of course, the situation is a lot more serious than expected and it’s the Triad’s own Mister Chang that spells it out for the Lagoon Traders and Gracia Lovelace who has come to Roanapur with Fabiola. It seems that Roberta has managed to track down the key members responsible for the bombing as well as those that had a hand in the planning. The assassination was too well coordinated to be that of the local rebel factions or the political party rivals. To Roberta, it smelled of United States covert operatives and the hunch turned out to be true.

In Roanapur, though, the deadly maid’s rampage has all the criminal element terrified to the point that Mister Chang not only talks Rock into helping the young master Lovelace and Fabiola locate Roberta but he has called the other criminal heads to a meeting. With the United States NSA on the hunt for Roberta, Dutch isn’t crazy about being involved so Rock decides to help Garcia without the help of Revy and the others. Their search of the city, however, makes Rock realize that even with him being part of Lagoon Traders he is still not able to earn the confidence of the city.

Meanwhile, Roberta is getting along famously in Roanapur, finding help and threatening her way to get what she needs to eliminate the people she’s looking for in the city. Unfortunately, all is not well with Roberta who is not only self medicating herself but is also seeing people who aren’t really there. To top it all off, somewhere in the city is a U.S. SOCOM team, lead by Major Caxton, who is also looking for Roberta. Just as Mister Chang and Balalaika feared, their presence could only be bad for business and the Colombians want to be left alone in their hunt for the maid.

Seeing no other choice but to turn for help, Rock asks Revy to join him in locating Roberta. It’s clear from their little exchange that Revy is tired of jumping into the fray just because Rock has a big heart. Their relationship has come along way since they first met and both have seen some tough situations so it is this bond that makes Revy decide to help Rock. Along with Fabiola, the three search for leads when they come to a realization that Roberta is just about ready to begin a war.

Once again, Roanapur is going to become the center of a major war as a woman’s quest for revenge is leading her down a dark and bloody path in Volume 7 of Black Lagoon. With all the major players lined up, this could only end in bullets and dead bodies and that’s Ok with us. This is a lengthy story arc but seeing as its this good we will gladly await the next volumes to come.

MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN

STORY: A
Roberta is on a destructive path for revenge that has all of Roanapur’s criminal underground worried that she will bring the city down as American covert operatives are looking for her as well. Meanwhile, Rock chooses to aid Garcia Lovelace and his loyal maid, Fabiola (who is just a great character), locate Roberta before the Colombians and American soldiers get to her first.

ART: A+
Hiroe-sensei’s art just keeps getting better and better and the action scenes still stand out beautifully.

OVERALL: A
The Roberta story arc is certainly a lengthy one but it becomes clear that it will become a major turning point for the series. If Volume 6 is the set up for the events to come then Volume 7 of Black Lagoon is the spark that will light the fire that will burn Roanapur. This is Black Lagoon at its most ultra coolest.

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