(trigger warnings, child abuse, nasty stuff ahead)
This is a little hard to write about and was even harder to watch but these characters from Black Lagoon absolutely walk the line of ‘uncomfortable villians’.
Black Lagoon is something I wrote about almost a year ago now and remains a fantastic, gritty, realistic anime that is a little like Cowboy Bebop but with our jack-of-all-trades characters walking on the definite line of crime, trafficking, hacking, and more-or-less shady work though they will take legit jobs if offered. It’s just where they live is a modern day pirate port, so there aren’t many legal jobs available.
Walking that line of corruption, gangs and drug lords inevitably brings them into contact with all sorts of dangerous characters and situations.
Hansel and Gretel are one of those dangerous characters/situations.
There isn’t much of a real reason why they appeared in Roanapur, only that these child twins dressed in Gothic Lolita clothing suddenly starting laying waste to all in their path. And they did it well – these two pint sized terrors are off their freaking gourds, without any fear of death.
How good are they? Good enough to give the Triad leader Chang a run for his money.
Through battles and blood and creepy terror we finally learn the reason behind their rampage; they were orphans who were sold into prostitution more or less, forced into making pornographic violent films that eventually led to not only the deterioration of their minds but gave birth to a terrible blood lust that bit their handlers on the ass. Hopefully they are all very, very dead. But even after killing their tormentors it seemed they weren’t able to stop.
Hansel meets ‘his’ end via Balalaika’s hit squad, bleeding out onto the pavement, crying for something that doesn’t exist.
Gretel meets ‘her’ end after leaving the Black Lagoon’s boat, being shot close range by an undercover agent of Balalaika.
Hansel and Gretel are truly one of the most uncomfortable villains I’ve ever run across. They are deranged, ruthless, sadistic CHILDREN who are a product of their environment. You can’t blame them for being monsters, but at the same time you can’t help but feel unsettled and squicked out by them.
I don’t know whether or not having them dead is a good thing or not. Would they have been redeemable? Rock has a genuine moment with Gretel before ‘she’ dies, showing there is something still within her that might have been good.
So props to the creator of Black Lagoon for creating two antagonists who simultaneously make your skin crawl with revulsion while feeling intense pity.