Darker Than Black

Tensai Okamura created and directed the Japanese anime television series Darker than Black, which was animated by studio Bones. From April to September 2007, twenty-five episodes aired on MBS, TBS, and their affiliate stations. The series is set in a world where “Heaven’s Gate” appeared in South America and was followed by “Hell’s Gate” in Tokyo, altering the sky and wreaking havoc on the landscapes. Contractors, or people with special abilities, appeared shortly after. The series follows agent Hei and his Syndicate colleagues as they investigate the mysteries of Hell’s Gate in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo.

Darker Than Black Anime Synopsis

Heaven’s Gate appeared in South America ten years ago, and Hell’s Gate appeared in Japan ten years ago, obscuring the once-familiar night sky with an oppressive skyscape. These Gates are spaces where the laws of physics are ignored for unknown reasons. Contractors emerged with the appearance of the Gates, who are granted supernatural abilities in exchange for their humanity.

Section 4 Chief Misaki Kirihara finds herself at odds with an infamous Contractor codenamed Hei in the Japanese city surrounding Hell’s Gate. In the underground world, Hei is known as “Black Reaper,” and he, like his colleagues, undertakes missions for the mysterious and ruthless Syndicate while slowly peeling back the dark layers covering a nefarious plot that threatens the very existence of Contractors.
Tensai Okamura’s sci-fi thriller takes the form of a subtle exposé on a war in which political positions and justice have no sway, a war fought solely in the shadows.

Darker Than Black

Darker Than Black Anime Info

  • IMDB Ratings – 8.1/10
  • Genres – Action, Sci-fi, Mystery, Super Power
  • Season – 2
  • Episodes – 25 + 12 = 37 (Total)
  • Status – Finished Airing
  • Aired – Apr 6, 2007 to Sep 28, 2007
  • Premiered – Spring 2007
  • Duration – 24 min. per episode
  • Rating – R – 17+ (violence & profanity)

Darker Than Black Anime Characters

Darker Than Black Anime Creation and design

The protagonists in Wolf’s Rain are heroic, as opposed to the violent protagonists in Darker than Black; Tensai Okamura wanted the latter’s characters to be flawed, as opposed to those in Wolf’s Rain. Based on his work on the video game Koudelka and its manga adaptation, character designer Yuji Iwahara inspired Okamura to work on Darker than Black. The storey was inspired by Japanese dramas, which were explored in two episodes back-to-back. Okamura wanted to provide his audience with both comic and dark stories to keep things interesting. To make the series more realistic, actual locations such as Shinjuku and a police station were photographed. Tensai Okamura found the early designs unacceptable, and the pictures were redrawn numerous times until his image of the characters matched Iwahara’s. Iwahara found working on the anime more difficult than working on the manga because he had to keep up with staff requests and had little artistic freedom.

Takahiro Komori adapted Iwahara’s work for animation, retaining the essence of the original designs while making the animators’ work easier; Huang’s hat, as well as Yutaka Kouno’s and Mayu Ootsuka’s clothing, were changed. Nobuko Mizuta, the series’ colour designer, was disappointed because much of the series is set at night and the main characters’ clothing is generally dark-colored, but she dressed the guest characters brightly. Komori stated that when drawing female characters, he pays special attention to the line that connects her buttocks and legs.

The Syndicate

The Syndicate is introduced at the start of the series as a mysterious underground organisation with no apparent goal. Its operatives work with both Contractors and Dolls, and they even have access to M.E. technology to erase witnesses’ memories of their activities. The Syndicate relies heavily on “word of mouth” communication to relay both missions and operational status. Later in the show, it is revealed that The Syndicate is just another front for a global organisation controlled by PANDORA that claims to be looking to stabilise the world order and destroy Hell’s Gate.


He is a Messier Code BK-201 elite contractor. In the series, Hei takes on two identities: as a civilian, he is known as Li Shenshun, a good-natured Chinese exchange student living in an old apartment complex for foreigners and scraping by with brief part-time jobs. These are usually related to the mission he is currently on. When he works for the Syndicate, he behaves almost exactly like a typical contractor, appearing cold and rational. Nonetheless, Hei exhibits compassion and sorrow, and other contractors note that these behaviours are unusual.

During the Heaven’s Gate war, Hei joined the Syndicate as a child assassin to protect his sister, Bai, in South America. Hei’s goal is to re-locate her. Though he usually refers to himself as an exchange student, he has never visited a university during the course of the series, only using his title as a student to gain access to the gate on one occasion.


A “Doll” is a member of Hei’s team who is an emotionless spirit medium. Her strength lies in her ability to track and observe through direct contact with water. Huang mentions that her “programme” is minimal, incapable of allowing her to show emotion or even make decisions for herself; however, she later debunks this by choosing to continue working with Hei and the others when given the option of leaving, a possible sign of her regaining her humanity. Yin is of Finnish descent, and her given name is Kirsi, which is a diminutive form of either Kirsikka (meaning “cherry”) or Christina.

She was once a student of Eelis Kastinen (or Kostinen, depending on translation; both are Finnish surnames), a famous Finnish pianist who gradually developed a romantic interest in her mother. Yin’s father died in a plane crash, leaving Yin’s mother vulnerable and realising her own feelings for Kastinen. One night, as they were about to kiss, Yin noticed them and ran away in shock. She ran into the street and was nearly hit by an oncoming truck, but she was saved when her mother pushed her out of the way, risking her own life in the process. Little is known about how Yin became a Doll, but it appears to be related to her personal tragedy. Amber says they appear to be similar in their feelings for Hei and asks her to look after him. Yin begins to show emotions and her own will throughout the series, eventually deciding to follow Hei and remain his partner. This was made clear when she summoned Hei from the void to return to her and not leave her alone. Her observation apparition evolved or upgraded during the process, now having a human-like body shaped with her silhouette and capable of physical touch.


Huang is the leader of Hei’s team, and he is usually the one who gives orders and explains the mission to the team members. Huang is usually quite demanding of everyone on the team, and he frequently expresses his dislike of working with Contractors and Dolls. Aside from acting as a liaison between the Syndicate and Hei’s team, Huang will frequently appear to provide backup in situations that would normally have resulted in the loss of a team member. Prior to the beginning of the series, Huang worked as a police officer under the name Kiyoshi Kuno. He met Shihoko, the Contractor, who was the only person he had ever loved.

However, she appears to have betrayed him by using his love to extract information from him in order to kill his partner and erase the memory of his partner’s wife. Following the events, the Syndicate appeared and offered him the option of joining the Syndicate or having his memories of the event erased. Huang chose the former, but the ordeal turned Huang against Contractors and Dolls. When Huang ran into Shihoko again on another mission, he discovered that she did, in fact, love him, as her payment for being a Contractor was the ability to feel human emotions again. Huang and the rest of his team are later kicked out of the Syndicate. Huang later dies while helping Hei and the others get to Hell’s Gate, exploding his own car that he drives while leading a large group of officers away from them.


Mao is a Contractor who can possess animals and subdue their natural instincts. HM-432 is his Messier code. His brain is directly linked to a wireless network, allowing him to send and receive data at any time. In battle, Mao frequently creates distractions for Hei. His human body was destroyed in an explosion that destroyed a laboratory while he was on assignment in Russia following the Pavlichenko family, trapping him in the body of a black cat he was currently possessing.

While he has completely lost the need to fulfil a payment with the destruction of his body, he must connect to the wireless network on a regular basis or risk the animal’s natural instincts taking over. His wireless connection was cut off near the end of the first series when he defected from the Syndicate with the rest of his team, resulting in his human consciousness vanishing while in Hell’s Gate; however, he manages to reunite with Hei via a backup network controlled by an unknown organisation. He is also in hiding in Russia with Hei at the start of the second season, residing in the body of Suoh’s pet flying squirrel, Petya.

Pavlichenko family

Suo Pavlichenko

A 13-year-old girl from Vladivostok, Russia. Suoh becomes involved in the war and machinations between the various groups and Contractors in the Gemini of the Meteor storey arc, and her life is forever changed when she meets Hei. Shion, her younger twin brother, is also someone she wishes to protect. When she goes into mental shock, it is later revealed that she has some kind of contractor ability. She can manifest an anti-tank rifle (PTRD) from a meteor fragment she wears as a pendant, and she can easily wield the rifle despite its heavy weight and powerful recoil; however, even though the weapon comes with its own ammunition each time it is created, the wear and tear on it persists, so Suo must maintain it like any other gun. Her power is exchanged for the ability to fold origami. Her stated goal is to kill all Contractors (though this may have changed due to Hei), and the awakening of her latent powers is referred to as the “beginning of the end” by some characters.

Suoh discovers, after meeting her mother, that she is a ‘copy’ of the original Suoh, who died in an explosion caused by Shion’s power many years ago. Suo appears to die after reuniting with Shion after the meteor fragment she is carrying breaks. Later, it is revealed that she has been transported to another world without Contractors (including her brother), where she can live a normal life with no recollection of her previous one.

Shion Pavlichenko

Suoh’s younger twin brother, known as Izanagi by various organisations, is the polar opposite of the Izanami entity that has possessed Yin. He was thought to have lost his right eye during the Tokyo explosion as a result of an accident with a falling meteor core fragment, and that this incident also turned him into a Contractor. It is later revealed that he was born a Contractor, a one-of-a-kind occurrence in Mao’s words, and that the meteorite incident was a fabricated memory he implanted in his sister’s mind.

His contractual payment is to lose the use of his legs whenever he uses his power, forcing him to rely on a wheelchair all of the time. His ability enables him to make a near-perfect clone of anything, with only one flaw from the original. He leaves a clue for Suoh indicating that he has left for Japan, prompting her to flee Russia in search of him. He meets Suo again in Hell’s Gate, where he wishes for a world where Suoh can live a normal life before being killed by Izanami.

Dr. Mikhail Pavlichenko

Suoh and Shion’s father, as well as Asako Makimiya’s husband. Dr. Pavlichenko works for a research group that is looking into the time and space distortion effects that are happening on the planet. He was also the inventor of the memory eraser. Hei is thought to have killed him, but it is later revealed that it was just another of Shion’s copies. He was a member of The Syndicate until they decided to pull the plug and bombed his laboratory, killing Suoh and Mao in the process. Despite the fact that he is aware that the current Suo is a replica of the original, he still regards and loves her as the daughter she would have become if she had lived, rather than as a replica or replacement for the original. Dr. Pavlichenko is mortally wounded while rescuing Suoh from government forces after being reunited with her.

Asako Makimiya

Suoh and Shion’s estranged mother, who divorced several years ago. Suoh buys all of her albums because she works as a photographer in Japan. Asako initially misidentifies Suoh as Shion when she is reunited with her mother in Japan. When Suoh corrects her, a stunned Asako reveals that Suoh died in the laboratory explosion eight years ago and rejects Suoh, whom Asako has realised is a copy of the original Suoh that Shion must have created.


Physical quantity Alternation Natural Deconstruction Organized Research Agency (PANDORA) is a UN research agency established to investigate Hell’s Gate in Tokyo. It is revealed that the Syndicate has sway with the organization and has plans to commit genocide against all Contractors by eliminating Hell’s Gate.

Eric Nishijima

A Japanese-American man. He is a PANDORA official of high rank. He wielded power over Japanese law enforcement when it came to PANDORA. He is also revealed to be a high-ranking official within the Syndicate, and he was put in charge of destroying Hell’s Gate after he terminated Hei, Mao, Yin, and Huang. After Hei destroys the Saturn Ring system, Hourai shoots him. His father makes an appearance in Shikoku no Hana.

Mina Kandaswamy

An Indian woman. She is a researcher of PANDORA.

Darker Than Black Anime Season 1 Episodes

The Fallen Star of a Contract… (Part 1)
Aired: Apr 6, 2007 (JST)

The Fallen Star of a Contract… (Part 2)
Aired: Apr 13, 2007 (JST)

A New Star Shines in the Dawn Sky… (Part 1)
Aired: Apr 20, 2007 (JST)

A New Star Shines in the Dawn Sky… (Part 2)
Aired: Apr 27, 2007 (JST)

Red Giant over Eastern Europe… (Part 1)
Aired: May 4, 2007 (JST)

Red Giant over Eastern Europe… (Part 2)
Aired: May 11, 2007 (JST)

The Scent of Gardenias Lingers in the Summer Rain… (Part 1)
Aired: May 18, 2007 (JST)

The Scent of Gardenias Lingers in the Summer Rain… (Part 2)
Aired: May 25, 2007 (JST)

The White Dress, Stained with the Girl’s Dreams and Blood… (Part 1)
Aired: Jun 1, 2007 (JST)

The White Dress, Stained with the Girl’s Dreams and Blood… (Part 2)
Aired: Jun 8, 2007 (JST)

When One Takes Back What Was Lost Within the Wall… (Part 1)
Aired: Jun 15, 2007 (JST)

When One Takes Back What Was Lost Within the Wall… (Part 2)
Aired: Jun 22, 2007 (JST)

A Heart Unswaying on the Water’s Surface… (Part 1)
Aired: Jun 29, 2007 (JST)

A Heart Unswaying on the Water’s Surface… (Part 2)
Aired: Jul 6, 2007 (JST)

Memories of Betrayal in an Amber Smile… (Part 1)
Aired: Jul 13, 2007 (JST)

Memories of Betrayal in an Amber Smile… (Part 2)
Aired: Jul 20, 2007 (JST)

A Love Song Sung from a Trash Heap… (Part 1)
Aired: Jul 27, 2007 (JST)

A Love Song Sung from a Trash Heap… (Part 2)
Aired: Aug 3, 2007 (JST)

Dreaming Shallow, Uninebriated… (Part 1)
Aired: Aug 10, 2007 (JST)

Dreaming Shallow, Uninebriated… (Part 2)
Aired: Aug 17, 2007 (JST)

City Under Crackdown, Moist with Tears… (Part 1)
Aired: Aug 31, 2007 (JST)

City Under Crackdown, Moist with Tears… (Part 2)
Aired: Sep 7, 2007 (JST)

God Is In His Heaven…
Aired: Sep 14, 2007 (JST)

Meteor Shower
Aired: Sep 21, 2007 (JST)

Does the Reaper Dream of Darkness Darker than Black?
Aired: Sep 28, 2007 (JST)

People Also Ask about Darker Than Black Anime

Will there be more Darker than Black?

Darker Than Black’ Season 3 is never renewed, so there is no release date available. The show was also never formally cancelled. Fans have been left hanging for over a decade. If there is any future development, we will make sure to update this space to reflect that information.

Why is it called Darker than Black?

Okamura wanted to call the series BK201, a code name, but the anime staff thought it was too weak, so Darker Than Black was suggested by an MBS TV employee. Okamura got the idea for Darker Than Black while working on the anime Wolf’s Rain, and it was inspired by his approach to protagonists.

Is Darker than Black finish?

Darker than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha Gaiden, a four-episode OVA prequel produced after Gemini, bridges the gap between the first and second seasons. There is also no other form of continuation. Darker than Black began life as an anime series.

Who does Hei love in Darker than Black?

Though I would have liked to see more of Yin in Darker than Black season one, we got enough to know that Hei genuinely cared about her, even if he wasn’t sure what his feelings meant.

Who is Bai in Darker than Black?

Bai in Darker than Black is the Contractor who was responsible for Heaven’s Gate’s disappearance five years prior to the story’s setting and has since vanished. Her star has the Messier code BK-201. During Heaven’s War in South America, Hei was constantly with Bai during their various operations, acting as a sort of bodyguard.

Also Read – Cowboy Bebop

Source – Wikipedia

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