My experience in Black Heaven lasted one single night, from 6 in the evening to 1 at night. But oh what a night that was, one that shall live on in my memory until either the day I die or the day I get Alzheimer’s. It was beautiful, astounding, moving and made me experience a feeling I wasn’t sure I was capable of feeling anymore. No, I’m not talking about a sexual experience with a Nigerian lady. I’m talking about the night I marathoned Legend of Black Heaven.
As I mentioned back when I wrote about Legend of Black Heaven the first time, I had never marathoned an entire anime in a single sitting before. I like my breaks. I like to give an episode a while to stew over in my head, giving me enough time to forget about the show until I pick up the next episode and the joy of watching the anime returns. Even anime that aren’t airing weekly end up falling into a routine of having only an episode or two watched every couple of days. Black Heaven was different somehow. I’m not quite sure why, but it’s almost as though I realised there was something magical happening that night and it needed to stay within that night. If I left it there, I might lose this feeling. I needed to keep watching to keep this experience alive.
I am, by and large, dead inside, with a heart made of a combination of stone and corrugated iron, but occasionally entertainment breaks through and overwhelms me. For Death Note, it was an exhilarating rush from sheer excitement. Berserk drew from me a quiet, awestruck, contemplative mood. Grave of the Fireflies drew from me complete and utter depression of the “well thanks Ghibli, I’ll just go hang myself now” type. Apocalypse Zero created unbridled terror and loss of faith in humanity. Black Heaven was closer to a continuous delighted thrill. Everything that was happening on-screen was brilliant, perfectly structured and created in such a way that it bypassed my critical spectrum of analysis and straight into the raw enjoyment part of my brain. Not because I derived different enjoyment to what my critical side enjoys, but because it was so awesome that it was overwhelmed.
This post is probably just a load of incoherent dribble to you. I wrote my coherent review after I finished the anime, where I toned down the fanboying and just explained why I loved it so much. This, however, is how I truly feel about it. A mess of superlatives and extreme praise. I love this anime. I love the perfect balancing of surface story with metaphor. I love how it takes a totally ridiculous premise and just runs with it. I love how it never loses its sense of humour while constantly working on its themes. I love how balanced every character is while still keeping them as extreme and exaggerated personalities. I love how its reoccurring elements evolve as the show progresses, always adding something new to the narrative. I love Legend of Black Heaven.