A Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rei Hiroe. It has been published in Shogakukan's Monthly Sunday Gene-X since 2002, and nine collected volumes have been released so far. It was later adapted into an anime television series, by Madhouse, that aired from April to June 2006 for twelve episodes. A second season, subtitled "The Second Barrage", ran for twelve weeks starting on October 2, 2006. A five volume original video animation series, titled Roberta's Blood Trail, was released from July 2010 to June 2011. Viz Media began releasing an English translation of the manga in North America on August 12, 2008. Madman Entertainment licensed the anime in Australasia and the United Kingdom. The anime was dubbed and originally licensed in English by Geneon Entertainment, now licensed by Funimation Entertainment, in North America. Funimation later licensed the OVA, which also was licensed by Kazé in the UK, for release in Spring 2013.
The story follows a team of pirates/mercenaries known as Lagoon Company, that smuggles goods in and around the seas of Southeast Asia in the early to mid 1990s. Their base of operations is located in the fictional harbor city of Roanapur in southeast Thailand (somewhere in the Amphoe Mueang Trat district, likely on the mainland north/northeast of the Ko Chang island or on the island itself). They transport goods in the 80-foot (24 m) Elco-type PT boat Black Lagoon. Lagoon Company does business with various clients, but has a particularly friendly relationship with the Russian crime syndicate Hotel Moscow. The team takes on a variety of missions—which may involve violent firefights, hand-to-hand combat, and nautical battles—in various Southeast Asian locations, even going as far as Phu Quoc island of Vietnam and when not doing much, the members of the Lagoon Company spend much of their down time at The Yellow Flag, a bar in Roanapur which is often destroyed in firefights.
An anime adaptation of Black Lagoon, produced by Madhouse, aired on Chiba TV from April 8, 2006 to June 24, 2006 for twelve episodes. A second season, labeled Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage and consisting of twelve more episodes, ran from October 3, 2006 to December 19, 2006. The second season focuses less on character development than the first season and more on the jobs they do. A five volume original video animation titled Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail was released in July 2010. The anime was licensed in the United Kingdom and Australasia by Madman Entertainment. On July 3, 2008, Geneon Entertainment and Funimation Entertainment announced an agreement to distribute select titles in North America. While Geneon will still retain the license, Funimation will assume exclusive rights to the manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of select titles. Black Lagoon was one of several titles involved in the deal. Geneon's English dub premiered on G4 Canada on October 26, 2007 and Starz Edge began airing it on February 29, 2008 to American audiences. The series aired in Australia on the Sci Fi Channel. The first season was released on six DVDs, each containing two episodes, between August and December 2006. The second season mirrored this, being released from January to June 2007. The Blu-ray Disc releases of the two seasons included a total of seven short omake specials, each no longer than five minutes, that depict the characters in various humorous situations. In 2010, the series was released in four, two for each season, boxsets from August to September. Geneon's North American dub was released on three DVD compilations, each containing four episodes, between May 22 and September 18, 2007. After being released individually, with volume one having a limited edition version containing a steelbook box that comes with a bonus disc with slots for all 3 volumes, the boxset of the entire first season was released December 30, 2008. The fourth bonus disc, available in the season one box set or the volume one steelbook edition, has a 15 minute behind the scenes with the English crew and voice actors, the "Red Fraction" music video performed by Mell, promotional videos, the creditless opening and ending, and Japanese opening. The Second Barrage volumes were released in the same manner, with the box set released in North America on April 14, 2009, case with episodes 13–24 on three discs with English/Japanese audio and English subtitles. The box set/steelbook version bonus disc includes promotional videos and the creditless opening and ending. At Anime Expo 2010, Funimation announced their licensing of the Roberta's Blood Trail OVA, which will be released in 2013. The first and second seasons were re-released on Blu-ray Disc/DVD combo pack on December 4, 2012. The series returned to American television on the Funimation Channel on February 15, 2013. The anime has also aired in Italy on MTV Italy, in Sweden on ZTV and on Animax in Spain, Portugal and Germany.