Darker Than Black is essentially an anime where this gate, known as “Hell's Gate,” has appeared around Tokyo, sealing them off from the rest of the world. Right on the other side of the gate is this sort of hell/ground zero type of area where no one who ever tries to go in, which happens rarely, ever comes out. Upon being sealed off, certain people became Contractors. These are people who obtain what is essentially a super power which they can use as they please so long as they pay the price to do so. For some people its drinking a beer, for others its smoking or even eating cigarettes. People fight, people die, the main character, Hei, tries to stop them and so on and so forth.
As one can probably tell by how lazy I became at the end of that description, I do not share the same love of this anime that other people seem to. I can see why people love it but in the end it just was not really for me and I felt it came off as mostly very generic. Quite honestly, there is very little bad to be said about Darker Than Black, however, try to say anything exemplary about it and one finds themselves grasping at straws.
For starters, what was really good about the anime was the Contractors and the concept of the Contractors. The anime takes this very original idea of giving certain people super powers, essentially taking their emotions away in the process, and forcing them to make a payment every time they use them. That is a very cool idea which inspired excellent and endlessly entertaining fight sequences. The action in Darker Than Black is spot on and when it is there, it's quite awesome. Giving everyone such unique abilities and ways of using them made this a great fighting action anime. The main problem with it is everything else that just keeps bogging it down.
The plot to, not only the whole anime but to each and every single episode, always just feels so needlessly convoluted. Everything always seemed to complicated when it didn't really need to be. On top of that, one gets a constant feeling of being spoken at with Dark Than Black. Every other episode (and that's being generous) someone had to go on a long diatribe about this or that and what was going on and why. This wouldn't have even been so bad except for the fact that the anime never pulls away from the people going on and on about plot. A lot of what they were saying might have made a good cut away flashback kind of scenario, but the anime never capitalizes on this. Maybe it's this way in the manga, I don't know, but that was what I wanted from the anime and never got. So instead there is simply people consistently just talking exposition at me and I hate that in really anything.
Those are really the only two things with Darker Than Black that I at all feel passionate about though. Love the fighting, hate the exposition, but then everything else is just like, “meh, whatever.” The animation, though perfectly acceptable, adds absolutely nothing new that I have not seen a hundred times before. It looked like any other anime that could have come out within the past ten years and was just whatever.
The same thing can be said of the characters. Sure I liked Hei, but I've seen his archetype like a dozen times before and the same thing goes for Yin, Hueng, and even Mao. They're just fine characters, but we have all seen them before, again causing this generic feeling that one might have when watching this anime.
Darker Than Black does not at all deserve a bad score and it shall not receive one. I don't know, maybe people who have not watched a hell of a lot of anime will like it better than those who have. As previously stated, I can see why people like this anime, it just really did not do it for me and I think there may be a good few people who will feel the same way. You know what you like and you know how much anime you have seen so with recommending it, I would just say tread softly. You may like it, you may not.