Darker than BLACK – 25 (END)
Inside the Gate, Amber is thankful for Yin bringing Hei here since the other Dolls had all died. She then apologizes because she doesn’t have much time left. Outside the Gate, Kouno and Saitou are trying to figure out what to do when they get a call from Ootsuka of the Astronomy Department wondering what’s going on. She’s scared because the Great Dark Spot is entering its final stage soon, and the Stargazer is laughing again. More fighting soon breaks out near Kouno and Saito as a pair of boy Contractors appear and start fighting the Pandora troops. After watching the boys get hit by a rocket, Kouno comments on how this is like a war, and Matsumoto suddenly drives up in the car with some body armor in the back. They then rush past the troops and towards the Pandora complex. In the control room, the men under Eric Nishijima are powering up the Ring, and he orders the use of all cameras inside the Gate to look for BK-201.
Meanwhile, Hei admits that he wasn’t interested in the reason why EPR fought until he came here, and he now wonders if they’ve been fighting the Organization ever since what happened in South America. Remembering that they had fewer members, Amber reveals that they had known about the Organization’s ulterior motive for a while and that a lot more stars had fallen back then. As Contractors, they had followed orders from their higher-ups, but there came time when they began to change. Those who noticed called each other comrade and shared information – Hei”s sister was one of them. In fact, it was Bai who first found out about the Organization’s plan, but she didn’t want Hei to get involved with it. The reason was because Hei was a human, different from the Contractors. Amber feels that this was true back then and is still true now. Bai had known that it would be troubling for him to choose between humans and Contractors, and she had been hurt a little each time Hei had obeyed the Organization’s orders.
Amber feels that Bai changed, and she understands this because she was the same way. She also thinks that Yin and the other Dolls have begun to change little by little even though they don’t understand it yet. Amber knows that the contract that they’ve made is only the start of something that could happen in 100, 10000, or 100000 years. The reason she waited until now to tell him is because she didn’t think he’d believe her until now. In addition to that though, she thinks Hei would have left the Organization if she had told him, and he wouldn’t have survived until today if he had. Yin suddenly interrupts them to say that that is coming soon, and when Hei wonders what she’s talking about, Amber explains that it’s the thing that will completely erase Contractors and the Gate – the thing that they want to stop. Walking over to the nearly clock, Amber asks Hei if he wants to meet Bai. She then pulls out the meteor fragment and calls it mysterious because of how it returned to its round shape despite being broken earlier and distributed to all of the EPR members.
Her plan involves doing the same thing as back in South America – releasing Bai’s power before that comes. When Hei isn’t sure what she wants him to do, Amber thinks that he should have noticed it a long time ago: Bai has always been inside of him, ever since he thought she died. The electric shock power was nothing more than a part of the beginning of Bai’s ability, and Amber claims that the real power is Hei. She urges him to go see Bai, but for the time being, Hei is more concerned about what will happen to the city. He suspects that everyone will disappear like in South America if he releases his power, and because of this, he doesn’t think that he can do it. In response to this, Amber tells him that all the Contractors on this planet will disappear, including herself and Yin. All except for him. By now, the Pandora control room is ready to activate the Saturn System, and Schroeder starts the countdown. They receive a live image of Hei, Amber, and Yin a few seconds into the countdown, but despite Misaki’s protest, Schroeder continues counting.
A moment before Nishijima presses the switch that shoots the anti-Gate particle, Amber touches Hei’s chest with the meteor fragment. A bright light rapidly expands to cover the entire city, and Hei suddenly finds himself younger and in a yellow-orange hued world where the sky clears into a field of stars. This causes him to start crying because he didn’t want everyone to disappear, but to his surprise, he hears Bai ask him what’s wrong in a scene from their past. She thinks that he’s lying when he claims that it’s nothing and questions why he’s crying. Bai reveals that she had noticed that he didn’t actually want to kill anyone and had been doing things he didn’t want to do for her sake. Hei tries to deny it and say that it’s because he’s the Black Shinigami, but she disagrees. Taking off his mask, she says that her older brother is her older brother, and that’s why she doesn’t want him to try so hard anymore. Huang then shows up to lecture Hei about the same thing, and he cites how Hei’s indecisive attitude had troubled him. Mao is also here, and he notes that this is Hei’s interesting point.
In fact all of Hei’s dead friends are present, including November 11 who says that Hei’s existence being indecisive isn’t like a Contractor. Huang then tells Hei that things become complicated because Hei is a human who pretended to be a Contractor. He suggests that if one side is impossible, then Hei should take both since he’s both like a Contractor and like a human. After Hei is helped back up onto his feet by Nick, a grown-up Amber asks him if this is really okay. She feels that only difficulty awaits him if he chooses both, and the Organization would do whatever they have to in order to go after him. He’d have to kill again, and she notes that he didn’t want that anymore. She tries to convince him by saying that he’d lose the long awaited things he just obtained – such as the starry night sky and his sister – but Hei simply hugs her. Amber still doesn’t understand why since Hei should have always wanted those things, which is why she did all this. However, November 11 points out that it was her who didn’t want to let him go in reality.
Hei then tries to say something to Amber, but before he can do so, she kisses him. She tells him that she doesn’t want to hear any more than that, and she heads to Bai’s side. When Bai says goodbye to him, Hei says goodbye back, using her real name Xing. He also bids farewell to everyone else, including Amber, and as the world suddenly changes again, the last thing he sees is child Amber smiling at him. Everything around him turns into a dark vortex, and Hei manages to make it out when Yin stretches out her hand and asks him not to leave her alone. Hei finds himself back in the normal world holding Yin’s hand, and all that’s left of Amber is a pile of clothes. Time has been turned back so that they’re right before the firing of the anti-Gate particle, and Hei realizes that it was Amber’s intent all along to use the last of her powers. This time, as Schroeder counts down, the image that pops up on the screen in the control doesn’t show Hei, Amber, and Yin anymore. However, nothing happens when Nishijima presses the switch to activate the Saturn System, and power soon shuts down.
With everyone suddenly glowing blue, they see Hei standing on top of some large machinery on one of the monitors. The shaking and glowing ends as soon as Hei grapples away from camera view, and the roof of the control room then gets blown off. Despite this, Nishijima orders his men to prepare for a second shot, but Schroeder tells him that it’s pointless. Schroeder thinks that Hei’s electric shock and the blue light have caused the anti-Gate particle inside the system to completely mutate. Hei’s electric shock is no ordinary electromagnetic wave because it mutates things at a quantum level. Schroeder compares it to a regular person becoming a Contractor, and he theorizes that the Gate in South America was just like this in how it was filled with mutated substances. Unable to concede the loss, Nishijima punches Schroeder in frustration, but he’s then shot twice in the chest by Hourai. This scares everyone else into running out of the control room, and Hourai calmly places the murder weapon on Nishijima’s chest and puts Nishijima’s hands on it.
As he does so, Hourai explains that they were conducting an undercover investigation on Nishijima for violating United Nations law and committing insurgent crimes. Misaki thinks that this is just the leaders trying to avoid responsibility by sacrificing someone weak, and she accuses Hourai of doing everything to exterminate Contractors. She doesn’t have any direct proof, but she thinks that the truth will come out sooner or later, and the time will come when judgment is passed in history. Hourai, however, claims that she can’t prove his connection to the Organization, and he feels that she doesn’t know how big the Organization is yet. When Misaki points out that the disturbance this time puts the existence of Contractors into the open, Hourai says that he’d make everything disappear into the darkness before that happens. Misaki soon feels that she’s heard enough and reveals the tape recorder that was in her pocket, but Hourai then leaps forward and grabs her by the throat. He tells her that the path she’s chosen has only a more violent fight waiting, and he cites how humans and Contractors hate each other.
Fortunately, Misaki is saved when Hei suddenly shows up and sends a jolt into Hourai’s arm. Hei dodges Hourai’s counterattack punches and manages to slam him into the ground, knocking him out. He immediately tries to run back out, but Misaki stops him by calling him Li. Turning around for a brief moment, Hei tells her that there is no longer any man named Li. Shortly after Hei disappears, Kouno, Saito, and Matsumoto come running in, and Misaki has Saitou carry Hourai out since he’s been caught for murder. In the aftermath, she notes that their lives soon returned to normal, but like Hourai had said, Contractor incidents kept increasing. She can’t find traces of the existence of the Organization anywhere, though everyone now knows about Contractors. Misaki also thinks that the time to choose will come in the near future, and she pays a visit to the Stargazer who is now talking about the distant future that no one has seen. Misaki later heads to Hei’s apartment building and is led to Hei’s apartment by his landlady who thinks that he got deported.
Staring out the window from Hei’s window, Misaki suddenly sees Hei’s figure walking across a nearby bridge, so she dashes out and chases after him, wondering if they chose the same path – the path of living together. She really wants to hear from Hei, but he disappears around a corner, and Misaki can’t find him again. Misaki then gets a call and has to break off her search, so she doesn’t notice the black cat and female shaped surveillance spectre nearby.
This didn’t really feel like a final episode to me. There’s just too many things unresolved – what happened to the Organization, where Hei went, what the meteor fragment truly is, what the Gates truly are, who the Stargazer really is, and what Amber meant when she said that this is only the start of something. On that last point, the only thing I can think of conjecturally is that Amber was talking about some sort of eventual evolution from humans to Contractors. There’s not much else that’ll take that many years to happen, unless Amber knows something she didn’t share.
Anyway, I felt that there wasn’t nearly enough closure and conclusion here – it was a bit too open-ended for my tastes. Even just seeing more of Hei and Yin, or Hei and Misaki could have made this better. Now that I think about it though, one of the big problems was that there was a lack of major antagonists. Both Eric Nishijima and Hourai made for pretty weak final boss types, and the episode itself failed to keep me excited and engaged the entire way through. Having said all that, the ending certainly wasn’t a bad ending, and I rather enjoyed seeing everyone gathered in the alternate world urging Hei on. The final message seemed to be all about coexistence between humans and Contractors, and the finale did a decent job with that in terms of Hei being both, and Misaki talking about paths.
Final Thoughts: Darker than BLACK is a show that has a ton of potential, but I just don’t felt that it got as good as it could have. The show had a ton of dialogue where almost every single line was important to the plot in some way – that not only makes for really long summaries here, but it also indicated that the emphasis was placed on explaining things through conversation. My main complaint about this is that I tend to think that it’s better to show something instead of talk about it, and while there were plenty of exciting moments in the series, there were just as many long discussions of the relatively complex plot. I still had fun watching it though, and I do hope that they can continue the series in some way in the future. Maybe the OVA can wrap up some of the loose ends, but that unfortunately won’t be out until sometime next year with the final DVD volume.