Crime is the Disease x They’re the Cure
What They Say
Our society is infected with a disease, a gangrenous cancer in the form of those who commit the most monsterous of evils, yet whose power and influence place them beyond the reach of the law. When corrupt politicians fail to act and the police see helpless, there is a third, secret option that stands ready to excise the malignancy in a tactical surgical strike: Black Label, a dedicated team of doctors, nurses, and students who moonlight as an elite team of assassins. With the world’s deadliest nurse, a master swordswoman MD, an idol with an affinity for explosives, and a pair of seemingly indestructible high school students, their mission is as simple as it is deadly: identify the drug runners, terrorists, and criminal masterminds who can’t be destroyed any other way, and then eliminate them by whatever means necessary in TRIAGE X!
The audio is decent enough. The dialogue is crisp and clear, but there are times when sound effects or music will overpower the dialogue. Given that this series is primarily an action series with a lot of explosions and sound effects, that means the voices are hard to hear a good portion of the time.
The quality is about average, maybe a little above, in terms of line crispness and colors. There’s no overt issues with the video itself. While I have seen anime with better quality, I have also seen anime with worse quality.
The front cover features the two duotagonists, plus the pop singing idol with an explosion fetish. The lead female is in the forefront as the series poster girl. She’s wearing an outfit that displays her abnormally large for a high schooler chest. Behind her is the male lead, who is wearing a red jacket, full mask helmet, and point a gun at the screen. The idol is behind him. The background is hard to see, but it looks like a destroyed building. The title is in front of all of them. The back has the blurb on one side and the three sexy doctors on the other wearing nothing but bikinis. On the bottom half are four screenshots, plus all information relevant to the anime.
The menu is fairly standard and gives you all the options you would expect. You can select to play the series from the beginning, or choose which episode you would like to watch. There’s also the special feature selection.
The extras featured in this are the clean opening and ending animations without subtitles and text, Japanese promos, trailers from Sentai Filmworks, and interviews of the voice actors.
Content: (Please note that this portion of the review may contain spoilers):
Triage X begins with an intense action sequence where a bunch of busty females and one main protagonist blow through a rich guy’s security and put a bullet in his brain. The action sequences are all fairly well done, though I sometimes felt like the women’s overly large boobs got in the way of the action. It’s hard to focus on anything significant with those things, which were about twice the size of every characters’ heads, flopping around on the screen. Of course, some people might find those more significant than the action. Who am I to judge?
After the company of main characters put some fat rich guy five feet under, they travel to a hospital, where we meet The Doctor. He’s basically an old guy in a white robe with long hair. You can think of him as Anime Charlie. We learn through a monologue via Anime Charlie that these people are a group of assassins who kill criminals that the police can’t touch (Anime Charlie calls them malignant cancers to be excised), either due to their political influence or others reasons. That’s all well and good, but the explanation was poorly done. The problem is that everyone in that room already knows this. So, who the hell is this guy talking to?
One of the biggest issues I have with anime of this nature is how they take to explaining things. It’s clear that Anime Charlie is monologue about what these people do for our benefit. The issue with that is we’re not supposed to exist. This isn’t a series that breaks the fourth wall, so having him explain something like that to a room full of people who already know what their purpose is (they HAVE been doing this for awhile) ruins the sense of immersion. It pulls me right out of the anime and into real life.
The story continues on. We learn that the main character, Arashi, was actually killed in an explosion trying to protect his friend—who happens to be the son of Anime Charlie—but thanks to the power of science, he was returned to life. His arms, legs, and heart all belong to his friend. This sometimes causes him to see visions of his friend and hear his friend’s voice. They even have full-blown conversations. Of course, he’s not the only one who’s suffered like this. In fact, every character in Black Label is someone who was “killed” and revived through some means. While this gives all the characters a sense of unity, it does mean none of them are really unique.
As the anime continues, two things immediately become clear. This anime is all about action and boobs. Boobs and action. If we’re not getting a pair of breasts in our faces, then we’re getting an explosion in our faces… and then we’re getting breasts seconds later because the chick who likes explosions has a pretty large chest, though that’s like comparing apples to orange, seeing how every female character minus one is stacked. While the overall theme of the anime—assassins kill criminals that are too powerful for the police to touch—is interesting, this theme is never fully explored. We have a segment of arcs that deal with a criminal that Black Label is going after. All of these arcs are filled with action, boobs, explosions, boobs, gunfights, boobs, sword fights, and boobs. There’s little else to this anime.
This is because none of the major philosophical themes that this anime touches on are ever expanded on. The series barely scratches the surface with the plot threads it throws in. Issues like “is vigilantism the correct course of action when the law can’t do anything” and “the thin line between justice and revenge” remain vague themes. I hypothesize that the reason for this is because the anime was filled to the brim with boobies. Maybe if the series had focused less on the Heavy Plot and more on heavy plots, the series wouldn’t have suffered from this. Of course, if it had done that, then this would have been a completely different anime.
The greatest weakness of this series, of which there are many, is definitely the sad fact that this anime is incomplete. Arashi summed it up best in the last minute of the anime when he said, “Nothing’s been resolved.” It’s true. Nothing in this series is resolved. We learn about halfway through that there’s a criminal organization of people who are powerful enough to give our heroes a run for their money, and we spent about four or so episodes with our heroes fighting this group, but that’s it. Neither side wins. In fact, it feels like the director decided to stop directing this halfway through production. That this anime only has 10 episodes instead of the standard 12 merely reinforces this belief.
If anime ever had a B-budget action flick, Triage X would be it. The series is a hot mess of common action flick tropes, like a main character with a dark past, a cast of hot females that kick ass and get naked several times (sometimes while they’re kicking ass), and a host of baddies who are so evil there’s no subtlety to them whatsoever. This isn’t necessarily bad. I believe the series was more or less supposed to be like this, but people who are looking for an anime that challenges genres and explore moral and philosophical dilemmas would be better off looking elsewhere.
Content Grade: C-
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B+
Extras Grade: B
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: January 24th, 2017
Running Time: 275 minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
55″ Class AQUOS HD Series LED TV LC-55LE643U, LG Bluray player