Espionage Action

Contrary to my earlier post, I was not able to spend a good amount of time catching up on my backlog.  However, that was not a bad thing considering I was surprised with a trip to the movies with my father to see the new James Bond flick, Skyfall.  On the way home I began to think about what to blog about, seeing as the earlier post was rather dull.  And it hit me:

What series out there constitute under the Espionage category?

Few series come to mind that exactly fit the bill if you’re specifically looking for something like James Bond.  After looking up some series I’ve watched in my time, most of them have sci-fi or fantasy elements attached to them.  And if they aren’t that, they’re more like Criminal Action types of shows.   Each of the following examples can be found via Hulu, Netflix and retail home video:

I will go ahead and admit that I’ve never completely watched Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.  But, from what I know, this show is THE one to watch though if you’re looking for the adventure of intelligence-gathering.  When it comes to Sci-Fi drama, look no further.

I can best describe Darker than Black as: “Chinese, Electric Batman.”  It’s fantasy element is that there are people with special powers, called “Contractors.”  Their power usage always comes with some kind of weird stipulation, such as lining up rocks in a row or eating flowers.  The main character, Hei, is one such man that works for a syndicate to battle those that use their powers for criminal acts.  Additionally, there is also the hidden secret behind why Contractors exist in the first place.

Here’s a gem from 2005 that I think was overshadowed and often overlooked.  Speed Grapher is more about a guy at the wrong place, at the wrong time.  A former War photographer, with his new job, is sent to investigate a certain club.  Once there, he sees some sort of ritual in motion with a young girl at center stage.  As he moves to interrupt the ritual and save the girl, he is gifted an ability: the power to make things explode once photographed.  The rest is about unraveling the secrets behind the club, the girl, and this new-found power.

Now we get more into the “Criminal Lives” portion of series.  Black Lagoon follows your average joe, Japanese businessman that is thrust into the world of organized crime as a fall guy that gets lucky enough to live.  As the sacrificial lamb, he no longer has a reason to return home and sticks with a band of mercenaries that call themselves Black Lagoon.  An interesting cast of characters that range between a fallen Russian army to the Chinese Triads make for an interesting world that our guy must wade through.

Here’s one more recent to the Anime scene, but has been out in manga format for a while.  Jormungand follows an eccentric, female weapons dealer.  A young orphan, boy soldier that hates weapons and everything that has to do with them, is hired by this woman.  The series follows them and her team as they conduct business around the world, while getting into a few squabbles themselves.  They run into rival weapons dealers, foreign intelligence agencies, paramilitaries, even messing with organized crime syndicates.

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