Darker than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha, literally "Darker than Black: The Black Contractor" is an anime television series, created, directed and written by Tensai Okamura and animated by Bones. It premiered across Japan from April 5, 2007 on MBS, TBS, and its affiliated broadcast stations, with its satellite television premiere in Japan on Animax in May 2007. The music for the series is composed by Yoko Kanno. The series has also been adapted into two manga series, which are serialized in Monthly Asuka and in Young Gangan. The anime also was awarded Best Original Anime of The Year by GoGoplex, a popular magazine for teens.
Darker than Black was conceptualized by Tensai Okamura and produced by Bones and Aniplex. The series premiered on Tokyo Broadcasting System and Mainichi Broadcasting System's Thursday late night anime broadcasting timeslot, replacing the Sunrise series Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion on April 5, 2007, and similar to Code Geass incorporated corporate sponsorship of Japan News Network partners Pizza Hut and Nifty, where episodes of the series was streamed every week during the series' broadcast run. It completed its initial run on September 27, 2007, and received its broadcasting satellite premiere on Animax from May 8, 2007 to October 23, 2007. The series was also aired in English on Animax Asia, Animax's English language networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia from December 2008 onwards. The series has also been released in Japan by Aniplex across nine DVDs, each containing three episodes, except for the first DVD, which had only two. The ninth and final DVD included an original video animation, which expanded upon the romantic relationships between characters. The DVDs were released between July 25, 2007 and March 26, 2008 by Aniplex. FUNimation received the license for the series in Region 1 and has released one DVD compilation with two more coming in the future. The first English DVD was released on November 25, 2008 and the second and third DVDs were released on January 20, 2009 and March 10, 2009 respectively. Volume 4 was released on May 5, 2009 with Volume 5 released on June 23, 2009. Volume 6 was released on August 11, 2009 and is now available. In May 2010, Funimation released the entire first season in a complete box set; it was originally released in March, but was recalled due to a defective disk.
The Blu-Ray Box was released in Japan on September 30, 2009 with a guidebook with several unreleased music tracks not available in the OSTs.
PLOT Ten years ago, an inscrutable and abnormal territory known as Hell's Gate appeared in Tokyo, altering the sky and wreaking havoc on the landscape. The real stars disappeared, replaced by false stars. During this time, people possessing various special abilities emerged, each capable of different supernatural feats - these are known as Contractors. Each fake star has a corresponding Contractor, which reacts to their activities. As such, Contractors are usually identified by their star's Messier catalogue number. Kept secret from the masses, these individuals are known to murder in cold blood, smothering unnecessary emotions with logic and rationale. Their incredible abilities, however, are gained at the cost of their humanity - Contractors are thus named because of an involuntary compulsion to "pay the price" each time their power is used, which can range from eating particular foods and completing meaningless tasks, to self-harm and having their bodies change in peculiar ways. Various nations and organizations around the world train and utilize Contractors as spies and assassins, resulting in violent battles for valuable objects and information.