Vol: 8+; Ch: 56+
2011 - ?
4.203 out of 5 from 1,029 votes
Rank #819

In the city of Ergastulum, a shady ville filled with made men and petty thieves, whores on the make and cops on the take, there are some deeds too dirty for even its jaded inhabitants to touch. Enter the “Handymen,” Nic and Worick, who take care of the jobs no one else will handle. Until the day when a cop they know on the force requests their help in taking down a new gang muscling in on the territory of a top Mafia family. It seems like business (and mayhem) as usual, but the Handymen are about to find that this job is a lot more than they bargained for.

Source: Viz

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I'm going to start off by saying this, gangsta. has really taken me off guard, though in a good way! Before I stumbled on this gem, I wondered "why can't I find any characters that aren't wholly good? Some that maybe do rotten things, but aren't necessarily rotten people?". Then I started reading, and I was hooked from the characters mostly.  The only reason I give the characters 8/10 is because they are more mature adults, and I don't think they'll be changing much anytime soon, and I'm big on character development. They all seem, at least to me, set in their ways. Other than that, I love them! I don't even find myself shipping characters immediately (as I tend to do). Instead I'm rooting for the members of Benriya (even Alex), before I even knew of their back story and why they do what they do. It may be cliché, but the spin on their pasts really pulled my heartstrings and made it different from the typical 'parents-died-or-were-absent' lonely child trope.  The plot is the same, typical gangsta foolery (I mean, check the name), but with a twist. Kinda like the mafia, with a race of 'superhumans' that are considered less than, even though they're the most badass ones in the series.  Art style is really different to me. Still, after a few chapters it grew on me, and the fact that the female characters had as much diverse facial structures as the male ones is a big plus for me. Realistic without being creepy. Makes me feel like I can draw even though I can't, but I digress.  Overall, if you're not reading this manga, then what are you even doing with your life? 


Gangsta. is a gritty thriller manga written and drawn by mangaka Koshke and published in the USA by Viz Media. It follows a mismatched pair of guns for hire nicknamed "The Handymen": suave but jaded giggolo Worick and deaf, grumpy Nicholas. In the rough and tumble city of Ergastulum, they make their living fighting for whoever pays the most.  The story starts off by introducing us to the third main character, abused prostitute Alex. When she crosses paths with the Handymen, Alex's life is changed forever and she becomes our eyes as the darkness of Ergastulum's underbelly rises and the shared past between Worick and Nicholas comes to light.  Gangsta. is a pretty dark manga, dealing in such things as prostitution, murder and drug abuse. It alsofocuses on the aftereffects of human experimentation, as the city is home to the people who survived, called "Twilights" or alternativley "Tags". Nicholas's deafness is one of the effects of him being a "Twilight" and though he can speak, it is noted as being very rough. The translated text offers his sign language as black bubbles with white text as opposed to the usual white with black text. The main plot so far has followed the Handymen getting involved with other "Twilights" causing trouble, leading Nicholas deal with them, as well as to show his hand as one of the higher ranked ones. Despite the dark tone, there is humor as well, usually in the interactions between Nicholas and Worick, or with other characters that work in close contact to the Handymen, which include a cop who knew the MC's in their younger years, a backalley doctor, and a high ranking mafia leader. Art wise, the characters are varied both male and female. Worick is scruffy good looking with an edge versus intimidating Nicholas who always has a wild look in his steely eyes.Koshke's backgrounds are either left blank or paint the landscape of a very slummy city, not a place for do gooders or softies.  So if you are looking for a rough around the edges heart of gold kind of manga , with an interesting plot and likeable abeit flawed protagonists, look no farther than Gangsta. Only two volumes are avaliable legally in English, with the third set to be released in August 2014. 

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