Gangsta. is an anime I had intended to dismiss until I saw multiple people with a similar taste in anime to me expressing their excitement for this adaptation. I then knew that I had to check it out, even if their main reason for liking Gangsta. did turn out to be the ‘hot’ older guys. Do I regret my curiosity? No. Well, after the first episode I thought that I might drop it, but now I’m hooked on this summer adventure into the shady world of Gangsta.
Gangsta. takes place in the fictional city of Ergastulum which is a gritty environment full of guns, drugs andprostitutes. It is not a pleasant sounding setting and I did not have much expectations for it but it has grown on me and is not nearly as crude as I was expecting. Also, the world of Gangsta. promises (and delivers!) plenty of the blood and violence I love. I think this series is mostly about the characters though rather than the city and what goes on in the back streets.
CHARACTERS: If you don’t like Worick and Nic (the main characters) then you are fucked. They are Gangsta. and they are the main reason why this series has avid fans. Our first Benriya (or handyman) is the character Nicolas Brown, a deaf guy who wields a katana and is what is known as a Twilight in the series. Our second Benriya is a gigolo called Worick Arcangelo. Together they work as gangsters that are hired by various people, including the police and a crime syndicate, to carry out jobs that often involve a lot of blood being spilt. If these guys were erased from Gangsta. it wouldn’t be an anime I’d want to watch. They add colour to an otherwise somewhat unattractive anime. Two other notable characters include: the former prostitute Alex, who becomes their secretary after they ignore orders to get rid of her, and the recently introduced Twilight Doug. Gangsta. is still currently airing and so still has many characters to further develop and plenty of new characters to introduce. It certainly has a diverse and fairly interesting cast of characters and is a welcome break from the abundance of anime centred around young people.
MUSIC/ANIMATION/ART: I surprisingly do like Gangsta. but… I don’t love it. You’re greeted with a stylish and visually interesting OP with a fantastic Stereo Dive Foundation song. It is 100% impossible to skip this opening unless you are having a marathon. It smacks you right in the face and gets you hyped for a whole 23 minutes of badassness and then that fades to… utter uninspiring dullness. A bit more creativity please!? The soundtrack also isn’t that great and doesn’t have the meat and attitude required for Gangsta. It is entirely unmemorable which is a shame because Gangsta. is the kind of anime you would expect to have a great soundtrack. It really does have a negative impact on the anime overall as some decent music could really enhance some scenes.
STORY: Storywise, it is fairly episodic so far and focuses on the exploration of the two main characters. Just who are they? How do they know each other? The anime is slowly revealing their pasts and with their new secretary Alex also knowing very little about them we are bound to find out plenty through her observation and questions. Episode 4 also introduced Doug and it looks like he is a worthy opponent for our Nic. I’m without a doubt looking forward to more Gangsta. and if this is the only season we get then I will likely read the manga when it is finished.
I would definitely recommend Gangsta. to every anime fan this summer, especially those who enjoyed anime such as: Black Lagoon and Cowboy Bebop.
I will update this with a complete review.