First Look: Gangsta

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Manga Adaptation by Manglobe
Streaming on Funimation

Premise

Taking place in the crime-ridden city of Ergastulum, Worick and Nicolas are two “handymen” who are often hired to do the dirty work of the police and mafia.

Gee’s verdict: Visceral and Stylish

Gangsta is pretty damn cool. It’s got cool guys doing cool things with a cool soundtrack. Special props to that soundtrack, done by Samurai Champloo luminary and collaborator with the late Nujabes, Tsuchie. I’ve only heard the few tracks featured in the first episode, but it’s got exactly the kind of flair and beats I want from a gritty crime story. Here’s hoping it brings some more hard hitting stuff as things escalate. Admittedly, the animation certainly leaves something to be desired. Its action scenes lack the same flair as Black Lagoon, a comparatively violent crime story. It’s also kind of on the nose about its grimness despite involving a guy with a sword easily killing multiple guys with guns. As long as they don’t beat us over the head with how much of a grim shithole Ergastulum is, I could see Gangsta being one of this season’s top stars.

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Iro’s verdict: Street Style

Gangsta‘s premiere featured some… uh, gangsters, I guess… murdering thugs and hanging out with a hooker with a heart of gold, which is basically what I expected and what I wanted out of the show. Comparisons to Black Lagoon are many and warranted, although Gangsta seems slightly more grounded despite one of the main duo successfully wielding a katana against gun-toting mooks. Special mention goes to Mamiko Noto playing against type as Alex, as well as Tsuchie’s excellent soundtrack. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one.

Artemis’ verdict: Totally Dope, Yo (Seriously Though, It’s Good)

This was one of my most highly anticipated shows of the new season, and I’m happy to say that the premiere did not disappoint. Gangsta reminds me a bit of Black Lagoon in that gritty, seedy kind of way; it’s violent and unsentimental, but thankfully doesn’t come across like it’s trying too hard to be cool. Nor does it seem to depict sex and violence simply for their own sake like a lot of “dark” and “edgy” shows end up doing – Gangsta feels more intelligent than that, even though I wouldn’t exactly call it subtle. I also like its attention to detail in regard to Nic’s character, who is deaf and mostly communicates in sign language, and whose speech is therefore slurred and indistinct when he chooses to express himself verbally. His relationship with work partner Worick appears brotherly and comradely, and for me will probably be one of the highlights of the show.

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4 thoughts on “First Look: Gangsta

  1. I’m freakin stoked for this season. So many awesome first episodes. I’m aware most of you guys didn’t like Charlotte or Game of Laplace very much, but even then I enjoyed those first episodes for the potential alone. I haven’t been this excited since the pilot of AoT (which subsequently disappointed me, but hey, first episode was great nonetheless). I’m particularly interested to see you guys’ thoughts on Snow White with Red Hair (I think that’s what it’s called) and Rokka no Yusha. I was pleasantly surprised with those two, though I’m not sure whether it’ll be up to your standards. And we still have a few more anime coming up.

    • You’ll be sure to see a lot more of our thoughts in the coming days. Obviously we’d never say you can’t enjoy those shows, it’s just we’ve come to expect things of anime, and a lot of the time they can’t deliver.

  2. Yeah I’m looking forward to this series quite a bit. It did bug me how the bad guys just stood there with guns like they were waiting for that guy to cut them down.

    So I hope they choreograph the action scenes better later on in the series, otherwise it’s fun and gritty, something I’ve been looking for to fill the void black lagoon left in me 😀 .

    So yeah, I’m pretty excited for this one.

    • I just assumed the dog tag thing gave him the speed advantage, but yeah they could have at least tried to move out of the way or something. Giving random mooks a bad name.

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