First Look: No Guns Life

Alternative title: SF Hard-Boiled The Gun Smoke Drifts Muzzle Talks
Manga Adaptation by Madhouse
Streaming on Funimation

Premise

After the war, cybernetically enhanced super soldiers known as Extends struggle to reintegrate themselves into society. Their bodies modified to the point of barely resembling humans, they are powerful, dangerous, and sometimes unhinged. Often resorting to becoming criminals or mercenaries, the world has become rife with Extend related crime. Inui Juuzou is an Extend, with no memory of his past or how his entire head got replaced with a gun. Now he lives as a private eye, taking on Extend related cases.

Gee’s verdict: Hot Shot

No Guns Life is conventional excellence at its best. Its story and dialogue won’t surprise you in the slightest, but what really matters here is that it carries itself with such a sense of confidence and style that you can’t help but get swept up by it. Juuzou is a walking collection of hardboiled noir tropes, every line out of his gun shaped head can be found in the, “Gruff private eye with a heart of gold” playbook. But also he’s a literal cyborg strongman with a pistol for a head. His head is shaped like a revolver, and his official title is Resolver. That’s the kind of story this is. His clients are equally strange robot people and he’s pursued by shady battle nun assassins with double barreled pistols. It’s ridiculous and enjoyable in equal measure, and at its core, that’s all I really needed from an adaptation of the manga. Compared to adaptations of more lofty works like Beastars which require both visual excellence and the ability to capture its narrative nuances, a good No Guns Life anime just needs enough budget and swagger to adequately convey its sense of style and personality. I’m happy to say No Guns Life has largely succeeded. It isn’t going to win any points on originality, but it’s one of the most likable shows this season. If you have a pulpy noir shaped hole in your heart, No Guns Life has your back.

Iro’s verdict: Hard-Boiled Fun

I’m not sure how much substance there actually is to this show, but I can’t deny that it’s got plenty of style. Much like last season’s underrated Cop Craft, the fun of No Guns Life comes from how its hardboiled noir detective tropes are all played 100% seriously but juxtaposed against the inherent ridiculousness of its genre elements, such as the main character having a giant gun for a head. There’s just enough self-awareness here that the combination ends up as fun rather than tiresome, and that’s an important balance to hit for this type of pulpy faff. Assuming things don’t fall apart completely, I’m glad to have a competently made popcorn show this season.

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