Gangsta is set in the city of Ergastulum, a shady city filled with made men and petty thieves, whores on the make and cops on the take – and there are some deeds too dirty for even its jaded inhabitants to touch. Follow the “Benriya,” Nic and Worick, who take care of the jobs no one else will handle. A new group attempts to muscle in on their block and the cops enlist them to weed out the upstarts no questions asked. The only thing is, there’s a witness to the slaughter that they absolutely refuse to silence, so they decide to take her in instead.
Gangsta is about two mercenaries called Benriya or Handymen that do jobs for the mafia, police and anyone who pays. The jobs they take are those that others cannot or will not do in the city of Ergastulum. Our two Benriya are Nicolas (“Nic”) and Worick, who are joined later by a prostitute, Alex, they rescue on a job. Gangsta follows the Benriya as they live their daily lives with lots of action and drama.
The story in Gangsta is episodic. There does not seem to be a central plotline at the moment and each episode or a few series of episodes deals with a job given to Nic and Worick. The one of the two constants from episode to episode is the bits and pieces of Nic and Worick’s past that get revealed each episode. The second constant is the hatred for the Twilight. I expect something resembling a solid plotline involving these two constants to show up in the future but at the moment the story changes episode to episode or rather job to job. There is nothing in the story aside from the Nic and Worick’s flashbacks that bring viewers back. I would give the story 6 out of 10.
The Gangsta characters are complex and rich. They give off an air of maturity that is forced upon them by the darkness of their environment. There are three main characters Nic, Worick and Alex. Each of the main characters represent an important viewpoint that viewers use to connect to the anime.
Nic is the battle hardened deaf Twilight, someone with gains superhuman ability through the use of special drugs. Nic is main fight force of the duo but the true beauty of his character is the way he communicates with everyone around him especially Worick and Alex. Nic “talks” with sign language and “listens” by lip-reading. While Nic can talk it is very hard to understand him. Lastly, Nic’s character is very contradictory in that he is portrayed as overly violent, however, he is kind, compassionate and considerate towards the weak.
Worick is the brains of the outfit. He is a normal person with an amazing memory. Do not mistake him for a weakling because he is just as quickly willing to take out a handgun and shoot you. Worick is also a part-time gigolo. Depth of his character is in the humanity and human emotion he portrays through his smiling face. His empathy for the circumstances of others is showcased with the maturity and knowledge that he can do nothing about their situation and rather than wallow and whine it’s better to just continue to live life no matter how shitty it may be.
Alex brings the perspective of the newbie to the Benriya team. Saved by Nic and Worrick in episode 1 from a life of prostitution, Alex does not contribute anything to the team. Alex’s true worth is her interactions with the Benriya. Constantly asking questions about Twilights or the Nic and Worick’s pasts, Alex is the representation of the viewers that can actually interact with the Benriya, other Gangsta characters and the Ergastulum environment.
I would rate the characters 9 out of 10.
The artwork is dark and brooding, but has plenty of scenes with sunlight that is very bright. It creates the perfect setting for the blood soaked slum where life is hard but not worth giving up. There are plenty of buildings and alleyways that appear rustic and sub-standard making for great battle grounds for the Gangsta underworld. The scenes move fluidly from one setting to the next. Character moods are always complimented with proper lighting and shading, which adds greater depth to the events of the particular scene. I would rate the animation 10 out of 10.
The music and sound is equally comparable to the artwork. The opening theme is captivating and sets the mood for the anime. The fight scenes always have amazing sound effects. But the true star about the sound effects is the voice acting, for example, capturing how a deaf person talking would sound. The character lines are not over the top, cheesy or stereotypical. My only complaint is that the ending song is too forgettable. While does fit the theme and mood that Gangsta creates, the song itself adds nothing to the anime for me, this is evident by the fact that I tend to skip it now and go straight to the previews. I would rate the music and sound 9 out of 10.
Overall, Gangsta gets a well deserved 8.5 out of 10. It is definitely one of the more unique animes of the summer 2015 season. While it may take a few episodes to get into Gangsta, once hooked you will tune in every week for the Benriya’s adventures.
Who is your favorite between Nic, Worick and Alex? Do you agree with my review of Gangsta? Want to add something new or something I missed? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts on Gangsta.
Share if you liked our blog:
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)