Monday, January 18, 2016

Gangsta review

Gangsta, a show that hold so much potential but poorly executed, ultimately end with the studio demise. An anime featuring life of gangsters are not something you seen often, and most of the time worked really well given the setting and characters done in the right. This should be the case for Gangsta but unfortunately the clusterfuck of story and confusing plot makes this anime an utter disappointment.

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. Follow the "Handymen," 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. (Source: MAL)

The story actually start off really good with the introduction of the dirty slum, infested with gangster, criminals, drugs dealer and so on. The setting relies heavily on the life of an outlaw; sex, money, drugs, guns. With such a unique setting of a decrepit city and a setup that promises something heavy hitting you would think the show would just run with it. However just after first few episodes, the story start to goes downhill. One thing that I kept asking when I watch this anime: what is the main objective that they try to accomplish? The characters seems to do random stuff one after another, because of poor transition between each arc. Big events are undergoing in the backdrop but never get revealed. Plot points are brought up to only come to a dead end with no resolution. The ending was so terrible, with cliff-hanger that made me think if they were really done with doing anime. Which they did.

In all honesty, I really do like the protagonists. Worick is a cool guy. He is apparently the level-headed member of the group and the one that keep an eye for the other. His quick wit and chill demeanor made him instantly likable. As the story goes on, we learn some of his complicated backstory along with Nicolas. Alex meanwhile, is not your usual damsel in distress. She is an emotionally damaged character that spends a majority of the show opening up to her new lifestyle with her two new companions. It's not that common to find someone within her profession to actually play a role in the story line. But the main star of the story is definitely Nicholas himself. What makes him unique is that he's deaf; something not many anime manages to do. The way they did the speech pattern and how he actually interact with other people really takes me aback. His personality changed from a cool, silent type to a battle maniac once he switch his mindset to battle mode. Overall, he's a really fascinating guy. The other character aren't really worth mentioning, mostly because of the lack of character development coupled with sloppy story writing.

The art and animation are average at best. Sometimes it looks really brilliant yet sometimes it looked downright bad. The one thing they get it right is the tone and atmosphere of the anime. The dark, gloomy and dirty atmosphere is spot on. The OP and ED music are actually pretty good. The OP gives a psychedelic feel; like taking drugs, and the ED had a melancholic feeling in it to conclude each episode. The OST used are mostly alright and fits in most of the time.

I don't really recommend watching this show. The setting and theme are laid out nicely, but poorly executed and the story are just a complete mess. With plot points that go nowhere and characters that are never given any reason to be, Gangsta have squandered its runtime with too many issues to get a pass. RIP Manglobe.

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