Hey, you. Did you like Black Lagoon? You know, that ultra violent, over the top, crazy tale of bad asses, babes, and bullets in a shitty town where criminals rule, and mercenaries take whatever job they're offered, which usually leads to bloodshed and lots of explosions? Well, then you will want to check out Gangta.
Hey, you. Yeah, you. Did you see that anime series known as Black Lagoon? You know the one... The series that focused on sometimes retardedly insane and over the top manly men and tough as fuck women who blew up way too much stuff, and thought they were much cooler than they actually were? Well, if you thought that Black Lagoon was lame, then you'll want to avoid Gangsta. Seriously, you'll REALLY want to avoid Gangsta.
Gangsta is one of those shows that I thought was going to be extremely self-indulgent with the violence, sex, and a preposterous amount of melodrama... And it is (I mean, Jesus, it's fucking called "GANGSTA" [officially in all caps] for Christ's sake!), but for the first 7 or so episodes it's surprisingly enjoyable.
Gangsta is all about two rugged as hell manly men who live in the sinner's paradise known as Ergastulum — a shitty city run by the mafia, pimps, hoodlums, and crooked police. These two men (albino sharpshooter Worick Arcangelo, and the deaf swordsman Nicolas Brown) act as mercenaries in Ergastulum (a job known as "Handymen"in their burg), hiring out their mad skills as assassins/bodyguards/cleaners to whoever slaps them in their collective faces with enough cash. But Worick and Nick aren't bad guys. No, of course not. They really both have hearts of gold, and in-between slitting people's throats and shooting hitmen in their eyes, they do jobs for the local doctor and his pre-teen nurse, and rescue the odd prostitute from her drug-induced craphole of a life. They're like a much more homicidal and vicious A-Team. Worick is an eye-patch-wearing normal human, but incredibly intelligent and a brilliant tactician. Nick is a super soldier (due to the drug he's doping on), and he tends to throw caution to the wind a bit too often, but the two Handymen make a pretty good (and fun to watch) team.
But the world of Ergastulum (which sounds like a realm in Middle Earth, but I think takes place in Italy somewhere) is a seedy town, and there are super soldiers hooked on a narcotic called Celebrer (which gives them their strength, speed, and skills) running around killing people left and right. These super soldiers (who're called "Twilights" because the original Japanese writer didn't realize that the rest of the world now only associates that word with "shitty young adult romance novels featuring pedo-vampires, and werewolves who want to marry and fornicate with new born babies") are causing a whole lot of trouble for the cops and the criminal families who run the city, and it's up to Worick and Nick (who is also a "Twilight"... Oh god, it hurts just to type that) to help save the day... For whoever has the biggest bank account, or whoever they owe the most favors to.
There's also the subplot of the prostitute that Worick and Nick rescued from the most assaholic pimp of all time. This woman, the most bodacious Alex, is hawt and stacked as hell, but damaged beyond all reasoning by her ex-pimp, Barry the Chopper. Alex is the soul of the show, and we see the two men become more human as she shows them compassion that they've never known before. Alex even learns sign language in order to communicate better with Nick, and she soon remembers that she has a greater purpose in her godawful life — that being a younger brother that she was taking care of before Barry drugged the shit out of her, causing her to just be his submissive poon in order to sell her tang out to clients.
There's also a late-breaking subplot of a bunch of psychotic, cartoony, loony-toony, Twilight assassins coming to town and wrecking things up like a coked-up Charlie Sheen. These Twilights pop up in like episode 8, and that's when Gangsta goes to shit.
I actually liked Gangsta up until episode 7. That's when it went from an entertaining, dark, bloody, and gritty crime story taking place in a world like Black Lagoon, and brought in too many stylized super assassins who felt like they stepped straight out of One Piece. It took a bad turn, seemed to forget what story it was telling, and then just ended.
That's the BIGGEST problem (of the sea of issues this show had going on in it) of Gangsta — that it doesn't end. It's like they only made it to 12 episodes and ran out of funds before they could give us a good wrap up. And I don't mean that "it ends, but the ending is dumb." Nope, I mean it just ends. Like the final thing that we saw was episode 12 out of 26, and 13 through 26 were accidentally deleted from the main studio server by Retard Tsukitami. There is no wrap up of anything, we don't know if one of the main characters who's lying in a growing puddle of his own blood is going to die, and about 75% of the storylines simply have no resolution. It just ENDS. It's like if in the middle of a play somebody cut the wrong rope and the curtains came down, but they couldn't figure out how to get them open again, and so everybody just went home, and now we'll never know if Hamlet gets his revenge or not... Hamlet is a revenge tale, right?
One of the other large issues I had with Gangsta is how the second half of the show doesn't seem to know how to tell a story properly. Example: the second to last episode completely disregards the two main characters (Worick and Nicolas) — the only two people whom we really have any attachment to (outside of Alex, who never really does anything important in this thing anyway). Instead, this penultimate chapter focuses on the generic "ultra baddy" Twilight Hunters that recently came to town to do bad stuff, and it's the dumbest move in a TV series that I've ever seen. I cared nothing for these new characters (or the side characters that fought against them), they weren't interesting at all, and they were mostly over-the-top retarded with their "bad, bad, bad, vibes." These Hunters didn't feel dangerous or like a real threat in any way, instead they just felt like they only picked more moronic characters than themselves to slaughter (and boy, did they slaughter... to the point of boredom). I just wanted them to all step on a land mine so that we could get back to Nick and Worick, and hopefully wrap up their somewhat interesting stories.
Another thing that totally turned me off to this series is that Studio Manglobe turned the reigns of the series' animation over to a D-grade studio far too often. This was bankrupt Studio Manglobe's last production ever, you know, so I'm guessing that instead of using the good B-studio in South Korea, they saved a shit ton of money by sending the episodes to Afghanistan to be animated. Yeah, Afghanistanimation, just like in Super Troopers. The character models are always off, and the animation quality is dodgy as all fuck, but hey, they saved some ¥en, and went out with a whimper!
So despite an interesting and compelling start, Gangsta loses steam at around episode 7, and even though they know they won't get a second season to wrap up any of the hundreds of lingering plot threads, the writers just left us hanging with a finale that will go down as the most annoying in anime history. Seriously, you think that the TV ending of Berserk was bad? It's got nothing on Gangsta.
Yo, mothafuckas! This anime was fuckin' MADE for me, G!
There I was, mindin' my own bidness, when all of a sudden the Rossman kicked in my door, handed me a thumbdrive, pointed at my laptop, and said, "Watch this shit. This is you, in anime form!"
NOTE FROM THE ROSSMAN: Actually, I did kick in the Megaplayboy's door, and I did hand him a thumbdrive with the Gangsta anime on it, but I did it whilst laughing my ass off, barely able to get out "Dude, this anime will show you just how ridiculous your whole white boy gangsta persona is. You NEED to watch it!" Po-tay-to, po-tah-to, I guess.
This show is all about the biggest, baddest, mo-fo-est badasses you've ever seen, holmes! They's all shootin' people up, slicing their arms off with swords, drinkin', whorin' around, takin' super drugs! It's like the most gangsta of gangsta lifestyles ever made!
Everything about this anime is balls-out awesome! I want to live in that tough town, just to show everybody how I could rule that citay within a week. I would come in all silent, like a sniper! Then I'd slit their throats from behind! Snikt! Then I'd shoot all the corrupt pigs! Bang-bang!... No, wait! I'd KEEP all the corrupt cops so's that I could buy them out, but I'd shoot all the legit piggies! Then I'd rent out all the whores so that I could rate them all. Then I'd start up my own gun-for-hire bidness, hire a hot whore to be my secretary, get some badass ninjy dude to be my sidekick, but I'd also cut out his tongue, or puncture his eardrums so that he couldn't give me no lip! Ninjys don't give no lip!
Then I'd call my place "Man With the Gun, Who Gets Shit Done." Then I just sit back and let the money fly in like rain! Greatest bidness model EVAR!
Oh how pitiful you hu-mans are. In order to quantify that you are worth anything you revel in violence, pretend to be ultimate ladies' men, and drink to prove that you are, as you say, "tough."
You sad sacks of pussy are nothing of the sort. You hu-mans are weak, sad, and lame. You are LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLAME. Robot Pedro could, and has, crushed many of you "manly men" under his robot cleats. Multiple manly men hu-mans at the same time... Crushed their man-grapes like mini-water balloons.
But over the centuries Robot Pedro has learned the secrets to hu-mans being manly and cool. Listen closely, meat sacks.
The cold, hard truth, hu-mans, is that you cannot be "cool" or manly. It is not possible. Not when compared to superior robots. Robot Pedro superior, hu-mans inferior.