Gangsta tells the story of two friends who work together as a group called The Handymen. Together they work and do odd jobs here and there for various different groups around the city of Ergastulum.The groups range from mobsters to even the local police, doing things from making deliveries to assassinations. The Handymen made up of Worick Archangelo, a cool, confident man with who’s a good shot and has an incredible photographic memory, and Nicolas Brown, a deaf, high ranking ‘Tag’ with incredible superhuman who usually speaks in sign language whenever his hands aren’t on his sword.
Most of the story at the start of the series are episodic with everything starting and typically wrapping up in one or two episodes. In the world of Gangsta, there are individuals who have much more physical strength than an average human. They’re called Tags because every one of them carries a set of ID dog tags that has their name and their level of strength ranked S through E and numbered 0 to 9. Nicolas’ rank is A/0, pretty high, but not the highest in the show. The power and strength that the Tags have is considered to be compensation for their average life span being less than thirty years of age. Towards the middle of the series the Tags start playing a more vital role in the story. Not only do more Tags appear in later episodes, but they become the central focus in the series.
The beginning of the series has really great art and the fight scenes are really great in Gangsta. When Nicolas began to fight some of the other Tags while Worick backed him up was well done. I was a fan of a lot of the character designs. Unfortunately it looked like the quality seemed to dip a lot towards the end of the series. It grew more and more noticeable as the show came to an end, almost as if it was rushed to be completed in the final stretch.
Gangsta’s English dub is incredibly well done. The characters sound well cast and none of the lines said felt forced to fit translation of the anime. It’s about equal quality regardless of you decided to watch it dubbed our subbed, so you’ll be happy no matter how you choose to proceed. The music in Gangsta is great. The opening song Renegade by Stereo Dive Foundation gets me pumped to watch the show and I loved the ending theme Yoru no Kuni by Annabel.
The origin of how the Tags came to be seemed pretty lofty and I felt it should’ve been left a little more vague or ambiguous. The art looks like it takes a dip in quality towards the end of the show during the action scenes, sad considering how awesome it looked in the beginning. But what really drives the negatives home is where they ended the the season. It’s clearly meant to continue onward with a second season, or at least one more episode, since far too many questions and storylines are left open. What makes that even more sad is that the studio that produced this anime, Manglobe, announced its bankruptcy not long after the final episode aired in Japan. So unless the studio can turn their finances around sometime in the future, or some other company picks up the show, the only way to finish Nicolas and Worick’ s story is to pick up the manga.
Gangsta was still overall a very fun show to watch. Without nitpicking the art and the point in the story where it ends, I had a great time watching it and still recommend it to anyone wanting to watch a good show from the summer season of anime. Let’s hope that there will be some way that anime can continue forward.