Gangsta. strangely takes your usual mafia, crooked cops, and slightly nuts hero trope and brings some sort of freshness to it by doing one thing many animated programs aren’t good at: balance.
Each Page Corresponds to the Episode Associated
Act 1 – Naughty Boys
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
With a new anime season beginning, I do feel Gangsta. sets a high standard for what hopefully is to come. For while, on paper, there isn’t much new here, as we are introduced to the characters involved we begin to watch the show slowly bloom into something which might be a bit more than your usual “Let’s Take Down The Mob” type of show. I mostly attribute this to the fact you are given just enough to get interested, instead of the usual issue a lot of animes have where it often seems like it starts off high and then seems like it can only be downhill from there, or it seems you’ll be starting at the bottom and working your way toward the show being good.
Which I contribute mostly to the would-be anti-heroes, known as the Handymen, Worlick and Nicolas. Two dudes, one possibly missing an eye and the other damn near deaf, who are made to be cool without it seeming like the animators and voice actors even were trying hard. With this, be it Worlick and Nicolas taking a street girl, Alex, under their wing and giving her a job, or them working with a crooked cop named Chad to take down an up and coming gang, I just felt like the situation reminded me of the first few episodes of Daredevil, in a way, in terms of a good mix between story and violence, while also showing the slight soft spot of the leads.
Making so, overall, I feel confident that this likely won’t be one of the many shows which I had a strong positive reaction to, which by episode 5 is gone and I’m left feeling duped. For more on the pilot, look below.
Main Plot Analysis & Spoilers
Worlick, like his partner Nicolas, is the type of character who seems very familiar. However, like mentioned in the extended intro, because of how he is animated and voiced he finds his own form of cool. With that said, his position within the Handymen seems to be the leader. For with Nicolas’ hearing being terrible, and him mostly using sign language, Worlick is the one who speaks for the team. Now, as for why Nicolas and Worlick work together? Well, it seems both owe a debt which isn’t detailed, but definitely has to be the driving force between them and their relationship with Captain Chad.
With ominous dog tags, bloodlust, yet a soft spot for women, like Worlick, Nicolas has the look of your average throwaway thug, but even with mostly Worlick speaking for him he has quite the effect on the first episode. For while, as noted, Nicolas’ hearing is terrible, it seems he is almost like the opposite of daredevil for what he lacks in hearing, he makes up for in sight. Also, his sword skills are killer and while, admittedly, him opposing a up and comer like Barry, a low level gangster, didn’t seem to show the full extent of his abilities, the mystery built up due to his dog tags make it seem we were only given a taste of what’s to come.
What first seemed like a throwaway character, a prostitute owned by Barry who Worlick takes an interest in, by episode’s end evolves into the Handymen’s receptionist. One which we see is not only down on her luck, having sex for money and likely homeless, but also without much in the way of dreams or direction. Making Worlick, and Nicolas, her saviors. Though, for a little while, it did seem like she may not be as vulnerable, and a victim, as she seemed.
Of the mob family heads introduced, it seems Corsica is the main one, alongside another named Monroe. However, Corsica seems to be the one with the most to lose and it seems he and Monroe are the type who butt heads every now and then. Though a neutral party, two youngsters, seemingly are being brought in so that the two men are forced to cooperate more than either likely want.
With a large gash on his head, it seems Monroe is likely the type of gangster who worked his way to the top vs. Corsica who may have gotten his hands dirty from time to time, but largely let his men handle the dirty work. Which perhaps is the reason why Corsica and Monroe seem to be on slightly shaky ground, and that is because Monroe might be making moves to get leverage, or at least more territory.
- Captain Chad
Chad, alongside partner or protégé Cody, seem to be run of the mill cops in many ways with Chad enlisting the services of the Handymen to do what the average cop can’t. Which isn’t investigate or go undercover, but simply eliminate someone who be it politics or otherwise, simply can’t be touched easily. But with the Handymen talking about owing Chad, and Chad seeming slightly crooked in terms of letting the Handymen take spoils away from criminals and the crime scene, again there seems to be more to this character than they appear.
Things To Note
The Handymen don’t just work for Chad, but seem to offer an almost Equalizer like service in which if someone is bothering a shop for example, like Granny Joel’s, she’ll pay them to handle it. Leading to the question if these two would ever help someone bad who has money? Of which, as of now, the answer seems to be no, but who knows how their moral compass works and whether it is about doing the right thing, by whatever method, or simply getting paid.