Introduction 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. Act 1 – Naughty Boys Review (with Spoilers) – Below With a new anime season beginning, I do feel Gangsta. sets a…


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Introduction

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.


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

Character Introductions

  • Worlick

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.

  • Nicolas

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.

  • Alex

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.

  • Monroe

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.

  • Corsica

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.

Act 2. Hundemarken

Introduction

New acquaintances are introduced, alongside us learning little by little about these tags which differentiate Nicolas from people like Worick.

Characters & Story (with Commentary)

Topic 1: The Little Girl & The Scary Man – Nicolas

This week’s case deals with helping a young girl, Nina, and her father, Dr. Theo, who are being harassed since Dr. Theo’s services as a doctor are highly wanted, especially in a world where there are people like Nicolas and Worick walking around. Issue is, Dr. Theo has no interest in these type of things, and unfortunately the person demanding Dr. Theo’s services, Arnold, is a tag just like Nicolas. Thus leading to Nina, Dr. Theo’s nurse and assumed daughter, asking the Handymen to help.

Thus leading us to see a rather cute back and forth between Nicolas and Nina in which we learn it isn’t just Worick who has learned sign language to communicate with Nicolas, and that despite how fearsome Nicolas may seem, he has a playful side to him as well. Really pushing the idea that, as Worick says, perhaps the tags aren’t mean to really represent their past, but be like dog tags to partly identify, but mostly warn. Meaning, while Nicolas can be friendly and even empathetic, at the same time he has the viciousness of a stereotypical pitbull if you mess with him, or those he cares about.

Topic 2: A Fight For The Ages – Nicolas

As noted, the handymen are called on in order to help the doctor, as well as protect his daughter from possibly being kidnapped. However, being that Worick is of no match for a tag, Nicolas goes on his own, with Nina’s hand in his, to go see these men pestering her father. Leading to a fight which isn’t as brutal as what we saw in the first episode, yet still satisfying enough to be entertaining.

Topic 3: The Legacy of Past Sins – Worwick and Alex

Though Nicolas’ match with Arnold is interesting, what is worth noting more is the hints and clues to the backstory of Nicolas. All of which is told by Worick as he speaks to Alex. Someone who seems increasingly curious about Nicolas, especially after watching him interact with Nina, and learning he is supposed to take pills. As for what the pills do or are for? This isn’t revealed. What is revealed though is that the samurai sword we see Nicolas carry he has had since he was a teenager. Also, we learn that many of the tag men are ex-mercenaries. However, again we are only given surface level details and aren’t told of what battles Nicolas, or the others, may have fought; where they were trained; or why they all seemed to have convened in this one district.

Yet, even with only hints and clues dropped, it is hard to not like this little mystery a bit.

Things To Note

  • We learn Worick and Alex aren’t from the area. It is hard to say whether Nicolas is.
  • Nicolas is a rank A/0 ex-mercenary and Arnold was a B/2 – both high ranked.
  • From a poster in inspector Adkin’s office we see Nicolas had a wanted poster citing mug, murder and blackmail as his crimes and and Worick had prostitution, mug and blackmail.
  • It seems Worick and Alex are having sex, at least it seems so since Nina catches Alex partly undressed with Worick half-naked in the same room with her.

Act 3 – Ergastulum

Introduction

In the episode we get quite a bit of backstory when it comes to Worick, and a little bit on Nicolas. It isn’t anything huge, and breaks down any question you may have, but enough is given for you to begin to understand Worick. However, what certainly doesn’t make sense is how in the hell he and Nic became friends, but more on that below.

Characters & Story (with Commentary)

Topic 1: You in Danger Girl – Alex & Nicolas

Due to Worick focusing on what is mentioned in topic 2, and Nicolas needing help to do deliveries for Dr. Theo, Worick asks Alex to help Nicolas for the day. During this time she tries her best to communicate with Nicolas, but it seems because Nicolas doesn’t want to get too close to her, he doesn’t engage her much. Mind you, he notes she is his girl and vouches she is a nice person, but with Granny breaking it down that all of Worick’s woman ended up claimed by Nicolas, due to Worick’s side work, it isn’t much of a compliment.

With that said, as Alex steps further and further into Worick’s world, it seems she is seeing more, and hearing more, than perhaps someone in her position should. Leading to the reason perhaps Granny warned her of spending too much time around the boys. For while they seem nice now, with what is mentioned below, and considering the fact Worick has had women in the past, and Nicolas has mob ties [1], maybe sticking around might not be a good idea.

Topic 2: A Gigolo for 20+ years – Worick

Quite a bit of information about Worick’s past is noted, but perhaps the most curious part is that since Worick was 14, he is now an estimated 35, he has been a gigolo. One which now might be freelance, but when he was 14 he was working in a brothel for a woman we meet called Big Mama.

Now, as for why he is a Gigolo? Well, originally it seems to have been because his family, the Arcangelo, which might have been a mob family, was murdered. Thus leaving him without a source of income and, as we have seen, the city is corrupted enough for a teenager to make a living on sex work. As for why he continues to do it, especially considering he has some sort of sexual relationship with Alex? Well, he can’t say. Something which you can see bothers Alex, for there is curiosity in her about the whole thing, but I guess with her knowing she isn’t his girlfriend, and considering she is a stranger in a foreign place, it seems while she is comfortable enough to ask questions, she isn’t going to push.

Topic 3: Enemies Turned Friends? – Worick & Nicolas

Building off topic 2, here is where we come to the peculiarities of Worick and Nicolas’ friendship, at least if you take things on surface value. At 13, as noted, Worick’s family was murdered, and that is also when he lost his eye. However, what should be noted is that it seems Nicolas was the culprit. Then, to add onto the oddness of the situation, Nicolas was working for Worick’s family.

Leading to the question: why are these two friends? Well, one feasible answer is that perhaps Worick was being abused by his father, and got tired of standing idyly around so he killed Worick’s father. Issue with this theory is though, it doesn’t explain why Nicolas would murder Worick’s mother and sibling. Leading to the other idea being Worick asked Nicolas to do it, offering him freedom in the process, and sacrificed his eye so he would seem like a victim. However, again there is an issue with the theory since Worick seems sort of traumatized by the whole situation, and Nicolas seems a bit guilt ridden. Making it seem that, who knows, maybe Nicolas was being abused, maybe Worick spoke in passing about killing his family and Nicolas took it seriously, or a slew of other ways it could have went down. Either way, I’m intrigued.

Things To Note

[1]: From what we learn, Nicolas in the past worked with Mr. Monroe and Mr. Monroe would love for Nicolas to comeback to working with him. Something Nicolas has no interest in, for he seems to like his new line of work and working with Worick.

Act. 04 – Nonconformist

Initial Thoughts

As the series touches on Worick and Nicolas’ initial meeting, and how they slowly started to become something to each other, it does lead me to wonder how Worick went from a spoiled mob kid to this almost carefree blonde who runs around killing, and hooking, for a living. Alongside that, there is a mention of the Twilights, and a new high level one roaming. Leaving me wondering, who in the world hired him?

Characters & Story (with Commentary)

Topic 1: Call In The Handymen – Nicolas, Worick, Chad, and Mr. Monroe

Being that Worick and Nicolas are the cause for so much death and blood on the streets, naturally they make good fall guys for when anything happens and Chad has to bring someone in. As for what is the issue nowadays? Well, in district 6, within a warehouse, there are a huge amount of dismembered bodies. Which Chad doesn’t necessarily believe the Handymen caused, but being that they are the ones who do his dirty work, he expects them to handle it.

Though all that happens is Worick uses his genius level memory to give Chad a few leads, and afterwards finds himself at the beck and call of Mr. Monroe. Someone who calls Chad directly and gets the boys so quickly that you’d think he was paying into the cops’ pension fund. Leading to perhaps one of the most interesting adversaries to be introduced in the series thus far.

Said person? Well, like Nicolas they are a twilight, and a blade user. However, rather than one samurai sword, this child, yes child, uses two blades. Ones which lead to many people with lost heads and limbs. Now, as for why he is after Mr. Monroe? Well, that isn’t revealed. What we do know though is that someone certainly did hire him, and said person wanted Monroe’s forces decimated, but Monroe left alive.

Which is just what is done. This A/0 level child goes through Monroe’s men like it is nothing, but cannot get a hit on Monroe. Showing that despite Monroe’s age, his “Gunslinger Danny” persona is alive and well. But when it comes to the boy’s mortality, capture, or defeat, such a fate rests in the hands of Nicolas. Someone who begins his battle with the child before the episode ends

Topic 2: But He’s Defective! – Worick and Nicolas

Like with the last episode, we find ourselves in the past getting to know our protagonist. This time though, we aren’t seeing Worick walking around with PTSD and seemingly like some weak child who was born into the Arcangelo mob dynasty. No. The Worick we meet is Wallace, and he is a pompous, and perhaps spoiled, brat who is rude and all of the staff dislike him, and seemingly his father as well. The only reason we hear about the father not being like though, is simply because he cheats on the lady of the house. Outside of that, it seems the staff don’t mention many reasons to hate their employer.

As for Wallace though? It seems there is no love lost between him and his father. For be it neglect, the cheating, or for other reasons, it seems Wallace not only doesn’t care for his dad, but thinks his dad maybe out to get him. An idea which is really implanted with Nicolas being one of the main people who is supposed to guard Wallace. After all, Nicolas is a child, who seems to get beaten by his peers, and is deaf. So really, what can he do? Granted, he has a sword, but why would someone like Wallace believe someone his own age is worth what his father pays?

But, despite an initial distrust toward Nicolas, it seems Nicolas being deaf is what leads to Wallace warming up to him and asking his name. That and Nicolas speaking to Wallace in such a way which isn’t like the adults. Granted, very little is said, but with it seeming Wallace is isolated from other kids his age, for he is home schooled, maybe it is realized that Nicolas maybe all he may get for a playmate, so he better make the best out of it.

Final Thoughts

With us already being aware of the end product, I do wonder if the show may go step by step showing how Wallace Arcangelo became Worick, lost his eye, and ended up killing and being a sex object for a living? For, I have to admit, Wallace and Worick seem like completely opposite people, and unless a mental breakdown is what caused Worick’s birth, I’m quite confused. Much less, being that the Arcangelo family is no more, I am quite curious to learn whether between Chad, Mr. Monroe, and the mob boss we saw in episode one, were they involved in the Arcangelo family massacre?

Alongside that, being that Veronica’s name is dropped, I do wonder if, while the boys are away, will Alex’s focus be discovering who Veronica was, as well as what led to her death? For I doubt the boy’s directly caused it, for if anything it was likely she was used as a hostage or for the purpose of revenge. Though, with her playing a possible detective, comes a look into the enemies the Handymen have had. Which could make for additional good storylines. So, needless to say, I remain quite interested to see what is to come around the corner for this show.

Things To Note

  • We see Alex is still haunted by Granny’s warnings, but with Barry in her thoughts, and not much opportunity maybe being out there for her, it seems her leaving the boys won’t happen no time soon.
  • We learn the Handymen’s former girl/ receptionist was named Veronica.
  • Chad is 56.
  • Nicolas is Asian.

Act 05 – Sanctions

Overview

As the mystery behind Nicolas and the twilights unravel, so comes the question of what in the world is going on with these mob families? Much less, considering Alex has some serious PTSD, what will her storyline ultimately be since she doesn’t have much interaction with the boys nowadays?

Characters & Story (with Commentary)

Topic 1: Going Against the Three Laws – Nicolas

After wondering for quite some time about the background of Twilights, we are given a good amount of information. First off, what seems to separate Twilights from “normals” are them being subjected to the bio-enhancement drug known as Celebrer, which seemingly limits the ability to feel pain, alongside genetic effects. As for how this plays into the ranking system? Right now I can only fathom that it means the higher the rank, the higher the Twilight’s pain threshold and ability to overdose on Celebrer.

Now, digging deeper into the Twilight background, an additional thing we learn is that a war is what led to the breeding of these beings, and before what is known as the “Three Laws” they damn near had slave status. However, after what is known as the Four Fathers made a way for at least minimal rights for Twilights, they seemingly, like Nic, became contracted employees. As for what the Three Laws are? They are: No actions against normals, obey your master, and defend yourself.

As for what all this has to do with Nicolas, besides him being a Twilight, well his issue is that local guild leader Gina Paulklee, who seemingly is the boss of all local Twilights, isn’t fond of him overdosing on Celebrer, nor his combatant Doug, the kid, going after Danny Monroe. For not only is Danny a normal, but he is one of the reasons there is balance in Ergastulum, and with him gone it means chaos and perhaps a collapse of the Three Law system protecting Twilights. So, to punish both of them, she shoots them repeatedly with downers which makes them both groggy and feel pain. Leaving Worick to have to take them both to see Dr. Theo, who currently is out, but luckily Nina was still in the clinic.

Topic 2: The Odd Relationship between Mr. Monroe and Worick – Worick

Being that Worick, aka Wallace, is a heir to Ergastulum’s mob world, one could only assume that the name Worick is solely being used to hide his real identity, and that probably only Chad knows the truth. With that said, it seems more and more, despite us seeing Nicolas in the middle of what looks like a massacre, Mr. Monroe had to have played a part in Worick’s family being killed. To the point, a part of me thinks the banter between Worick and Mr. Monroe is meant to hint to them, maybe, knowing who the other person is, but knowing the playing field is a bit too equal for one to make a move on the other.

Either way, it seems like there might have been a time, before Doug tried to, when Mr. Monroe’s life was on the line due to a Twilight. Granted it was a C/3, who for a moment I thought may have been Nicolas but, alas, that Twilight failed and unless Nicolas stole someone’s tag, or made a new one, said theory wouldn’t make a lick of sense.

Topic 3: Where In The World Is Alex’s Head At? – Alex

With Alex pretty much having almost no interaction with the boys, and pretty much being in her head, I was hoping she would look into Veronica [1]. However, all that happens, once more, is her being haunted by a dead man’s face. At least, that is what it seems like at first. For with a man in her former alley, looking like Dr. Theo, presenting himself, before being seen as the dead Barry, and then someone at the door, it does appear a new storyline for her may present itself soon. One which likely will show why Granny warned this girl about who she associates with.

Final Thoughts

With every faction revealed, with every piece of someone’s backstory gone into, and with the show still maintaining this unique balance of action, storytelling, and some sense of emotional depth, I am truly amazed. Though, I must admit, being that we are only given little by little, at least to me, I do find this show a tad frustrating.

At the same time, however, perhaps what frustrates me about this show is its appeal. For if it just spend a few episodes diving into Worick, Nic, and Alex, then what would be left? I mean, not that I don’t enjoy the little bit of mob politics we see, and the action, but the question of what happened from childhood to now is what is really intriguing me. So maybe I’m just being a little too inpatient and not letting the production company Manglobe craft their tale in a way which, obviously, works.

Things To Note

[1] In the episode, we learn from Gina that Veronica took too many uppers, and this reveals Veronica was a Twilight. One which may have very well been Nicolas’ legit girlfriend. Unlike Alex who, at one time, seemed to be Worick’s, but now just seems like the unsupervised receptionist.

What happened to what looked like a brother/ sister combo in episode one?

Act 6 – Thorn

Overview

As the topic of war becomes less about the possibility, and more so when, we continue to dive into Nicolas and Wallace’s past.

Characters & Story (with Commentary)

Topic 1: Let’s Talk About Alex – Alex & Worwick

As we already know, Alex is a bit messed up in the head. As for why? Well, Dr. Theo, who we saw at the end of the last episode, explains. Basically, people of Alex’s profession were given these pills called TB which made them more submissive, but did lead quite a few to suicide. As for why? Well, it isn’t because of addiction, for it isn’t addictive, but more so the withdrawal symptoms deal with hallucinations. Hence why Barry kept popping up.

What this whole situation doesn’t fully explain though is, why exactly did she go to meet a John? I mean, granted, ghost Barry could have told her to, but with Dr. Theo meeting her at the door, you’d think he would have sedated her. Much less, acknowledging she scratched the hell out of him, you’d think he wouldn’t be so non-chalant about it when Worick showed up and started asking questions. Either way, with a devastating headbutt, it seems Alex isn’t as lost in her thoughts now. However, Worick’s headbutt may only be a temporary fix for a huge problem.

Topic 2: Back to the Past – Worick and Nicolas

Once more we venture into the past, as Nicolas recovers from the downers he was shot with [1]. During this time, we see some images of what assuming is Veronica, which include her seemingly losing a limb, but the main focus is Nicolas’ time with Worick, then Wallace, as a teen. Most of the major things worth talking about is Worick teaching Nicolas how to write and do sign language, us witnessing that part of what bonds them is their mother’s being the other woman, or a sex worker, and them having abusive parents.

Though, alongside watching them bond, we learn of the Anti-tag movement which seemed to ravage Ergastulum during those times, without much in the way of explanation. For while we do know the Twilights were used for war, I’m left unsure how they became such a hated figure by the people in the process. That is, unless they were used to oppress them.

Topic 3: An Imbalance of Power – Danny, Corsica, and Worick

Being that Danny is one of the main champions for Tags, as Gina stated last week, naturally his death would cause a great imbalance in Ergastulum. Which, from what it seems, is what Corsica (the man with the huge forehead scar) wants. As for why? Well, it is rather hard to say but, being that they are all part of the mob, money and power are likely the answers. Though, that perhaps is the issue. For while there is talk about balance, the 3rd party which makes this “balance” is under Danny, so pretty much it is Cristiano and Danny vs. Corsica.

Hence why Corsica has been murdering, en masse, Tags for with the abilities we have seen from them, what fair fight could Corsica get? After all, as said, they flock and admire Danny for what he has done, and continues to do, for them. Hell, even when it comes to someone like Worick, and maybe even Chad, while you recognize Danny isn’t a saint, he seems to be the most charitable of sinners. Leaving the question of what may happen to the balance of Ergastulum, and whether or not those siblings from episode 1, or 2, may end up appearing again?

Things To Note

[1] As does Doug who, we learn, has a high tolerance for downers. Hence why Gina shot him up with them so much.

  • It seems Nina has a crush on Worick, at least, based on her saying how she can hear and recognize his voice despite the pounding rain before he came into the clinic, it seems like she has a crush. Though her looking down and blushing sort of makes this idea seem more like a fact than opinion.

Act 7: Birth

Overview

One of the big mysteries, dealing with how Wallace/ Worick lost his eye, is revealed, and alongside that we watch as the balance of Ergastulum seems to slowly become unraveled. Partly thanks to the workings of Mr. Corsica.

Characters & Story (with Commentary)

Topic 1: Out of Revenge or For His Safety? – Worick and Nicolas

Some of the final missing puzzle pieces dealing with Worick and Nicolas’ backstory are put into place. To summarize, the reason why Worick only has one eye is because his father blinded him with a lit cigarette. However, the reason that eye is likely no longer in Worick’s head is Nicolas. Leading to how things get a little bit complicated.

You see, being that Wallace took pity/ believed he befriended Nicolas, and learned his father didn’t give a damn about him, meaning Nic, because he was a Twilight, it seems Wallace bought off Nicolas’ father. Thus leading to Nic not being beaten on as much, or anymore, but losing his father in the process. Making it so when Wallace’s father was beating on him, and Nic was in the background, an argument can be made that Nicolas took away Wallace’s abusive father just like Wallace took away Nic’s. Though whether it was due to malice or friendship remains to be seen for the question of “why?” hasn’t been answered.

What is known though is that Nic did try to commit suicide after killing Wallace’s parents, but Wallace stopped this for he believed Nic should suffer. Yet, 20 some odd years later, the two are roommates, co-workers, and best friends.

Topic 2: The Four Fathers’ Meeting – Mr. Corsica and Mr. Monroe

With all that has happened, including 12 dead Twilights, a meeting between the four fathers is held in order to hope for some sort of peace. After all, it is assumed in Ergastulum that nothing happens without Mr. Corsica, Mr. Monroe, Gina, or this 4th party’s permission. And while we already know Mr. Cosica has a hand in the massacre of the Twilights, and is accused of participating by a representative for one of the now dead fathers, Corsica not only laughs this off but reminds everyone how vehemently against Twilights he is.

Which, so it seems, covers him from a universal assumption of guilt, but doesn’t end the issue at hand. Though considering Nicolas, in passing, sees Erica and Mikhail, the ones murdering the Twilights, as he walks with Alex back home, it seems it is only a matter of time before something goes down.

Final Thoughts

With the show shifting back and forth between Worick and Nicolas’ childhood, and the pending mob war, I have to admit I’m finding my focus wavering. For while the show still is my favorite anime of the season, I can’t say the drama between Mr. Corsica and Mr. Monroe is exciting me at all. This is mostly due to Mr. Monroe and Mr. Corsica largely being background players until now, and their storyline not strongly connecting to Worick or Nicolas. For while, granted, Mr. Monroe’s death would have an affect on Worick and Nicolas, since Worick owes Mr. Monroe due to a favor in the past, and it would cause imbalance, I just feel like between the details still left of Worick’s teen years, much less the Veronica mystery, can they fully go into those details and cover the mob falling out?

Which you may think shouldn’t be a problem since the season, or series, does have 12 episodes, but considering there really should be some flashbacks to Mr. Monroe’s and Mr. Corsica’s rise to power, will they have enough time over the next 5? I mean, Mr. Monroe’s and Worick’s we already know goes together, but unless they dedicate one or two episodes to the past, I think covering Mr. Monroe’s and Corsica’s background may end up feeling rushed.

Things To Note

  • Doug we learn is going to be 21 and went against guild rules for he wanted to go up against a high quality opponent. Also, he has no love for the guild and doesn’t wish to be a part of it but, alas, he is forced to for work. Though, after fighting Nic, much less learning he is from the west gate, it seems Doug wants no more interactions with Nicolas.
  • Alex seems to be in better mental health than before and is hallucinating less. Also, she asks for a little more time to get on her feet before leaving Nicolas and Worick, which it seems Nicolas is ok with.

Act 8 – Evening Dress

Overview

As things get progressively worse for Twilights, Alex’s memories slowly begin to come back to her.

Characters & Story (with Commentary)

Topic 1: Forgotten Memories – Alex

With the TB slowly wearing off, one of the positive affects is Alex is starting to remember her life in the East Gate before she came to Ergastulum and she became a sex worker. The main thing worth remembering though is her little brother. Unfortunately though, alongside remembering her little brother, comes remembering she had to act as the boy’s mother since their mother was nowhere to be found. Also, of course memories of Barry come with the territory.

But with her memories slowly coming back to her, so does her ability to perhaps stand on her own. So Worick offers the Handymen’s sofa to her for as long as she needs, and it seems once her memories return, she might just be ready to move on.

Topic 2: The Four Fathers – Worick

After 7 episodes, we finally get a thorough breakdown of who the Four Fathers are and what their duties are in the grand scheme of things. To begin, the Paulkee Guild, ran by Gina Pulklee, handles the dispatching of mercenary twilights and, as we have seen, often deals with punishing Twilights who break the Three Laws; then we have Danny Monroe, who deals with Twilight business not associated with the guild; then there is the Corsica family which deals with weapons and vice; and lastly there is the Critiano family, currently ran by Loretta Cristiano, which handles the supply routes for Celebrer.

Thus explaining why Corsica is trying to subtlety take down the Twilight problem. For, as it stands, they don’t benefit from them being around at all. Granted, weapons wise, they probably do make some profit from them, but otherwise they are cut out of the major profits from them being around. Also, it seems that with the fall of the importance of Twilights, it means Corsica is granted an advantageous position. After all, all the other families rely on Twilights, one way or the other, to maintain their strength. So, if the Twilights die out, so do the powers of the other families. Meaning, all Corsica would have to do is deliver the final blow once the Twilights are nearly exitinct.

Topic 3: Blood On The Streets – Nicolas, Alex, and Worick

Within one of the Cristiano’s clubs, Bastard, there is a party happening in which there is strangely a large amount of Twilights. All of which are being sheep herded by Worick as Nicolas handles anti-Twilight people. As for why? Well, the word “Evacuation” is mentioned, but not heavily touched on. What is known though is that Alex’s singing abilities is being used as entertainment, and a boy who may just be her brother tries to get into Bastard but seemingly is denied since he doesn’t have a tag.

All the while, in the distance, Mikhail grows inpatient and it seems he is just waiting for the go head from Erica.

Final Thoughts

The politics of Ergastulum are starting to more and more come to the forefront, and it remains a struggle to take interest in them. For while we have come to know Danny Monroe quite well, and Corsica seems like he could be an interesting villain, with there still being a decade of Nic and Worick’s life not covered, and now this new piece of Alex’s life revealed, it is hard to create any sort of desire to see this mob war play out. Though, who knows, maybe this show could balance all the different storylines I hope it covers before the season reaches its end.

Act. 9 – Siblings

Overview

The Anti-Twilight raid comes to an end, but then comes an appearance from Erica and Mikhail, and one more person introduced who may become a problem for Twilights.

Characters & Story (with Commentary)

Topic 1: Calm Before The Storm – Alex

After Alex’s song, things seem to be ok. Her performance was praised by Loretta, whose mom, a fellow former hooker, was Bastard’s former diva, and it seems she may have found a career. However, while the conversation goes on, a gift is made to Loretta. One which is a suitcase with quite a bit of money, and supposedly it is from “Uncle Danny.” Though the person who gives it to her, Ivan, seemingly may not be a member of Danny’s squad.

Topic 2: Faker/ The Shot Saw Around – Nicolas and Worick

In fact, it seems he maybe one of the people involved with the massive amount of Twilights dead. For, never mind him not trying to protect Loretta as one crazed Twilight goes after her, but then he speaks to Erica on his way out and says “Kill Them All.” Though Erica doesn’t step in the building, at first. Mikhail is the first one in and he spends most of his time going back and forth with Marco and Galahad, putting on quite a show which pushes both men to their limits.

Though, as soon as things get bad for Mikhail, Erica steps in. Leading to her pretty much nearly killing Marco and this leading to Loretta and Alex getting involved, and Alex nearly getting killed. Thankfully for her though, Nic heard all the racket from a distant and, after once again overdosing, goes after Erica, despite her reminding him of someone [1].

But with Nicolas acting as if he is the toughest man around comes Galahad revealing Nic is actually a faker. How so? Well, despite the A/0 tag Nic has, he technically is a B/5 [2]. It is just when he ODs that he is capable of fighting on a A/0 level, or beyond. But, as we have seen, even with the boost he sometimes is no match for the natural speed and strength of true top level Twilights. Leading to him, eventually, nearly being killed by Erica until Ginger shows up.

Now, as for why Ginger, of the Guild, much less Doug and Chad, get involved? Well, it is because Worick fires off a flare gun alerting them to the situation. Thus leading to us seeing Ginger, a S/5 rank, pretty much handling Erica like she is nothing. All the while, Alex, Loretta, and Loretta’s crew, get away. Unfortunately for Ginger and the rest however, Erica and Mikhail also eventually get away once Ginger gets distracted as Worick begins to chat with Nic, Doug speaks on seeing the Handymen again, and etc.

Topic 3: Welcome to Esminets – Corsica

Leading to us meeting what shall be known as the Esminets. A group which, under Corsica, seemingly will wipe out most of the Twilights and tip the balance toward Corsica’s favor. Now, as for members? It seems Erica and Mikhail are the main ones we know of, but there might be other Twilights among them. Though perhaps the most interesting member is Emilio. Someone who, until his last name is mentioned, is someone who seemingly isn’t worth making a big hub-bub about. However, once you realize it is Alex’s brother, there comes a bit of shock.

Things To Note

[1]: From what we are told, Erica may very well be Delico’s sister. As for why Delico, Mr. Monroe’s Twilight, perhaps doesn’t know where his sister is, or if she is even alive, that isn’t revealed.

[2]: Before this episode, it seemed those of the A rank were the top of the Twilight class, with assuming 0 being the highest, but with Ginger blowing Erica away, who is quite the bad ass, it seems the S class maybe the top rank.

Act. 10: Land of Confusion

Overview

Everyone is still recovering from the attack on Bastard, and seemingly not at all ready for what Corsica has planned next.

Characters & Story (with Commentary)

Topic 1: The Talented Doctor – Dr. Theo

After the massacre at Bastard, needless to say the ones who survived aren’t in the best shape. Galahad is a bit messed up, Marco is in a sling, and it seems, once more, Nicolas damn near killed himself. In fact, according to Dr. Theo, he nearly lost a lung. Leading to us learning that, of all the doctors in Ergastulum, pretty much Dr. Theo is the main, if not only, one who really looks out for Twilights. Hence why the Handymen, no matter how small or menial the task, do as Dr. Theo asks. For not only does he help them after every single bloodbath, but he also refines his own uppers and downers for Twilights since Celebrer is far too expensive, and very much deadly [1].

Topic 2: One Thing After Another – Worick & Corsica

After Worick helps identify the bodies of the fallen twilights, next he is off to tell Delico that his sister Erica is alive. A surprise to him since, when they were children, an Anti-Twilight attack seemingly led to her death. Leaving us to question: Where, and with who, has she been for perhaps a decade [2]?

Though that isn’t the final question asked. One major thing which needs to be answered is, who are these people in Corsica’s employment? We know one is a turncoat who seemingly works under both Corsica and Mr. Monroe, then there is Erica and Mikhail, this Harley Quinn type who seemingly is on the hunt for Twilights this week, and a few others, of which includes Alex’s little brother Emilio. All of whom seemingly are going to lead to Corsica’s dominance, but with such a cast of outcast and potential psychopaths, you have to wonder how long will they stay under Corsica’s thumb. Much less, if Corsica succeeds, what will he do with them after?

Final Thoughts

Being that war is now on everyone’s mind, you have to wonder who may end up dying throughout all this. For, as of now, no one of great significance has fallen. Alex remains alive, Nic just brushes besides death each time he heads out the door, and as much as Danny Monroe and Loretta’s life may get threatened, they remain relatively unscathed. Yet, something has to give. Likely it will be Alex dying, since grandma forewarned her, but there is also Connie or Marco dying, especially since they established their love story, or even Nina. For while the main characters seem safe, you know between love interest, or children, there has to be someone who dies with impact. Otherwise, all this build will be for nothing.

Things To Note

[1]: From what Alex pulls from Worick’s desk, it is found that Celebrer maybe the life’s blood of Twilights, but it also is part of the reason they die around 30. For it has almost a dozen side effects, none of which scientist are trying to curtail for they believe the next evolution of Celebrer is beyond modern science. More likely meaning, they don’t wish to allow the Twilights to be stronger, and more independent, so the next evolution of Celebrer is just a bad idea all around.

[2]: It seems in the past, back when Worick, for whatever reason, was known as Ricky, Mr. Monroe owned an institution which catered to young Twilights. One which, by unnamed forces, was attacked. Leaving one child named Yang left alive, alongside Delico who only had his sisters stuffed rabbit to remember her by.

Act. 11 – Absence

Overview

The Treity Esminets nearly destroy Paulklee’s Guild and definitely have put the other limb of Ergastulum on notice.

Characters & Story (with Commentary)

Topic 1: Goodbye Baby – Alex, Connie, and Marco

Despite all the commotion happening, Loretta finds the time to get Louis, the orphaned baby, a foster family. Though, as she gets ready to take him from Alex, a new flashback happens. One which implies that something is certainly amiss when it comes to the two of their lives together, never mind the separation.

Leading to an equally mysterious storyline, but one which we may get actual details on sooner rather than later. For, as we already know, Marco and Connie are quite the item. Though, with Marco involved with Loretta, and Connie a local arms dealer, it makes their relationship beneficial, but dangerous. Especially since one of the Treity Esminets, Beretta, takes an interest in Connie. Not in the form of stalking her, but with them having a chance encounter in front of Granny Joel’s shop, and Beretta saying Connie smells like a familiar old man, something happens. Leaving Marco with only Connie’s hat as a clue that something may have happened to his beloved.

Topic 2: She Has To Be Stopped – Delico

With Erica becoming a hunter, and being part of a mass devastation which is causing imbalance within Ergastulum, it seems Delico will take it upon himself to stop her. Something which isn’t highly regarded as a good idea, but being that the members of Mr. Monroe’s team understand Delico’s position, no one stops him. In fact, Yang, a normal, decides to help. Though, despite their search, they don’t end up finding Erica. However, a young Twilight girl named Heather might point them to the right direction.

Topic 3: The Tretiy Esminets vs. Paulklee Guild

Being that Corsica is trying to destroy the balance of Ergastulum by weakening all matters which deal with Twilights, naturally taking out the quantity of Paulklee’s Guild was on the list. So, by the hands of Sig and Colt [1], at least 100 of Paulklee’s men die. Of which, upon discovery, she sort of hunches at. If only because they were B level and below soldiers, as opposed to some of her top soldiers like, her lover, Ginger.

Still, with Sig rather bored with killing minions, she really wants to face off with Paulklee. Something which she would have done if it wasn’t for Emilio reminding her that was not Corsica’s objective for the day. Leading to us seeing a war beginning but only pawns and foot soldiers being amongst the dead.

Final Thoughts

It seems what was said in the last episode’s “Final Thoughts” may come to be. For with Doug dying, Connie being possibly kidnapped, and the Handymen taking a week off, it means something potentially major may happen. Especially since this is yet another 12 episode series which, very likely, we either won’t see a season 2 for at all or, if one does happen, it won’t be for a year. Meaning this may end more so with a bang than a whimper, while leaving so many questions unanswered about many characters’ past.

Things To Note

[1]: The members of Treity Esminets are: Beretta, the one that may have kidnapped Connie; Sig, the one who seems like Harley Quinn; Colt, who eventually meets up with Sig, and seemingly killed Doug; Striker, who is the one who Nico saw in the last episode; and then there is Emilio, who seemingly has expertise in the realm of explosives.

Act. 12 – Odds and Ends

Overview

What seems to be the end to Gangsta. leaves us without a proper ending. For while we know Ergastulum is likely doom to fall into chaos, the full extent of which that chaos may be is left to question. At least if you haven’t touched the manga.

Characters & Story (with Commentary)

Topic 1: Where Have We Met Before? – Alex

As the TB drugs continues to have less of an effect on Alex’s memory, so comes the vague imagery a Twilight. One which raped her, memories of maybe one killing a family member, and then she wakes up and looks at Nicolas questioning if maybe, just maybe, it might have been him. However, being that the memory isn’t clear, and Nicolas is strong, she doesn’t accuse him of being that man in her memories, she just asks if they met before. Though as soon as that question is asked some of Loretta’s men ask for Nicolas and he is off, telling Alex to stay at home base.

Topic 2: Vtoroy Esminets – Marco

With Connie gone, granny Joel pays Marco a visit at Bastard and, on sight, begins beating the hell out of him. Reason being? Well, it seems, because of Marco, and his line of work, Granny Joel has lost quite a few members of her family. Now, whether said family members were innocent bystanders, or simply worked under the Cristiano family, that isn’t made fully clear. Either way, it seems Marco has some sort of connection to their mortality and she holds him fully responsible for whatever Connie’s fate maybe.

Now, as for what the topic title is about? Well it deals with Marco, 15 some odd years ago, being a hunter and working alongside Striker and possibly the others of Esminets we have come to know. Which of course leads to many questions, such as: Why Marco leave, why did Esminets regroup, much less how in the world do these handful of normals have Twilight level abilities, and beyond, but like many things with Gangsta., we are informed about possibilities and given surface level information on backgrounds, but sadly time isn’t allocated for full on investigations.

Topic 3: The Fall of Worick – Worick

Being that madness and chaos have consumed Ergastulum, naturally Worick is somewhere in the middle of it all. Unfortunately though, primarily for him, the location he meets the madness if within Mr. Monroe’s home. A place where Striker, one of the leaders of Esminets, decides to visit. Thus leading to Worick facing off with a man who has all the power of a Twilight, and beyond, and being damn near killed for his involvement [1].

Which, all things considered, may not have done much. If only because Vlad, the man we met a long time ago who delivered something to Bastard before Mikhail and Erica showed up, we learn is without a doubt a turncoat. One which, perhaps at a moment’s notice, may betray Mr. Monroe and end his operation. After all, unlike the Cristiano family, it doesn’t seem like there is naturally someone next in line. I mean, perhaps Worick could become one of the 4 fathers, but that doesn’t seem likely.

Things To Note

Delico sees, for a moment, his sister Erica as she hops rooftops going who knows where.

[1]: Together with Miles, Worick tries to buy some time for Mr. Monroe who seemingly is trying to squash all the dramatics which are quickly taking over Ergastulum. Issue is, as noted, Vlad is a traitor and with Striker seemingly not coming to Mr. Monroe’s mansion for a friendly chat, he rips through Mr. Monroe’s men and while it seems Worick may have ended things with two downer shots to Striker, Worick gets stabbed in the guy and thrown out a window. Something, strangely, Nina senses like a vampire with a personal connection to her ward.


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