Gunsmith Cats: Bulletproof

Gunsmith Cats: Bulletproof 1995

Gunsmith Cats maybe still holds that ‘cult’ status now, even after the internet has no doubt introduced more folks to this mid-90s OVA. (So too, the Kickstarter campaign that funded a re-issue a few years back now.)

I love so much about this series but I’m torn when it comes to rating Gunsmith Cats.

And my main concern with the show is obviously Minnie May. I understand in the English language versions she is meant to be (technically) an adult and while she acts like one in some ways, she sure looks like a kid and so it’s creepy. In the manga, it’s worse than creepy.

So I can’t say this is a five-star work of art – even if the art and animation can be top notch, especially that car chase.

Obviously, if you’re a fan you’ll know that Gunsmith Cats and Riding Bean have a clear connection but I think the appeal of the show is the action rather than its links, especially the vehicles, guns and the way they’re both animated. I’m not one to rhapsodise over guns at all but the attention to detail throughout is undeniable.

The same goes for the cars – Rally’s Cobra is pretty amazing.

But not all of the action sequences are based on the road – there are a few tense moments indoors too, often fed by that classic action convention of ‘who can the good guys trust?’. If you like the type of US-style action films that bring stuff like Lethal Weapon to mind, there’s a good chance you could enjoy this despite the loli crap.

I’ve always found the story engaging and one of the antagonists is something a little different in some ways, yet so clearly ‘action film’ in others. It can be fun to spot those moments, and in terms of spotting things – it’s also clear that care was put into the setting too. Production teams spent a bit of time in Chicago and so what I imagine are a few key tourist spots or buildings pop up during the three episodes.

Ultimately, I think this is a key text in the ‘girls with guns’ sub-genre but it’s definitely not without an unpleasant flaw.

7 thoughts on “Gunsmith Cats: Bulletproof

  1. I haven’t seen this in ages. That was a fun action romp from what I remember. As someone who’s been to Chicago hundreds of times and has family there, they did a crazy accurate job of the backgrounds and landscapes. I would’ve never guessed that an anime would take place in my home state of all places even then. Haha! I have only seen the anime and haven’t read the manga…[looks up some of the differences on Wikipedia] Urgh…I can’t look at Minnie May the same way again. Okay, going off topic there, I did like the dub and one hilarious aspect is that in Read or Die, both Yomiko and Nancy are played by the same people who played Minnie May and Rally respectively. That and Michiko Neya voiced Rally and Nancy, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s awesome to hear that someone familiar with Chicago finds it accurate, that’s the kind of winning attention to detail that I love 😀

      Yeah, it’s a whole new level of dodgy in the manga, huh?

      I didn’t know that, cool – and I’m curious to see ‘Read or Die’ one day, OVA or series do you think?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, they really did their homework when it came to the backgrounds, locales, and architecture. I did feel like I was on those highways during those chase scenes as the roads looked just like the ones in Chi-town. If I did have any nitpicks about the portrayal of Illinois’s biggest city, I would’ve wished the cast were more diversified since Chicago is a VERY multi-ethnic city. Just saying.

        I would’ve never guessed that from the anime version, but that does make Minnie May’s character far harsher in hindsight.

        No problem! If you’re interested in Read or Die, then watch the OVA first and then ROD The TV. It will make so much sense since the TV series is a direct sequel that also references the events of the OVA.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never actually seen the anime, but read all the volumes of the manga when I found them in my local library about ten years ago. I loved them but almost felt the need to tell the librarians that they shouldn’t keep them near the children’s books…

    Liked by 2 people

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