Gangsta (2015)

Mafia-style stories can be an incredibly hard sell for me in many ways, since I tend not to enjoy the idea of glamorising career-criminals via entertainment media.

But Gangsta isn’t a straight-up crime drama either because there is a little something more going on – namely the human experiment angle, that and the fact that one of the lead characters is deaf, which was a welcome change from typical action heroes.

Having said that, this series still features vaguely super-hero style fights at times, so typical action conventions definitely dominate. Nic and Worick are memorable leads, and while they don’t get a chance to be fully developed, I think it’s clear they were going to get even more dimensions – even, or especially – Alex, who does function as more than eye-candy sometimes.

The villains are fairly strong too and the setting is distinctive – or at least, I enjoyed its general Italian-look for sure. I think you could argue that the super-human ‘Tag’ aspect to the world-building was going to escalate far too quickly for the pacing of a story that definitely needed more than one short season to tell. For me, that meant that some of the action-sequences and associated tension tapered off because characters seemed a little overpowered for so early on.   

But basically, I was pretty happy to see something a little different in this unfinished story from Manglobe and Shūkō Murase. I know that Gangsta sometimes comes with a little asterisk next to it, as ‘the series that no-one liked and which killed Manglobe’ but of course, that’d be a little simplistic. Manglobe certainly did close up shop [a few details here] and some of the vitriol directed to this short series is due to the ‘ending’.

And if there had been a second season, this would be a cracker of a cliff-hanger… but alas, it was not to be.

Like the majority of anime out there, there is a manga luckily, and so if you wanted to keep reading to catch more of the storyline then you’re all good. However, as usual with me, I’ve written about the anime since that’s all I’ve got 🙂

4 Stars*

*This might be me being my usual generous, uncritical self, but since the Gangsta anime is a truly unfinished story, I wanted to add this note about the lack of resolution, since I’m certainly on record as saying that endings are vital.

The selective colouring in the opening I liked a lot.
There’s probably a touch more sexualised stuff and violence than in typical shounen anime, so it’s more firmly in the seinen age-bracket.

13 thoughts on “Gangsta

  1. I haven’t seen this one, but I agree with you about the endings part. It’s really annoying when series just end without a resolution. I once watched an anime called Corpse Princess, which was really good, but…it just ended with a proper end. So basically I just invested a lot of time in it, enjoying it, but then that enjoyment was taken away because of simply no resolution whatsoever. Still, that said, I have to say I do like the sound of this one, especially the deaf hero part, so who knows, might still check this one out. Great post as always! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Just feeling cut adrift at the end of a series always leaves me a bit flat.

      I felt the same about ‘Claymore’ and its ending – and I actually got through the first season of ‘Corpse Princess’ and part of the next season, but all the recapping kinda slowed me down, and I haven’t come back to it yet. (I might not return to it after all, yeah).

      I think if you went in to ‘Gangsta’ knowing that there’s no resolution, and maybe it’s one to stream, not purchase, it could still be enjoyable 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly just the one – 12 episodes only, and quite the viscous cliff-hanger at the end there.

      I’d love a second season, or perhaps to find and read a little more of the story via the manga, but I don’t have the shelf-space 😀


  2. I’ve heard of this anime and I believe you mentioned it in one of our recent conversations. That’s a bummer how it’s incomplete, but still good despite the short length. Weirdly enough, I never thought an anime series would be called “Gangsta” in my life. Hahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

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