Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Action, Drama, Crime, Mafia Fantasy
First Aired: Summer 2015, 12 episodes
Summary: Ergastulum is a shady city full of mafia, drugs, prostitutes, and all manner of dirty dealings. Nic and Worick, the Handymen, handle the jobs no one else will touch. The Handymen take care of any job their client will pay them for. However, Nic and Worick may have gotten in over their heads when a cop requests their help in taking down a new gang intruding on the territory of a top mafia family. As the season progresses we learn more about the history of Nic and Worick, how long they have known each other, how they became the Handymen, and the secrets behind their unique looks and personalities.
Gangsta creates an intriguing world of danger and crime. The line between good and evil is blurred in Ergastulum, with characters that fall all over the spectrum. While most of the characters perform acts that are against the law, they have valid reasoning for their actions. They are not just being evil goons. The other interesting addition to the world is the creation of Twilights, humans that were tested on by use of the Celebrer drug, giving them superhuman-like abilities. The problem with the drug is the numerous side effects. While the drug is no longer being tested, Twilights still exist, living in the city under close observation with special rules (The Three Principles) they must abide by.
Gangsta had me hooked from the first episode. The violence is apparent, but is not over the top, like in a lot of anime. The story is intriguing and progresses at a decent pace. The mature plot contains a fine mixture of action and dialogue. There are a variety of interesting characters, namely the Handymen. Nic and Worick have a fascinating relationship that always left me wanting to watch another episode. The telling of their origin story provides a nice parody of past to present in the city of crime. The use of Twilights makes for a nice addition that differentiates the world of Ergastulum from your run-of-the-mill crime driven city.
You might enjoy this if: You are ready for a crime drama with an anime twist. If you enjoy Cowboy Bebop or Black Lagoon, Gangsta is worth looking into.
You might not like it if: Blood and violence make you queasy. Most of the characters in Gangsta are not friendly. They prefer to solve their problems with fists instead of words.
Note to the Viewer: It should only take one episode to know if Gangsta is right for you.
AMV – Hated You From Hello by AcceleratoR
(Warning, the AMV contains minor spoilers)