The story of Gangsta. centers around more than just the adventure of the main characters, it tries it’s hardest to show you more of the city Ergastulum as well. This city is under the rule of a few big characters, similar to mob bosses. Nicolas and Worick, better known as Handymen, are a neutral party in all this who work with basically all of the families.
There are a few important characters and there are relatively many characters of who they give information about so the viewer has a better imagine what motivates them. From time to time background characters also get a lot of time to be elaborated on. Although you can tell from the flashbacks in the series that characters have come pretty far and have definitely grown over time you don’t see much growth during the anime. This makes the characters come across as pretty two dimensional. One of the only characters that shows some development is Alex, this is also possibly the most interesting character to see in the entire anime.
Gangsta. sets itself apart from other anime with its unique style, a lot of time seems to have gone into creating a certain graphical style. Not everyone seems to appreciate it, but in my experience it does add to this anime. The animation is also very well done and very well worked out. In the fight scenes it seems like the geography is well worked out. It’s not just hitting each other until someone falls down, it’s a real event which pulls you in as a viewer. When you start watching this anime, you immediately get surprised by the amazing opening of Gangsta. which is a joy for both your eyes and your ears. After this amazing start you do get a little disappointed by the rest of the soundtrack since this doesn’t have much special to offer aside from the opening.
The storyline of Gangsta. is a complicated one. They often take the a lot of time to tell the story, you get to see it from different point of views. But there’s also moments where the story is pushed aside, mainly action scenes where everything happens really fast. This makes it hard to sync up with the rhythm of the anime, since they keep changing the pace. On top of that there are a lot of different storylines within the anime with their own focus. It tells of subjects like prostitution and drugs, racism, family and of course the mob practices within Ergastulum. Racism is a central part of Gangsta. and doesn’t revolve around the differences between people’s physical appearance. This mainly revolves around so-called twilights, these are people who have improved physical abilities which makes them more important than normal people. Despite the fact that these people are above others when it comes to their skills they are seen as tools and are only good for serving the “normals”. They can get away with this because twilights are dependent on normal people to be able to survive. There are different sides to the twilights. There are people who want to use them for themselves, but there is also a group who would rather see them gone and finally there is another group of people try their hardest to protect the twilights. This causes a lot of political games to ensue between the different parties within the city who, when push comes to shove, have to work together to keep the city up and running. The downside to all of these different attention points is that it can sometimes be hard to follow what’s going on, from time to time it seems like they’re trying to tell you too much at once.
Gangsta. is an anime with a very distinct style which works on a lot of levels and they are definitely trying their best to build up the story in the best way possible. Unfortunately it’s hard to get into the story and stay in it because they try to tell you so many things at once and keep shifting the pace. It would be better if they would elaborate a little less on some of the storylines and would give the side characters a little less or no background. This would clear up more time to focus on more important subjects. The soundtrack is unfortunately also a bit disappointing and this is a shame given the visual style of the anime. A good soundtrack could really finish the story up during a lot of scenes. The thing that probably bothered me the most was the fact that basically none of the started storylines were completed within the anime. All we can do is hope for a 2nd season but there’s little chance of this since the studios, Manglobe, went bankrupt. This makes the end of the anime very disappointing. Of course there is always the possibility of reading the manga if you really want to know what happens next.
Start airing: 7th of July 2015
Number of episodes: 12