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February 17, 2014

Bento Bako Weekly: Gangsta volume 1

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Written by: Kristin
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gangsta1Title: Gangsta
Author: Kohske
Publisher: Viz Media (Viz Signature)
Volume: Volume 1 (ongoing), $12.99
Vintage: 2011 by Shinchosha Publishing, February 2014 by Viz
Genre: Action

When you’ve got a problem that can’t be solved, call The Handymen to solve it for you. In the seedy and dark city of Ergastulum, there’s no end to the work Nic and Worick can scrounge up. Revenge, protection, deliveries, anything that will make them money. And on the weekend, Worick has a side job as a popular gigolo (Nic apparently sells weapons, as well). Nic and Worick aren’t exactly your normal guys, however. Nic is deaf, with a finely honed sense of sight, and a deadly sword arm. In fact, he’s what is known as a “Tag,” specialized mercenaries making up some of the deadliest men around. Worick’s no slouch, but Nic is most definitely the muscle in the group. Right away a new member is added to the team. A woman named Alex, a local prostitute who works for a group the Handymen have been asked to deal with, catches Worick’s eye, and he swoops her up, brings her home, and suddenly the boys have a new secretary. Alex isn’t quite prepared for the reality of who they are and what they do, but she certainly does her best. She’s warned off by a local woman who runs a small convenience stop, but she doesn’t heed it, and finds herself helping out with the next big job. A little girl named Nina appears on their doorstop, and with her comes a whole lot of trouble. Surprisingly, the sweet, innocent looking girl appears to be friends with Nic and Worick, a sure sign that they’re likely not as crass as they appear to be. Nina is a nurse for Dr. Theo, a local doctor who provides Nic with special medicine for a mysterious condition. There’s another motive for her visit – the good doctor has been having trouble with a gang. Not just any gang either; this one has a Tag with them. As Nina and Nic go off to deal with the doctor’s troubles, Worick and Alex trail behind to take care of another group of thugs. Worick cleans up the stragglers with a grin on his face and a little distraction from Alex. Meanwhile, Nic challenges the Tag who’s been harassing Dr. Theo, and proves that he’s far from an ordinary mercenary. Of course, Dr. Theo is also far from an ordinary doctor. After the trash is cleaned up, Alex gets a tour of the town and the local gangs when Worick takes her on a delivery run.

Girls, get ready for some eye candy. Guys, get ready for some fierce action. Gangsta has a little bit for everyone. Unless your cup of tea is strictly moe, then you probably won’t find anything here. Take Natsume Ono, mix in some Black Lagoon and Jormungand, and you’ll have some idea of what this series has to offer. On the surface, it looks like plain good fun, and it is. But there’s a lot of depth hiding in here. Dark flashbacks, a deadly history, unexpected friendships, good hearts, and sinister plots. Very little is actually what it appears. From the quiet Nic who turns vicious on a dime, to the helpless acting Dr. Theo who is quick with a syringe. There’s a lot going on in just this one volume, including plenty to hook you in and get you interested in the main cast. Even Cody and Chad, the cops who are both frequent clients and frequent cleaners of Nic and Worick’s messes, have distinct personalities and make the world of Gangsta interesting. Kohske does a great job of making every page worth looking at and creating a lively atmosphere. Nic and Worick’s expressions are particularly fun. Personally, this one is right up my alley. Some well drawn action to liven things up, but not enough to become the story’s sole focus. A pair of hot, ass kicking men. An adorable kid, a sassy doctor, a gold-hearted woman, some mob bosses. You know, good, wholesome fun.



One Comment

  1. Sounds like something I need to start reading!

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