Manami NumakuraShizuka IshigamiReina UedaYuya Uchida
No Guns Life
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2019: N
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2019
Director: Naoyuki Itou
Writer: Yukie Sugawara
Actor: Daiki Yamashita, Inori Minase, Junichi Suwabe, Kenyuu Horiuchi, Manaka Iwami, Manami Numakura, Marika Kono, Masashi Ebara, Reina Ueda, Shizuka Ishigami, Yoji Ueda, Yoko Hikasa, Yuko Sanpei, Yuya Uchida
Keywords: SF, anime, detective
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Website category: Anime 2019
Review date: 12 November 2020
no gun life
I love the deranged cyberpunk noir aesthetics. (Imagine a cyborg 1930s noir world where detectives smoke like chimneys while drawling in darkened rooms.) Inui Juzo is an ex-military private eye with a gun for a head. Yes, that's right. He's been given a mechanical shark-mouth with tombstone teeth, but it's not clear how he sees, hears or smells. That's whacked out even in this dark world of cyborgs, or "Extendeds" as they're called.
Something that mental is a reason to try anything. The show's perfectly good. The theme song's fun too.
...but, nonetheless, I'm dropping the show. I liked the first half of the season, but it grabbed me less than I expected and over time I found myself wondering why I was drifting away. On reflection, I think it's about the core cast. They're not dynamic characters, but more of a story framework. There's still some uncertainty and unpredictability about them in the first few episodes, but after that things settle down.
INUI JUZO is static. I like his voice actor and his hard-boiled private eye schtick, but he doesn't have dramatic motivation. He wants cigarettes and that's it.
TETSUROU ARAHABAKI = has a superpower that's theoretically interesting, but on reflection is a bit of a minus for me. He can possess Extended and walk around in their bodies. In practice, I think the show gets a little less interesting whenever he's doing that.
MARY STEINBERG = is likeable and easy-going. She's a valuable female presence in what's otherwise a mostly male show, but she's strictly backroom support staff and doesn't display much dramatic motivation either. She's fun and that's it. (She tags along with Juzo for the cyborg ghost story in ep.12, though.)
The show's also liable to keep its villains at arm's length. Cunningham and Mega Armed are scumbags, yeah, but also of no real importance. Beruhren Corporation is evil, but kind of abstract and nebulous. They're an Evil Corporation. Yeah, and? Spitzbergen are terrorists, but not the enemy. There was bad stuff in the war, obviously, somehow, because of course. The themes and politics are very cyberpunk and dark about modern capitalism, industrialised greed, etc. which is fine but means we're liable to get cynicism in place of story progression.
The baddies can also be stupid. Did it make sense for that bloke in ep.10 to say all that to Colt? Dramatic, yes, but dumb. He's gloating like a Bond villain. Just stay silent.
I don't hate this show at all. There's a lot to enjoy here. It's a fun, loopy twist on familiar tropes, with crazed character designs and lots of energy. Its positives are strong, while my reasons for dropping it are a bit vague and nebulous.