After spending most of the day hanging out with friends, I thought I came home with quite a bit of energy left. But after a shower, fabric painting for 20 mins (cosplay preparation 🙂 ), I sit down on the sofa and suddenly I feel like knocking out.
Gotta get this done though. And today’s one isn’t that easy to write about, argh.
EDIT: I REALLY KNOCKED OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF WRITING THIS so I went to sleep. I’m sorry.
Manga: Gangsta. 「ギャングスタ」
Gangsta. is a Seinen, mature, action series written and illustrated by Kohske. She is also the mangaka of the series I wrote about on Nov 3rd, Doodle. Gangsta. is Kohske-sensei’s first series and it was an instant hit. The manga is ongoing with over 30 chapters compiled into 6 tankobon volumes and counting. It is also currently being adapted into a series of Drama CDs, with the second just releasing in late Oct 2014, and the third one to be released in late Dec 2014. An anime adaptation is in the works.
The city of Ergastulum is a shady, depraved place. “Gangs, hoodlums, prostitutes, cops… It’s full of villains everywhere you look.” Enter “Benriya”, Worick Arcangelo and Nicolas Brown. Whether it’s fixing your roof, doing deliveries, or taking out some thugs, they are handymen and jack-of-all-trades who do any and all sorts of jobs. Gangsta. follows the story of Benriya and how their lives, along with a few others, tangle with the mafia gangs of Ergastulum.
WARNING: Violence, blood, mutilations, death. But it’s not gory. NSFW. Characters with traumatic pasts/psychological issues. Drug use. Discrimination. It’s… really not as bad as it sounds.
Gangsta. is honestly… a very hard manga to describe. The short blurb above just very barely skims the tip of the iceberg that is the manga itself. It doesn’t follow a sort of linear storyline in that there’s a clear goal or a straightforward narrative. It’s not episodic either. If I had to put it into words, I’d probably say it’s more like a ‘showing’ of the kind of world the manga is set in by watching the lives of all the characters unfold.
The story starts off pretty straightforward while you learn more of “Benriya” and the people involved with them. But as the story progresses, layers upon layers of information and situations are added and it escalates really fast. It’s a pretty tough manga to follow and can get a little overwhelming because there’s so much stuff happening at once. Like in real life. But that seamlessness in such a different storytelling style is great.
My favourite part of the series is most definitely Kohske-sensei’s art. Gosh, I love it so much. It’s not superbly detailed nor is it clean, but so damn distinctive. She has a style of her own that’s gritty, cool, and sexy all at once with it’s high contrast and bold lines. A lot of it is pretty minimalistic in that she usually leaves her characters in monotone with splashes of a single colour for impact. Very rarely are there full coloured pages. It’s very reliant on tones and silhouettes.
Speaking about silhouettes, it’s also pretty easy to differentiate characters in gangsta. because they’re all designed so unique. This isn’t just limited to their physical design though. Please forgive me, to illustrate my point, here’s a tiny spoiler. Look at Nic. He’s deaf. How often do you see a deaf character in an action manga. I have never seen a deaf character in an action manga. Blind characters, yes, but not deaf. Plus, he’s one of the main characters too! That’s just one character out of, like, 20. He’s not the only interesting character to love.
I have spent way too long trying to find words for this post. I don’t remember, but if I’ve mentioned previously mentioned how tough it was to write about another specific series, I take my words back because TRYING TO DESCRIBE GANGSTA. IS 10 TIMES WORSE… and I didn’t even do a good job on it. Ugh OTL Gangsta.’s so great though! And I’m really looking forward to the anime. Maybe I’ll do a better job next time.