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Welcome back to part five of TheHappySpaceman coming to terms with anime. Here, I will actually be talking about one that was recommended to me by someone in the comments of my Metropolis review, and it is also the first anime series that I’ve watched all the way through. The series is called Gunsmith Cats.
Now, I’ve done little research on its creator or this series in general, and the Wikipedia page is very short, so it’s not like I have a lot to go by. Pretty much all I knew about Gunsmith Cats before I watched it was that it’s based on a manga of the same name and features hot babes, guns, car chases, and a funky soundtrack. Just listen to that intro!
And before anyone asks, yes, I watched the dub version of the anime, not the subtitled version. That’s what I usually do with anime, only here, it actually kind of makes more sense to watch the dub. The entire series is set in Chicago; realistically, the characters would be speaking English as opposed to Japanese. Not that this show pays close attention to realism, but I’m just trying to find an excuse for my laziness and distaste for having to read while I watch anime.
The plot is that these two girls, Irene “Rally” Vincent and “Minnie” May Hopkins, run a gun shop while also taking cases as bounty hunters, but they are found out not to have a license for their weapons, and are forced to work with the ATF to crack a weapons-smuggling operation, all whilst a funky soundrtrack plays and the characters blow stuff up, contribute witty banter, and provide lots and lots of fanservice.
The first thing I should talk about is the main character, firearm markswoman Rally Vincent. This character was the reason I stuck around to watch all the episodes. Talk about a strong, likable female lead. Rally is everything a character in a fun, dumb anime like this should be. She’s a tough girl, independent, but has a heart of gold. She doesn’t want to take a case without pay, but when she does take it she’s determined and doesn’t give up until she’s done. She’s sarcastic but lovable, and she’s hot as hell. In fact, Rally might even be one of my new anime/cartoon crushes. She’s just that great a character.
Also proving to be likable in a different way is Minnie, Rally’s housemate and explosives expert. Minnie is the more feminine of the two, and while she can sometimes get a bit annoying in her voice and her overly cute, “kawaii” mannerisms, it’s not distracting and does fit the character. Plus, it’s a blast (pun intended) to see how much fun she has in rigging bombs and blowing stuff up. She even comes off as maniacal at times! The best part about her character is definitely the banter that she and Rally have.
The supporting cast is pretty good, too. Agent Bill Collins serves as the sleazy, misogynistic yet surprisingly competent ATF agent who blackmails Rally and Minnie into helping the ATF. Becky Farrah, the computer hacker and source of information, is a bit annoying in her overly worried first appearance, but proves to be helpful and likable later on as the resident nerdy girl. Finally, the cast is rounded off with the big bad, Russian former KGB assassin Natasha Radinov. I’ll admit that the overblown Russian accent did sometimes pull me out of the action, but it fit with the tone this show is going for. I’ll talk more about this later.
Another thing worth praising about here is just how accurately Gunsmith Cats portrays Chicago. I have to admit that I haven’t been to Chicago since 2012, but considering that this series is created by Japanese people and is set in a city that they have no knowledge of, it legitimately feels like what I remember of Chicago. It could have easily just felt like any generic Hollywood city, but apparently the animation team went the extra mile by actually visiting Chicago before they made this series. Kudos.
The animation is also great. Again, I’m not a connoisseur of this genre, so I wouldn’t know how this stacks up against other anime series, but the design and attention to detail shows how much work was put into every frame. One of my favorite parts is the car chase in the second episode. It feels like it came right out of an ’80s action movie, and I mean that in the best possible way.
And all of that isn’t even talking about the music for this series. I know that the series has gone out of print on DVD, but if nothing else, I feel like this anime’s soundtrack should be released to CD, because holy hell, the Chicago funk music here is always on the mark, matching the mood and intensity of the given scene to a T.
Unfortunately, I do have some minor criticisms related to the story and visuals. The mastermind of the smuggling operation, for example, is incredibly obvious and it wasn’t really surprising when he was the one. No spoilers, but when they introduce his character, it’s just out of nowhere and I was like, “Oh, he’s the villain.”
Gunsmith Cats also seems to have a pacing issue. The first two episodes are great, but the third episode gets really slow-paced and intense all of a sudden. When the first two episodes were fun and lighthearted, having the third one literally put the main character’s life at stake without much buildup comes off as a bit jarring.
There are some other things that don’t add up. Being made in the early days of the Internet, this series doesn’t seem to know how hacking works, which is kind of distracting in one scene where they use it to their advantage to gain the upper hand against the villains. Whenever Minnie detonates one of her bombs, the characters don’t get hurt or even injured; they’re just mildly dazed, Wile E. Coyote fashion. Not to mention the biggest plot hole of why it isn’t ever questioned where Rally and Minnie get their guns and explosives. You’d think that the ATF would want to know that valuable information, but no, it’s never brought up.
While we’re at it, there are a few short scenes and lines of dialogue that are silly, too. In the scene above, why don’t they just call it Pepsi? They use the Pepsi logo and everything, so it’s not like simply calling it Pepsi would get them sued. There’s another line in the first episode where Minnie asks why Rally doesn’t get a boyfriend, saying, “You’re not getting any younger,” which makes little sense when Rally is a nineteen-year-old anime girl. She looks younger than me, and significantly more attractive! What’s also unintentionally hilarious is that the voice acting gets kind of silly at points. When the three main characters are angry, I guess the pissed huffing and puffing translates better in the original Japanese dub than in English, because here, it sounds very—no other way of putting it here—sexual, and I find myself laughing when I shouldn’t be.
Speaking of sexual things, have I mentioned that there’s a lot of fanservice here? I mean it. In the first episode alone, there’s a ripped blouse scene and dozens of panty shots. It’s always the fun type of fanservice, though, and I never felt uncomfortable with it, like I did during, say, the topless scene in Akira. With that said, though, sometimes the fanservice can get distracting and even kind of silly. One great example is when the main character’s top is ripped off and she goes through an entire fight scene with only a bra on top… and it doesn’t even have a front strap holding it on.
Pfft, yeah right! Unless you glued that bra to your breasts, there’s no way that is staying on during an entire fight scene! Thought from what I’ve heard, the original manga was way worse with this, featuring actual nudity and sex scenes; the only nudity here is a nipple shot when a character is visiting a porn site, and even that plays into the plot.
Honestly, though, all things considered, the fanservice here kind of makes sense and same with the plot inconsistencies and general cheesiness. Remember when I said earlier that Gunsmith Cats has a specific tone going for it? That tone is that, despite the genre, it never really feels like an anime. It feels like an ’80s action film that just so happens to be both animated and made about seven years too late. This explains a lot, like Radinov’s accent and the constant breaking of the laws of physics for awesome action scenes, and it definitely works in Gunsmith Cats’ favor, so I can’t be too angry at that.
But there is one thing about Gunsmith Cats that pisses me off beyond belief and that I will always be angry about, and that is that it’s just too short. This show consists of only three episodes, each one around twenty five minutes long, and it kind of whizzes right by you. At the end of the third episode, I was left with anime blue balls. There were so many possibilities for things we could have seen and new characters we could meet! Unfortunately, it’s over after only three episodes, and judging by the fact that its DVD has gone out of print, it doesn’t look like we will be seeing more of those anytime soon.
But in the end, Gunsmith Cats is pure fun. Great anime cheese, and an excellent homage to both Chicago and ’80s action films. If you don’t care about a complicated plot or actual danger and just want to see hot babes shooting guns and spewing cheesy banter, then I’d definitely recommend giving it a watch. You can find all the episodes on KissAnime.
Hunter Daniel "Dan" Bruton
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
Welcome to TheHappySpaceman Productions on deviantART, your home for music videos, comics and reviews! ------------- Name: Hunter Daniel "Dan" Bruton Age: Manly Religion: Agnostic Current Residence: Space Favorite genre of music: Rock Favorite style of art: Abstract, because that's all I'm good at drawing. Operating System: Windows 7 Motto: NO AUTO-TUNE! ------------- To-Do List Art trade with EchelonErased featuring Beast Boy, Raven and Starfire from Teen Titans
= Haven't started yet. = Started with the lineart. = Finished with the lineart. = Started with the coloring. = Finished with the coloring, ready to upload.
Status on requests: Closed Status on art trades: Open Status on point commissions: Open
Favorite visual artistDon't knowFavorite moviesCasablanca, Citizen Kane, Slumdog Millionaire, Avatar, anything by Mel Brooks, and the rest won't fit.Favorite TV showsToo many to list. O_oFavorite bands / musical artistsQueenFavorite booksAnything by Carl Hiassen, MAD magazine, A Briefer History of Time, millions others.Favorite writersCarl HiassenFavorite gamesI don't game. :oFavorite gaming platformDidn't you read what I said above?! :xOther InterestsLEGOs, superheroes, aliens and peanut butter.
So what did you guys think of Star Trek Beyond? (Personally, I loved it.)
5 deviants saidI haven't seen it, but I plan to!
2 deviants saidI loved it!
2 deviants saidOther (comment)
1 deviant saidI haven't seen it because I was too busy bitching about the Ghostbusters remake.
1 deviant saidI haven't seen it because Star Trek has never interested me.
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