Another week, another remarkable episode of GANGSTA. I really wish more shows were of this quality. Sure, the art and animation isn’t the most polished, but the actual story, the characters, and the blend between past and present (in the two most recent episodes) has been so on-point that I can’t come up with any legitimate flaws here.
I believe in the manga this entire flashback was originally told in one bulk, and so should/could have been adapted across one entire episode, most likely. But director, Murase Shukou, must have instead decided that the anime would benefit from having the two stories intersect and run parallel to one another. Does that make it better, then? Well, I’m sure manga fans will be critical of the decision, but for me, the snippets of the past every so often are much easier to digest and fit with what we’ve come to expect with GANGSTA’s smart exposition and deliberate pacing. I assume the scenes with Worick waking up or clutching his eye, or the cute scene with Nic and the stray cats were invented by the show to smooth the transition. If so, they do a perfect job showing just how different the past and present are for these characters, and how they have (seemingly) changed in the past twenty or so years.
Nic & Worick Complicated Companionship:
Last week I was floored by the closeness of Worick and Nic, especially how they communicated their abuse to one another through coded language. This week, however, I’m left stunned by how different things really are. I expected these two to go from strength to strength from here on out, proving why they are so close and in sync in the present timeline. But what we see is much more twisted, and much more GANGSTA, and I should have saw it coming. But I didn’t.
First off, Worick effectively bought Nicolas, freeing him from his father. It’s a terribly sad moment when Nic runs to the gate to try and get his dad’s attention, only to be thrown his drugs and told he’s less than human. Worick thinks he’s doing him a favour – and he is – but I don’t know how Nic sees that. Worick also learns that Nic is one of the twilights, which comes as a great shock. He expected some sort of hideous monster, and Nic didn’t seem like that to him. But just like that, he proves otherwise.
When Worick gets his blinded by his father’s cigarette, Nic jumps in and murders him, blood spilled everywhere, as Worick watches in shock. Both of them freed each other from their father’s abuse, and yet neither of them can seem to appreciate that freedom. Nic could have killed Worick’s father as payback for being rid of his own, though that’s just one interpretation of this brutal scene. But one thing is for certain: the bond between these two is much more twisted than I could have imagined. Worick may have said that he hated Tags in a joking manner, but that is almost certainly his real thoughts coming through. He can say it with a smile all he wants, but I still think he holds resentment for what Nic did. Does Nic feel the same towards him? Have they grown from the past or is their relationship bound to explode at some point? We may never see the answers in this adaptation, but this episode raised plenty of questions as far as Worick and Nic’s relationship is concerned. It’s muddy and dirty and tainted with blood, and I now that we know the truth, I’ll definitely see their current partnership as something much darker that I originally perceived.
It seems like we’ve finished covering the story of Nic and Worick’s past, though I wouldn’t be too surprised if we get more parallel moments in future episodes. For now, we seem to be heading towards a conflict involving the Tags and the mysterious duo who are eliminating them and keep their tags as evidence. It may turn out like the previous war in Ergastulum, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this reaches a whole other level. I expect the violence to skyrocket in upcoming episodes as more is revealed and war is cast over this grimy city.
Overview – What’s Next?:
This was another thoroughly satisfying episode, especially once you wrap your head around everything it implies. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Worick and Nic haven’t been in the same scene in these past two episodes. Their distance during this telling flashback will make their ‘reunion’ that much more impactful once it comes around – like how Alex and Worick’s earlier scenes now feel more more poignant once we learned he was a gigolo. Alex is also growing close to Nic through her shoddy sign language, which is endearing and nice to watch. She’s acting as a bridge between the pair, and I can’t wait to see what these three get up to for the remainder of the series.
Full-length images: 13.