Dip in Quality:
GANGSTA has never been the most visually impressive with its art and animation – more so its pacing, exposition, and effective composition – but this episode took a severe dip in quality. It wasn’t easy to get 36 screencaps that actually looked half-decent. The character models were off, the faces were skewered, and the some of the fight scenes were poorly executed. Of course, that’s not enough to call this episode ‘terrible’, because it wasn’t – it just didn’t look very well put together. I can only hope things will be back to track next week.
Less Subtlety, More Action:
Overall, I do suspect many fans will be pleased with this episode. GANGSTA has had its fair share of action, but the drama and careful exposition has been the focus for the majority of its run. This episode, however, put its subtlety to one side and gave us a plethora of fights. If that’s what you’ve been waiting for, then I imagine this episode met your expectations.
But for me, this was probably my least favourite episode (though would still say it was very good). I’ve grown to appreciate GANGSTA’s storytelling and fleshing out of its three main characters; it really does feel like we were on a journey with these handymen, even if the story hadn’t truly kicked in. I expected lots of battles and bloodshed once the shadowed enemies made their appearance, but I’d still much rather get what we’ve had up until this point. GANGSTA is smarter than you’d initially give it credit for, so if we can balance the action with the hints and clues of future developments, then I’ll have little to complain about. Thankfully, that is what I think will happen, going by the end of the episode.
Aside from Mikhail (Tanezaki Atsumi) and his borderline insanity, my favourite moment of the scrap at the club would have to Ginger’s entrance and the revelation of S-ranked Twilights, making her the sixth(?) highest possible rank, and the strongest in the series to date. On the opposite side of the power scale, we find out that Nic is only really an A/O when he’s overdosed on his drugs. He’s labelled a ‘fake’, because his actual rank is of a low B-class. In one fell swoop we’ve learned that there is a whole other level to the Tags, and that Nic is nowhere near as strong as we’ve been led to believe. If this episode is anything to go by, then he may actually have some difficulty going forward, especially if he needs those drugs to do the damage.
When I saw the title for this episode, I expected it to focus on Alex and Emilio (Majima Junji), but we barely saw either of the pair. I thought perhaps they’d meet once again, but that seems even more unlikely for the time being. Alex taking that gun for protection and then using it when she could was as much as she could provide to the battle, and Emilio has joined the group of hunters at the end of the episode, who seem to be allied with two of Ergastulum’s families, if I’m not mistaken. When Alex and Emilio eventually do meet, I suspect it won’t be the heartfelt reunion I’m hoping for.
Instead, the siblings that we focus on are Delico and Erica (Shimamura Yuu), who look so similar they could be twins. Whether these two are allies or enemies in the grande scheme of things will be revealed in due course, but the web is growing by adding characters that are related to the already established cast. Amid all the action, we’re being set up for various re-unions and future conflicts, which has me rather excited.
Overview – What’s Next?:
I wouldn’t say this episode was mindless violence, because there is nothing mindless about GANGSTA. As I’ve said time and time again, we’re getting the story bit by bit, and even though we didn’t see much of that this episode, the fact that Erica and Emilio are being shown as villains, and that they have ties with the Delico and Alex should make for exciting developments. Maybe I would have appreciated the action more this week if it looked better, but I shouldn’t complain all that much. It’s still GANGSTA, and it’s still awesome.