Gunsmith Cats Revised Edition Manga Volume 1

Gunsmith Cats Revised Edition Manga Volume 1
ガンスミス キャッツ

–> Not available for purchase from RAKUTEN.COM (formerly BUY.COM)
–> Not available for purchase from RIGHTSTUF!

Gunsmith Cats Revised Edition Manga Volume 1About a year ago, I caught the 3-episode Gunsmith Cats OVA (see my reviews of episode 1, episode 2, and episode 3) and found it rather enjoyable. I heard that Dark Horse had decided to redo the manga they’d licensed, so I thought I’d give it a try and see how it went.

For those who don’t know, this manga by SONODA Kenichi features the 19-year old Rally Vincent, who owns the Chicago gun store known as Gunsmith Cats. Rally is highly skilled at all manner of firearms both in shooting them and customizing them. As such, her store contains a lot of “specialty” items that aren’t legal. While the store is her main job, her hobby as a bounty hunter is where she makes most of her money. As such, she works closely with Detective Roy Coleman in the Chicago Police Department.

Joining Rally is the child-looking 17-year old girl named May Hopkins. Despite her young age, May is an expert at explosives, so much so that she can create improvised explosives with the right elements. She learned this from her 30-something year old boyfriend Ken Takizawa, who apparently hooked up with her when she was 13. Further, for reasons unknown, May worked in a high-class brothel as a prostitute in Chinatown from 13 to 17. She was so good, she was given the assignment of training the new girls.

The manga starts off almost like an assignment of the week for Rally, beginning with how Rally and May became partners. As time passes, Rally has some thugs and other criminals that she’s put down or away that are very keen on getting revenge on her. Add to this mix May’s attempt to reconnect with her boyfriend Ken, who ends up on the wrong side of a crime syndicate that he worked for. The result of all this is a very violent and often bloody manga.

Also in this manga is a bit of nudity at times as well as sex. I’m not saying this has gone to hentai levels, but early on we are shown May giving a BJ to an invisible penis. May also has her sexual relations with Ken (when he’s around) and May also had a sexual encounter with a man as part of a job she and Rally were on. May also has a lengthy masturbation scene. Frankly, I could have done without all of that. The OVA proved that May doesn’t need to be some sex addict in order to have a good story.

Sonoda-sensei has some excellent artwork though. His detailed drawings of various cars and weapons are highly detailed and along the lines of what Fujishima-sensei would do (Ah! My Goddess). There is one chapter where his art completely lets us know that this captured girl had been brutally raped by the villain — no words were required. So there’s no denying his excellent artwork.

Sometimes Sonoda-sensei’s action can be a bit chaotic — too chaotic at times. There are times where chapters end without a complete closure to things which then forces Sonoda-sensei to have to address that at the start of the next chapter with some throw-away lines. I guess he just runs out of pages and has to do things in a hurry which causes both the chaos and the occasional unresolved feeling to things.

As to the Dark Horse release, the “Revised Edition” is actually a copy of the Japanese bunkobon re-release of the manga, so the first two volumes of the original materials are covered here. Unlike the recent experience I had with TokyoPop’s paperback bunkobon release, the higher-grade paper Dark Horse is using and general better way the book was put together meant no breaking of the spine, which is a good thing.

Dark Horse also includes a two-page interview with Sonoda-sensei which is a nice extra as well as some character sketches from the original tankoubon release.

The translation/adaptation has been changed from Dark Horse’s original release so that May is now 17 rather than 18. Certain other rewrites have been corrected as well from what I’m told. For me, the stories feel accurate, but there is definitely an American take in the adaptation. What I mean is that I think the adapter decided that this needed to be grittier, so profanity is added to the adaptation that wouldn’t be there in the original Japanese.

There are no Japanese honorifics used, which since the story takes place in Chicago is the excuse used to not include them. I do note that the adapter appeared to have gone with a lot of the standard American shifts though (such as “May, dear”). Well, I’m not going to make an issue of this but did want to note it for those who care about such things.

Bottom line: This is a violent, bloody, and sexual manga that lacks most of the charm that the 3-episode OVA gave the franchise. There is excellent artwork and sometimes chaotic storytelling, but things are never boring.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Gunsmith Cats Revised Edition Manga Volume 1”

  1. I got the Gunsmith Cats DVD back in 2001 when it was still a new release from ADV. I really liked it, and it’s still in my collection. I might watch it again later, though I still haven’t caught up with everything else I’m watching. The action and music was great (that vocal trio with the VAs never was actually in the episodes, though). I also remember the “Making Of” documentary where the producers came to America to gather info on how to accurately reproduce weapons, cars, and the Chicago environs.

    I haven’t picked up any manga volumes yet, I think because when they were first released by Viz they were flipped, which I never liked (wish they’d re-release X/1999 unflipped). I have thumbed through them before and noticed that it was noticeably more graphic than the anime. Though it doesn’t bother me, you don’t care much for gratuitous ecchi content, do you?

    Oh. Unless you’ve already gotten to it while I was typing this, Enigma scans just released ch. 256 of Negima. There’s an interesting tidbit regarding something we were discussing a couple of weeks back.

  2. I found that song on Youtube (no video, just music):

    Hateshinai Toiki

    Pretty groovy.

  3. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Dang — sorry I missed this. ^_^; Sometimes that happens.

    Anyway, I’m not big on gratuitous violence or sexual (and ecchi) content but that’s just me. ^_^

    Thanks for the link!

Want to comment? Leave a Reply! If you don't see your comment immediately, it went to a moderation queue. Some HTML (for bold, italics, etc.) permitted. SPOILER tags had to be disabled until I can find a replacement. Block quotes are Text you want to quote goes here.. No personal attacks on other comenters, please. Spirited debate is OK though. ^_^

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress