What is it that compels people to kill? To take the life of another? We’re taught from birth that such a thing is simply inhuman. Never should this be done, so why is it that people continue to do it?
There’s this force within some of us, humans I mean, that lies in wait entirely invisible to all our senses. It wells up inside and forces people to do the things they never thought they could. Sometimes that thing is murder.
Most of us never even ponder the possibility of taking a life, yet people do it countless times every single day. Pop culture as a whole has desensitised us to death, that alongside the evening news. You know, sometimes even the hero kills if they have to.
Kohske’s Gangsta is just another Manga series that doesn’t shy away from the death and destruction. You’re guaranteed to see a brutal murder every single volume but do you know what the difference is? The protagonists never insinuate that what they are, are anything BUT just two more villains in this corrupted world.
The Hunters and the Destroyers continue to rampage through the city, toying with their prey and piling atrocity upon atrocity. With no time to mourn their fallen, the Paulklee Guild are forced to fend off their enemies’ increasingly deadly attacks. The surviving members mobilize to fight back, and despite the terrible losses, hope is kept alive in the form of old vows honored and new ones made.
– Madman Entertainment
Volume Five actually features a surprisingly high amount of violence and action in comparison to the ones that came before it. Gangsta always features death, as mentioned, but the frequency of said violent act isn’t usually the star of the show, so to speak. I took notice of a more combat throughout but alongside that a whole bunch of story development that pushes this series closer and closer the “war” everyone has mentioned since the beginning of the series. A new team of killers is introduced and some of the characters we’ve come to know and love set off to do what they can to reduce casualties and get these armaggedon-bringers out of Ergastulum.
Through this we gain a little more insight into just who it is these characters are but, thanks to the action, we’re not bogged down by constant lines of explanation which is something many Manga fall prey too. Luckily one of them isn’t Gangsta. What I liked the most about Volume Five is fairly broad but I believe still very much an important factor in the success of not only the book but the series: It didn’t just focus on the Handymen. As mentioned; we were given the chance to follow some other characters and discover more about them. As much as I like Nic’s character…there’s only so many times I can see him oddly interact with Alex before I get sick of seeing it.
What is there to say about the visual quality of Gangsta that I havn’t already said countless times before? Kohske is one of the very best modern Mangaka’s and she possesses a style that goes beyond simple realism mixed with traditional over-exaggeration of features. Kohske’s illustration style is one thst you’ve never seen before and one that, honestly, can never be replicated. She excells when it comes to action scenes and panels that feature combat of any sought.
She also has a very firm grasp on sequential art as a whole, understanding that it takes a little more that just a good drawing to make a good Manga. She doesn’t rest on the fact that she’s an A-Grade illustratir to sell copies of her Manga, she puts in the time to meticulously plan everything down to the tiniest details and while that seems general for a Mangaka…you’d be very much surprised at how many just cannot do it as well as her.
Gangsta only continues to get better and better. There truly is no stopping this series and that’s why there’s already an Anime adaptation in the works. Out of all the Manga we get to review on a monthly release basis, it’s Gangsta I leave until last. Kohske’s writing AND illustration inspires me in huge ways. She writes these insane characters in such realistic ways and then she goes and draws some of the most engaging panels I’ve ever seen. After five reviews of this Manga I do find myself running out of things to compliment it on.
Some people would take that as a bad thing but I instead take it as a positive: Gangsta delivered itself as a whole in Volume One, it then continued to do the same for four others. It’s hidden nothing from us, it’s given us the same high quality reading ever since it started and thanks to this story development, I can’t honestly see it getting worse. In fact, it can really only get better!
Head to Madman Entertainment’s official online store to grab yourself a copy of Gangsta Volume Five: Click Here