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Gangsta Volume Six – Review

Gangsta-Volume-6-Cover-Image-01Gangsta is set in a city that is almost constantly on the verge of caving in on itself. Run by four Mafia heads, there’s a constant struggle with each of them trying to claw their way to the top. They’re all very dignified and they play nice with each other to maintain their respective facades, but with The Destroyers in town causing trouble and The Hunters on the prowl tying up loose ends, this gives one of the families the chance to launch themselves above the rest by doing something more sinister than you can imagine. Something that will throw off the balance of Ergastulum in a way like never before.

Volume six sees the end of one conflict which naturally leads into the beginning of another. Delico, still searching for his twin sister, continues along the path of reconciliation with his partner Yang, and Galahad stays as strong as possible for the sake of the Christiano’s while mourning the death of someone that was once very close to him. Volume six is one of the more emotional entries into the series so far with many of the characters having to come to terms with certain story developments that would ruin your experience if I were to detail now.

There is a calm before the storm, and when the calm is this violent…you can imagine what the storm is going to be like. Volume six ends on a cliffhanger that makes me hate that Madman Entertainment are only brining this Manga out a month at a time. Thanks to them, I’ve, once again, been given the chance to review another volume of the highly acclaimed Manga written and illustrated by the very talented Kohske. In a city that prides itself on it’s corruption and violence…how much is too much?

As Erica stalks through Ergastulum, leaving a trail of dead in her wake, Delico copes with the heartbreaking news that this most dangerous Hunter is actually his long-lost little sister. After a lifetime of separation, he’s determined to rescue her—one way or another—but a fragile sibling bond may not be enough to counter the merciless force of destiny. – Madman Entertainment

As mentioned above; volume six of Gangsta is filled to the brim with hard-hitting emotional plot twists that really serve as the beginning to a war that will only be over once every participating member has perished. Despite the fact that this volume was occupied a great deal by action and violence, it was more the deep, saddening plot points that kept me interested the whole way through. At risk of diminishing the integrity of the Manga; volume six seemed to me as more of a setup for bigger events to come. While it was engaging and kept my attention from the first page until the last, I got the overall vibe that with everything that was wrapped up, another two things unravelled…with a huge one unfolding at the very end. We see Nic break through his metaphorical leash, we see Delico make an interesting but unnerving decision, and we see just who the real enemy is. Well…kind of. If it’s who you suspected, than you’re a better detective than Adkins, so I highly doubt you saw any of this coming. It is a sharp plot turn that comes seemingly out of nowhere but makes sense without even being explained. What will come in the next volume is an even deeper understanding of the situation once the person in question begins moving even further on with his or her, let’s say…plan.

Not that it hasn’t done so in the past, but the story within volume six flowed so well. It seemed like no time at all had past between me opening the volume and setting it down to ponder what it was that I just read. I’m not a fast reader, and I enjoy taking my time to appreciate every piece of dialogue and ever incredible visual. Volume six almost forced me to continue reading despite wanting to take my time to appreciate a page for what it was worth. This is not something bad because it felt so natural. Kohske has clearly hit her stride when it comes to writing because volume six was as engaging as a Manga could possibly be.

 

Kohske’s illustrations have never seized to amaze me. What first attracted me to Gangsta was not the story but the art style that it featured. I thought it was bold, I thought it was gritty, I thought it had a very European influence, and I thought that it was absolutely necessary to visually portray a story of it’s type. It was exactly what the Manga needed to be and it hooked me in for life. When a Manga can make you feel a certain way in one volume then continue to evolve, making you feel that same sense of wonder in each and every subsequent volume is something amazing, and it’s exactly what Kohske does with her art.

Volume six features quite a bit of action which fans of the Manga will know is a great sign of what’s to come visually. Though Kohske is fantastic at illustrating dynamic dialogue scenes that suck the reader in, she’s even better when it comes to sequential art of the combat variety. She knows exactly how to illustrate speed and movement, making it so easy to understand just what it is that’s going on. There were some fairly intricate panels in this volume that maybe would have confused me had they been illustrated by another artist but with Kohske behind the wheel I understood exactly what was going on.

She’s an incredible artist that uses the exaggeration of features to her advantage. She knows how to draw something that will shock you, she knows how to draw something that will take you by surprise, she knows how to draw something that’ll make you smile, and she knows how to draw something that will make you cringe. In volume six, like in some of the other volumes, Kohske uses a lack of dialogue to tell more of a story and to show quick emotions that tell the audience instantly what this character is feeling without words. This is something Kohske has come to master, this is something not many others CAN.

 

Gangsta has cemented itself as an incredible Manga that has had no seeable loss of quality from the first volume to the now sixth volume. There aren’t many series’ out there that can last for this amount of time without showing signs of slowing down or cracking up, but Gangsta has stayed true, and stayed strong, and it constantly gives off the impression that it will continue on this path for quite some time. Even in a volume like number six, one feature a lot of foundation-setting for the upcoming events of the series, it was still amazingly enjoyable from the very first page to the last and compelled me as the reader to continue flipping from page to page long after I would have stopped reading. Gangsta, thanks to the first volume, quickly became one of my all-time favorite Manga series’ and the new volumes continue to justify my love for it. If you’ve missed it up until this point; do yourself a favour and work your way from volume one to now. You absolutely will not regret it.

Head to Madman Entertainment’s official online store to grab yourself a copy of Gangsta Volume Six: Click Here

Grade: A+

-30

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