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Gangsta Volume 1 Manga Review

Gangsta Volume 1 Manga

“Gangsta” is off to an intriguing start.

In volume 1 of writer/artist Kohske’s new adult manga series “Gangsta,” readers are introduced to two handyman freelancers (Worick and Nicolas) who will seemingly take on any job (including assassinations). Despite their shady work, Worick (a one eyed former mercenary and part time gigolo with a mysterious past) and Nicolas (a deaf sword wielding badass) could be considered “good guys” in the mafia family controlled fictional city Ergastulum as they actually collaborate with the police.

As volume 1 unfolds, we see Worick and Nicolas deciding take on a job from the police to ice a gang. As they wipe out the gang thugs, they come across a prostitute (Alex) and decide to rescue her instead of killing her. From there on out, Alex’s life is turned upside down as she becomes further involves in the strange, violent world of Worick and Nicolas.     

While “Gangsta” Volume 1 is a quick and involving read, there’s not a lot to go off of here. Even though I found myself drawn in to the violent world that Kohske created thanks to a solid plot device involving Alex’s POV, we get very little set-up to the universe these characters exist in. In fact, we get very little characterization too. Yes, there are lot of hints and foreshadowing regarding the past of Worick and Nicolas, but everything seems a little too vague. A first volume (or issue for that matter) should give readers a sense of the characters and a sense of place so that they can be hooked by the series. Now, granted, I’m sure Kohske plans on developing the world and characters for additional volumes, but a writer shouldn’t leave readers in the dark so early on. I’m all for piquing readers interest by proposing more questions than answers, but dropping crucial terminology (such as Tags and Twilights) without ever really exploring the concepts is a bit frustrating to a reader who is embarking on a new series. Hopefully, these problems will be resolved in the next few volumes, but time will tell on that.

Overall Thoughts: Issues aside, “Gangsta” is off to a promising start. Personally, I’m just glad to find a manga series that ISN’T a high school romance story.

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March 19, 2014 - Posted by | Book review | , , , ,

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