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No Guns Life Volume 1 Manga Review

No

“No Guns Life” misfires.

In the first volume of writer/artist Tasuki Karasuma’s “No Guns Life” manga series, the story is set in a post war cyberpunk universe in which the Beruhren Corp. essentially rules. In this universe, there are normal people and people who receive technological extensions augments called The Extended. Naturally, there are tensions between the two.The protagonist of this series is an Extended named Juzo The Resolver who has a gun for a head. Juzo is a chainsmoking (Get it? Smoking gun) freelancer who is a sort of fixer that helps the Extended. To make a long story short, this debut volume mostly focuses on a special runaway orphan Extended test subject named Tetsuro that is being looked after by Juzo all while the orphan is being pursued by others I will not spoil. There are also subplots involving 2 former Extended test subjects (Anne and Ende) and a mystery involving someone removing Extension parts.

While the sci-fi noir tale seems ripe with potential on the surface, the execution (of this volume at least) leaves a lot to be desired. The world building is underdeveloped, the story is poorly scripted, Juzo is little more than a Hellboy wannabe, the universe itself feels like a knock-off of “Battle Angel” and “Blade Runner,” the dialogue and exposition is clunky, and the entire manga feels, well, unpleasant. I’m no prude, but it’s overly dark and violent, it objectifies women, and contains child endangerment. It just feels icky.

There are a few elements of interest here particularly the harmony remote control device (no spoilers as to what that is) and the dynamic between Tetsuro and Juzo. 

In terms of the artwork, it’s a bit uneven. The characters and environments are well designed here, but the funky panel layout, giant word balloons, and frequent blurry action depictions are distracting.

February 24, 2020 - Posted by | Manga Review | , ,

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