Episode Director: Yusuke Onoda [Naruto Shippuuden episode director, Fairy Tale episode director]
Storyboards: Ohashi Yoshimitsu [PlanETES, Key Animator for Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood episodes and storyboarded OP 4]
Script: Takagi Seiko [Samurai Champloo, Ore Monogatari!!, Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii]
GANGSTA‘s story is slowly tying itself together. Picking up from last episode just after Alex’s singing performance the situation goes from bad outside to even worse inside the club Bastard. Sudden violence breaks out of control giving this episode a fairly solid beginning. The young leader of Corsica, Loretta being the target builds up the tension between her bodyguards and Marco’s entry into the fray surprisingly well. I say this because I feel GANGSTA‘s been focusing a bit too much on the trio (Nicholas, Worwick and Alex) way too much instead of developing smaller self-contained stories around them. Boss Monroe is just another guy the Handymen meet in the back alleys of Ergastulum–instead of spending more than 10 minutes on backstories of the main cast the creators (and even its author Koshke) should have written these minor characters in a bit more strongly. Just for episodes like this one. Its as if this show is forgetting what ground to stand on? Is this show about Worwick and Nicholas specifically or people trying to survive in a rotten city?
Loretta is a shining example of bringing a character into an already focused story so well–with only two episodes of a real introduction to her. She’s smart, she knows there is a coup d’etat somewhere within the families and she wants to understand exactly who is pulling the strings. She’s also got guts. Giving Alex a gun in order to protect herself illustrates how the femininity is strengthening in this series. From the beginning the only female character we had seen was Alex–a washed out prostitute. From her being able to meet and be saved by Worwick and Nicholas things have been looking up for her. Dr. Theo’s assistant nurse, Nina doesn’t shy away from reality and is willing to help anyone in need. We saw that firsthand in the second episode and even more recently. Loretta is like her in she understands she needs to hold her own if she’s going to head the Cristiano family. Thinking back on that scene where she tells Alex the gun is for self-defense peels off another layer of her character–she’s kind-hearted and doesn’t want any unwanted blood to be spilled because there’s a riff in the four families.
As for the other side, Mikhail and Erica are indeed the ones killing Twilights since episode 3. Mikhail is a lot how Doug was when he fought Nicholas–he’s completely reckless. Perhaps that’s to depict how a lot of these Tags are. It is interesting how Erica is Delico’s twin isn’t confirmed off the bat whether or not she’s a Twilight. She’s fast, really fast and her being related to Delico does lean towards the idea she has Tags but the anime hasn’t confirmed it as of yet. Good to see there is still some mystery left in GANGSTA‘s cast! I’m glad Kohske took this detail to amp up Nicholas’ fighting spirit only to reveal he’s not the TAG he’s been shown off to be!
MANGLOBE what happened? I’ve forgiven GANGSTA‘s first few episodes having a choppy animation style but this was bad. The production of this episode was a bit off. Between facial expressions and arm movements; felt very forced. Animation wasn’t smooth, however, it sure had some unique camera angles during the fights. This show as I’ve mentioned before is very clunky when the characters are moving around and this episode didn’t let go of that at all. Not necessarily a good thing to have when the intention of this was to be highly action-packed. What’s even weirder is the music production–this show isn’t going to have a large collection of songs for its soundtrack but Tsutchie needs to add some variety! I like the chill mood each piece gives off but its more of the same! Also want to point out some of the score was used at the wrong times especially during Nicholas’ fight!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 5/10