Gangsta 38 & 39: The Tension Mounts

The newest Gangsta. chapters are out at MangaTown, but I have to warn you that the site seems to be riddled with spyware.  I have a Mac, which is supposed to be impervious to this stuff, but downloads were constantly popping up and several times I got switched away from the manga to an advertisement.  It was pretty rough.  So, if you can find the chapters elsewhere, I highly recommend that option.  Okay… go.  I’ll wait.

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SPOILERS

Mostly these two chapters continue the previous action. Galahad and Marco are facing off against the Second Exterminators/Hunters.  We get a lot of worrying action with Galahad (my odds on his survival have slipped a few notches, which is bummer because he’s one of my favorite sideline characters.)  Marco’s backstory continues to be in the spotlight and we get a reunion, of sorts, between two former colleagues.

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The other bit of interesting information we get is when Ivan talking to/about Erica.  He says that she is an “Instant,” which is a type of Tag that has been brainwashed in some program or other (government? Monroe’s own evil plans?) in which they are first raised in a loving family, taken from that environment, and then deprived of any kind of affection or gentle touch. So, you know, basically tortured, until they will do anything for something as simple as a kiss on the forehead.

We cut to Monroe smugly talking to Corisca about this ingenious little horror shop, but Corisca thinks the whole thing is pretty revolting and thinks that a smarter person would just let the government clean-up the Tags.  I have to admit that one of the things that has not yet been made clear to me (or if it has, I missed it,) is whether or not the Second Hunters are part of the government’s clean-up program or not.  They seem to be able to go toe-to-toe with Tags, which makes me think they must have been physically enhanced somehow.  Maybe I’m already supposed to have guessed that they’re like Monroe, in that they can take Celebrer without any ill effects…?  Though this leaves Connie’s “half blood”  line unanswered, unless that’s part of how they can withstand the Celebrer…?

Again, the best part of Gangsta., IMHO, is that you don’t have to know all the nitty-gritty details of the plot to continue to enjoy it.

The second chapter has Marco and Striker facing off and a flash to Theo’s clinic where we get some clarification that Worick’s “disgusting” line is squarely aimed at Monroe.  To which I can only say: OH MY GOD THANK GOD.  Now, this doesn’t mean that Worick isn’t up to something, because he starts acting very strangely.  He’s clearly piecing something together and he’s making a move, but Koshke-sensei is still playing her hand close to her chest, which is fine with me because we get this lovely series of very tense panels:

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And, that’s pretty much where things end, with Worick very determinedly headed off to DO SOMETHING, only we don’t know what.

My feelings?  This continues to be astronomically better than the anime.  Koshke-sensei’s art elevates this story in a way I can’t even entirely articulate.  I mean, her edges are rough in places, but so much of it so… visceral?  She takes her time to set mood.

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These are just lovely, for instance.  The “camera” eye follows Worick’s shoes.  And then we get the crushing image of Delico who clearly feels unable to act, most likely because he can’t trust himself not to follow Monroe’s orders.  All of that is conveyed silently with a simple two panel shot and Worick’s continued footsteps “above” him.

I fucking love Koshke-sensei’s style.  There’s nothing quite like it for full, hard-core emotional impact.  Yeah, sometimes her hands are way too big and seem like they’d fit better in some gods-awful yaoi, but goddamn the silent FEELS she’s able to convey.

This is why, for me, the anime is such a huge disappointment.  I feel like some of the panels of this unmoving art has more depth, emotion, and MOTION than anything they bothered to animate.  Also it astounds me that her color panels, which Chapter 39 begins with, give this sense of oppressive, Mediterranean heat in a way that I have never, ever experienced in a manga.

Lovely.

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