Gangsta. 44 by Kosuke

The latest Gangsta. chapter came out yesterday.

I read it twice, but I still feel like maybe I’m missing something that might have been explained in the spin-off, Gangsta.:Cursed, which I admittedly gave up reading because it was so bloody (and I was having a hard time finding a scanlation of it. Looks like I could buy it on Amazon now. I may have to.)

SPOILERS

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The chapter opens up with a crowd of Twilights demanding entrance to the Guild. The Guild has closed its doors, however. The only interesting thing about this scene is that we discover that normally a Twilight can buy the protection of the Guild.  When told to move along, one of the women in the crowd says, “Come on, let us in. We have money.”  Someone else complains that they are “the paying customers here” and that the Guild should fire its “useless commodities” to free up room.

This confuses me as to how the Guild works. To be fair, my only previous sense of it is that they kind of act like the military police for the Twilight population, as well as the “regulatory body” in that they are the ones (I think!) that issue tags and class designation.

Then we flash to a series of what I believe are Worick’s memories, possibly triggered by the presence of a fly. Or maybe the fly is just a dramatic/thematic image.

ggangsta_v008_044_003.jpg

I love the blood trail on the floor leading to the desk

The scene then shifts to Big Mama’s, where the girls are complaining about not being able to hear something (I’m not sure what) and Worick is standing in the background, looking grim, listening to reports on Marco, aka Spas. Just hearing about Marco, Worick gets a memory flash of Connie.

Mama must have the same thought because she suggests that they (the Destroyers?) are “tying up loose ends” from the Second Destroyer gang from 15 years ago using that woman as bait, she continues, suggesting that Tag-hating Uranos wasn’t officially involved, but she happens to know that the plan was to leave Spas at large with the hopes that he’d switch sides again.

Worick laughs at this idea saying, “That’s a huge miscalculation on your people’s part.”

As he’s saying this we get a series of images in current time of one-armed Connie and Bareta in the fight.  We also seem to get a panel of the fly’s legs, and I’m not sure what that’s supposed to signify–maybe that this whole thing is rotten? Or that there’s nothing left but death and decay?

The next several panels are the fight between Marcos and Striker. Striker continues to be gross and Marcos continues to tell the Destroyers to f*ck off.  It looks to me like Marcos gets a second wind and maybe actually takes out the rape-y lady (Bereta).

We get a couple of silent panels that are clearly intended to be meaningful that I think work better if you’re up on the spin-off.  Through the clearing smoke, we get an image of Marco rushing Striker. Then in grayed-out flashback we get what I assume is Striker’s memory of Marco/Spas leaving, and Striker reaching out a hand to him, as though to try to stop him or beg him to stay.

Next we get Connie struggling to her feet in real-time, shouting something not articulated, and then a grayed flashback to her (I assume) standing in a warehouse as a young girl, possibly when first reaching out to Marco, because she reaches for him now. This reach seems to be a symbol between them, since she did it earlier in this chapter, right before Marco got his second wind.

Then we get a full page spread of their hands clasping, which seems to be in real-time as those are the gloves Marco is currently wearing.

ggangsta_v008_044_020.jpg

After this line, which I believe is Marco speaking, saying that the only thing left of “that thing” (meaning Spas) is Marco Adriano, we flash to Worick continuing, “who is utterly worthless,” by which I assume he means to Uranos’s cause, because Worick insists that Marco won’t return to those guys ever.

I’m going line by line here because this plan of Uranos’ literally makes no sense.

To be fair, I only read the first chapter of the Marco spin-off, but I can tell you that from what I read? Spas’ life was grim af. Why on EARTH would anyone want to go back to that kind of living where you kill women and children for sport? Also, only a moron would think that Marco is just screwing around with Connie, she was WEARING HIS RING around her neck.

Also, why is Marco such a hot commodity? He’s not a Tag, he’s one of the superhuman normals, who, if I remember this correctly, have Twilight superpowers without the drawbacks (some better form of Celebre? That part is a little lost to me, but I do remember that the surprise is that Monroe has this, too, and has some kind of mind control ability associated with it, since he could control Delico to shoot Yang in the back, and something weird happened a LOOOOONG time back involving Worick and Monroe’s “smell,” anyone else remember that? It was shortly after Striker was introduced.)

And, maybe that’s it? Maybe Uranos and Monroe were/are counting on whatever brainwashing Marco had at the start to kick back in?  But again, what for? What does having Marco gain them, except possibly a full cadre of Destroyers?

Because then we shift to Loretta Cristiano, whom we discover is the figure collapsed on the desk (I had initially thought it was Worick). She’s calling the Guild head, Paulkee, and apologizing for the delay but telling her that “the person our organization was trusted with managing” Marco/Spas will be terminated / disposed of.

Which leaves me feeling super confused again.

Let me see if I understand what’s going down with Marco.  Somehow, Uranos and Monroe thought hurting Connie would make Marco return to the Destroyers and that was something they WANTED?

Meanwhile, the Guild and the Cristiano gangs have some OTHER connection to Marco (well, we know the Cristiano one, he was basically her bodyguard/mentor/father-figure,) which involved an agreement that would somehow self-destruct/sniper Marco if he gets out of hand?

Okay, I get Cristiano’s stake in Marco, but why the f*ck is the Guild involved?

Marco is not a Twilight. He’s a super-human. Granted, I have long suspected that the Destroyers are part of a government sponsored/initiated program to eradicate the Twilight ‘problem.’  I feel like a government connection was pretty strongly hinted at in the first chapter of Gangsta.:Cursed, and as soon as the Destroyers first showed up in this.  So, perhaps the Guild is keeping an eye on Marco, because they believe he could be turned back to his wicked ways?  Maybe Cristiano looks so depressed because she thinks she’s lost him and now must destroy him?

I guess I could buy that if the idea is supposed to be that Monroe and Uranos think that Marco has some kind of brainwashed trigger built in to his programming that guarantees he’ll switch sides, no matter what.  I’m still not sure why they want that, unless they really feel that Marco + the Destroyers can wipe out all of the Twilights. To be fair, we have certainly seen evidence that the Destroyers are good at this particularly nasty job. They came damn close to taking out Nic (and they got Doug — *sobs*)  But, what we haven’t seen is what would happen if someone like Paulkee or her lover, Ginger, who are at least S/0 class goes up against these supped-up humans.

It also doesn’t entirely explain why the Guild has closed its doors to the Twilight population of Ergastulum.  Unless, Paulkee has decided that she’s only going to protect those who can protect her interests? (But what ARE her interests if not the Twilights of Ergastulum?)  Anyway, seems to me like a dumb strategy. I’d personally take all comers, even whatever’s below D class, with the idea that there’s strength in numbers.

I suspect, as I said above and throughout, I would probably understand why Marco is the lynchpin here if I’d been keeping up with Cursed.

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4 thoughts on “Gangsta. 44 by Kosuke

  1. I found a review of Cursed on fandompost.com may 22 to save me from having to read it. Not all that helpful. Yes confusing. Yes need more backstory. I think I need this manga on paper and then make up a ‘BIL *tm’ character flow chart. Thanks for the reminder to check back with this one.

    • I will have to check out that review. I will say that Gangsta. does improve with multiple re-reads. I read it the first time mostly thinking “I love Nic” and then the second time through in the tankobons I got a lot more of the politics. So, this probably means I should do another full read through, especially now that the seventh volume is out.

  2. Holy cats. I do not recommend going on Amazon to find the tankobon while at work. My search results were extremely scandalizing! And for some reason we are missing vol. 2 in Canada. My search will continue at nerd stores…

    • ALWAYS ADD THE PERIOD!!! Believe me, I’ve had the same problem going down the Tumblr hashtag #Gangsta You *must* search #Gangsta. That period makes all the difference!!

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