The Fandom Post

Anime, Movies, Comics, Entertainment & More

Gangsta Vol. #03 Manga Review

4 min read
Gangsta Vol. #3
Gangsta Vol. #3

A prison from which there is no escape…

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Kohske
Translation/Adaptation: Katherine Shilling

What They Say
Ergastulum is a tough town, a place where the rule of law takes a backseat to the law of violence, where Handymen like Nic and Worick make a living doing odd jobs from routine deliveries to extrajudicial killings. Discreet, ruthless, and efficient, the men are respected by both the police brass and the Mafia dons, but it took many long, hard years for them to make their names. Behind those years is the hidden history of how the scion of an elite family and a boy soldier of the Twilights ranks formed an improbable, unbreakable bond.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
This third volume of Gangsta dives into an extended flashback which further cements this series as a new favorite of mine in the action genre.

The history of the twilights is a great tragedy which at first seems unfathomable, until I remember that plenty of countries now and in the past have tried to round up people and kill them for less.  Simply put, the first generation of twilights were super soldiers like Captain America, except the drug given them resulted in lifelong dependence with side effects that carried down to their offspring.  This includes birth defects like Nic’s deafness and Doug’s eternally delayed puberty.  Labeled as ‘monsters’ the twilights were rounded up or hunted down, and despite laws made to protect them are very much second or third class citizens.

Events during the flashback to Worick and Nic’s childhood do their best to cast doubt on the idea that the hatred is unwarranted.  Countless times we’ve been shown that the tags are just people born into a terrible situation, but we’ve also been shown what can happen to reason and logic in a drug addled mind.  The horrific scene of what happens at the Archangelo estate certainly makes you rethink what Nic is capable of, and of what Worick is capable of as well.

The flashback also shows just how close the two handymen are.  Their upbringing might have been as different as you could get, with Nic being a child soldier and “Wallace” being the second son of the Archangelo family.  However, they’re both the unwanted children of prostitute mothers, hated and abused by their fathers.  There are moments carefully interwoven in the flashback where you can feel the desire of the kids to gain approval and love from their fathers, only to be cast aside over and over.  The trust and friendship that develops between Nic and Worick feels natural, and the end result of all that abuse is shocking but not unexpected.

Back in the present Alex isn’t forgotten about.  She’s still doing her best to learn sign language so she can communicate with Nic.  She visits the doctor to follow up on her own drug related issues, and is there for Worick after a particularly bad night.  It’s a nice turnaround from when he helped her out during her drug episode, and it also illustrates nicely the growing trust between her and the handymen.  Even Nic is warming up to her.

However, the growing sense of warmth is being overshadowed by the threat of the mass murderer hunting down twilights.  All eyes suspect the twilight hating Corsica family, even though Uranos denies involvement.  We catch the barest glimpse of who is really doing the killing, but their motives remain unknown.  

In Summary
This volume of Gangsta doesn’t just go into the past of two of the leads, but explains much of the history and background of Ergastulum as well.  While it answers many of the questions it leaves plenty of gaps to fill in later about the two handymen.  There’s plenty of pain to go around, and the past is not a pretty one.  There’s still the ongoing issue of who is killing tags, and it’s creating tension in the carefully balanced power division of the city.  This series remains a great entry into the action genre, providing a near perfect mix of action and world building, while still making sure the characters are worth caring about.

Content Grade: B +
Art Grade: A –
Packaging Grade: B +
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: August 19th, 2014
MSRP: $12.99

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.