Sunday, November 18, 2012

Anime Review No 45-Gunsmith Cats

Hi, this the Eclectic Dude and I review it for the lolz. 
Cover of the manga Volume 1, with Rally Vincent (nice, thumbs up)
I went out to MovieStop one time last summer, it being the only the store that sells anime in the entire county, a sad reality of economic times to be sure. It was there, sitting on the shelf for $3.99. I thought, what a bargain, compared to the prices online for this OVA.  I had heard of it before, rather good things about it. I am talking, of course, about Gunsmith Cats.

Gunsmith Cats is a Japanese seinen manga series by Kenichi Sonoda, well known for this and Bubblegum Crisis. The first series came out from 1991-97, which was then followed up by a sequel in 2004-08. A 3 episode OVA came out in 1995 done by Kodansha/VAP/Tokyo Broadcasting, with a stateside released a year later by ADV Films.  

The basis of this is the adventures of young female bounty hunters in Chicago, Illinois, a double act as it were: Rally Vincent (the gun bunny) and Minnie May (the gal with the bombs, literally). Teamed up with Becky and ATF Agent Bill Collins, they deal with gun runners and in the process stumble onto a plot involving political intrigue, a Russian psychopath assassin and lots of action. It’s a wild ride in the Windy City.

Heh-that almost looks like Diet Pepsi Minnie May is drinking ^_^
Now, I absolutely love this OVA. Everything about this is a like a well-oiled machine, firing out on all cylinders. The animation here is quite good and holds up even to today. Granted, the anime-style characters seldom look out of place within the realistic back-drops, but it’s hardly noticeable. Speaking of backdrops, the background art looks amazing; it feels like you’re actually watching something that’s taking place in Chicago. This is due to the fact that some of the production crew actually went to Chicago and did some location scouting, details of that are in a special ‘making of’ documentary included in the DVD. In addition, the production crew learned about guns and such while in Chicago, something uncommon in Japan. This translates to the OVA where the guns and weapons look also fairly realistic. Kudos to you, production crew.
Car Chase Ahoy!

Now, the plot of Gunsmith Cats is much like a fast paced action packed movie, just divided into three episodes and borrows quite a lot of tropes of that genre. In fact, I’m surprised by two things. First, why hasn’t this gotten a re-release by Sentai as a full length film feature? I mean, seriously, this deserves it. I don’t mind listening to the OP thrice (cus it’s awesome), but really this needs a re-release. Come on, Sentai, you re-release Burn Up for fudge’s sake. Second, why hasn’t this gotten a live action adaptation? I mean, this yearns for it. It takes place in Chicago (an actual locale) and features hot babes and explosions. It would have a far better chance than something like Cowboy Bebop or Evangelion for fudge’s sake.

Finally, the dub is quite possibly one of the best ADV put out ever. It’s got some excellent voice work by Amanda Winn Lee, Kim Yates and Tiffany Grant and most of the cast do a pretty good job. But by far, Robert Mungle as Agent Bob Collins nearly steal the show with his performance. Seriously, his one-liner ‘I’m a real Eliot Ness, pussycat!’ is just a sample of what his dialogue is, wonderful.

There is, however, one minor downside to Gunmsith Cats OVA: I wish there was more of it! Granted, the three episodes by themselves constitute a complete story, so no worry on that end. But, seriously, why isn’t there more of this anime? Yes, I’m aware there’s the manga but still I wish they were more episodes of Gunsmith Cats. But, I can be sated with just these 3 episodes. 

Still, well worth the look and then some. Gunsmith Cats is awesome, and as any kind of anime fan you should check it out.

Next Review is Dragon Half. See you then. 

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