Gangsta. is and anime and manga series created by Kohske. The manga series started being published in Shinchosha magazine in 2011. After a two years hiatus due to various health issues that kept her in the hospital, Kohske resume the series and a new chapter should be released shortly. The anime series produced by Manglobe aired between July 2015 and September 2015 and count 12 episodes, sadly the studio had to declared bankruptcy and the anime series never got a proper ending and I seriously doubt we will see an end unless a new studio decide to pick up this awesome and complete series
“Complete?! But you said the anime never got a proper end, plus the manga is not done yet!!” I can heard some of you say.
Yes it’s true, I said that, however when I say complete, I’m not referring about the end of the series, but more about the theme you can found in Gangsta.
Like all the other media, anime and manga can be found in various genre. We have the heroes who didn’t seems to be fit for the job, but kept believe in what they can do, magical girl to save the world, air-head character or overpowered one, but no matter the series, no matter the story, you might always found some more complex theme. Like the series Cardcaptor Sakura, while the anime series brush it off, the manga still have the homosexual theme. To Tomoyo, Sakura is not only her best friend but most probably also her first love. More recently the movie Silent Voice brought us a disability and bullying theme. However, rare are the series that will talk about a lot of more complex theme all in one series.
One of those series is, as you could guess, Gangsta. The series is made for a more mature public, it talk about sex, drug and a lot of other stuff. But it also talk about people disabilities, racism and homosexual/bisexual relationship. Since the last point is not the most obvious, I will talk about it last.
Gangsta. and Racism
Here we are not talking about racism toward a skin color or a different religion, but we are talking about racism toward people of a different race without having a different skin color nor a different religious confessions. The race I’m referring about are the Twilight.
Who are the Twilight ? they are the descendants of the soldier who fought during the Unification War. The government gave a drug call “Celebrer” to a certain amount have soldier, this drug made them stronger and faster, which is kind of great when the country is at war, but the drug didn’t have only good effect. Like most of the drug Celebrer created and addiction, addiction followed the descendants of the soldier who consumed the drug during the war. Due to their ancestors over using the drug, the Twilights genetic change over the generation. Twilight have a greater strength than normal human and they are faster too. But thing didn’t turn right for the Twilight, if their ancestors might be sees as heroes, the Twilights just receive and disgust and hate from the normal human.
You see once the war was over, the soldier whom use the drug was put in quarantine in a city called Ergastulum, those soldier became the Twilight after that all the Twilight born outside the wall of Ergastulum “the stray” were track down, tagged and bring to the city. No Twilight is allowed to leave outside the city. I see the treatment reserved to the Twilight, the same way some groups were treated during World War II. We all know about the internment camp the Japanese – American were put in during the war or the concentration camp across the Germany
Sadly it doesn’t stop there. About 13 years after the end of the Unification War and after the establishment of Ergastulum, the government faced a new problems, overcrowded prison, thus they decide to fix that problem by sending prisoners to Ergastulum. But how differentiate the normal from the Twilight, easy let’s tag the Twilight. By tagging, I mean to make the Twilight wear dog tag or military ID tag. On the tag, some information about the Twilight is found like his name, birth of date, place of birth and rank (not gonna talk about the Twilight rank here since it’s irrelevant to the post). Does the fact they want to differentiate the Twilight from the normal remind you of something? If you answer the way people were tagged in the concentration camp you are right, even more if you are thinking about that yellow six tip star. But those are not the only example I can bring about the racism in Gangsta. In fact I just could only talk about the hate the Twilight are victims, hate that lead to the Anti-Twilights revolution or about the way Nicolas, one of the main character, is treated by the prostitute of the Pussy, brothel run by one of the powerful family, the Corsica, who are hostile to the Twilight or even the Three Law the Twilight MUST follow since the second one is “Twilights must obey orders directed to them by humans”, in other words Twilight are not even considerate as human.
Gangsta. and Disabilities
This theme is once again directly related to the Twilights. While the Normal can also have disabilities, a good part of the Twilight have disabilities, deformities other various health issue, in the series they referred to it as “Compensation” Take Nicolas who is deaf as example. Nicolas is a handyman who take job here and there with his partner (read here master) Worick. He can talk but most of the time he will use the sign language to communicate with people around him, and people close to him, like Worick and Nina, learn the sign language. It is not perfectly portrayed in the manga since we are reading it (duh!) but those who watch the subbed (can’t tell for the dubbed version since I watched the subbed one) but when Nicolas speak you can hear the great job the voice actor, Tsuda Kenjirou, did to make him sound like deaf people sound when they talk. Sometimes the disabilities is more like a deformities, like in Heather case. Heather is a young 11 years old Twilight, she have scar running through her leg and missing toes or in other case you can’t see the difference like with Doug, I would really like to tell you what he exactly have, but he decide to cut Nina when she was about to say it, but we can guess it’s related to his growth. I would really like to tell you that despite their disabilities, people doesn’t make fun of the Twilight, but it would be a lie, since normal people hate them, thus no matter the disorder they have Twilight will never be treated fairly.
Gangsta. and Homosexuality/Bisexuality
In the series we have a heterosexual couple with Marco and Connie, the two are, probably engaged, if they are not they still have couple ring, but As I state in the introduction, the homosexuality and bisexuality theme can also be found in the series even if it’s the less obvious, in fact maybe some of you didn’t even paid attention at the scene where the series was presenting it. The first homosexual couple that can be found in the series, is Gina (the one who is a the at of the Paulklee Guild) and her, most probably, second-in-command Ginger. I know it’s not clearly state in the anime and/or manga, is only bases on assumption, but there is a scene where Ginger wake-up naked in Gina’s bed, with Gina next to her, now as I said it is not confirmed, however considering the kind of series that is Gangsta., it wouldn’t be surprising. Regarding the bisexuality theme, this is not seen in the anime, it is only happening in the manga, since the series end before it get to it. There is a scene between Connie, Marco fiancé/girlfriend, and Beretta, one of the Destroyers, while Marco and Striker are fighting, Beretta strip a bad injured Connie (they cut her arm and sent it as a gift to Marco) and ask her if she have ever slept with a girl, Beretta then tell Connie to be nice and let her do it, since she gonna die anyway. Beretta is the type of girl who like having fun, while she is totally ready to slept with Connie, there is also something between her and Striker. I used the terms “bisexuality” but I feel like Beretta is probably more pansexual.
Gangsta. might be a series talking about power, control, sex and drug, but when you over look the obvious, you found more in the series. Gangsta. might not be focused on discrimination, cause it could have been a story about wiping out a family, however it certainly play a big part on the series.