No Guns Life is a sci-fi, action/adventure anime based on a manga by Tasuku Karasuma. The anime is animated by Madhouse Inc., directed by Naoyuki Itō, with Masanori Shino designing the characters, Yukie Sugawara handling series composition, and Kenji Kawai composing music. The anime is voiced in Japanese however English subtitles are available.
In episode five, “EMS,” Tetsuro is worried about what the effects of discharging Juzo’s gun in the previous episode will have on their safety. Mary, as per-usual, tries to get a rile out of Tetsuro and jokingly says that the EMS will come after them and rip them apart. Although a joke, there is some truth there. The EMS are a police force that are responsible for monitoring ex-military Over-Extended such as Juzo. Although the proverbial boogeyman in Mary’s eyes, there is a very real threat that the EMS will come looking for Juzo.
When their neighbor and landlord, Christina, invite them over for a meal, Juzo refuses even while Mary and Tetsuro take up her offer. At this moment, Mary comments that Tetsuro and Juzo are very similar. They realize that simply by being associated with them, they could bring real harm to the people around them so they choose not to form strong personal ties to others.
Instead of eating, Juzo visits another neighbor, a barber, in order to get his head gun serviced after shooting it. It is here, while Juzo is relaxed and unaware, that the head of the EMS, Olivier, confronts Juzo. What does she want with Juzo? Why does Juzo know Olivier? What will Tetsuro and Mary do?
The opening for “EMS,” before the typical anime openings many are used to, is a bit reminiscent of older detective movies. We get a view of Juzo’s inner monologue as he reiterates who he is, what he does, and, although vaguely, refers to past events in the previous episode. Juzo is definitely a detective of sorts so it seems right in tune for the creators to lean into the stereotype of old detective films where we hear the main character’s begrudging inner monologue before the plot gets moving. It works well, and with Mary and Tetsuro’s constant bickering, almost always leaves off on a humorous note.
I probably say this every review, but I really love Juzo and Mary’s relationship. I enjoyed their back and forth snark in the manga and I’m so glad nothing has changed in the anime. Mary is silly, snarky, and actively teasing everyone around her. Although Juzo is gruff and distant, he puts up with Mary’s humor in a way that insinuates he cares a lot for Mary.
For me, Tetsuro is one of those characters you love to hate. He’s brash, reckless, not the smartest at times, but does seem to want to do good in the world, just doesn’t quite know how. He can be quite irritating, so I find I don’t have much sympathy when unfortunate things happen to him. In the manga, he did eventually become more endearing, but we’ll see if that translates from the manga to the anime.
Like most, this anime isn’t absent of clichés. Juzo is the stereotypical lone-wolf; he’s afraid his mere presence will hurt those around him so he has to seclude himself. Tetsuro is the rash, young boy that thinks he knows best even though his life experiences would indicate otherwise. Even though these are some typical character stereotypes that are seen in plenty of animes, they work well here.
The one huge downside to this episode is that not a whole lot goes on. There’s not much plot advancement and I can see how this episode would be slow to those who aren’t already invested in this anime. For it being episode 5, it feels weird that there isn’t much action going on. The silver lining is that by the end of the episode, we do see the set-up for new conflict and more plot so episode 6 should be interesting.
Although not a lot of plot advancement occurs, we get a better feel of both Juzo and Tetsuro’s characters in this episode and we get set up for a larger conflict that should make the next few episodes very exciting.
No Guns Life Episode 5 - "EMS"
The one huge downside to this episode is that not a whole lot goes on. There’s not much plot advancement and I can see how this episode would be slow to those who aren’t already invested in this anime… Although not a lot of plot advancement occurs, we get a better feel of both Juzo and Tetsuro’s characters in this episode and we get set up for a larger conflict that should make the next few episodes very exciting.