Based on the manga of the same name by Tasuku Karasuma, No Guns Life is a sci-fi, action/adventure anime. 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. “Hero” is the sixth episode in the planned 24-episode season.
From the last episode, we find out what the EMS, or at the least Olivier, secretly wants with Juzo. They need his help after multiple Extended escaped from prison. All but one prisoner has been caught and this last Extended is the most infamous: Hayden. The first military Extended used in the war and who is infamous for slaughtering the members of his own squad has been killing people seemingly at random. Olivier demands that Juzo find Hayden and bring him to justice.
Without much choice, Juzo agrees to go on this mission with one exception: he needs his friends out of the way. Once again, Juzo fears that he’ll be putting his friends in danger, so he leaves them in EMS custody for safekeeping. This is probably not where they want to be, but at least they’re safe. The first place Juzo investigates is the home of one of Hayden’s recent victims. While there, he finds evidence that explains Hayden’s murderous motives but also identifies the next victim.
In episode 6, “Hero,” we’re getting into one of the main plotlines in the manga and we really get a feeling that something isn’t quite right. Previous episodes have already shown a bit of the corruption rampant in the military, so it’s only a small inference to believe that we’ll see the same corruption injected into Hayden’s background and motives. In fact, as it’s explained at the beginning of “Hero,” after killing his squad, Hayden was locked away without trial so that the military could bury the incident. On top of this, many of the squad’s activities before the incident were long lost or buried.
“Hero” follows the manga quite precisely; the anime doesn’t deviate from the manga in regards to both the plot and the dialogue. It makes for an experience that is very true to the manga but may alienate people who’ve already read the manga because there aren’t any surprises to be had. The character designs and artwork are also reminiscent of the manga. There are small differences here and there, but they’ve done well to recreate the manga’s art style.
The use of 3D animation in “Hero” has me a little baffled though. All the characters are 2D along with many of the backgrounds. However, certain objects, usually ones that are large and moving such as cars and even doors are 3D animated. Even though these 3D elements probably lend to cheaper animation and quicker, easier production, they do distract from the scenes at times and look very odd in direct contrast with the rest of the 2D art.
The backgrounds in “Hero” also contrast greatly to the 2D characters in some scenes. When Juzo visits the mansion of one of the victims, the inside is very ornate and is also likely 3D animated. There’s a lot of detail that was added to these backgrounds, and they’re very beautiful. However, when you add a 2D character that is much less detailed and flatter than the background they’re set against, it makes for a sense of discord which I don’t believe is intended. With the use of so many art styles and production, it doesn’t lend to much visual cohesion.
I’m also really impressed with not only the quality of voice acting but also the selected voice actors. The voice actors have wonderful emotive range, but the producers also selected voice actors whose voices suite the characters well. While reading the manga, you can only infer the character voices from the dialogue and art, but everyone creates an idea in their head of how these characters should sound. There have been many a manga-turned-anime where I highly disagreed with the voices they chose for some characters. So far, this anime has done well in matching voice to character and I couldn’t be happier.
Of course, this is a pretty typical anime and many of the main female characters are shown wearing very skimpy clothing. Even the manga was not devoid of this. The only upside in this is, although these characters are visually sexualized based on a masculine, heterosexual perspective, they aren’t shown as weak. They aren’t the damsel in distress; they can hold their own. They’re smart, persuasive, and ambitious. This sexualization is also, by far, not as bad as some other mangas/animes I’ve encountered.
This episode really gets us further into the budding plotline introduced in the last episode and sets the stage for the tone of the next few episodes. On top of this, we see the beginnings of a conspiracy and the unraveling of secrets that have been long buried. We get a new character added to the gang and, as always, we get a healthy dose of both seriousness and silliness. Overall, this episode was entertaining and leaves off on a cliff hanger that makes the week-long wait for the next episode excruciating.
No Guns Life Episode 6 – “Hero"
- Rating - 8/108/10
This episode really gets us further into the budding plotline introduced in the last episode and sets the stage for the tone of the next few episodes. On top of this, we see the beginnings of a conspiracy and the unraveling of secrets that have been long buried… Overall, this episode was entertaining and leaves off on a cliff hanger that makes the week-long wait for the next episode excruciating.