REVIEW: ‘No Guns Life,’ Volume 6

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No Guns Life Volume 6

Our favorite ex-solider Juzo and Harmony-user Tetsuro are back in No Guns Life Volume 6 from mangaka Tasuku Karasuma and published in English by VIZ Media. Volume 6 collects chapters 32 through 38.

Extension technology has become widespread in the world of No Guns Life, and Juzo Inui is just one of the people who have been changed by it. As an Extended, Juzo has little memory of his previous life, and, after being discharged after the war, he ekes out a meager living as a Resolver, solving cases involving other Extended. One such case precipitates itself in the form of a boy by the name of Tetsuro who is running from the very corporation that created him, Berühren.

Now, however, the anti-Extended terrorist organization, Spitzbergen, is not only after Tetsuro, but also Juzo. Dr. Andy Wachowski is the original creator of Extension technology. But, after seeing the havoc his creation has wrought, Dr. Wachowski leads Spitzbergen in a fight to destroy Berühren. To do this, he needs Juzo; and to get Juzo on his side, he threatens Tetsuro. As if Juzo hasn’t got his hands full already with Spitzbergen, Berühren’s Resolvers, Pepper and the GSU Seven, are on Juzo’s tail as well. The cards seem to be stacked against Juzo and Tetsuro; how’re they going to get out of this debacle?

The world of No Guns Life has a way of expressing life in shades of gray and volume 6 captures the volatility of life perfectly. Juzo and Tetsuro don’t live in a pristine world. Their life is ruled by a warped sense of capitalism, with its corporations, such as Berühren, to blame. In a way, these corporations are above control by the government and rule the masses through their Extended technology. Extended take over jobs and result in an increase in unemployed and bitter people who will do anything for money, including becoming Extended themselves and continuing the cycle. Even Spitzbergen, who actively stands against the evils of Berühren, is not devoid of evil themselves. They’re willing to kill so long as Berühren suffers.

Although the plot of No Guns Life is rife with unpredictability, our main characters remain consistent throughout the series and volume 6 is no different. Tetsuro is still that same boy from the first chapter, wanting to right his wrongs and, by doing so, putting himself in danger. Juzo is still level-headed, cool as a cucumber, and kind. He’s always been around to help Tetsuro and continues to in volume 6.

The consistency in character personality and behavior is important, but what makes this volume so pronounced is the evidence we see of the amount of growth these two have gone through. Tetsuro is so much more confident in himself and understands more about how to use his power, Harmony. Juzo has obviously come to trust Tetsuro more, and although it’s normally Juzo encouraging Tetsuro to find his own self-worth and teaching him to take responsibility for his actions, it’s Tetsuro’s turn to help Juzo heal instead. These two characters have grown so much over the past few volumes and volume 6 continues this trend in character growth in a believable and natural way.

We also learn much more about Juzo’s past. Not quite how he physically got the way he is now, but his previous life as a mindless soldier and killing machine. These revelations expand on Juzo’s character even more than past volumes and even do a bit more world-building for No Guns Life. We even get to see some of the other GSUs besides Juzo and Seven. Their designs are similar enough to Juzo’s to be believable, but different enough to express their individuality.

There’s an equal helping of dialogue and action in this volume. The dialogue doesn’t crowd the panels and the action in the panels is fluid and easy to follow. The fight scenes in this series have always been amazing, and volume 6 is no different. There are quite a few flashback scenes in this volume, but Karasuma does well to depict these instances with black borders to keep the timeline straight forward. With plenty of intense scenes, Karasuma uses harsh shadows and black speech bubbles to indicate harsh dialogue, letting the tone of each panel shine through.

Karasuma also has an excellent way of making their characters extremely expressive. The panels are rife with emotion, and even people who don’t have faces, such as the GSUs, are expressive through the use of chibi expressions here and there and the heavy use of body language to get the point across.

No Guns Life Volume 6, as always, does some great world-building while upholding the integrity of its characters. The series has always been centered around character growth, and volume 6 excels at this. Both Juzo and Tetsuro have grown so much over the past few volumes, but all these changes culminate at the end of this volume, making for a very hard wait for volume 7 to arrive.

No Guns Life Volume 6 will be available from booksellers on July 21, 2020.

No Guns Life Volume 6
4.5

TL;DR

No Guns Life Volume 6, as always, does some great world-building while upholding the integrity of its characters. The series has always been centered around character growth, and volume 6 doesn’t deviate from this trend. Both Juzo and Tetsuro have grown so much over the past few volumes, but all these changes culminate at the end of this volume, making for a very hard wait for volume 7 to arrive.