ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘No Guns Life,’ Volume 10

Reading Time: 3 minutes

No Guns Life Volume 10

No Guns Life is a cyberpunk manga known for its great action, character development, and a world that is equal parts harsh and intriguing. No Guns Life Volume 10 is published by Viz Media with story and art by mangaka Tasuku Karasuma. English adaptation has been handled by Stan! with translation by Joe Yamazaki and touch-up art and lettering by Evan Waldinger.

In this volume, Juzo and Mary make it out of the Weapons Vault by the skin of their teeth. And despite going there for answers, they’re just left with more questions. But, for now, life goes on, and Juzo Inui is on another case. As a Resolver—an Extended private investigator—Juzo is hired to investigate a case of potential insurance fraud. But there’s more to this case than expected.

It’s nice to get back to investigative Juzo. Harkening back to the earlier volumes, the setup is pretty similar, but now we have Tetsuro helping Juzo obtain information. It’s another case that has no immediate answer and provides a good mystery. And although it’s a short chase to the finish, it supports an important theme that pops up repeatedly throughout this series: even the people with the best intentions can do bad things. Even ten volumes in, this recurring theme hasn’t gotten stale, and it’s solely because Karasuma knows how to instill their characters with so much depth and emotion it’s hard not to feel for them even when they do horrible things.

After all the action from the last couple of volumes, the pace is slower in this volume. In substitution of action, we get plenty of character development and more insight into the backgrounds of characters we don’t know much about, like Shimazu. She’s someone who refuses to become an Extended despite the advantages it would give her. And surprisingly, this decision isn’t fueled by hate for Extended—which is common in this world despite so many walking around. And, of course, Juzo is there to give some insight into Shimazu’s situation because he’s been there. It’s an eye-opening handful of pages and shatters expectations for someone who used to be an antagonist.

I also appreciate that Shimazu has a very different body type than other typical female characters in this manga. She’s tall and extremely muscular and in love with a man who is both smaller and timider than her. But no one jokes about her outward appearance. It’s refreshing.

We’ve also seen Tetsuro grow as an individual since the first volume, which is really the crux of his growth. He’s now not only able to take care of himself, but he’s no longer that same reckless kid who had little regard for his own life and the other lives he endangered when he tried to right his wrongs. Instead, he understands self-worth and takes responsibility for his actions. It’s just one example of the excellent character development that this series has been working up to since volume one.

There’s plenty of fun dialogue which is pretty normal fare for this series. The timing of the jokes is perfect, and even though they interrupt some dire moments, it livens the tone without demeaning the emotional or heartfelt moments. There’s plenty of situational humor; as usual, Juzo seems to always get into the worst situations.

Although action-light, the bit of action in the latter part of the volume is hard-hitting, with motion lines and shockwaves exaggerating every punch. We also meet some new Extended, which not only support the cyberpunk theme of this manga but whose designs are rather creepy. The use of different angles and deep shadows indicate tone and movement so well. Karasuma’s art is always a treat.

No Guns Life Volume 10 provides a wonderful look into the background of various characters and exemplifies Tatsuro’s character growth. As always, the art is wonderful, and the dialogue is great fun.

No Guns Life Volume 10 is available from booksellers on May 18th, 2021.

No Guns Life Volume 10
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TL;DR

No Guns Life Volume 10 provides a wonderful look into the background of various characters and exemplifies Tatsuro’s character growth. As always, the art is wonderful and the dialogue is great fun.