“Gangsta” Life

This is a gritty crime drama, set out in a town that is ruled by crime lords, so everyone is miserable all the time. It emotionally rains every day and life is very cheap. Welcome to “Gangsta” (“Gyangusuta”).

We are in the town of Ergastulum. It is not truly identified as such, but it had a Mediterranean feel to it, almost Italian. We follow the lives of two ‘handymen’, Nicolas Brown (far left) and Worick Arcangelo (right next to him). Many years ago, Worick had Nic as a personal bodyguard, but when Worick’s father stubbed out a lit cigarette in his eye (you did notice the eye patch, right?), Nic dispatched the family and they both went underground. You see, Nic is ‘special’.

He is known as a ‘Twilight’, a person with superhuman abilities, gained from the drug Celebrer. He is deaf and uses sign language to communicate, but reads lips well. They are dispatched to clean up the dirty jobs that a lot of the other crime families won’t even touch. The two ladies? At the far end is Alex Benedetto (Ally) who was working as a prostitute, but is saved by the two guys (she plied her trade in the alley just across from their office/apartment) not only from her life, but from her abusive pimp. The little girl is Nina and works for Dr. Theo, one of those back-alley doctors who patches up people after the rather numerous battles and helps get the Twilights their Celebrer.

The series details their lives in this gritty town and the machinations in place that seem bent on eliminating all the Twilights. Continue reading

Make No “Bones” About It

This is an anime with another capacious title: Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru” (“Beautiful Bones: Sakurako’s Investigation” or “A Corpse is Buried Under Sakurako’s Feet”) and is one of the better horror/crime dramas I have seen recently, despite an obvious problem. Sakurako Kujō (left) is a genius beauty in her mid-twenties whose life is centered around one thing and one thing only: bones. People are dull, boring little creatures, but if we can get to their bones…..well! Who cares about six-pack abs when a well-formed humerus is far more appealing. Here is where the problem sets in.

She has little tolerance for others and is fully content to be completely isolated in her study, crammed with skeletons, if it weren’t for high school boy Shotaro Tatawaki—her new assistant and constant companion. Well, she does have Ume Sawa, her caretaker (look, she would be skin and bones, never eating, as she admires bones. One feels her culinary skills are highly suspect and might not know how to boil water) and Hector, the family dog. Together, they can solve crimes, because the bones talk to her and tell her a story that others can miss. Continue reading