No Guns Life – First Impressions Review
No Guns Life Review – Introduction
No Guns Life is a 12 episode Japanese Anime TV show that started airing on 11th October 2019. It is produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment, TBS, AT-X, Hakuhodo DY Music & Pictures, BS11, Egg Firm, Good Smile Film and animated by the Madhouse Studio.
No Guns Life – What’s it About
Our main hero is an ex-soldier called Juuzo Inui. He was ‘altered’ and turned into a cyborg with a revolver for a head and he has no memory of how and why because his memories were also erased. Imagine if that happened to you! You’d be a bit miffed right! Oower!
There are a lot of these cyborgs, each with different ‘alterations’ and now that the war has ended, they have been discharged. Juuzo Inui now manages a meagre living in the streets of the city as a Resolver, taking on cases involving the Extended.
When another ‘altered’ cyborg shows up in Juuzo’s office asking for help protecting a kidnapped child, Juuzo reluctantly agrees. There are all sorts of people after this kid though. Protecting him wont be easy.
No Guns Life – Episode 1 Review – “Renegade Extended”
The show opens with Juuno Inui sat at his desk watching a news bulletin on the TV. It tells him that since the great war, there seems to have been a raise in citizens standard of living but disturbingly, crime is on the increase.
He lights up a cigarette and speaks a non-committal, “OK, yeah.” into the telephone.
And then the opening credits role.
First impressions of the first minute!
Yep, I certainly sat up in my chair. The first scene is of a dude with a big metal gun head smoking a cigarette. Then he talks quite normally and then a very cool opening theme by Kenichi Asai (called Motor City) starts playing with a graphic on the show logo that says, “SF hard-boiled the gun smoke drifts muzzle talks.” Even the opening credits were different. Metal gun head doesn’t seem to be too scary and his teen friends don’t seem to hate him.
It was confusing and immediately interesting. One of the best anime show openings I’ve seen in a while.
The next scene was a bar called, “Bar Love Arm.” Juuno Inui throwing out a couple of drunks (one has an artificial metal arm) into the street and he tells them not to come back. I guess the telephone call earlier was to get him to com an help out the bar owner.
He stops outside contemplating how things have changed. He makes a living taking care of problems caused by, “The Extended.”
After the Great War
Two things changed after the Great War. First was the rise of a huge corporation called Beruhren which grew large after the war’s military procurement boom. The second was the emergence of people who underwent a physical ‘function extension’ or alteration (which was developed by the Beruhren Corporation). These people were called, The Extended.
He chats to the bandaged bartender outside. She wants to know if his weakness is actually the trigger on his head. He tells her that only people who he accepts are allowed to pull it and that he intends never to accept anyone.
He warns her not to accept troublemakers into her bar. It would stop her getting hurt. She offers him a drink but he declines.
She kisses him on his metal cheek and tells him it’s just a thank-you and not to get any ideas. He blushes.
As he walks home, he notices a police incident in which an Extended person kidnapped a young boy. When someone tried to help, they were shot. The crowd that are gathered talk about how life isn’t much better now that the war is over.
Juuzo looks on an notices a girl turning towards him. She seems to recognise him but isn’t particularly happy to see him.
Apparently, she is a nun. A very pouty nun.
As he arrives home, he is greeted by his landlady, an ex-male now sex-changed. She complained that there had been a huge racket in his office and that she was worried that the large gun on his head had gone off or something.
Sure enough, when he gets to the room, he finds that the place has been ransacked and an Extended cyborg is waiting for him.
Juuzo introduces himself and is mildly shocked when the Extended dude jumps back in surprise because he has a gun for a head. Juuzo comments that it’s a bit rich coming from someone who looks like that (he has a point!).
Helping the Guest
It turns out that the Extended guest has a young boy tucked under his arm and that he was part of the kidnapping commotion outside. The Extended person pleads with Juuzo and tells him that he hadn’t caused any trouble. Soon after, some people from the Security Bureau arrived and demand to be let in. They believe that the Extended fugitive is in the room. Juuzo opens the door and asks them what the problem is. He doesn’t let them in.
The three people from the Security Bureau threaten Juuzo to try and get in but since he is three times bigger than they are – and in a bad mood, he decides not to co-operate. He tells them that there is no Extended person in his room and eventually, they leave.
Juuzo doesn’t like the attitude of the Security Bureau and seems to sympathise with the Extended guest in his room. The guest suddenly tells him to look after the boy and make sure that he is not given over to the Security Bureau while he distracts the people outside. He tells him that he will pay him later. I think we all pretty much worked out that there probably wouldn’t be much of a later for the kidnapper dude.
He jumps out of the window and the police and Bureau people outside, give chase. Juuzo calls a person called Mary and asks that he has someone who needs to use her place for a while. The boy is still unconscious so he packs him over his shoulder and heads out.
When he arrives, he sees the pouty nun standing in front of him. She gives thanks to the Lord for helping save the boy (who is called Tetsuro). She adds that he is a boy under the protection of her orphanage.
It’s actually quite a tense moment. The nun has a very pretty face with freckles and a cute voice. She also has a very scary look and you just know that she is not what she seems. Juuzo also looks as though he has picked up on this and replies to her sarcastically, “Thank Goodness. I guess I have nothing to worry about now.”
He adds that she must have been very worried about the boy since she came to a place like this all by herself. She replies that the boy is like her own child (a very peculiar thing for a nun to say).
Juuzo continues, “Nevertheless, there is an Extended running around killing people.” He asks her why she is alone.
Juuzo goes on to point out that he doesn’t believe that the Extended kidnapped the kid in the first place. He goes on to point out that the kid is not at fault here and yet his Achilles heal and tendons have been cut multiple times (to stop him being able to run away).
Stripped for Action
Gun-man head re-iterates that this is a scary area and that with all that has happened, why is the nun not so frightened of him, an Extended (with a scary face!)
The pouty nun is actually called Sister Karen and is starting to get impatient with Juuzo and starts to look angry. She makes some sarcastic comment about his intuition but we were all distracted and not really paying attention to her comments as she began to disrobe!
To his credit, Juuzo did not make any comment like, ‘Nice Rack’ or indeed, that she chose to take off her robe. She does however tell him that she wouldn’t have had to kill him if he had just handed the boy over.
Juuzo meanwhile, in an heroic display of non sexist observation, notices that her uniform (lol) has the logo of the Beruhren Corporation on her left boob (ok, maybe not that heroic). Why would an undercover nun on a covert mission to kidnapped a kid have the company logo on her jumpsuit uniform?
She later reveals that she has a big gun too. It’s easier to pull the trigger on hers though, and she shoots at Juuzo.
Only Wants Him From the Neck Up
She tells him that she only needs the kid from the neck up. That means she only wants his head. I know, I know, but how can you make assumptions in a show with busty nuns shooting at blokes who have Gun Heads?
Sister Karen tells Juuzo that he is just a useless tool that can’t fire his gun (at least she didn’t accuse him of firing blanks) and Juzzo gradually starts to get annoyed.
He comes out from behind the wall and tells her to repeat her insult. He is visibly annoyed (like steam is coming out of his ears!).
But the pouty nun looks genuinely surprised that he has made himself such an easy target. She calls at him, “You’re just an old relic of the past.” Then she takes aim. “Do you really think you can go against the Beruhren Corporation?”
Metal Body Intervention
Suddenly, the Extended dude previously accused of kidnapping shows up. He grabs hold of Sister Karen and shouts across at Juzzo to take the kid and run. Then nun however, manages to break free and after muttering something about his body belonging to the corporation, she shoots him in the face.
As he falls over the edge of the floor towards the sewer, Juuzo grabs his hand. The girl and Juuzo exchange some banter about how futile his effort is to try and save the Extended dude and Juuzo tells her that he will return for the boy. She shoots him and the two modified dudes fall over the edge towards the sewer.
She leaves, dragging the boy behind her.
Later, at the bottom of the sewer, Juuzo and the Extended client dude look at each other. Juuzo is concerned that his head will rust and frantically spins his barrel to clear it of moisture. The Extended bloke is freaked out by this although he currently has half his face blown away. The two scream in fright at each other.
It turns out that the Extended dude was originally imprisoned at a ‘facility’ and that the nun was an employee there. Of course, she isn’t a nun. The ‘facility’ is disguised as an orphanage and the patients are used by the Beruhren Corporation for extension experiments. The big experiment currently is the use of a device called Harmony that allows extended to be controlled remotely.
Remote – A Taboo?
Juuzo is shocked. Control of Extended people would be a terrible thing. The dude, was actually an empty extended cyborg without a consciousness that was being controlled remotely by an escaped person.
In an amazing twist, it turns out that the Extended person is actually the kid, Tetsuro! He looked like he was unconscious because he was actually controlling an Extended body suit! It’s very difficult to do and the Corporation cut the tendons in his arms and legs and cut his vocal cords so that he would be able to do it.
Juuzo considers that if this is true, it goes way beyond violating the Extended Law, it is a very serious thing for humanity. This is the main reason that the Corporation are after him. Then, suddenly, the metal bodysuit stops moving and talking.
Back at the Orphanage, Sister Karen has Tetsuro entrapped in a machine and is preparing to undertake an immediate ‘procedure’.
Juuzo manages to head to the Orphanage however and begins his attack on it’s defenses.
And there the show ends. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next!
No Guns Life Review – Conclusion
I guess it’s good that Juuzo is relatively cool. I mean, he isn’t some sort of macho moron that gives it the big ‘I am awesome, checkout my big gun’ all over the place. That would have been sooooo tacky and easy to do. A sensitive dude with a big metal gun for a head is much more interesting (haha, I can’t believe I wrote that – god I love reviewing anime!).
Sister Karen was interesting too, not just evil attractively evil and I suspect she is developing a bit of a ‘thing’ for the gunmetalhead. So what was good besides the story. Well the graphics were ok. The latest Japanese animation trend is to do wonderful backgrounds and fairly plain foreground characters. This was as evident here. It’s a shame. I would really liked to have seen the characters better drawn. Colours were good and the sound was great – voice acting was good too.
It’s a bit early to say if this is a show I will watch to the end of the series, but I’ll definitely be watching the next episode.
This No Guns Life Review therefore rates this episode a cool 8.5 out of 10.
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This review is copyright Tony Fawl and not for reproduction without the authors express permission.