Gangsta. Vol. 7 by Kohske (a J!-ENT Manga Review)
August 7, 2016 by Dennis Amith
“Gangsta.” is an action-packed series about the brutal city, those involved in criminal families and now with mass murders and a gang war bringing chaos to the city, how will the series protagonists survive this never-ending battle? Brutal, shocking and riveting, Kohske’s “Gansta.” vol. 7 is recommended!
Image courtesy of © GANGSTA. Kohske 2011. All Rights Reserved.
MANGA TITLE: Gangsta. Vol. 6
STORY AND ART BY: Kohske
FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shinchosha Publishing Co.
PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Viz Signature
RATED: M for Mature
Available on July 19, 2016
In the city of Ergastulum, a shady ville filled with made men and petty thieves, whores on the make and cops on the take, there are some deeds too dirty for even its jaded inhabitants to touch. Enter the “Handymen,” Nic and Worick, who take care of the jobs no one else will handle.
Prompted by a gruesome message, Marco heads out to rescue the kidnapped Constance. Drawn to a place he’d consigned to a dead past, he’s plunged into a desperate fight against an enemy he once thought of as a brother. It’s a time of betrayals and reversals, separations and farewells, as chaos threatens to tear the city of Ergastulum apart..
Constance Raveau has been captured by the Destroyers and is now being tortured.
Wanting revenge, Marco Adriano now goes to take on the Destroyers alone.
Meanwhile, the person responsible for the hostilities against the Twilights is revealed.
All this and more in vol. 7 of “Gangsta.”.
What is “Gangsta.” about?
In the city of Ergastulum, the area is full of thieves, whores and murderers. And as for the police, they are corrupted and chaos is king.
This is the setting for the manga series known as “Gangsta.”, written and illustrated by female mangaka Kohske.
Debuting in 2009 with the short story “Postman” for Shonen GanGan Magazine, “Gangsta” has been running in “Monthly Comic Bunch” in 2011 and a total of five tankobon volumes have been published in Japan.
And now the manga series was released in Feb. 2014 in the U.S. as part of Viz Media’s “Viz Signature” line.
“Gangsta.” begins with a prostitute being assaulted outside a building. Meanwhile, inside a building are two owners of the business known as “Handymen”, Nic and Worick, two men paid to take on assassination or difficult jobs that police or big business can’t handle.
As Nic and Worick are completing a job with the elder businesswoman inside the building, they see the beaten prostitute going inside the building.
The Handymen are then called for business with the police department and are sent to go after a gang leader named Barry Abbot (the man seen beating on the prostitute in the opening pages). Both Nick and Worick are hired by the inspector to eliminate him and his gang (including his prostitutes) as they are doing business in the restricted zone. They work out a deal that they can take whatever they can in return for killing them.
As Nic and Worick go after the gang and eliminated everyone including the gang leader known as Barry. They run into the prostitute and give her the opportunity to escape. But instead, the prostitute named Alex comes back and instead of killing her, they decide to take her (as in agreement with the inspector) and make her as part of the Handymen as one of their employees.
Meanwhile, as Alex continues to work for the Handymen, she tries to figure both Nic and Worick out. Is Nic an ex-mercenary, does he talk at all? Why does Worick wear an eyepatch?
One day, Alex sees a newspaper article about a massacre of the Arcangelo family 20-years-ago, all were killed except a 13-year-old boy who was 13 at the time. And the perpetrator, said to be a boy hired as a mercenary by the family. And Alex begins to wonder, can the two boys be Worick and Nic? Is Worick the missing boy that was never found?
In volume 2, a gang war seems to be inevitable as Corsica and Cristiano are engaged in a battle of outwitting each other and destroy each other’s families with the use of Twilights. But what happens when the Handymen come and Nic must take on another Twilight A/O.
And for volume 3, we learn about the history of Nic and Worick and how they met. The volume also provides valuable insight to the Twilights, the mafia families and the employment plus backstory of the hatred towards the Twilights.
In volume 3 sets up the storyline of what is a Twilight, volume 4 features a storyline in which the Twilights have become the hunted as anti-Twilights have infiltrated Ergastulum. Many Twilights are killed in the process but the Cristiano Family led by Loretta Cristiano Amodio, are trying to make sure that the Twilights are protected. And an important family for the Monroe Family which distributes Cerebret, essential to the survival of Twilights.
And as the Handymen are hired to protect them, what happens when a mysterious group infiltrates the Cristiano’s club and tries to massacre everyone including Loretta and those employed by the Cristiano and Monroe Family.
This could be the beginning of a major gang war in Ergastulum!
In volume 4, with the shocking massacre by the Hunters, word is spreading of what has happened to the Cristiano family and the Monroe family are put in alert as they know they will be next. Meanwhile, the sadistic hunters consisting of Erica and Mikhail have targeted the Paulklee Guild for their next massacre where Doug, Ginger and Gina Paulklee live.
Meanwhile, Nicolas worries what will happen to his love Constance Raveau and Worick Arcangelo does what he can to protect the Monroe family.
But more hunters start to emerge!
In volume 5, out of nowhere, two hunters come out and slaughters hundreds of Twilights. Could it be the making of a major gang war in the city?
In volume 6, with Delico Monroe finding out that his long lost sister was involved in the slaughter of Twilights, he, Yang with the help of The Handymen’s Nicolas Brown go to stop Erica, but they come across the other hunter, a young powerful boy named Mikhail.
In order to fight against the powerful hunters, Mikhail is given an experimental drug. But being the first test subject, will he survive from its first use?
In volume 7, Constance Raveau has been kidnapped and tortured by the Destroyers and now Marco Adriano is out for revenge. But will he be enough to take on the Destroyers? And who is responsible for the murder of the Twilights?
We have seen the hostilities against the twilights as many have been butchered, families have been slaughtered and many have fallen in battle to protect them.
The city of Ergastulum is now in a gang war but someone is responsible for the hostilities and all is revealed in volume 7.
As Adriano goes to rescue Constance, he comes in contact with the Twilight murderers known as the Destroyers. But is he enough to take on this murderous bunch?
Reminiscent of Frank Miller’s “Sin City”, where the world has gone corrupt and in the city of Ergastulum, a city overrun by thugs, gangs, mafia, whores and murderers, the police are just as bad and when the going gets tough, the only way for the police to maintain order is by hiring mercenaries, in this case, the Handymen, Nic and Worick.
Nic is the silent, deadly killer with a sword. Worick is the playboy with an eyepatch that is good with a gun and together, they are two men who aren’t afraid of taking on the most corrupt people in Ergastulum. And it’s not a duty done for the sake of morality but to them, it’s money and survival.
As these two men are mysterious individuals and through the eyes of former prostitute Alex, who joins the Handymen as their personal secretary or whatever she can be used for in order to get the job done, even Alex, has her thoughts on both men and their mysterious background.
As Nic and Worick’s past are slowly revealed, as with Alex’s past background, these three will need to work together but most of all be careful with the new dangers that have come their way.
And once again, through another volume of “Gangsta.”, we get to see how corrupt this world they live in but how they fit in to all the chaos. There is no one character that is pure in Ergastulum, everything is corrupt, a lot of violence over runs the city and this volume does a great job as showing background of these Twilights and why they have become the hunted and characters that we have seen in past issues, will not survive in the wake of the Hunters’ onslaught.
But with the major revelation of who is responsible for the slaughtering of Twilights, the city of Ergastalum will never be the same!
As for the manga, Kohske has developed a intriguing series full of sex and violence but also an illustration style that is unique to her style of work. The manga is different from your standard yakuza storyline or your assassins for hire manga series. There is a western influence and it will be interesting to see how the story of “Gangsta.” will continue to grow overtime.
If there is one problem with “Gangsta.”, it’s how long it takes for a volume to be released. Volume 6 was released in Japan on July 2014, volume 7 was released a year later in July 2015 (and released a year after in the US in July 2016). As Kohske has been releasing side stories in Japan with two volumes of “GANGSTA: CURSED” focusing on the origin of Marco Adriano, suffice to say, the fact that volume 8 has not been released in Japan, I get a feeling fans of the manga series will have to wait awhile for the next volume and one can hope that “GANGSTA: CURSED” is released in the US for the time being.
Overall, “Gangsta.” is an action-packed series about the brutal city, those involved in criminal families and now with mass murders and a gang war bringing chaos to the city, how will the series protagonists survive this never-ending battle?
Brutal, shocking and riveting, Kohske’s “Gansta.” vol. 7 is recommended!
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