Summer 2015 Spotlight: Disappointment of the Season

Well, I ended up checking out 31 shows this season. Considering I have already dropped 10 of them, you might think that picking up that many shows in the first place was a huge waste of time. But it wasn’t. To be honest, there weren’t that many shows that actually disappointed me. Indifference, boredom and pessimistic predictions being fulfilled were the main reasons that I dropped shows. Some shows like Bikini Warriors and God Eater were actually so boring that it was fun to write about how boring they were. Gate, Overlord and Jitsu wa Watashi wa, on the other hand, made me angry, but I never expected to love them, so I can’t call them disappointing.

There was really only one show that I had high expectations for that turned out to be disappointing.

 

Disappointment of the Season: Gangsta.

The first episode of Gangsta was fine. It introduced us to a city full of, well, gangsters. This setting was pretty interesting, and the way that Worick and Nick, the main characters, did business was fun to watch. Nick’s deafness was also a refreshingly novel element that is pretty uncommon in anime and manga(the only other example I can think of on short notice is Koe no Katach). In addition, I liked Nina, the young nurse. Her relationship with Nick was an example of something heart-warming in a world where everything is dark, gritty, and, above all, edgy.

Gangsta disapp 01

And it’s that last aspect that ends up being the main issue I had with Gangsta. First of all, most of the characters talked with that stereotypical “gangster voice” that you hear in many anime. I happen to dislike that voice. Secondly, power levels and tragic backstory. Nick is some kind of genetically engineered super soldier or something like that, and Worick’s family was killed by assassins, or something like that, I can’t actually remember exactly because I didn’t pay attention to those parts. But my point is that I feel like neither of those things were necessary to the show. Gangsters can be gangsters without having traumatic pasts, and gangsters can fight each other in gang wars without having literal power levels.

Last, but certainly not least, on the list of things that disappointed me is Worick’s character. I don’t mind that he’s voiced by Junichi Suwabe, but I do mind the fact that Worick is like, and sounds exactly like, one other character voiced by Suwabe: Space Dandy. Now, Dandy ended up being a fitting main character for a show like Space Dandy, but I don’t like him at all in Gangsta. Worick is goofy in a way that I feel clashes with the grittiness and darkness of the setting(grittiness and darkness are fine by me, as long as they’re competently woven into the show), not to mention that it clashes with his tragic backstory. Now, I assume the latter clash will be explained by a personality change as a result of PTSD or something, but considering the fact that fixing that still leaves the handful of other issues unchanged, I’m not sticking around long enough to find out.

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