Lurkers' Retreat
ADV Films

ADV Films UK
1: VHSGS/001E Sub
2: VHSGS/002S Sub
3: VHSGS/003SD Dub & Sub

DVD
DGS/001
Regions: 2

Cert  15

Gunsmith Cats

Adapted from the manga series by Kenichi Sonoda (yes, the same one that was involved with Gall Force, Bubblegum Crisis and Genesis Survivor Gaiarth in his Artmic days), the anime is set in Chicago with all the attendant problems that brings. ADV go off into fairly long spiels about the anime on the liner notes, but if you want to know more about how the series came to be, see the documentary at the end of the first volume. There is a lot of fanboy discussion about Rally Vincent and whether she is the same person that appeared alongside Bean Bandit in Riding Bean, but as far as the manga goes, I would tend to place this saga as a distant prequel to that anime, Bean not showing up this time around, but Rally is as tough as ever as a gun shop owner cum bounty hunter with a serious gun fetish, with Minnie-May Hopkins as the other cat with an explosive (literally) personality and Becky as the snoop.

Actually, parts 1 and 2 were released some time ago, but a quick resume shows that Rally and May have got themselves into some serious brown stuff having first been instrumental in the foiling of a gun-running operation, then discover that a Russian hit-person was sent to kill the person they caught, then do in Rally and May for getting involved too far. It also appears that the police, notably the Firearms agency, has a leak which isn't making things any safer. The third ep. was released this year and winds up the story with several bangs as we discover the source of the leaks, destroy a presentation and seriously wreck the inside of a building and see if Rally can balance on high heels!

Me, I loved it! Thanks to some pressure from the buying public and some of those same fanboys, the charade that was Sukeban Deka was not repeated and the final ep. was released as a dual language version, so everyone gets a full set, not just the dub collectors. The animation was good, the research showed in the production and the story was gripping. If only some of those interminable American police series that we import could be more like this! If Kodansha ever want to continue this, they'll have my support!

Since I wrote this, ADV have finally started to release their back catalogue in the UK, so you can now see the whole series, dubbed or subbed, on DVD. Not before time, either!

[5 stars]

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