No Guns Life

No Guns Life

No Guns Life anime series cover art
No Guns Life

Overview

No Guns Life (ノー・ガンズ・ライフ) is one of those series I had heard about long before any anime for it was announced simply because of how bizarre it seemed on the surface. After all, the protagonist of the series literally has a revolver for a head — that’s pretty strange.

But once you watch the series, you quickly learn that it’s not really as bizarre as it sounds.

Yes, Juuzou has a revolver for a head, but he also lives in a futuristic dystopia in which body modifications are fairly common, with many people being turned into weapons to fight for the government against their will. When you put Juuzou’s appearance into that world, it kind of makes sense in a lot of ways.

In a world where body modifications known as extensions which turn their users into cyborgs with superhuman strength, agility, and durability; cloaking devices; and all sorts of hidden weapons, what do you expect to happen? Of course there will be those who go down the path of the “over extended.” and turn themselves into living weapons.

But, Juuzou isn’t someone who uses his over extended body to commit crimes like many in his situation do. Instead, he’s opened his own private investigator-type office, where he specializes in crimes dealing with extended.

So, that’s what this series is all about. It follows Juuzou as he solves crimes dealing with extended and over extended, while also fighting against the evil Beruhren Corp. They’re basically the evil government entity which creates most of the extended technology.

And, it seems like the Beruhren Corp also has their hand in many of the extended related crimes around the city, so they’re always lurking in the shadows.

Characters

We have three main characters for the series, Juuzou, Tetsurou, and Mary. And while there are other recurring characters and important bad guys, I’ll be skipping over them for the purposes of this review.

So, as I’ve already mentioned, Juuzou Inui is an over extended who has a revolver for a head. He came to be like this during some war in which he was drafted and forced to undergo experimental extensions. However, he doesn’t really see this as a negative — it’s just part of his life now and it helps him make a living.

Juuzoi Inui from the anime series No Guns Life
Juuzoi Inui

Tetsurou Arahabaki is allegedly the son (or grandson?) of a high ranking member of the Beruhren Corp. However, I don’t think this is actually confirmed nor denied throughout the first season of the anime. It doesn’t really seem like he’s related to anyone there, but at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised if he was.

The big reason Tetsurou is important is because he escaped from one of Beruhren Corp’s testing facilities. He has a special type of extension implanted in his throat which allows him to take control of the sub-brains of nearby extended. Basically he can control their bodies via their on-board computers.

Mary Steinberg is the third member of the crew, as well as Juuzou’s mechanic. While Juuzou is probably in his 30s or 40s, and Tetsurou is probably in his teens, I’d say Mary is in her mid 20s. And although she’s very self sufficient, she does keep Juuzou around as a pseudo bodyguard since she works in the bad part of town.

The most notable thing about Mary is that although she’s an extended mechanic and certified gearhead, she has no extensions of her own.

Tools and Trust

One of the major themes in No Guns Life is that of tools and trust — the ultimate dichotomy. Juuzou’s over extended model is known as a Gun Slave Unit, which basically explains its original purpose. They were used as tools, basically slaves, in the war.

And to further instill the fact that Gun Slave Units are nothing more than mere tools, they can’t unlock their full potential without the help of a user. Since his head is a revolver, that means Juuzou has a trigger on the back of his head — which he can’t reach. By pulling this trigger, the user of the Gun Slave Unit can unleash its ultimate weapon.

Ever since the war, Juuzou has made it his own personal rule to not allow anyone to pull his trigger, because that would mean admitting he’s a tool. And, there are other ways in which the concept of human tools springs up in the series, such as when Tetsurou uses the bodies of extended as tools with his own extension.

Karen holding a double barreled revolver from the anime series No Guns Life
Karen holding a double barreled revolver

On the other side is the idea of trust which is just as pervasive throughout the series. While it’s true that Juuzou’s trigger symbolizes the idea that he’s a tool, it’s also used to show who he trusts. While he doesn’t want anyone to pull his trigger, if it needs to be done he wants someone he trusts to do it.

And the same applies to Tetsurou. While Tetsurou has the ability to use other extended as tools, over time he learns that this is something he shouldn’t do without their consent. He didn’t like being used as a tool by the Beruhren Corp, so he doesn’t want to use others as tools — he wants to earn their trust.

Conclusion

Overall I give No Guns Life a 6/10. It was pretty good, but definitely not one of the best anime around, or even in the fall 2019 season. It didn’t really have great animation, and many times the art was pretty flat as well. And as for the story, it wasn’t as good as I was hoping.

The OP and ED for the series weren’t all that special either. I’m not even sure which one I liked more. Maybe the OP visuals and the ED song?

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2 Replies to “No Guns Life”

  1. the null animation ended up killing anime, a shame that such a good manga is treated like this, while other LN and menga quite mediocre others receive a good adaptation

    1. I agree it’s a shame, but at the same time I didn’t really expect this series to have amazing animation. I was viewing it like a Cop Craft-type series from the start. Pretty good story, not too much going on visual-wise.

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