HERE ARE SOME THOUGHTS ON THE FIRST TWO GUNSMITH CATS VOLUMES

Or the first Revised Edition really big omnibus collection thing with 16 chapters. WHATEVER.

1) For a dude who has apparently never shot a gun or driven a car (at least at the time he wrote Gunsmith Cats), Ken’ichi Sonoda sure knows a hell of a lot about them. Fortunately, I have long since picked up the habit of tacitly accepting whatever technological details handed to me from years of reading science fiction and fantasy novels, so the fact that

a) I can’t own a gun because I’d blow my head off with my tendency to fidget with things
and
b) my entire knowledge about how cars operate is derived entirely from which bits of my recently-deceased Ford Taurus broke down

doesn’t have an adverse effect on my enjoyment of Gunsmith Cats.

2) It might just be because I expected the series to be a series of self-contained arcs (or even just chapter-long vignettes), as this seems typical of action-oriented series, but the flow of the story actually has each arc bleeding into one another, for what appears to be a grand overarching story involving whatever Mafia syndicate that keeps showing up. Even on the chapter level, there’s very little reliance on traditional cliffhangers: many chapters seem largely self-contained, with plot threads left to be picked up by later chapters.

I suspect this is one of my (many) NO SHIT, SHERLOCK moments, and is probably a common structure for the monthly serials (Gunsmith Cats ran in Afternoon), but it was a pleasant surprise. I mean, I was expecting HELL YEAH GUNS BANG BANG PEW PEW OH ALSO NAKED GIRLS but not necessarily a smooth plot flow. Or whatever you call this.

3) Speaking of OH ALSO NAKED GIRLS there is a two-page sequence where Minnie-May masturbates. She is 17 and also apparently the World’s Greatest and Most Accomplished Prostitute. I am pretty sure she is also the only person in the series who has thus far engaged, or attempted to engage, in any form of consensual sexual activity. I just thought I’d point this out, especially in light of Ken’ichi Sonoda apparently being married to a children’s book author.

4) RALLY VINCENT IN SAFETY GLASSES. This is my PSA to inform the world that safety glasses are officially sexier than actual glasses. Or maybe those are actually sunglasses. WHATEVER. She should wear them more often.

5) The random kid in Chapter 12 who crosses the street to see a bunny and inadvertently manages to sabotage Gray’s car because her loose jacket gets caught in the axles of his car is officially the biggest badass of the entire volume. Completely unfazed by two cars running over her. She needs a spinoff series. NOW.

So, yeah, does this post serve any valuable purpose other than “HEY I JUST READ SOME GUNSMITH CATS” which really shouldn’t be worthy of contacting any kind of media? No, not really. Should I get a Tumblr for this sort of nonsense? MAYBE. MAYBE NOT. TIME WILL TELL.

ALSO: SAFETY GLASSES! You might need them to experience the slowly-unfolding Strike Witches schadenfreude (is it really schadenfreude if we enjoy ourselves while watching Strike Witches? Are we actually enjoying ourselves or are we lost in a mire of irony? Why am I self-promoting?)

3 Responses to “HERE ARE SOME THOUGHTS ON THE FIRST TWO GUNSMITH CATS VOLUMES”


  1. 1 21stcenturydigitalboy 29 September 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Well, that particular mafia’s arc ends in volume 2, but the ending is absolutely amazing. The next arc, however, is a mixed bag, and I’m not onto volume 3 yet.

    Minnie May is my favorite prostitute ever.

    I didn’t realize how huge of a gun enthusiast I was until I started reading this manga.

  2. 2 Cuchlann 2 October 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Sonoda apparently owns thousands of dollars (American) worth of model guns that are supposed to be painstakingly accurate; they just don’t shoot. He’s a huge detail freak, which comes out so well in the manga.

    He was one of the first manga-ka to complain about American distributors flipping manga images, I think — because he’d taken the trouble to put drivers on the right-hand side of the road, since it was set in America, and suddenly everything flipped around again and Chicago drivers were acting like they were in Tokyo. I have an old issue of the Dark Horse release, actually (yes, one chapter in a big, American-style comic issue). It’s some of the first manga I ever read.

  3. 3 lovelyduckie 8 June 2011 at 4:26 pm

    I purchased these omnibus volumes but haven’t read them yet. I’ve become a bit of a manga hoarder, I’m so worried about volumes going OOP that I buy more series then I currently have time to read.


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