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[ café reviews ]


Gun Smith Cats
Episode 1: The Neutral Zone

[ production info ]

Copyright: © 1995 Sonada Kenichi, Kodansha (Japan), VAP / TBS, © 1996 AD Vision (North America)
Length: 30 minutes
Rating: NR, Contains violence, mature language and adult situations, parental guidance suggested
Format: Subtitled (VHS)

Based on the manga series by: Sonada Kenichi Director: Mori Takeshi Producers: Mizuo Yoshimasa, Ito Umeo, Okuno Toshiaki Character Design: Sonoda Kenichi English Version Executive Producer: John Ledford Translation by: Arakawa Masako, Chris Hutts

[ plot summary ]

vhs jacket

After taking down wanted criminal Jonathan Washington, Rally Vincent and May Hopkins are offered a job they can't refuse -- help ATF agent Bill Collins crack Washington's gun-running ring, or risk a business audit of the worst kind. As if that isn't enough, Rally's house is broken into by would-be thieves wanting to make off with her rather large and eclectic collection of firearms -- firearms that aren't exactly legal. Perhaps not so surprisingly, the Collins and the ATF are on the scene again. It's now up to Rally to infiltrate the ring and open the doors for the ATF... except that Collins seems to have got himself in a bit of a bind...

[ capsule review ]

Sonoda Kenichi bring his distinctive style of artwork to a beautifully and meticulously drawn series in Gun Smith Cats. The technical aspects of this feature are of meticulous quality, approaching those of feature cinematic films (and surpassing some as well!) Apparently, the production and animation team went to Chicago and Los Angeles to do their research, and the effort really shows. Backgrounds are wonderfully rendered, machines equally so, and the characters -- well, they're typically Sonoda. Cute, bouncy in all the right places, and expressive without being humanly detailed. More caricatures of people than anything else. If there's one thing this will tell you is: 'Don't take this series seriously!' After all, this is the same guy that brought you this series' predecessor, Riding Bean. (Speaking of character designs, just how does Rally's hair stick out like that?)

There's enough fire-fights and silly violence in this feature to satisfy even the most jaded fan -- and notice that no one actually gets killed in this episode. Lots of shots, a fair amount of blood, some big bangs, but surprisingly, no deaths. Speaking of loud noises, the Shelby Cobra seems to make all the right sounds...

The story is -- well, rather inconsequential. The show moves along at a decent clip (no pun intended), but things seem to happen for no apparent reason, other than 'it's convenient' -- case in point: Collins just 'happens' to get captured so that he'd be available for the final fire-fight. Humour is the key to a show like this, and for the most part, it does OK. I do get tired of characters like May Hopkins, but even I cracked a smile at the effects of her grenades. It's not a show for everyone, but if you like shows like 'Police Academy' and 'Naked Gun', you'll probably get a kick out of this.
- AN, 98.01.15

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/A 3 stars N/A
Direction: N/A 4 stars N/A
Acting: N/A 3 stars N/A
Animation: N/A 5 stars N/A
Music: N/A rate_04.gif N/A
Translation: N/A rate_05.gif N/A
Overall Rating: N/A 3 stars N/A

[ café trivia ]

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