Gunsmith Cats Revised Vol. #03 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A+

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Dark Horse
  • MSRP: 16.95
  • Pages: 454
  • ISBN: 978-1-59307-818-8
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Gunsmith Cats Revised

Gunsmith Cats Revised Vol. #03

By Andrew Kent     November 20, 2007
Release Date: August 29, 2007

Gunsmith Cats Revised Vol.#03
© Dark Horse

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kenichi Sonoda
Translated by:Dana Lewis & Toren Smith
Adapted by:

What They Say
This third Revised Omnibus edition continues the frantic adventures of Rally and Minnie-May. This time the volumes formerly known as "Bean Bandit" and "Kidnapped" comprise this 450+ page book.

The Review
I felt a little bad, ripping up on Exxaxion the way I did a while back. Sonoda’s a good artist that has given me many good times over the years. So I’m glad to get a shot at reviewing this one, because it’s absolutely pure Sonoda of the old school. GSC was the first anime I bought; the manga was one of the first titles I found. Everything I ever loved about his writing, his art, and his action is here in this volume.

First, let’s cover the technical aspects of this re-release. First, the book lost some page size in the conversion, and the paper quality isn’t quite the same as the original release – feels a little coarser, not the same white (and I haven’t exactly taken good care of my original volume – sucker has seen some heavy reading and sunlight.) The blacks are as well-saturated as ever, though, and it doesn’t FEEL cheap. The smaller panels make some of the fine detail a little harder to see – not good, as that’s a selling point of Sonoda, with his insane car and gun fetishes – but overall it’s not a major compromise. And hey, it costs significantly less!

The biggest transition is the unflipped art. Big difference! Not so much of an effect on the gunplay, but finally the car chases look right. It was always a bit of a mental adjustment when you were seeing Rally driving from the right-hand seat of her Cobra; the unflipped version feels quite natural. Not blaming DH for having flipped it originally, as it’s just a different market than it was, but it’s a nice bit of detail to have added for the re-release.

This volume starts off with a rollicking Bean vs. Rally story, including a three-way road race, two or three shootouts, and lots of Bean as an incredible bad-ass. It then goes on to the entire Mr. Smart arc, with yet more racing, some fun magic tricks, the Desert Eagle and a grenade launcher, and... well, I can live with the kids, I suppose. Lots of driving and action, some Rally back story, and frankly not a lot of May; she provides a good chunk of the book’s meager fan service, but it’s on quite a low level by Sonoda’s standards. (It’s also offset by the strip club right out of the gate, Rally in tight leathers, and also, er, by some Bean-beefcake. Fair enough, I suppose...)

Also somewhat amazingly, Sonoda doesn’t go off on one of his gun-fanboy or car-fanboy chapters here; all the wanking over how cool a particular gun or ride is happens in the context of someone doing something neat with it. No chapters of Rally gushing over her CZ-75 here, not that it’s bad every so often.

If you’re any kind of action manga fan, and you haven’t read Gunsmith Cats... why are you still sitting there? Come on, it’s 450+ pages for less than twenty bucks, and there’s two other volumes before this! The real question, though, is whether to buy if you own the original release, and that’s more iffy. If the page flipping really bothered you, this edition will fix that for a low price. If you never really worried about it, though, you might not need both taking up the shelf space...


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