The strangeness that is 2020 continues, as the virus interrupts our daily lives as well as the world economy. It’s created challenges for the anime industry, too, causing several shows to be bumped to the next season as the virus made it impossible for studios to stick to already-crushing production schedules. One such show is the second season of No Guns Life, a great cyberpunk anime I’m enjoying a lot. Let’s see if it’s a show you should watch!
Why You Should Watch the No Guns Life Cyberpunk Anime
As I mentioned in a previous post, No Guns Life is the hardboiled story of a private detective whose head is a giant gun, because he was kidnaped and turned into a cyborg soldier (called Extended) to fight in a great war that ended a few years ago. Now society is littered with these half-human, half-cyborgs, who have been relegated to second-class citizen status, and who must visit technicians to get their mechanical parts serviced regularly the way you or I would go get a haircut. Our hero Juzo works as a “resolver” — 処理屋 shoriya in Japanese, though if they don’t make a pun of the similarity of this word to “revolver” in the English dub it will be a shame — who solves the problems of his fellow Extended and never leaves any job unfinished.
There are many reasons to watch #NoGunsLife, incl its hardboiled SF story and innovative concepts (the MC is a cyborg whose head is literally a gun). And the OP is amazing.
— Peter Payne (@JListPeter) August 28, 2020
Who should watch No Guns Life? If you’re a fan of well-written and hard-hitting cyberpunk anime, you totally should check it out. And if like me, you’re a fan of the Ghost in the Shell series who was less than pleased to see the new SAC_2045 was made with 100% CGI animation, you should embrace this show, as it happily sticks to the traditional animation style we know and love.
In fact, the animation in season 2 is markedly better than in the first season, presumably because the animators had extra time to get the animation right thanks to the “Covid-19 vacation” (as my carefree Italian friend calls the current crisis). I’ve been pleasantly surprised by all aspects of the second season so far.
Why Do Some Fans Not Support Second Seasons?
The favorite past-time of many fans is to ask for more seasons of whatever anime they loved in the past, even if the story ended perfectly. And yet, there’s a strange tendency for fans to sometimes not support additional seasons of anime when they finally get them. Some reasons might include…
- Sometimes so much time has passed that fans have moved on, and have trouble getting into the groove when new animation drops. The huge gap between Attack on Titan seasons 1 and 2, which caused fans to assume no more anime was coming, was one example.
- Another example was Code Geass. The original show was great, so why try to bring it back a decade later? I couldn’t get into the new films.
- Since “the light that burns twice as bright burns half as long,” often the huge popularity of a show dooms the second season to poor reception. This happened with Osomatsu-san, which was a smash hit in its first season, but fans had tired of the show’s format by season 2, and Blu-ray sales fell off by 90%.
- Some seasons are, ahem, money grabs by the studios who want to cash in when the first season of a season is a hit, despite there being no particular story to tell. To this day, I pretend there’s only a single perfect season of Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions, because the first season was such a well-executed story of young people maturing and falling in love.
- Sometimes fans support an anime because of a certain writer, but if they’re not involved with future seasons, the fans will not stick around. This is common with anime written by Urobuchi Gen, and later incarnations of Madoka Magica, Psycho-Pass, and Aldnoah.Zero all seemed to languish with fans because he wasn’t directly involved with them.
- One aspect of the anime industry fans might not be aware of is how dependent it is on the pachinko industry, who often license anime for their pachinko machines to bring in new customers, in the same way, there are licensed Star Wars video poker machines in Vegas. Often a new season will be made simply to create buzz for a new pachinko line, like the 2017 fourth season of Hell Girl, and this can cause fans to assume creators will be “phoning it in” for a paycheck and not get excited about the new season.
Because of this tendency for fans to not always support the second seasons of anime they’re usually so vocal about, I go out of my way to try to watch additional seasons of any show I loved the first time around, and evangelize it to J-List customers, if I can.
Thanks for reading my post on the No Guns Life cyberpunk anime, and why some fans don’t support second seasons when they get them. Got any feedback for us? Tell us in the comments below, or on Twitter or Facebook!
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