Gunsmith Cats: Bulletproof

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“Fast, hardware-heavy fun in Chicago, Japanese-style!”

Watching this dubbed was, for once, viable since despite its Japanese origins, it’s firmly set in and around Chicago. So we did sit through some of it in English, but the accents were woefully Cal-girl and thus we’d recommend sticking with the Japanese, even more unlikely though it might be. That out of the way, this is an action-packed romp, in three episodes but effectively one story. Rally Vincent and May Hopkins, one a crack marksman, the other an explosives expert, own a gun store, but are blackmailed by the ATF into helping nail an arms ring. It’s not as simple as it seems, since the perps have connections at a high level, and the services of a former Soviet Special Forces hitwoman.

The episodic structure means there’s never a dull moment and you effectively get three climaxes for the price of one, with the car chase in #2 perhaps my favourite. If it occasionally teeters on the edge of cheesecake – Rally gets her blouse shot open – it’s made clear early on that the heroines have little time for romantic dalliance. Indeed, there’s little time for anything much, including character development, but the story charges on at a great pace, so it’s not as if they’re wasting time.

You can see why Sonoda set it in America, since handguns are illegal in Japan, and the crowded streets would likely impair the auto quotient. Creator Kenichi Sonoda’s fondness for fast cars was apparent in his earlier work, Riding Bean, and by the end of this, Chris had decided she wants a Shelby GT Cobra, just the like the one Rally drives. Drool. :-) A lot of effort went into reproducing Chicago and wiser heads than mine (who have actually been there!) say it’s accurately detailed. Though undeniably great fun, perhaps the most amusement we got was from pretending the opening song was the theme to Saturday Night Live, to which it bears a spooky resemblance…

Dir: Mori Takeshi
Star (voice): Michiko Neya, Kae Araki, Aya Hisakawa

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