This was admittedly unfair of me to do but I was ready to dismiss No Guns Life entirely because of the design for its main protagonist, Juzo Inui (Junichi Suwabe). Come on, the guy has a revolver for a head. At first glance, it looks really silly and before watching, I couldn’t but feel that it was an on the nose effort to demonstrate how gritty and edgy the show’s world would be. It all just seem like something I wouldn’t take seriously.
But surprisingly enough, Juzo’s character design was the first thing about No Guns Life‘s world that I was able to buy into. The writing smartly acknowledges that Juzo’s appearance is odd. Even in a world where cyborgs (called “Extended” in-universe) exist in all shapes and sizes, people give Juzo funny looks. Some even ask the same questions you the viewer would be asking such as whether or not you can pull the trigger (apparently, you can) and if moisture could rust his head (apparently, it could). There’s implications that there’s a dark backstory behind Juzo’s origins but for the most part, the show is willing to make light of it and that kind of awareness is going a long way in making you buy such a ridiculous character design. Also, you have Junichi Suwabe playing the lead character and that’s always a plus.
The jury is still out as for how the actual story will fare. Juzo appears to be a private detective though you don’t get to see him do any actual detective work in this episode. His first client, a fellow Extended, simply tasks him with escorting a boy he rescued, Tetsuro (Daiki Yamashita), from a secret agent who masquerades as a nun (it’s slightly less silly than it sounds). Some twists and turns do come about, you later find out that Tetsuro is a highly valued lab experiment and that the client was a husk he was telepathically controlling, but those revelations are practically gift wrapped to you. The characters eventually spill the beans and Juzo hardly gets to make a deduction of his own. This form of progression isn’t bad but it does give the impression that mystery isn’t what the show is mainly about. I’m more convinced action will take center stage but that doesn’t make a huge presence either. Juzo’s fight with the crazy nun is heavy on exposition and while the premiere does end with him punching a train, that moment is cut off before you get to see more. Presumably, Episode 2 will give a stronger indication over what the show is focusing on.
Whatever the case may be, this show succeeded in making me want to find out. Even with the detective aspect is trivialized, the events of the premiere were still quite captivating. And in general, the show demonstrates that it has a lot of control over its tone, especially so that you can accept that the main character has a gun for a head. Action or mystery, I’m hoping No Guns Life will be worth the time.
Thanks for reading!