Friday, January 5, 2018


Since starting this blog, I've more-or-less kicked off each year with something manga related. It was GUNDAM: THE ORIGIN three years in a row, followed by BIG O last year, and now it's time for GUNSMITH CATS.

This series has been a guilty pleasure of mine for a very long time, since I discovered it in college. SyFy (or as it was known back then, The Sci-Fi Channel) ran an anime marathon for some holiday or another; I think New Year's, and I watched some of their offerings. Not much of it captured my imagination, but I did find myself intrigued by a three-part mini-series called GUNSMITH CATS, which chronicled the adventures of a pair of teenage girls acting as bounty hunters in Chicago. I did a bit of research and learned that the show was spawned by an ongoing manga of the same name by Kenichi Sonoda, and that said manga was currently being published by Dark Horse. I blew some Christmas money on all the trade paperbacks then available and then began to follow the monthly comics collecting subsequent storylines, the rest is history.

I think I've probably read the series all the way through three or four times since 2000-ish, and it's always enjoyable -- though as noted above, it's a guilty pleasure. The series is exploitative and pretty shameless in its depictions of sex, nudity, and violence. But it's also just a lot of high-speed, action-packed, fun, too.

At some point in the mid-2000s, Dark Horse reissued the full series in four very thick paperbacks called the GUNSMITH CATS REVISED EDITION, and I picked those up at the time to replace my mix of older trades and comic book "floppies". Thus, the REVISED EDITION books are what I'll be using for the upcoming review series. I plan to cover half a book per week for eight weeks, which will take us up to the first week of March. I hope you'll stick around for all of it!


  1. Ahh, Gunsmith Cats...I had the first episode on VHS, back in the days where you either went subtitled or dubbed, and rather liked it. Probably because it cut out the sex and nudity, if memory serves, and focused largely on the action. I'm not a total prude, mind, but in a 30 or so minute run time, I'd rather it focus on the action.

    I've got a fondness for mid to late 90s anime and manga, the period when anime transitioned from the Voltron-Robotech styled adaptations, and being near impossible to find in it's native form, to being more readily available, so this should be a bit of a memory lane trip for me.

    1. Yeah, the cartoon was surprisingly toned down from the manga. It had some minor titillation, I think, but otherwise was pretty much straight action. I really liked it, though I haven't watched it in several years.

      I started to get into anime late in the 90s, so I do recall the days of dubbed vs. subbed videotapes (and I seem to recall that subs were usually about ten bucks more than dubs, at least at specialty retailers like Suncoast). But not long after I started watching, DVDs hit the scene, with dub and sub both usually available on the same disc.

      Those were the days...

    2. The difference was in fact $10 more for subbed. Usually, here at least, it was $19.99 dubbed, $29.99 subbed.

      If you really want to hear about the days, I have some hilarious stories about people hooking up six VCRs together to duplicate people's copies of copies of anime they'd gotten from conventions or even overseas back in the 1980s. Now that was some old school anime!