Gangsta. is a really fucking cool show with a fantastic and surprisingly diverse and big cast all of which you come to care for and like, a really awesome soundtrack, and some really unique cast members like a main character who is deaf and another who is a literal prostitute. It’s also incredibly badass and has a top-tier OP and the show’s art is pretty nice when it’s not cutting corners. Everything about it is just so damn good and this had – yes, ‘had’ – a high chance of ending up either my AOTY or runner up…and instead it’s now ended up in the running for biggest disappointment.
There are two main complaints with this show – really the only complaints I have, sadly one of them is a massive show-ruining issue. First, the latter half kind of lowers in quality especially in the last 3 or 4 episodes where it tries to have too much action and ruins the pacing and overall atmosphere it had up to this point that made it so good. It becomes kind of a generic action series yet at the same time keeps shoving in slow moments or random story stuff in which would be fine but it just feels all mashed together at random during this portion.
Second would be the fucking “ending” or the lack thereof. The final episode leaves you completely on a giant cliffhanger with absolutely no hints of a season 2 either (and with the studio going under, it’s never going to happen anyway). I’m fine with shows that have to end without concluding their full story, sure, but you don’t end with a main character 90% dead, a giant war that just started an episode prior heating up, and all this crazy shit just now popping off then say “lol nevermind” and cut it all off to make you go buy the source material. They KNOW the episode count, there’s no reason this should EVER HAPPEN. Worse, they even wasted time slots on things like a fucking recap episode. Gangsta deserves to be a 9 or 10 depending on how you feel about the first issue, but this one drops it down drastically because – as I’ve said before, the point might be the journey, but if the destination is shit there’s no reason to bother walking there. This makes the whole experience maybe a 6 at the very best and that’s being pretty lenient.
This is literally one of the WORST “go read the manga” endings I’ve ever seen in my life. The entire story is right in the first third of the climax and it just cuts off randomly. Even as a regular episode it would be an awkward cut-off point, and instead we get it for the finale of a series. I loved this show, it was so fucking cool and had this great feeling to it that shows like it rarely achieve and so many things I could list off as fantastic – but this is ridiculous and inexcusable. Hell, it’s outright insulting. If they knew they couldn’t find an actual stopping point they could have easily simply not got us into this story arc to begin with, and that’s only worse when you remember – as mentioned – they wasted a week on a fucking recap. I’d say this is very close in terms of how just plain insulting this ‘ending’ was to Space Brothers which didn’t have an ending either, nor did it deliver on the “space brothers” aspect of the ENTIRE FUCKING TITLE AND POINT OF THE SHOW. Though, at least Space Brothers gives you some kind of stopping point that isn’t a cliffhanger – it’s just a dry disappointing ending, while Gangsta just doesn’t give you ANYTHING. It just stops with a lead character dying on a street, a massive localized war breaking out, and shit popping off right before throwing the credits at you and saying that was it.
Manglobe was never a good company, not only did they make mostly shit, they barely fucking made anything in their many years in the industry. There’s no doubt their lackadaisical attitude helped them go bankrupt, but bullshit like this “ending” is definitely also a factor in their sales just not making enough to keep them afloat the few times they’d get off their asses and make something. With companies like Madhouse actively funding projects with their own money that don’t have a chance to sell (best example being Chihayafuru 2) purely out of love of working on those shows, it’s really just all the more pathetic when you look at Manglobe who, aside a couple early exceptions in their run, could barely push out a shiny fucking turd that didn’t even taper off properly on the way out ending up bankrupt.
Gangsta does right by it’s title. Just like a typical gang member it’s seemingly really cool for a bit and then abruptly stops existing just as things seem to start moving forward. Fuck this show and good riddance to the ‘loss’ of Manglobe.