You’ve heard it before. The gritty cyberpunk future, where life is cheap, corporations rule, and the line between man and machine is blurred.
The private detective, grizzled and world-weary, just trying to make a buck and survive this rotten world, except he’s got a sliver of humanity when it counts, and also a giant revolver for a head. Wait, you haven’t heard that last bit before? Me neither. That’s only the beginning of the weirdness you’ll find in the series No Guns Life.
The story is set an unstated point in the future in an unnamed city. The world is recovering from a great war where many people were modified into cyborgs called Extended. Some Extended have difficulties readjusting to normal life, and either go berserk or turn to crime, which is where private detective Juzo Inui comes in. He himself is an Extended, a rare and powerful type called a Gun Slave Unit, though in order to fire his gun head he requires a partner, and he doesn’t trust anyone enough to give them that control over him. Juzo specializes in dealing with Extended who go rogue, and has a good enough handle on his life, until a case involving a missing kid lands him in trouble with the government, the local Megacorp, and an anti-technology cult, among other dangerous individuals. In order to survive and protect the kid, Juzo is forced to make alliances he didn’t expect, reckon with his forgotten pre-transformation life, and learn to trust others again.
While the initial setting of No Guns Life might lack a bit in novelty, it more than makes up for this with its sheer style and fun. We’ve all seen cyborgs before, but the Extended are visually fascinating, unique even amongst themselves. Some are goofy, some are creepy, and some, like the heads of the villainous Beruhren Corporation, are vast, alien, and terrifying. The series has plenty of good fights, mostly for its scrappy bruiser Juzo, but several of the other characters have interesting powers and abilities I don’t want to spoil, and their fights are also a blast. And while the story is mostly dark and serious, there are moments of humor to keep the mood from becoming too oppressive.
. As to how No Guns Life deals with these questions, it suggests that no matter how metallic you are on the outside, inside you are exactly as human as you make up your mind to be, and even if you were made to kill, you can choose to do otherwise.