Format: 3 OVA
Dates: 11/1/1995 to 9/1/1996
Rally Vincent is a weapons expert. Minnie May loves blowing things to smithereens. What better pair to own and operate a gun shop, right? Well, the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) sure doesn’t think so, and blackmails the two underage shopowners into working as bounty hunters. Rally and May are left with no choice but to track down Russian criminal Natasha Radinov. Little do they know the pair are getting themselves involved in a conspiracy larger then either of them could imagine.
summary by Kain
Highs: Lights, camera, and lots o’ action; cool, calculating characters on both sides; surroundings true to Chicago
Lows: Needs to be longer; animation is sub-par for a contemporary OVA
When I read a preview for this anime, I wrote it off as another of those “chicks with guns” fan service anime that we’ve been bombarded with these last few years. I was correct to a point. What we have here is a kickin’ action series that puts itself head and shoulders above others cut from the same cloth.
Sonoda Kenichi is one bear for detail. He wanted his environs to be authentic Chicago, so he flew out to the Windy City and took photographs. His effort has paid off in spades. The weaponry and Rally’s Shelby Cobra are all accurate as far as I can determine, with each used generously during the multitudes of action sequences.*
What hurts the series is that it’s all action and nothing else. I wanted to know more about Rally and Natasha’s backgrounds and how they came to their current predicaments. Also, for a mid-’90s OVA series, the quality of animation is reminiscent of a longer television series with a smaller budget. It’s not terrible, but I expected more.
Fans of the manga complain that the anime is toned down and somewhat bland. Indeed there are very few ecchi scenes considering all the main characters are female. That’s a first. Also those seeking flying body parts and copious amounts of blood will be disappointed. Nevertheless, for what it brings to the table, this anime makes a good addition to any collection.
*”The anime adaptation was directed by Takeshi Mori. Although Mori was interested in cars, he had no knowledge of guns and had made an effort to research them for the production. He made sure the story was interesting to prevent the anime from focusing only on the guns and cars. The music for the anime was composed by former Weather Report drummer, Peter Erskine. During production of the anime adaptation, members of the staff made several trips to Chicago to scout locations, including visits to a Gun Shop and a Police Academy. During these trips the staff were able to handle and fire real guns for research, something not possible in gun controlled Japan. A Shelby Cobra GT-500 was recorded in Hollywood for sound effects purposes, and almost all of the sound effects for other items were recorded using the real object.”
Gunsmith Cats can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.