No Guns Life, Volumes 3 & 4
Story & Art by Tasuku Karasuma
Translated by Joe Yamazaki
English Adaptation by Stan!
Touch-Up Art & Lettering by Evan Waldinger
Design by Shawn Carrico
Edited by Mike Montesa
The action-packed cyberpunk story continues in No Guns Life volumes 3 and 4. Previously, Juzo had managed to take down the serial killer Extended Gondry, saving war hero Sai Tokisada in the process. While things may appear to be settled, this is merely the beginning of a larger conflict.
It was clear in the previous volume that Sai had ulterior motives from Gondry’s defeat, and it doesn’t take long for his true colors to be revealed. As it turns out, Sai and Beruhren were manipulating Gondry to kill the members of Sai’s platoon and hide the secrets of the previous war. While this is fairly predictable, it does provide an extra layer of intrigue to No Guns Life’s world. This is built upon further by Sai’s quick defeat by Juzo and subsequent death at the hands of Beruhren. The dark history that Sai kept secret remains a mystery, but it serves as a catalyst for future events.
These two volumes also properly introduce the recurring antagonists Pepper and Seven, who are hired agents of Beruhen. Like Juzo, Seven is a Gun Slave Unit from the previous war, and Pepper serves as his operator. Through their confrontation, there is a distinct difference in how Juzo and Seven behave. Seven rarely acts of his own free will, faithfully following Pepper’s orders. Additionally, Seven doesn’t hesitate to brandish his full powers, something that Juzo refuses to do. Seven represents a path that Juzo doesn’t want to embrace, instead striving for a peaceful life that is free from his former shackles. In contrast to her partner, Pepper appears unhinged and eccentric. She doesn’t view Extended like Juzo and Seven as people, instead thinking of them as objects for her own amusement. As such, she aims to “own” Juzo, turning him back into a weapon. The ideology of Pepper and Seven naturally opposes Juzo’s way of life, making them appropriate adversaries for our protagonist moving forward.
The other major character introduced into the story is Victor, Mary’s brother and Juzo’s former technician. Victor is revealed to be a member of Spitzbergen that specializes in brutally disassembling Extended. His presence has a huge impact on Juzo and Mary, as they both wonder what led him down his criminal path. In his appearances, Victor himself acts in a deranged manner effortlessly killing anything in his way. It’s clear that he will be a formidable enemy and one with emotional weight for our core cast members.
So far, one of the biggest issues with No Guns Life has been its lack of focus on Mary and Tetsuro. Luckily, they get ample time to shine in volumes 3 and 4. In particular, the storyline centered on the Spitzbergen member Colt provides new insights into their characters. Tetsuro showcases his heroic nature, willing to risk his life for others despite his disposition. Still, Tetsuro feels burdened by the lives that he can’t save and wishes to use Harmony to gain the power that he lacks. Meanwhile, we learn more about Mary’s past and her search for her brother. This provides Mary with a larger initiative within the story, preventing her from simply being sidelined as a support for Juzo’s actions. The strength of No Guns Life’s prominent cast is slowly building, and it will be interesting to see how they develop further.
As usual, Karasuma’s artwork continues to be consistently great. Volumes 3 and 4 are heavy in terms of action, allowing the series to play to its visual strengths. The attacks of Juzo and his enemies are given a solid sense of weight, drawing the reader further into the action. The battle between Juzo and Sai best showcases this, as both characters unleashed a flurry of attacks to overpower their opponent. Reading No Guns Life gets your adrenaline pumping, and there’s no better feeling than that.
No Guns Life continues to be a thrilling action title that will thoroughly satisfy readers. The series’ characters and world are deepening in complexity, and the intrigue of the narrative is being raised alongside it. The series is sure to only get more exciting from here, and I’m fully invested in what’s to come.