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Book Review | No Guns Life #1 by Tasuku Karasuma

From the publisher: Ex-soldier Juzo Inui has one question—who turned him into a cyborg and erased his memories?

After the war, cyborg soldiers known as the Extended were discharged. Juzo Inui is one of them, a man whose body was transformed, his head replaced with a giant gun. With no memory of his previous life—or who replaced his head and why—Inui now scratches out a living in the dark streets of the city as a Resolver, taking on cases involving the Extended. When a fellow Extended showed up in Inui’s office—on the run from the Security Bureau with a kidnapped child in tow and asking for help—Inui almost throws the guy out. But Inui’s loyalty to a brother Extended makes him take the job. Keeping the child safe won’t be easy, since everyone wants him, from the mob to the megacorporation Berühren, which sends out a special agent who knows exactly how to deal with the Extended… 

Want a story about a faceless loner warrior who helps a child with mysterious powers, but you’re already caught up on The Mandalorian? Then No Guns Life might be just the manga for you!

Juzo Inui is a cyborg soldier who was modified so much that even his head was replaced with a gun (how does he see, you ask? It’s a mystery!). Now that the war is over, he makes a living helping out others like himself, living on the fringe of society. Then one day a fellow Extended shows up with an unconscious child in tow and security agents on his tail, asking Juzo for help. Against his better judgment Juzo takes the case and goes on the run with the child, pursued by agents of the Berühren corporation who say he’s their property. When the boy wakes up, Juzo understands immediately why Berühren wants him back so badly…

No Guns Life mixes a sort of noir detective story into a dystopian cyberpunk world, but in a signature manga style. The result is a dark, gritty, and action-filled mystery that’s also sometimes humorous. For example, after a confrontation in a sewer, Juzo quips “This is why I hate humidity — and kids.” Some of the enemies Juzo encounters just in the first issue are a secret agent dressed as a nun, and a cyborg girl whose body can transform into a giant mechanical spider. Between the heavily stylized cybernetics and the black and white art style, the action can sometimes be a bit hard to follow. But I found the characters and setting compelling enough to make up for it.

No Guns Life is available for checkout at the Galesburg Public Library.