No Guns Life is a seinen manga (comics for adult men) series by Tasuku Karasuma. VIZ Media is publishing the manga in English as a series of graphic novels under its “VIZ Signature” imprint.
No Guns Life, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1 to 6) is set in an indeterminate future, after the end of a “Great War.” One group of fighters in that war was known as the “Extended.” The Extended are cyborg soldiers whose bodies were transformed via “physical function extension,” also known as “Extended surgery.”
After the war, the Extended were discharged. One of them is Juzo Inui, a man whose body was transformed, and his head was replaced with a giant gun. He has no memory of his previous life or knowledge of who specifically replaced his head or why. Inui now scratches out a living in the dark streets of the city as a “Resolver,” one who resolves issues or takes on cases involving the Extended. Now, Inui finds himself protecting, Tetsuro Arahabaki, a child with very powerful connections, but also possessing technology that has made him the biggest target in the city.
THE LOWDOWN: The No Guns Life manga is intriguing simply because of its title. The striking cover art of the first volume – featuring Juzo Inui's gun head – is enough to encourage a reader to try, at least, the first volume.
No Guns Life Graphic Novel Volume 1, however, does not live up to the intensity that Inui's physical appearance suggests. The six chapters contained in Vol. 1 depict violence, but not enough to earn the book a “mature” rating; it is rated for “older teens.” There is, of course, nothing wrong with a teen-friendly rating, but, once again, that character design... The truth of the matter is that Inui and Tetsuro are intriguing and probably have wonderful back stories, but in this first volume, creator Tasuku Karasuma focuses mainly on introducing concepts, characters, and conflicts.
If I had to compare No Guns Life, Vol. 1 to an American comic book, I would say that it has passing similarities to Marvel's The Punisher and to DC Comics' Deathstroke. The difference is that Frank Castle/The Punisher and Slade Wilson/Deathstroke wield big guns, but neither has a big gun for a head. Although if they did, that would make for some cool one-off stories. Meanwhile, I really think the best of No Guns Life is yet to come.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of VIZ Signature science fiction-action titles will want to try No Guns Life.