Gun Smith Cats

Genre: Action / Comedy


I watched this three episode OAV in English on October 24th, 1998. This series is a wonderful change for the American viewer. The animation and the dub (AD Vision) is very good.

From the Manga by Kenichi Sonoda, the story centers around Rally Vincent and her partner Minnie May (Hopkins) who own a gun shop in Chicago by day, and are bounty hunters in their time off. Rally is the gun expert (she's 19, but claims to be 21 in order to run the gun store), while Minnie's weapon of choice are explosives of all kinds. (And yes, this IS the Rally from Riding Bean). The inseparable pair get into lots of trouble, and there are plenty of gun fights and car chases. A great romp through the streets of the Windy City! If you like lovable girls that kick butt (or guns), don't miss this one, it's a keeper!

This OAV is great not only for the story and characters, but the attention to detail. Set in Chicago, the cityscapes and backdrops are entirely accurate, right down to the Sears tower, giving this anime a distinctly American feel. The producers actually went to Chicago to gather information, so even the police cruisers that you see the Chicago PD driving are accurate. Rally races around town in a 1967 Shelby Cobra GT500 ( seen above, what and awesome car! About $60,000 worth!), and I'm told they recorded the sound bites for the car from an actual Shelby Cobra. Something that also caught my eye was the attention to the weapons that were used. I was in the National Guard years ago, and was surprised to recognize the M249 SAW machine gun sitting in Rally's living room. During the course of the anime you see about every major weapon that would be found in the typical American gun store (and some that wouldn't). Of course Rally's weapon of choice is the highly regarded Czech CZ75, but she is also seen at times employing a Sig P210 or Browning HP 9 mm.

One final note. After watching 200 anime series set in some far off version of Tokyo, there was something interesting that I thought of while watching this OAV. Of course, they had no choice but to set this story in America (or did they? Guns are illegal in Japan, but....). It dawned on me that some of the folks overseas may actually perceive an America similar to the one portrayed in this series. You know, guns shops on every corner, and suburban homes filled with weapons just waiting for that burglar to come in at night. The scary thing is that they really may not be that far off......of course, maybe I've lived in West Virginia too long...... ^_^

Episode Synopsis:

Chapter 1, 'The Neutral Zone' 

From the golden pen of Kenichi Sonada (Bubblegum Crisis, Riding Bean) and hot from the pages of the best-selling comic book from Dark Horse comes the wildest action heroine to ever stalk the streets of Chicago! She's tall, she's dark, she's Rally Vincent, the professional bounty hunter and gun expert extraordinaire who brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "pistol-packin' mama"! Rally doesn't just pack her own teflon-coated, armor piercing cartridges, she's packed her dynamic debut video as well, with the highest velocity, high-caliber animation entertainment spectacular of 1996, Gunsmith Cats! Together with her street-wise, grenade-happy partner, the luscious Minnie-May, Rally's going to clean the scum from the streets of the Windy City with a few quick flicks on the trigger of her trusty pump-action sidearm... for a price, of course! Reserve your copies now or be prepared to go ballistic, 'cause once this pair of well-shaped charges make their home video debut, animation stores everywhere will be declared open-fire zones!

Chapter 2, 'Swing High'

Rally and Minnie May are back and this time they're burning up the road! When gun runner James Washington claims his life is in danger and makes a desperate plea for help, the girls are disinclined to listen to him. However, when Washington and a whole host of agents are gunned down inside an ATF safe house mere minutes after the girls leave, Rally is forced to go looking for the killer. Then, when May is kidnapped by a psychotic Russian, the chase is on and traffic in the Chicago area may never recover!

Chapter 3, 'High Speed Edge'

The Cats are back and Rally proves that her intuition is something to be respected. The ATF case is far from over when Radinov, a true femme fatale, reappears and is out for blood, of the feline sort. Add a handful of surprisingly high-placed gun runners who are after their coats as well and Rally and Minnie May are going to need every one of their nine lives just to make it through the day! Don't miss the exciting, action- packed conclusion of Gunsmith Cats!

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