Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Supernatural
Director: Kazuhiro Furuhashi and Keitaro Motonaga
U.S Release: The Anime Network
Ban Midou and Ginji Amano can get anything back for you, anything. But not without something in return. Their boasted success rate is 100% and although Ban and Ginji sometimes seem an odd pair, it’s not hard to see why they’ve got such a high rate of success. Too bad they can’t keep money in their hot little hands or have easy jobs roll in at a steady rate. These two “Get Backers,” as they are aptly titled, are also down on their luck, usually hungry, and almost always broke. But there is more to the Get Backers than meets the eye.
Ban and Ginji each have power beyond what their clients and the viewers might expect. Especially after witnessing their behavior, haphazard money handling, and somewhat crazy antics. But both hold an intense amount of supernatural power, and with that power come their dark pasts that inexplicably bound the two together. This history and these hidden secrets are well hidden from the public as Ban and Ginji try to scratch out a name for themselves in the recovery business, and a meager living while they are doing so. With only a car to their names it seems they are having quite a hard time doing so.
The series starts out lightly in showing the sad and humorous plight of Ban Midou and Ginji Amano. We get an introduction to the setting and the usual café hangout where Ban and Ginji hang around for scraps and job tips. Within the first episode Ban and Ginji accept a seemingly easy mission which they accomplish with relative ease. However, it serves as a great introduction to their powers and abilities, as well as to introduce two side characters that will play a small part in Ban and Ginji’s life. The series continues to bring us mission and after mission, but what changes are those involved. Enemies are introduced, several that stick around, and some that become permanent and temporary allies. Pieces of both Ban and Ginji’s pasts are put back together and with it comes a slew of different people from Ginji’s past. Different people bearing different powers that will eventually join Ginji in a mission that leads all of them back to their roots and to the place they wished to leave behind.
Ginji’s brach story is fascinating, as are all the characters involved in it, and there are a great many. Some of the best characters in the show emerge from Ginji’s background. His branch story really changes the way in which we view Ginji. We’re first introduced to Ginji as a light-hearted, humorous, and carefree young man. He seems a little absent minded and very cute. However, his back story explains why he acts the way he does, and while on the mission back home we get to see a serious and extremely powerful of Ginji that made him the Emperor of his once hometown. Back story on Ginji is plentiful and seems to drive the story along. It’s too bad that Ban’s background wasn’t so detailed. We’re given hints and even memory scenes of Ban’s background, but his doesn’t go as deep as Ginji’s does. Perhaps it’s better that way as Ban remains the more mysterious and brooding one. The one that can never fully release his past. This does create a great deal of mystery for the viewer to endure, and yet I still wish I’d been able to see a bit more concerning Ban. What we are given instead, however, is a great deal of information on Ban’s powers. These, nor Ginji’s, will I reveal for fear of spoiling a perfectly good surprise.
As you might already have guessed, the Get Backers is jammed packed with small branching stories that fit well with the overall tone and focus of the story. Each character introduced gets their own small side story giving us a chance to see what they are all about. As the story unravels we get to see their connection to Ginji or Ban and the other characters in the series. While the story in the beginning takes on a very “bad guy of the week” feel, it does develop into a coherent and cohesive plotline that is hard to break away from. Not only that, but the writers injected into the series a fair dose of comedy. At times this comedy does get in the way of the rising tension and action serving to cut it down a bit, per se. Not something that was particularly wanted, but it is one of those things that you eventually get used to.
As for the character design, I believe this deserves a great deal of praise. The character modeling for this series is excellent! Despite there being a large number of characters, each was allocated a very specific look, and with that comes a very specific appeal. No one character is given a generic look, even the stock and static characters. Clothing design was amazing as well. The thought and creativity put into the design of each character’s attire is incredible and does a great deal to speak of the characters personalities, abilities, and backgrounds.
Overall, this series is one to watch. The intrigue of the plotline and fight scenes alone are enough to make the series more than worth it. But Get Backers has a lot more to offer than that, and viewers are likely to catch that early on. Directors Kazuhiro Furuhashi and Keitaro Motonaga did a fantastic job bringing this weekly manga to life, have a look and find out for yourself.