Ginji Amano and Ban Midou- together they form the Get Backers, a recovery service committed to getting back anything that has been lost or stolen, be it an item or a person. Thanks to a combination of Ginji’s electrical attacks, Ban’s “Evil Eye” and powerful Snake Bite grip and a healthy dose of blind luck, the Get Backers’ recovery rate is nothing less than 100%- but that still doesn’t mean they can scrape together enough money to eat! Join Ban and Ginji as they take on jobs, tangle with rivals with no end of special abilities and generally try to earn the cash for at least one good meal.
Whether it’s people fighting each other with special abilities such as the control of fire and lightning, or a pair of guys doing jobs in order to earn enough money to eat, there are some ideas that keep cropping up again and again in anime, and Get Backers proves to be just another of the many places they can be found. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that this is far from the most of original of series, and nor is it particularly good.
A mixture of stand-alone stories in which Ginji and Ban must retrieve some lost item and longer arcs which basically feature different factions beating each other up with increasingly unlikely special abilities. If you have fairly undemanding standards and want a mix of action, comedy and light entertainment, then this series will do as well as any, but unfortunately, it does not stand up well to close scrutiny. The pacing of the series is often questionable, with missions that feel like they should have already concluded somehow dragging on for many more episodes, or contrivances like Ban’s ability to create illusions being overused to ensure that the good guys always emerge victorious. At other times, the series rips inspiration directly from Dragonball Z, including the trademark energy blasts and of course Ginji in a powered-up spiky blonde hair state.
As to be expected from such a series, there is no shortage of characters, most of them one joke personalities developed through the obligatory flashback scene method. Whilst very few are overtly dislikeable, it is hard to point to any character who evokes strong positive feelings either- they are simply a fairly bland and slightly annoying group of people. Perhaps the only real point of interest is their special abilities, which range from thread and cloth control to the standard set of fire and electricity type powers.
Visually, Get Backers’ character designs are somewhat varied- many of the longer hairstyles are well designed, but unfortunately the costumes are simplistic, ugly and generally worthy of a visit from the fashion police. Fights are generally well executed and the animation budget is solid enough, although there are moments when Ginji turns into a chibi version of himself that viewers will either love or find somewhat annoying. The background music is by Taku Iwasaki of Witch Hunter Robin and NTHT fame, and whilst his work here isn’t nearly as memorable as for those two series, there are some strong tracks which elevate the soundtrack beyond the average and mediocre.
A mixture of standard shounen battles and barely effective light comedy, Get Backers barely stands out from the crowd, but if you need an undemanding longer series to while away some dull evenings, this will do the trick.
Extra: the HARD GAY guide to characters (may be anime spoilers)
It doesn’t take a corrupt mind like mine to detect the HARD GAY undertones in Get Backers; after all, Ginji is constantly calling Ban “Ban-chan”. Since my HARD GAY corner feature wasn’t enough to express the true nature of the series, here’s a more in-depth guide.
Ginji Amano: In his past years, Ginji Amano ruled as the Lightning Emperor (Raitei), a young man whose HARD GAY was so intense that he needed an entire organisation-VOLTS- to satisfy him. Finally, however, he met his match in the bedroom in the form of Ban Midou, causing him to dump all his previous lovers in order to have an exclusive relationship with Ban. Although this caused much bitterness, in the end most of the hard feelings were resolved, and though Ban remained his main lover, Ginji resumed many of his old relationships in order to have a more varied love life.
Ban Midou: Although Ban once enjoyed HARD GAY with Yamato Kudou, after his partner died in a mysterious HARD GAY session, he went on the search for a new lover. He eventually found Ginji to his liking, but nonetheless continues to be on the lookout for fresh partners. Unfortunately, his high standards mean that he usually rejects offers of HARD GAY from others.
Paul Wan: Owner of the local café, he takes whatever HARD GAY comes his way- often in payment for food from customers such as Ginji and Ban who are too poor to pay in cash. He actually has a HARD GAY past of his own.
Makubex: A youthful computer genius, Makubex was originally one of Ginji’s closest lovers in the VOLTS era, but becomes the commander of his own organisation after Ginji leaves. Since he has a woman as his second in command, it is believed that Makubex is trying to usher in a new era of BI, but is having difficulty to the general HARD GAY inclinations of his men, and the uselessness of the female characters in the series.
Shidou Fuyuki: As a Beastmaster, Shidou can communicate with animals and even imitate them, enabling him to explore the limits of bestiality. After his HARD GAY relationship with Ginji broke up, he began to experiment with other lovers, and although the animals will always be his favourites, he does occasionally take a human to his bed. Later in the series, he chooses to start living with a woman in the hopes of hiding his true HARD GAY and bestial leanings from critics.
Kazuki Fuuchouin: A unique user of Thread in the bedroom, Kazuki’s effeminate appearance enables him to pick up men by posing as a woman. Another of Ginji’s earlier lovers, Kazuki endured the break up so that he could be with his beloved again. Prior to his relationship with Ginji, Kazuki led his own select HARD GAY group, but chose to join Ginji when he realised that he could get more skilled lovers by joining a larger group.
Masaki Kurusu: Although he was meant to be a spy, he found happiness as Ginji’s HARD GAY lover and thus developed a degree of fondness for him.
Kurodou Akabane: Nicknamed ‘Doctor Jackal’, Akabane is a man devoted to Pleasure; he lives for those moments when his blood is pumping and his ‘Bloody Sword’ is in his hand. He considers Ginji and Ban to be the most HARD GAY partners he could hope for, and longs to have an all-out bedroom encounter with them.
Himiko Kudou: One of the few female characters, Himiko does try to fight, but she usually has to lose and wait to be rescued by one of the males.
Haruki Emishi: A Whip user, he likes to be bold and direct in the bedroom. His preferred partner is Shidou.
Juubei Kakei: A needle user, Juubei is a descendant of a family that has serviced Kazuki’s for generations. Juubei is all too happy to become Kazuki’s HARD GAY lover, but when Kazuki explains that he needs more partners, the two become estranged. Eventually they make it up and resume their relationship (even the mangaka claims they may be together) in spite of Juubei’s lengthy period of blindness- something which an experience man can easily overcome.
Sakura Kakei: Another of those rare females, who can control cloth and fights with a long scarf. As you can imagine, this is fairly useless as it can easily be cut or burnt.
Toshiki Uryuu: Another of Kazuki’s former lovers, Uryuu always felt jealous about having to share him with Juubei, and soon descended into paranoia. Eventually, however, he learned that everyone has to share their lover, and became more accepting of the situation- after all, some HARD GAY is better than none.
Takuma Fudou: Seemingly an old lover of Ban’s, Takuma Fudou has a “throbbing desire” to get into bed with him again, and will go to any lengths to have an encounter with him.
Takeru Teshimine: Ginji’s mentor, and the man who first taught him about HARD GAY.
Kaoru Ujiie: A woman who always had feelings for Ginji, but became bitter and frustrated when she realised he was HARD GAY. Her flame ability may be useful if she turns to HARD YURI.
Jouya Kanou: A weak Fan user who longs to be HARD GAY, but who is painfully aware that he is just a weak mid-boss underling.