In the city of Ergastulum, a shady ville filled with made men and petty thieves, whores on the make and cops on the take, there are some deeds too dirty for even its jaded inhabitants to touch. Enter the “Handymen,” Nic and Worick, who take care of the jobs no one else will handle. Until the day when a cop they know on the force requests their help in taking down a new gang muscling in on the territory of a top Mafia family. It seems like business (and mayhem) as usual, but the Handymen are about to find that this job is a lot more than they bargained for.
Reads R to L (Japanese Style) for mature audiences.
This series is one that is really important to me. It hits all of the things I look for when I’m looking for manga. It’s got a great story line, with amazing characters. Nic and Worick seem like the stereotypical ‘do it all common place thugs’ but it’s so much more than that. They’ve got a history, and while it’s hinted at in the first volume, I have a feeling we won’t get much more than hints and quick flashbacks until later volumes.
Volume one sets up the world of Ergastulum. It’s a very dark and unpleasant place where cops seem to turn a blind eye to most crimes, and the city is run not by officials but various warring gangs. Nic and Worick are two ‘handymen’ who do jobs that one else wants to do, and they do it quickly and very well. The character designs are beautiful, the art full of sketchy lines, and beautiful shading. The characters are well rounded and I’m seriously in love with them. There’s more to Nic and Worick than initially presented. Worick has a second job (which probably pays more of the bills) and Nic is treated like an outcast, his dog-tags marking him as something dangerous even among the thieves and killers. Alex is a great addition to this rag tag duo, and I’m really looking forward to the role she may play later on.
Overall: This manga is quickly becoming one of my favorites. If you’re looking for something that’s a little more mature than the ‘BIG THREE manga” and you like darker story lines check out Gangsta. The next volume comes out May 20th.