Anime fans hoping for No Guns Life Season 2 will be happy to hear that the NGL anime came out in summer 2020. Technically, the new episodes were the second half of the first season, so no there’s no point in searching for the No Guns Life Season 3 anime quite yet.
The release date for Part 2, or No Guns Life Episode 13, was originally scheduled for April 9, 2020, the spring 2020 anime season, but it delayed due to the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus pandemic. The official website eventually announced that the new release date is being scheduled for July 9, 2020, the summer 2020 anime season.
This news about No Guns Life’s 2nd cour initially came thanks to anime news leaker Spytrue, who claimed that “No Guns Life TV anime will have 2 cour. 12 + 12” Similarly, AnimeTherapy claimed that the “No Guns Life TV anime has been confirmed to be a 2-cour series; 2nd cour will air in April.”
This leaked information was eventually confirmed by official key visuals (see below) and the release schedule for the No Guns Life Blu-Ray/DVD box sets, which are 24 episodes divided into four volumes. The first two volumes released in February and April 2020, but volumes 3 and 4 have also been delayed from their original release dates in July and September, respectively.
That means the first season of the No Guns Life anime is a two-cour season composed of 24 episodes. For those unfamiliar with the lingo, a “cour” is a three-month block of TV broadcasting based on the physical seasons usually composed of 10 to 13 episodes.
No Guns Life’s 2nd cour is a “split-cour”, which is when a single anime season takes a broadcasting break for one or more of these three-month measures of time. Rare in the past, split-cour anime has become more common in recent years. Examples would include Attack On Titan and Sword Art Online: Alicization.
Another thing that has become more common are second seasons by animation studio Madhouse, which is producing the No Guns Life anime. It used to be a meme that Madhouse does not do second seasons, but in recent years they’ve defied that idea.
Overlord anime director Itou Naoyuki is helming the first season of the anime series. Writer Katou Michiya is handling storyboarding. Gou Fumiyuki as the Sound Director, and Kawai Kenji on music.
The first season’s opening (OP) theme song music is “MOTOR CITY” as performed by Kenichi Asai, while the ending (ED) theme song music is “Game Over” as performed by DATS. The second cour’s opening “Chaos Drifters” was a collaboration between Hiroyuki Sawano and Man With a Mission guitarist Jean-Ken Johnny and the ending “New World” was performed by rock band This Is Japan.
The No Guns Life Season 2 opening (OP) and ending (ED) theme song music have not yet been announced.
The No Guns Life English dub is being released as a simul-dub by FUNimation. The first season was also streaming on Hulu.
Updated June 22, 2020: No Guns Life Part 2 release date confirmed.
Updated June 1, 2020: No Guns Life Part 2 release time frame re-announced.
Updated April 7, 2020: No Guns Life Part 2 delayed.
Updated March 19, 2020: Added No Guns Life Part 2 trailer.
Updated March 13: Added No Guns Life Part 2 release date and OP/ED info.
Updated December 21, 2019: Added No Guns Life Part 2 key visual and time frame confirmation.
This article provides everything that is known about No Guns Life Season 2 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.
No Guns Life manga compared to the anime
The story for the anime is based on the No Guns Life manga series by writer and illustrator Tasuku Karasuma (Doll’s Folklore, Shangri-La). Serialized monthly in Ultra Jump magazine since August 2014, the manga series is already up to Volume 11 as of September 18, 2020. Based on the release schedule, Volume 12 should come out in the spring of 2020.
VIZ Media is publishing the official English translation of the No Guns Life manga series. Although it only started releasing in September of 2019, the English manga will catch up quickly since it will be up to Volume 8 by December 15, 2020.
The No Guns Life manga has gained a lot of high-profile fans. Hideo Kojima, director of the Metal Gear series, loves the hard-boiled manga and how it incorporates drinking, smoking, and revolvers. Kojima even gave an interview with Comic Natalie where he discussed how his initial impression of the manga series resembled how characters react to Resolver Juzo Inui.
“Going to the bookstore is a daily ritual for me. I always look at the manga section too, and when I first saw NO GUNS LIFE, I fell in love. I think it was when volume 2 came out. When I saw it, I just stopped dead right where I was,” said Kojima.
“What first drew my attention was the main character on the cover. I couldn’t believe I was seeing a guy with a gun for a head. (laughs) From the way the art was drawn I could tell that it probably wasn’t just something with weird art for kids, so I decided to take a chance and buy it. And when I did, I was amazed at what I saw.”
Just like the anime, the manga is a hard-boiled drama that lightens up the mood with humorous sequences where metal-headed Juzo does a good impression of equally metal-headed Alfonse from Full Metal Alchemist. The anime adapts the manga’s art style for animation very well, which is no surprise considering this is Madhouse.
What stands out a bit is that Madhouse is using the video game engine Unreal Engine 4 for animating the background sequences. It’s apparently a first for the anime industry.
Kajima was asked about the CG backgrounds and he wasn’t too surprised that anime studios were starting to use video game tech.
“So something that was used in the gaming industry is now being used at anime studios. The Unreal Engine is capable of putting out almost complete video in real-time, so it should cut a lot of time off the process. Not too long ago, a lot of places used the Unreal Engine to do tests for video just before it was sent off to final rendering,” Kajima said.
“For example, you would use it to do a simulation of a collapsing building, and then if it looked OK you’d render it for real. Without that capability, it would take like six months to change something. They’re right to try it. I think rendering technology has advanced enough that you could do anime backgrounds in CG.”
Fortunately, Madhouse nails the dark and gritty look perfectly and most of the time it’s hard to tell the background is rendered in 3D. Probably the most eye-popping elements are those pixel shaded couches that are just obviously not hand-drawn.
Regardless of any quibbling over 3D animation, manga fans should be pleased with the way Madhouse is adapting the story. The fluid action scenes may move quickly but the anime takes its time developing the hard-boiled aspects of the story. Slow shots. Juzo taking a slow drag from his cigarettes. The one-liners.
The anime episodes’ scripts often seemed to borrow pacing cues from the layout of the manga chapters. While not a panel-by-panel adaptation, the anime remains true to the manga and does not skip major story sections or rearrange content greatly.
Note: This article was originally published before No Guns Life Episode 24 aired in Japan and will be updated with additional analysis over time.
The anime has been adapting a little under two manga chapters for every episode. The ending of No Guns Life Episode 6 corresponded exactly to the big reveal of Hayden Gondry at the end of manga chapter 10. No Guns Life Episode 7 picks up the story again with Chapter 11 of Volume 2, which is also titled “Overheating”.
The pacing even seemingly slowed down a bit since by Episode 9 only 16 chapters had been adapted. Episode 11 adapted only partway through Chapter 20 and Episode 12 finished it as well as Chapter 21. Episode 22 adapted the events of Chapter 37 of Volume 6.
Assuming that the anime maintains this pacing for the remainder of No Guns Life’s 2nd cour, that means No Guns Life Episode 24 should find a good stopping point somewhere around manga Chapter 40 of Volume 7. The good news is that ending leaves just enough room for No Guns Life Season 2, although it’ll take at least another year before enough new manga chapters are produced as source material for two more cours.
English-only manga readers can start reading ahead of the anime right now by buying Volume 7.
No Guns Life Season 2 release date: The 2nd cour is not considered the 2nd season
As of the last update, Madhouse or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the No Guns Life Season 2 release date. Nor has the production of a sequel been announced.
Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the No Guns Life Season 2 premiere date will occur in the future.
Even though MyAnimeList has Part 2 listed as the “2nd Season” and Hulu/FUNimation labeled it Season 2, Studio Madhouse did not officially label the second cour of the anime series as No Guns Life Season 2, which is ノー・ガンズ・ライフ シーズン2 in Japanese. Instead, official announcements call it ノー・ガンズ・ライフ 第2期, which means the second part, stage, or phase.
However, Madhouse has labeled anime parts as separate seasons even when released close in time together. For example, Overlord 2 and 3 were labeled as separate seasons despite being broadcast in the same year with only a small 3-month break.
Unless the title is changed on MyAnimeList, No Guns Life sequel after Episode 24 will likely be labeled No Guns Life Season 3 by FUNimation, Hulu, etc.
However you want to label the next season, the biggest holdup on any anime sequel is the progress rate of the manga creator. Since new chapters are released monthly, it could take several years before there is enough source material for the No Guns Life sequel.
There is also the issue of anime studio scheduling, which needs to be done years in advance. Therefore, it seems likely that Madhouse could produce No Guns Life Season 2 in 2022 or 2023 at the earliest.
No Guns Life Season 2 spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)
Note: This article was initially published before No Guns Life Episode 24 aired in Japan. Spoilers for No Guns Life Season 2 assume the sequel will pick up with manga Volume 7.
Here’s the official plot summary:
“Ex-soldier Juzo Inui has one question—who turned him into a cyborg and erased his memories?
After the war, cyborg soldiers known as the Extended were discharged. Juzo Inui is one of them, a man whose body was transformed, his head replaced with a giant gun. With no memory of his previous life—or who replaced his head and why—Inui now scratches out a living in the dark streets of the city as a Resolver, taking on cases involving the Extended.
When you were created as a tool of a megacorporation, can you ever escape its grip? Juzo hasn’t got an answer to that question just yet, but he’s determined to live his life for himself. Too bad for Juzo that the agents of Berühren have other ideas. A man claiming to be Tetsuro’s brother wants to test a new version of Berühren’s Harmony device, and Juzo and Tetsuro are the guinea pigs. Survival means Juzo will need to unleash his full capabilities as a Gun Slave Unit, but this time that might not be enough…”
Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until the No Guns Life Season 2 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!