Cannon Busters Review: An Anime Western with Style

Should You Watch Cannon Busters

Cannon Busters, the new anime series from Netflix has been released and there is a lot of initial hype about it. Many of people’s favorite voice actors showed up to help bring this series to life and it is one of the first, if not THE first anime series created by an African-American. With a unique premise and a different perspective, Cannon Busters has a unique opportunity to not only appeal to but represent an audience that isn’t very much presented in anime. However, does Cannon Busters fully take advantage of this opportunity?

Cannon Busters Review: TL;DR

Look, we know many people don’t like to read on the internet. So, if you just want the nitty gritty of it, Cannon Busters is the definition of just fine. It’s okay. It’s nothing special. It has a banger opening and a lot of style, but it isn’t really engaging. With lots of series coming out to grab your attention, there is a lot you can do that is better than Cannon Busters.

However, if you have an empty Saturday afternoon, want some decent animation and something to watch in the background while you’re playing a game or something, then yeah Cannon Busters is great.

The History of Cannon Busters

Originally created as a comic, Cannon Busters was published in 2005. However, a busy schedule forced the creator, LeSean Thomas, to change things up and reprint and continue the series as an original graphic novel. The graphic novel was set to come out in 2008, but it has been put on hold and many people speculate it was cancelled for the animated series.

In 2014, Cannon Busters was revived as a Kickstarter project, along with the help of many others, such as Tim Yoon, a producer for various series and comic book artist Joe Madureira. By 2017 it was announced that Cannon Busters would be on Netflix and after a short delay the series was released in 2019.

The Story

I can’t really say much about the story for Cannon Busters because I don’t really think there is much interesting about it. While the initial premise is good and has remnants of concepts from other popular western-style anime like Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Outlaw Star, it doesn’t really have anything that stands out from the normal. Sam, the drone is a insanely nice robot happy to make friends, but also has a powerful ability she is unaware of. Philly the Kid, the lazy immortal with a big bounty on his head, and Casey a junk mechanic make up the core cast, along with the occasional appearance from 9ine an alcoholic ronin.

Together the crew are on a search for Sam’s best friend, Prince Kelby who has gone missing after his country was attacked.

There are a few fun twists and turns in the series, but it takes a while to get there. The characters never really feel so unique or interesting that you have a desire to see how their story plays out.

There is a lot of good in Cannon Busters, however the story isn’t the strongest aspect of it.

The Style

Now, this is what makes Cannon Busters stands out. The character designs are all pretty unique and everything from Philly’s afro and scars to Sam’s cute design and the BLOODY BULL CADILLAC that transforms into a mech!

All of this combines to make something that is visually appealing. While there aren’t as many intense actions scenes as I may want in the series, the overall aesthetic really makes it interesting. The places the characters venture to are very different and the world feels alive.

You can gleam the inspiration from this series at a glance, but nothing about it feels so derivative that it looks like a blatant copy. This is a series that stands on its own when it comes to the way it is designed and animated and I can’t praise it enough.

The Sound

The other highlight of the series is the sound. Hip hop in anime is awesome and there should be more of it. Along with R&B music (looking at you Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 5). If an OST does come out for this series, it’s definitely advised to pick it up, no matter how you feel about the anime. It cannot be stressed enough that the opening is a BANGER, IT SLAPS, whatever other words kids use today to describe something as good.

Should You Watch Cannon Busters:

Cannon Busters is just fair. It’s a fine series. However, with so much other great and amazing content out there. It is hard to highly recommend this series to anyone. If you are really big into style and you want to support something that is a bit different than give it a shot, but there are much more memorable series out there for you to check out.

Two Frames Studios Reviews Cannon Busters:

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This show is fine, but it is nothing to write home about.

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