Getbackers
Getbackers
GetBackers

The central storyline follows the antics of a recovery service known as the "GetBackers", a duo that retrieves anything that was lost and claims a "near 100% success rate".

The duo is composed of Ban Midou, a man descended from a bloodline of european witches, and Ginji Amano, formerly known as the "Lightning Emperor", the leader of a gang called "The VOLTS", a powerful group in the Lower Town region of a lawless territory called the Infinity Fortress in Shinjuku.  One running joke during the series is that the duo have absolutely no luck with money whatsoever, the owner of the cafe they hang out commenting at one point that they must have peeved off one of the Money Gods in a BIG way, another running gag being that their car (an modified early model Volkswagon Beetle) repeatedly gets towed away, thus resulting in FURTHER debts stacking up on them.

Characters:

Ban Midou: As mentioned above, Ban Midou was descended from a line of European witches and was the last living decendant of the last witch of the 20th century, having been born with the ability of the Jagan, born with the ability known as the Jagan, otherwise known as the "Evil Eye", giving him the ability to give the one whom he makes eye contact with a extremely realistic 1 minute long hallucination (though the timeframe may seem much longer during the hallucination, anywhere up to hours long), and what he refers to as the "Snakebite", in truth an incredibly strong grip in his right arm (200kg force grip), it is revealed later that he is the host of other, more potent abilities, able to be called on by invoking the power of the star of Aesclepius, the serpent bearer.

Ginji Amano:  Ginji is a... unusual character to say the least, his two personalities could not be further apart from each other.  I'll cover each in a fair bit of detail.

"Lightning Emperor":  This was Ginji's persona prior to his joining the GetBackers, when he was the undisputed ruler of the VOLTS.  When in his "Lightning Emperor" form, Ginji glows with a brilliant, almost blinding light and has a constant electrical aura flowing around him. Although he shares the same body as that of Ginji, The Lightning Emperor is the polar opposite of happy-go-lucky Ginji; his features will harden and he becomes almost a merciless tyrant, forcing anyone in his way into submission.  Those that willingly followed him though, he was fair and protective to.   I guess the best term to describe the Lightning Emperor would be a Benevolent Dictator - Don't get on his bad side and you'll be ok.

"Ginji":  This is his everyday persona after he leaves the Limitless Fortress and joins the GetBackers, his demeanor is one of an unassuming, energetic, and friendly boy with a strong sense of justice. He makes friends easily, often without trying — and is trusting and open to an almost naive extent. For comical purposes, he also quite often turns droopy and into what can best be described as a super deformed chibi form. He's frequently beaten up by Ban for doing stupid things or saying things without thinking before he speaks.

There is also a wide cast of lesser characters and antagonists, I will not go into too much detail or I'll be writing all week, I'll briefly cover some characters though that appear regularly in this series:

Himiko:  Also known as "Lady Poison", prior to the start of the series she was a good friend of Ban and along with him and her older brother were members of a separate recovery team.  Due to circumstances not covered in full detail in the series though her brother is killed by Ban and she joins a transportation service team knowing that one day she will be able to meet up with Ban again and settle the score with him.

Kuroudo Akabane:  Also known as Dr Jackal, he is one of the most cold-blooded figures in the transportation world, although he has on more than one occasion been hired to work alongside the GetBackers while in other situations also been their enemy.  He is a VERY formidable fighter with almost unrivaled agility, second only to Ban Midou, his weapon of choice is surgical scalpels that are concealed within his body itself, although this is not without its hazards as is demonstrated by Ginji in one of the episodes in the earlier part of the first season.

Kazuki Fuchouin: Known as Threadmaster Kazuki, this character was once the leader of their own gang known as Elegance before finally leaving of their own free will to serve under the Lightning Emperor as one of the Four Kings (one of the 4 key 'lieutenants' of the VOLTS), Kazuki is a devoted ally of Ginji's and will not hesitate to defend Ginji, no matter what the odds.  A slightly amusing side note about Kazuki, from the sound of the name and the way the character is dressed in their first appearance (not to mention the length of their hair) you'd easily mistake them for a female (and they are mistaken by other characters for a female during the series) but Kazuki is in fact a male.  =p

Juubei Kakei:  Known as Flying Needles Juubei, he has been friends with Kazuki since childhood and a devoted protector, their family having been the Fuchouin family's physicians for hundreds of years.  However after the Lightning Emperor leaves the VOLTS, while Kazuki maintains faith in their old leader, Juubei does not, and it is not until later that he realises his mistake.

The series itself rather than having one major storyline is split into a series of smaller arcs, often spanning as little as a single episode, or possibly spanning 5-6 episodes, so I can't really go into much detail.  I'd strongly recommend checking it out though.  As is always the case with checking out a new series though, I'd recommend hiring out a single volume from your local DVD store and going on from there.

Final rating: 8/10

Breakdown - The story arcs are small enough that they do not overstay their welcome but are detailed enough that they don't leave you too confused at the end, though sometimes they deliberately leave a few loose ends that are picked up in a later story arc,  the characters are well developed and some have a surprising amount of complexity to them, the only characters that feel one-dimensional are thankfully minor characters that might only appear in one or two episodes at most.  The animation quality is quite high for the time it came out, though naturally there is always room for improvement.