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sylverrain's Gungrave Tv Review

Gungrave

Gungrave tv Review

Brandon Heat was a part of the biggest corparation in the world, the Syndicate. They ruled over basically everything in their giant stratoscraper. One day, while riding up the HUGE elevator to the stratoscraper, Brandon's best friend, Harry, makes a plan to kill the boss and take over the company.
But then Harry made one wrong move... he told Brandon that he could have the boss's wife. Although Brandon loved her, he was sickened by the idea. So he punched Harry, and Harry put 12 caps in his stomach, and then shot him in the eye, sending him falling from the very high elevator. After Harry took over, he started the Necrolization project, which was supposed to bring people back from the dead as super human zombies and help Harry take over the rest of the world. Once again, Harry did something very wrong. He used the project to resurrect Brandon and use him as part of his army.
Now Brandon was a dead man. He had no memories or emotions. He was just one badly dressed killing machine. Brandon had become Beyond the Grave, or Grave for short. Grave, clad in really weird clothing, with his twin guns Cerberus and his coffin, went out into the world to find and kill Harry for all the trouble he has caused in the world.

Now that Grave is a super human, nothing will stop him until he finds Harry, and finishes him off for good.

Story & Characters

The idea of a guy resurrected as a zombie by a multimillionaire organization, mindless and devoid of emotions, killing people for all it's worth, and out to hunt his best friend down for "killing" him - sounds just like your typical mainstream mutant storyline. But when it comes to Gungrave, the storyline is what makes it exceptional.
The series is one of those continuous ones where every episode is a carry-over from the previous - sorta like Ayashi no Ceres or FMA. The anime was quite nicely paced. 26 episodes and just right. It actually starts off with Beyond the Grave (or just Grave), formerly known as Brandon Heat, already dead and presently a zombie, and then he proceeds to recall the past - which comprises pretty much the whole series.
The story revolves around two central characters - Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowell. Best friends ever since young, they pull through thick and thin and will protect each other even if that meant it'll cost them their lives. You get to see different stages or them at different ages - young, older, even older, older still, and then just.. old. And dead. Which was really cool cuz I got to squee every time I saw them at a particular stage. The chibi-cute stage *squee* and then the hot teenager stage *squee* and then the cool sexy adultish stage *squee squee squee* and then the.. old, zombie stage. *squ- o__o* The events that happened throughout the story are dramatic and action-packed, bordering on the romantic. Happiness, bitterness, sadness, loyalty, and betrayal. It's all there.
The main characters were relatively one of a kind. Harry was a hot-headed and fearless guy who was all out to conquer the world - literally. He believed that he was capable of ultimately emerging at the top, no matter how sinister the methods, but his tenacity is something to admire. He's the villain of the story but damn it's impossible to hate him. Brandon was the classic silent but occasionally smiling type, where he can be so predictable but you still can never really tell what he's thinking. Gentle, kind, yet offhandedly vicious, he's always out to give his best buddy a helping hand despite the brutality of the task.
I just HAD to jump straight to Bear Walken cuz he's just too COOL to talk about any later. He's this gruff old daddy that has a soft spot for his daughter and wouldn't hesitate to single-handedly exterminate anyone who dares to hurt her. I shall quickly stop talking about him here before I lose any more control.
In this story, Maria is your atypical girl-next-door-that-got-taken-in-by-the-big-boss-and-is-therefore-now-a-significant-character-in-the-plot. She's beautiful, kind, hates fighting and loves peace and so how can Brandan not fall in love with her. Harry, thank God, didn't have the slightest bit of interest in her, cuz if he did and had to battle Brandan for her love, I may as well watch Hana Yori Dango or something. I personally didn't find Maria all that an interesting character so I won't dwell on her.
Big Daddy, head of Millennion and central pillar of power. He rules the Syndicate and pretty much the entire city and its economy. He's like the godfather of the Mafia but Brandan gets to know him a bit more and he turns out to be so NICE and such a good fishing buddy and you start to wonder if he's bad or not. But as if that's gonna affect whether you like him or not. Cuz you will. Cuz he's too NICE.
I thought Mika Asagi turned out to be rather redundant in the end. She's just there as living proof of Brandon's past life and a remnant of his memories of Maria. Strange how I'm so easily repelled by female main chars. Bad habit. *sigh*

But the ending. OH the ending. In my heart, Gungrave holds the award for best anime/series/show/whatever ending and probably forever will. Because it was SO sweet and was SO beautiful and was SO perfect. It made me cry. And I hardly cry. Ever. It was just so sad and so GOOD at the same time and ARGH THE ENDING.

Rating: 10

Art

The chars were drawn well, no doubt about it. Nice thin lines, harsh dark colors and a Hellsing feel to it all but only thinner. (<_< No I have NO idea how to explain what I just said but pretend you understand.) The character design is superb, given that no one can deny how much Brandon Heat lived up to his name during his younger teen years because he was HOT. A very Hanazawa Rui kinda hot. Or a Chrno-turned-older-demon kinda hot. Harry had a very charming appearance about him, but I remembered always thinking WHAT was up with his eyes cuz they just didn't look right at times. He has this egotistical look to him while Brandon had a more humble, meek appearance which totally fitted their characters I thought.
Bear Walken was SO cool. White hair, orange sunnies, tan skin - SO COOL. The artist has done a brilliant job with his design both on a superficial level and in relation to his character. It interested me how every character was drawn so differently, such as the face structure, the eyes, the nose, silly things like that. In shows like Love Hina or Onegai Twins, the characters are pretty much all the same with just differences in hair and eye style and color. But for Gungrave, each character was so distinctly unique that it wouldn't surprise you if someone told you they were all ripped from different animes and shoved together in this one series. For example, Balladbird Lee with the small Chinese eyes and pulled back hair looked like something from Samurai Champloo, and then Bob Poundmax and his eternally.. dotty.. eyes, looked like, something out from, ARGH I don't know, POPEYE??. But then it makes every char so much more special and the art is pretty anyways, so who really cares?

Rating: 7

Sound

I thought the music was average. It fitted the show's atmosphere, and it fitted so well that I didn't even notice it? The story was so mind-grabbing that you tend not to pay attention to the music, hence the music was... very backgroundish. Sounds effects were just fine, and voices were thankfully VERY befitting. Altogether I found the sound system rather poor but that's probably because the dvd set I bought probably wasn't the real thing (dammit). I thought the opening and ending themes were superb though. Especially the ending theme. It went so beautifully with the art and all and I was very pleased. ^__^

Rating: 6

Presentation

Again I stress on the lack of a good quality dvd. The set I bought was BAD and the subtitles were SO messed up that they could misspell Balladbird to Ballbard or Ballerdbar and halfway through one episode who the HELL was JoYcE?? Or JoLicE..? Whatever. And the grammar oh Lord HELP me. Then there was this scene where it was black and something was happening at it was supposed to be something dramatic and sad and I couldn't see a damn thing because the whole thing was BLACK. It'll be hard to decide whether the presentation is good or not, since I haven't really got the original source to base my opinions upon. So I'm giving it a five for now.

Rating: 5

Final Verdict

7.17 (above average)

Reviewed by sylverrain, Mar 16, 2006

Comments

  1. ripsilver Mar 16, 2006

    yeah i agree with the art... i saw it about 3 times... but i really liked it...

  2. shoujoboy Mar 16, 2006

    I'll say one thing... interesting review style indeed... yes we will go with 'interesting'. Besides that, another show I have yet to see and even still, I just don't have the inclination to see. Maybe one day, but not today.

  3. BeyondGungrave Mar 17, 2006

    I loved this series, and even the games it spawned. im planning on going out and buying the entire series, my only problem is it took so long to get to the Beyond the Grave and away from brandon. i would have been patient if i hadnt have played gungrave and gungrave overdose befor i watched the anime.

  4. Jordy Mar 18, 2006

    I definitely agree with what you said, Gungrave is probably my very favorite of all the anime series I've watched (which most people think is weird for some reason, lol ^_^ ) I agree, the ending was just perfect for the series, a great conclusion, totally a tear-jerker (though I started crying when Brandon died the first time and didn't stop after that... ^^; ). I think it was Harry's attatchment to Brandon that kept you from being able to hate him, y'know? Even after killing him, he still cared, and in his mixed-up way, he killed him *because* he cared, so it was kinda hard to whole-heartedly despise him. In that aspect, the mix of good/bad in all the characters, I think Gungrave did a phoenomonal job. The balance of good and bad and everyone's affection for one another really made all of the characters pretty likable. I agree, though, that the female characters were all kinda bland. Gungrave is all about the guys ^_^ And I'll shut up now, but great review. :)

  5. Memero Mar 18, 2006

    Gungrave... Great series... But I do have one complaint. Stupid pirated DVD! Of all the DVDs in my posession, Gungrave had to be the one with a fluke! Never trust my brother again for buying a DVD!

    Sure, I watched the first 25 episodes without fail... & it had to be the last one that's got an error! Can you believe that!? Most of you may have cried over some tragic ending... I cried because I never got to see the ending! Dammit! It totally spoiled my viewing experience.

  6. Jenemba Mar 18, 2006

    I really liked the series it was real interesting to watch cause you got to see the man before the malice. and after you seen everything that happened it was kinda whoa. like when he was a child you know out to make a name for himself and as he got older he started getting respect. Later on when he started with harry on harrys little rise to power thing. and then he died. i thought dawn (but thats before i knew about the series) and then he came back the bad man he became today. didn' t have to say anything to scare the jesus out of you. And the game well i'd have to say the game was alright i mean not the greatest but not the worst but i really liked overdose was kinda....a breathe of fresh air so to speak. two extremely cool characters like my personal fav Jyuji Kabane and Billy. had a great story kinda easy go threw and pretty cheap i liked it though

  7. eA-Zaku Mar 20, 2006

    I really want to try the games, since it seems like an anime-ish Devil May Cry. But I've got to say, the series (though it came after the game) is TOTALLY AWESOME.

    It does differ from the game but not by much.

  8. Sublimis Mar 28, 2006

    This was another one of my favorite series. I loved the ending theme to this. I would of liked the series continue like it was in the flashbacks. I liked how everything during the flashbacks had some realism in them. After the flashbacks I thought it got a bit out of hand but still like this anime. The relationship beteen Maria and Big Daddy pissed me off. I would of liked to see of hooked up with Brandon instead.

  9. Adra21 Dec 01, 2006

    Hi everybody...

  10. neonstegosaurus Jan 18, 2009

    What I really liked about the series was the interaction between Brandon and Harry... Towards the end (but not the very end) it got a bit ridiculous in my opinion so that dropped this series down to average for me, but the art was good...

  11. rukasu04 Mute Member Feb 08, 2010

    Nice review

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