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Gungrave - Beyond the Grave (Vol. 1)
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Gungrave centers around Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowel, best friends who live aimlessly on the street, doing whatever they can just to get by. But after they pick a fight with the brother of a newly made Mafioso, they find themselves fleeing for their lives. This leads them on a path to joining the syndicate known as Millenion, and here is where the story really begins.
The first episode might put you off, but after you watch the second episode you'll know that this series is something special. The first episode is, rather, a look forward in the series.
There is a Gungrave video game, but this anime is not based on that. Rather, it is its own, rich story which has many differences from the game, and has its own flavor.
The Trigun animation style is clearly evident, but the story far eclipses that of Trigun in story depth, and the music is also well done.
All anime fans, new and old alike, should see this series. Gungrave is one of those shows that only comes once in a while, and truly brings something special to the table.
A tale of loyalty, trust, and the ultimate betrayal, Gungrave is a seriously driven character story with enough action to keep you on the edge of your seat.
In the opening episode, Beyond the Grave awakens to seriously kick the ass of a multitude of undead creatures. From his stylish attire to his awesome display of firepower, Grave is the type of guy who shoots first and makes damn sure no one is left to answer any questions. Grave makes Vash the Stampede look like a rank amateur when it comes down to serious gunplay.
Later in the volume, we meet Brandon and Harry, a couple of young street punks trying to make it along with their small gang on the tough streets of their town. Through a series of fights and shoot-outs with the local crime boss and rival gangs, we see Harry and Brandon as they step into the world of organized crime.
I would almost say that this tale would be akin to a cross between Hellsing and Trigun, only much better.
Grab your guns and extra ammo, kiddies. It looks like Gungrave will be a hell of a ride.
P.S. As a parent, I would NOT recommend this for younger children. The anime is rated for 16 and up. There are sexual innuendoes, brief nudity, and graphic violence. Purchase this based on your child's maturity level. (I let my 12 and 13 year old watch this and they are still raving about how good the story is!)
Gungrave more than satisfied the desire to see something at the "next level". It is an anime rich in story, where you love and hate the characters and remember their names. It offers the science fiction and action expected in anime, but with a humanity emphasis usually found in Miramax prestige films.
In countless ways, Hellsing style anime is ingeniously implemented by the authors to provide powerful contrasts with reality. This anime sees something in the genius of humanity and captures it animation. Gungrave captures the best of reality and fiction, mixes them together, and delivers a compelling story.
Gungrave is so good about 1/3 through the 26 episodes, I thought even if the rest was the most nauseating stuff ever conceived by man, this would still be a remarkable effort. Instead, Gungrave only got better and better. Most of all, Gungrave leaves a memorable ending, leaving a powerful message burned in your soul. Chances are you will agree and will join the "Family" of admirers.
The plot of Gungrave follows one Brandon Heat, a street tough resurrected to destroy his former best friend Harry, now the crime boss of the city in which these events take place, and his efforts to protect the daughter of the woman he loved, Maria, from the sinister white 'orgmen' pursuing her at Harry's behest (said orgmen bear a pronounced resemblance to the enemies of Kingdom Hearts 2, but that's another story).
I had no idea what to expect when I first viewed Gungrave, but I was blown away by its pulse-throbbing gun battles, exaagerated, well-drawn characters, and inscrutable (at least for the first disc) plotline. Though word on the street is that Gungrave is a lot like Trigun, I would say that while the two series do share some secondary elements, mostly in atmosphere, the two animes couldn't be more different simply because their protagonists are total opposites. Vash comes off as something of a ditz, though he's amazing with a gun, while Brandon Heat, in the present, is so taciturn I've known rocks with better conversational skills, and in the past is not exactly loquacious either. Moreover, he has no scruples when it comes to combat.
Simply put, Gungrave hooked me from the very first minute, and it hasn't let go yet. The three-episode flashback creates more questions than it answers, and the machinations of the surviving characters in the present are not readily understandable either. Moreover, their reactions are just comical, especially those between Brandon and Maria's daughter, whose attempts to learn to fire a gun in the first episode are hilarious.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thought I was getting the complete series, not one I already have.Published 19 months ago by Farren Phillips
Gungrave is a good story about a couple of friends that move up from being street punks to the leaders of a powerful mafia organization. Read morePublished on November 29, 2012 by KevinB
THIS BY FAR IS MY FAVORITE ANIME!! ive seen hundreds of anime in my long life
i grew up with it. this by far is more complex than any anime ive seen. Read more
I didn't actually buy this DVD (though I most likely will, eventually). I borrowed it from a friend, and I just have to say this DVD was well done. Read morePublished on March 21, 2006 by Alberto Hernandez
The first of the "Gungrave" series starts out in the not-too distant future, a world that appears to be right on the cusp of a dawning new age where science has brought forth... Read morePublished on August 10, 2005 by Stephen B. O'Blenis
This anime starts out with a very weak first episode, as most animes seem to do (Berserk, Eva, etc.). Read morePublished on June 15, 2005 by Courtney C. Valdez
lol any Bishonen fan will love the fact that Brandon spends most of the first episode naked. Though damn that evil censor *shakes fist*Published on May 21, 2005 by Carolyn
This show surprised me. After reading it's title and seeing its video game, I thought the show was going to be all action. The first episode definitely lived up to this reputation. Read morePublished on March 26, 2005 by A.J. Dill
This show is based off of the events of the first Gungrave game and manga by Yasuhiro Nightow the creator of Trigun.
This is a truly amazing series. Read more
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