Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Madhouse
OOKI Tamio
R1 License - FUNimation
R1 License - Pioneer (Defunct)
TACHIKI Fumihiko
For Brandon Heat, death doesn't matter. Driven by his need for revenge, he returns from beyond the grave to cripple Millennion, the huge mafia organization that uses undead monsters as its enforcers. His ultimate goal will be to destroy Harry MacDowel, the leader of Millennion and, at one time, Brandon's best friend.

[TV series, 2003-04, 26 episodes, 23 min. Licensed by Geneon and distributed by FUNimation.]
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 8 9 7 9 9 Dreamer [series:881#2279]
I picked this one up after seeing it got some pretty darn good reviews. And after watching it through, all I can say is, wow!

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork was well done. There was good detail all around.... background, foreground and characters. Colors were rich... if not mostly on the darker side (a bit). Character designs themselves were excellent. All the characters were unique and had their own distinct features.

The OP was a nicely done piece that you might here in a low profile smoke filled bar where the typical underground characters might hang out. It works well for the series. The soundtrack was almost non-existant. At least, there was nothing that caught my ears. The ED was another piece you might here along side the OP.... in the same setting that is. this one featured male vocals and was a bit more upbeat. Nice.

Series and Episode Story
Now i'm not a big action fan. However, this series grabbed my attention from episode one! Watching through the first episode, I was under the impression this was going to be a title with demons/vampires and somewhere in the not-so-distant future. However, I was totally surprised from episode two and forward. I didn't expect it to be about a history and in-the-life of best friends in a high profile mafia.

The plot is just excellent. From beginning to end, it keeps you tied to the couch and wanting more. It does and excellent job in giving you the rich history... rather, the back story of our primary characters and some of the side characters..... from start to finish. Most of the characters really get a good background... which gives characters life and depth. This brings in the viewer's emotions and you tend to sympathize with them (some of them).

Here's my gripe. The end. I hated, hated how our two buddies essentially kissed and made up in their showdown. WTF!!? It just didn't sit well with me.

Overall, this series is full of intrigue, action and drama. It's well rounded with a plot that wastes no episode. It's a must watch from beginning to end.

Last updated Wednesday, June 15 2011. Created Sunday, June 05 2011.
Buy 9 8 10 9 10 10 Ggultra2764 [series:881#1552]
I don't often watch action titles. However, Gungrave was certainly a title that took me by surprise. The first episode made it seem the show was a sci-fi revenge title with use of the undead. But when this series goes into its second episode, Gungrave's highest points start going into full gear.

The core of the story is the bonds between Brandon, Harry, Maria, and the crime syndicate Millenion. All the characters get a great deal of depth and you are able to connect with them, even as some of them may turn out to be scumbags later on. These are characters who have their own personal beliefs and thoughts towards whomever they encounter. And even with life in the syndicate, these characters still have their doubts and uncertainties. So much dimension was put into these characters that I have to give kudos to the makers of this series for having characters in an action anime with so much complexity with character depth.

The plot was even well done. While the first episode seems deceptive of what is going on, episode 2 takes things in a different direction as it returns to the past featuring the beginnings of Harry and Brandon, their rise in Millenion, what led to Brandon's death, the start of Harry's corrupt rule of Millenion, and Brandon's revival. Plot progression went smoothly as you were able to see all the elements that led up to the present predicament that occured in the first episode. Then later in the series, Brandon confronts his old allies of the syndicate up to his eventual confrontation with Harry. And things leading up to this point are not as typical as you would think. The ending to this will even have you in awe.

In terms of visuals, scenery was vast and full of detail. Action scenes were a bit of a mixed bag for me. Some scenes had a good amount of fluid movement that were a treat for me while others lacked movement and seemed lacking at best. The best area for me with visuals were the character designs. For being able to show visible signs of ageing and changes with characters throughout the years Gungrave takes place, this was a visual aspect that impressed me with this series.

Gungrave was quite a ride for me. With its fleshed-out plot and plenty of depth from characters, this was well worth my time in watching. Just don't let the first episode deter you from seeing it.

Last updated Tuesday, February 10 2009. Created Tuesday, February 10 2009.
Watch 10 10 10 aoneish [series:881#1615]
it's a fairly impressive series. but to be honest, it's also pretty boring. the intrigue is there, yes, the drama, oh my god, its there, the action and violence is quite satisfying when it wants to be. but its have to love the character to care what happens to him right? and brandon, though i bet there there are subtle nuances of his inner feelings and whatnot that i'm missing, well he's just so stoicly dull. its hard to watch him. it was even harder when he came back from the grave, cause he lost whatever personality he had to begin with. though i admit, i did cry at the end when he actually spoke. he showed more emotion in the last ten minutes then he did the entire series. his voiceovers, while all nice and philosophical are pretty unimpressive. words mean nothing don't you know? it's a boring series, i skipped around alot. the first half of the series is dedicated to showing what lead up to brandon's "betrayal" and i mean, it's vital to see harry's path to evil and all, but it's just...dull. hey, maybe i missed something vital. but i did watch a good majority of the series and i found hardly anything that kept my attention. i'm glad i didn't shell out the money for this one.

Last updated Sunday, September 10 2006. Created Sunday, September 10 2006.
Buy 8 10 9 8 10 adiree [series:881#1804]
this! this! this is a faaaaaaaaantastic piece of work - i mean fantastic!!!! original, intriguing, involving... fantastic!!!!!! i've only seen up to episode 15 so far, but i know without a doubt that i am not going to be disappointed - i can't imagine writer's and artists of this caliber screwing up at the end, you know?

i'll start with animation - yeah, sometimes it's splotchy - nubbed over hands, elongated arms, etc, but the artists definitely make up for it with some of the most realistic hand to hand combat i've ever seen... in episode 5 (i think, it may be six) there is a spinning kick (sorry, don't know martial art names for such things, i just know that the kick spun, so that's what i'm calling it) that completely blew my mind away - i rewound that scene and watched it four or five times just because i was so captivated by it... it knocked my socks off (wait, i wasn't wearing socks to begin with)... the series is filled with the type of animation that you rewind and watch again just because the artistry is so well done, so complete that you can't help but be in awe over what you've just seen... but it's not only the hand to hand combat that makes your jaw drop, but it's also the facial expressions - a twitch of eye or lip, the way a character looks away - these aren't just simple animations of anger or sadness backed up dialogue, these are carefully formulated expressions, real expressions plastered over silence, expressions that you've seen on people that you know, that you've talked too... i've never seen facial expressions animated so clearly, so well (which is good considering the main the character doesn't do a whole lot of talking - it's through his face, and essentially his face alone that you come to know the character, that you feel empathy and sympathy - if the artists hadn't been so thorough with their use of expressions, the main character would simply be flat and unappealing) which i suppose brings me to the characters - the main character doesn't talk, which is original it's own accord, as main characters tend to be quite prone to chatting, but this one doesn't except in some beautifully written monolgues... monologues, traditionally, serve the purpose of letting the audience know what a character is thinking; a monologue explains actions that are being taken or actions that have already been committed; it's a tool, a very useful tool when one is dealing with stage, and now film - however, the poor little monologue has seen its share of abuse over the past hundred or so years - instead of explaining action and thought, it has become a tool of redundant physcoanalysis or the chance for the writer to inflict over flowery prose upon the audience - but the writers for gungrave were smart - yeah, there's a touch of physcoanalysis (which is nearly essential considering the muteness of the character who's speaking) but they leave out the flowers, they leave out unnecessary words and the need to explain morals or the state of the world - the monologues here are used as a source of doubt and self-explanation, and, amazingly enough, the monologues pace the story - they make it standstill, or they make it move further along - they are not just a writer's self undulgence, but they are being used as actual tools.... and these tools make this character one of the best written characters i've seen in my anime viewing experience... brandon is a complete character - he has faults and perfections, doubts and confidences - he has reasons and motivations, one's that are understandable, believable... it takes a very talented writer to create a character this complete, and he's not the only one harry - the other main character - is just as well done, just as complete, just as wonderfully written... like brandon, you understand why he does what he does, and his reasons are understandable for the person that he is.... he is always completely believable....the same goes for big daddy, maria, bear... all the main characters are given a certain roundness that can only be accomplished in the this time frame by masterful writers and artists who are completely concentrating on the quality of the story.... yes, the supporting characters are more 2-D, but, i can't imagine the writer's being able to accomplish such realism in the main characters if they were forced to also round-out the supporting characters... (besides, you get too caught up in the plot to really worry about the fact that the supporting characters are archetypal, you know?) and the voice acting round out the evolution of the characters... and i must say, both the sub and the dub possess some of the most amazing voice acting ever! for those of you who are die-hard original language fans, i challenge to check out this particular dub... i swear, i almost cried at one point because of the masterful voice work on the part of brandon's actor... i didn't cringe over one line; i didn't feel like any of the lines were being thrown away or were acted out of character; an extremely talented american cast... and for those of you who hate watching those subtitles, i'm going to challenge you to watch the original language version, because like the american cast, there's a helluva lotta talent flying out there - the actors possess an incredible range, an incredible fluidity to their lines.... ahhhhh, both casts acted out their parts so beautifully.... totally worth watching the version you don't normally watch just to see what kind of va talent there is out there.... and the story???? ha! the story is gorgeous, and that's all i'm going to say about that because, well, that's all i need to stay - gorgeous.... (have i raved enough yet?) i'm very, very impressed with this series - it definitely ranks in the top five anime i've ever seen...

Last updated Saturday, March 19 2005. Created Saturday, March 19 2005.
Buy 10 10 10 10 10 10 dirtyd12 [series:881#1785]
By looking at the scores I gave, you may think that I gave them because I'm a huge fan. But the truth is I'm rating it objectively. YEAH IT'S REALLY THAT GOOD. I couldn't find anything wrong with it.
The art and animation can be compared to that of Cowboy Bebop. The music and jazz is amazing (better than that of Cowboy Bebop in my opinion). The character designs are some of the best I've ever seen. The series story is the best combination of anime and mafia that exists.
No, The story IS one of the best I've ever seen (and I've seen A LOT in every genre!) Not just story itself, but the story progression is superb. NO FILLER WHAT SO EVER!!! Every episode is vital to the plot and/or character development. It's different than Cowboy Bebop's progression because it is important that the episodes are seen in sequence. To get the feel of the story you must see the episodes in order. What makes it so much more interesting is that the story is not totaly in chronological order. The first episode takes place in the present/future. The episodes after that take place in the past. The series progresses through the past until it reaches the present again. Then, the latter episodes proceed to the future until it reaches the ending.
There really should be another score box for "ending" because the ending is a realatively short process considering how much impact it has on the overall series. I give the ending a "10." You will not be disapointed!
Actually, you will not be disapointed by any aspect of this series. Though, it doesn't contain the comedy of Cowboy Bebop, don't let that deter you from bying Gungrave. IT IS A MASTERPIECE! And it is better than Cowboy Bebop. Do you think I would take this much time to write about it if it wasn't?

Last updated Monday, February 28 2005. Created Monday, February 28 2005.
Buy 10 10 10 9 10 10 manganime [series:881#1633]
1 word....AMAZING!
I just finished watching this a few moments ago
Through watchin it I kept thinking, is this gonna be better than Cowboy bebop? I still haven't fully decided yet but if i had to say now I'd probably say it is. I can't really think of any major flaws in this anime at the moment.
I think this anime is gonna be big after more recognition.
Oh yeah did I mention it's GREAT!

Last updated Wednesday, December 08 2004. Created Wednesday, December 08 2004.
Buy Forbin [series:881#1573]
Drama : High
Comedy : Low
Action : High
SciFi : Med
Ecchi : None

This starts out as a demon hunting scifi flick. Then it turns into a major drama about 2 men, a woman, and the mafia group they all work for. I've only seen 16 episodes and they are WONDERFUL. The first episode is a weird departure from the series, I guess this is really a back story to the Gungrave game and that's why it hardly has to do with the actual game itself.
Currently I just finished the mafia arc and are starting the scifi demon arc. I hope it doesn't disappoint.
I was surprised I was the first to review this since it is an older anime.

Edit : It's done, all episodes watched. OMG the drama on this was INCREDIBLE. Right up to the end when Brandon and Harry had their last stand. The scifi Arc wasn't even that much of an arc. It was there, but honestly it could've been easily taken out. The story is THAT GOOD!

Last updated Wednesday, July 27 2005. Created Monday, November 01 2004.

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