Anime Review of Gungrave
Filed Under: Media & Tech, Music & Film | Posted: 09/13/2007 at 4:24PM
Comments | Region: United States
“Gungrave” is an interesting anime series that was adapted from the actual Gungrave game that was released to the Playstation 2. It does deal a lot with zombies or anything related to the undead. But, there is nothing really scary about Gungrave that is associated with any typical zombie flick. It’s an interesting mix of science fiction, the supernatural, action, with a good bit of film noir. Gungrave really does give off a noir-like feeling because it’s very dark. There is nothing pretty or happy about Gungrave at all which is very appealing. For a series that is adapted from a game, Gungrave is a great anime series to watch.
Anybody that has played the first Gungrave should be familiar with the story of the series. However, the series tends to add more to make the series appealing such as giving more depth into the characters and into their pasts. In the series, viewers get to look into the past of the main silent protagonist known as Brandon Heat. The first few episodes of the Gungrave anime series revolves around the early lives of Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowell which is twenty-five years before the present setting of the story. The first few series is what established the friendship between Brandon and Harry along with a few others as they joined a syndicate called Millenion as they took out a syndicate called Lightning.
As the game lacked substance of the story, the series does more than that. It explores the friendship and the relationship between Brandon and Big Daddy (the leader of Millenion). Then it shows that Big Daddy’s wife Maria Asagi and Brandon were former lovers. But, it is revealed that Brandon left her because he had shed too much blood as the leader of Millenion’s cleaner squad. Then it reveals that Harry MacDowell wanted to overthrow Big Daddy as he was the one responsible for getting rid of the former leadership of Millenion. As a result, he kills Brandon by a bullet into the skull through the eye.
It then fast forwards to the future where Harry MacDowell and the others are in their forties. Maria and Big Daddy end up having a daughter named Mika. Millenion reigns supreme as they have an army of undead soldiers due to research that Lighning conducted in the past. Maria and Big Daddy are killed by Millennion upon Harry’s orders. In turn, Harry takes over Millenion. As a result, Mika runs into a man named Dr. T who had revived Brandon. But, he is no longer Brandon Heat to an extent as he is known as “Beyond the Grave” or simply as “Grave.”
The series goes follow the game’s story to the tee. More importantly, the story and characters are very much expanded. It gives deeper insight on the reasons that both Grave and Mika are working to stop Millenion that is now controlled by Harry MacDowell. The series picks up almost halfway and focuses on the war between Brandon/Grave and Millenion which is really the war between Brandon Heat and Harry McDowell. In a sense, it’s like numerous popular conflicts between two people whom used to be best friends in the past.
It presents the important moral that though two people are friends, they do have different sets of ideologies. A conflict of ideologies could cause friends to part ways and/or perhaps be enemies in the future. Grave does talk in the series but it’s limited as he stays silent most of the time. In the series, Grave’s hair is gray versus black in the game. There are plenty of differences between the series and the game.
There is plenty of action and drama. But the series itself gives off a feeling of sorrow and tragedy that would make viewers feel sorry for all of the characters including the major villains. The villains are very human with traits that would have to make you sympathize with them.
Currently, the series isn’t airing. However, it’s one series that is pretty difficult to find. But, Gungrave is very much a decent series to watch. Despite the differences, Gungrave should be viewed as a series and possibly a supplement to the game itself. Still, the creators had done a good job with the adaptation.