(ended 2004)


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Gungrave Fan Reviews (16)

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out of 10
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  • This is a fantastic show that is driven along at a great pace by some even better characters.

    The show tells the story of Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowel two petty criminals and childhood friends that get recruited into the organisation Millenium. While Brandon maintains his sense of loyalty and honor Harry loses his way and starts to plot to take over the company by any means necessary. Eventually Harry is forced to kill brandon so that he can inherit the company. But for brandon death is only the begining he utilises cutting edge research first used by harry to come back from the grave and take revenge on both Millenium and Harry.

    This is a really great show. Most of the story is set as a long flashback spanning most of the series that tells how brandon and Harry got to where they are and the choices they made on the way. This means that we feel real affection for the main characters and realise that neither one is truly good or bad. Tha animation is excellent and the script is great. All in all it is a must see show.
  • I'm speechless

    Gungrave is about a man named Brandon Heat and his friend Harry Mcdoul. Brandon and Harry are best friends and get involved with a assasin organazation. Harry Is jelous of Brandon because he is getting to powerful and wants him out of the picture.....

    The pacing of the show is realy good the good it combines dramatic moments and action really good. The Dramatic side of the story can be very sad at times and the action is just plane awesome and theres the right ammount in each episode of the show for my final rating i give gungrave a 9/10
  • A heavily character driven story that excels as a mafia show and a drama.

    Two street punks find their friends dead thanks to a mobster. With no direction in life, they both join a Syndicate called Millenion. They rise through the ranks as they both provide a strong backbone to the syndicate; ambition on Harry MacDowell's side, and power with Brandon Heat. The two quickly receive the honour of becoming part of the Syndicate's "family"; a prestige status within the mob. However, things change when a smaller gang experiments with the idea of using zombies to overpower Millenion.

    You can pull many similarities of Gungrave with a lot of other animes out there. Most of the scenes, especially the later emotional ones, will have you saying "This is just like this this and this anime". The story isn't terribly deep; in fact, you could probably see what's happening a mile away. Oddly enough it would be wrong to label it slow, even though you could put the pieces together yourself.

    No plot twists, somewhat predictable story, makes you kind of wonder, why do I hold Gungrave so high then?

    The characters. You can have the greatest plot twist in the world and several just as deep plot twists following suit, but if the characters are bland then its impact loses a lot of effect. In reverse context if you have an average story with great characters, it's still going to be a great anime. The portrayal of Harry MacDowell's ambition is executed in the greatest manner. There's no better example of a power hungry person who takes more than he can handle than Harry.

    Brandon Heat is a very mysterious character. He rarely talks and he's the shows' main character. Often he dwells into his own inner monologues about his role within Millenion. I find it annoying that most animes have these strong silent characters for the sake of having a strong silent character in its cast. Brandon Heat is the most down to earth and realistic strong silent character you'll ever know. Most of the early episodes build both Harry and Brandon's character, and they do a great job in terms of pacing and quality.

    The supporting cast is also one of the best I've watched in an anime. Their characters are so great and the show does a great job of developing them. What I like the most is that they fill their roles quite well in context of the story. They're not only there for you to like, and it's a nice change to see characters that you've grown some attachment to actually die. Though Gungrave makes it feel like the deaths were appropriate. It doesn't kill characters for the sake of providing some blood, nor do they keep characters alive unnecessarily like most shounens do.

    While I've never been a fan of mafia or gunfights in general, Gungrave's incorporation of zombies and supernatural abilities make the fights very entertaining to watch, and the great productions just add to its glory. The soundtrack is also very good; fits the mafia environment very well.

    If I could compare Gungrave to any one anime, it would be The Twelve Kingdoms-even though the settings and theme are like apples and oranges. Great character development, good productions and soundtrack, awesome pacing, though what Gungrave is lacking is a truly awesome and kickass story. Nonetheless you won't find a lot of gangster movies or shows that even compare to Gungrave. It's a great watch if you're not a whore for action that fast forwards in each episode to the fights.
  • Brilliant

    Ok when I saw first episode of Gungrave i was thinking deep in my mind : "This is another SF-action anime with some s**t story" , but then I saw next episode and another one and another one till last episode and I was stoned of admiration. This is one brilliant (if I can use theat word)anime covered with story of true friendship between two completely different persons led by different look on life side. Emotions of evere single character is showed to thear limits.....retrospection is definitely one more thing theat draw my attention. I can't say much about it because I am not expert on theat fild but it amaze me. Now whay I cut score of this anime is the music and episodes 19-23 all this is nothing in comparing with other segments of this anime so my finale word is watch this anime it is worth of your time........

    P.S. Sorry for my bad english....this is because it is my second language
  • A show which had the potential to become the first anime mafia classic. Barring some of the flaws of this show, it could have easily been regarded among some of the greats in the genre of mafia/organized crime stories like the Godfather or Scar Face.

    (This review is supposed to be broken into several paragraphs but is being stupid right now and won't let me)

    This show tells the story about 2 young orphans who became best friends, who later become street punks, who later still reach the height of a syndicate known as Millenion. It tells the story of the relationship between a charming and cunning Harry MacDowell and strong silent type Brandon Heat. The story centers mostly around Brandon who coincidently hardly speaks at all throughout the whole series but helps to highlight the character development all around him. Harry who later becomes known as "Bloody Harry" thirsts for power while Brandon who later becomes known as "Beyond the Grave" or just "Grave" seemingly just follows Harry wherever he goes but actually has a love interest which becomes complicated with his involvement in the syndicate and the role Harry plays in it. The character development in this story is superb. It surpasses the story of Scar Face and is on par with Michael Corleone from the Godfather. You can't help but feel for the characters. You fall for Harry's charm and innocent ambition. You root for Brandon and his love interest. You understand and appreciate the loyalty between these 2 friends and yet, you don't know what should happen next. The story even stirs within you a conflict. You develop mixed feelings for the characters and THAT my friend is a sign of good character development. And there is a betrayal but who betrayed who? Who's right and who's wrong? All these questions arise throughout the series, a sign of a great a story. There are also a myriad of other characters that are likable. Since the story covers a time span on the order of 20 plus years, it does a good job of conveying certain nostalgia on the reappearance of these characters or even places such as Brandon's friends when he first started off in the mafia or the place they used live in in the slums. One thing I liked in particular were the soldiers in the mafia. You had the regular joe shmoes and then you had the sweepers, the mafia equivalent of elite soldiers or special forces. Who would have thought lowly Brandon would become a top notch sweeper and a leader of his own group called the True Graves who are said to even surpass Bear's Overkills. Now thats just cool talk. Now to speak of the flaws. Without these flaws, like I said, it could have easily been regarded as one of the best mafia stories ever told in Anime form. But even despite being an anime, it could have been highly regarded with the likes of Scar Face or Godfather. But sadly yet understandably, it was not without its flaws. One has to keep in mind that this was based on a video game afterall. Gungrave for the Playstation 2 console. Now to speak of the flaws themselves (at least for this reviewer). 1) The Orcmen and Superiors, or rather their design. I mean c'mon, what were those little batwings on the shoulders of the orcmen? And whats up with Bob Poundmax's and Bear's "superior" design? Organic helicopter and missiles?! Floating hands?! It's very outlandish and quite ridiculous for this story which for the most part and up until this point was rather realistic or at least believable. Why couldn't they all just look like Bunji who looked normal but was just very powerful? But I assume thats how they looked like in the game (I haven't played it but I want to now because of this series. I also happen to like first person shooters). Even the initial experimental batch of necros under Brad Wong was much more tolerable (what more could you ask for for zombie and mafia fans?). 2) The pedophilia. I don't know, I guess its a japanese thing to include some kind of sexual perversion in all their anime. I wasn't too fond of the idea between Big Daddy and Maria but it was kind of central to the story, a forgivable flaw. But then there was Harry and Sheri, now that was unnecessary. All they had to do was make her look a little older like in her mid/late teens when they met. Harry was in his early twenties but Sheri looked like a 12 year old when they met. Granted they didnt become involved until years after but still. And then there was Mika and Brandon. Nothing happened but it was implied or conveyed wrong (keeping in mind I saw it in Japanese with english caps and all she says is, "I love you" which could be taken in different contexts. To me, it felt like she was IN love with him). Mika is the daughter of Maria, Brandon's love interest. Yeah, her daughter. But luckily Grave wasn't having none of that. I guess one could write this off as just a childish love. Anyway, aside from these flaws, this was a great mafia story. Quite unlike something you might expect from an anime. The action was pretty good whenever it was shown. However, its not a typical action series one might expect given the pilot episode and the cover with Grave wielding his dual pistol cannons. Imagine my surprise when I figured out that it was actually a pretty damn good mafia story!
  • How would you go for the one you love. To love is to protect. To protect is to never betray. Welcome home.

    How would you go for the one you love. To love is to protect. To protect is to never betray. We've seen so many anime with guys that have ultimate power and kick ass throuout the series. Beyond the Grave is one. If he would be one hero like that, it would be really cool, but i'm glad that author decided for the deep minded way. Anyway if you search for the action, go play the PS2 games of this, cause the anime was made on the PS2 game as a foundation. So there's no point in arguing why the anime is halfway a flashback, cause the author just decided to deep the story by showing us the background of the whole picture. Returning us the missing piece that is needed to make the chain strong. And that's why you can't crush our faith in Gungrave. But I never played the game. Because I love the series, i'll enjoy the playing no matter what cause that's how much i believe in Gungrave. Because the maker and composer of Trigun are present here, maybe I'm blinded by that, that i love theanime so blindlessly.
    It just starts kinda slow though but it's ending is unbelievable. It's underrated, but in my opinion one of the better. The reason why is it so popular: Friends have been showing it to their friend and they started drooling. The show is great not for its action, even though it was great, but for its plot and for the superb way it showed the development of the characters. I loved the way that watching the first episode did leave me baffled and asking a lot of questions, and the fact that they were able to round everything together in just 26 episodes is truly amazing. Very compelling characters. Influential in character ties and developement. Don't you think it's cruel to Brandon to regain his memory every time he sees or hears someone is dead, that he cared for, from his past. And to regain his indentity he must die. Isn't there an irony of the Iron Law present here. No, he didn't betray. That what the other side of the medal is saying to us. The only downside to this one is the poor action(i love it) and some absurd consempts (i.e. mutanations, resurections,) that seem out of place in a drama. Overall a satifying experience. In the intro you can see all those one liners and quote from various movies i think. They're too complex, so deep and confusing that I'm glad Brandon is staying silent all the time. In the end the story comes to a full circle. I don't wanna spoil it.
    Oh and Brandon wins 8:5 you know.
    Welcome home.
  • This is a great anime and it was one of my most favorite animes. The hat I wear everyday is a Gungrave Hat :P

    The plot for this is great. Especially how it was like the movie crow. The whole rising from the grave and revenge stuff. I even based some of this on one of the thigns im writing. This is a greta animes. Action, good Guys die so it ain't the typical good guys always win thing. If you haven't checked it out I suggest you should try too. It's worth seeing and great. It's a shame that it ended already and you can't really find it but it was cool. Gungrave also seems a little underappreciated. Ethier someone I asked know what it is say who cares or doesn't know.
  • BRANDON!!!! HEATTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!

    I was a huge fan of trigun...and someone told me to check out gungrave because its from the makers of trigun...i checked it out and i was impressed...although at many times a lil bored. The story goes through the lives of several friends trying to make it in the streets. It starts with a look at Grave...but then we get thrown back into all that leads upto that. Its an interetsing stroy and well thought but it seemed to drag alot. there was alot of slow points in this series Then we see grave and its only a handful of episodes. If you are a fan of animie this one is one that should be seen...but if your not a huge fan of animie and jsut your average yugi oh or DBZ watcher you may not like this one.
  • Brandon Heat, #1 Sweeper, A man of few words.. led into the life of mafia, held together by the bonds of friendship and the grasp of love, this man will do anything to hold onto them.

    What can i say. this anime is absolutely amazing. Though it was only 1 season, it was probably the best game-turned-anime i have ever watched. Quite vividing and each episode just made u want to watch the next one. Another one of those mature animes, its values it shares are one of a kind. a very unique and underappreciated anime, the word must spread! You'll probably find this anime subtitled, and if u dont mind,( i personally havent) i personally reccommend this anime to those who enjoy action, romance and a little bit of that Gangsta flare it has. though a bit cliche at times its one of keepers. Enjoy!
  • This show was totally unlike what I thought it would be. I saw the first episode and thought the entire sereis would be full of action like the pilot episode, I was wrong

    This show really throws you a curve ball. This is a drama anime that starts off very actiony. The later episodes that do have action do not compare to the pilot episode's action.
    Now to the drama aspects of this show, tHEY are extremely well done. I usually do not like drama anime but this is a very good one. After all this is from the guys that brought you Trigun.
    The characters are very well done and how the characters all are linked is very intriguing. What really brings you into this anime is seeing the character bonds and discovering how they ended up where they are.
    The story starts off showing you future instances. The rest of the story is entirely based on flashbacks. That doesn't sound too exciting but the characters are so compelling that it keeps you coming back. It makes you wonder how did thiese two good friends end up worst enemies, and how did the situation get as bad as it is?
    Very compelling characters. Influential in character ties and developement. The only downside to this one is the poor action and some absurd consempts (i.e. mutanations, resurections,) that seem out of place in a drama. Overall a satifying experience
  • One of the finest anime series ever produced. Better than 97% of the live action shows I've seen.

    Gungrave is perhaps the finest anime series ever released. Never has an anime series taken an outwardly silly premise from an apparently mediocre video game and woven such a deep, intricate and exceedingly intelligent story that’s as good as, if not better than, most live action shows.

    Gungrave succeeds on nearly every level, in nearly every facet of storytelling. As we follow the journey of Brandon Heat and Harry Macdowel, from streetwise punks to tragic old men, we see the one thing that anime so often lacks: character development. Normally, silly plots and quirky characters are enough to sell an anime show to audiences, but here we have legitimate character arcs that continuously progress throughout the entire series, building to a head in the series’ stunning climax. These are not stagnant characters, nor do they change just for the convenience of plot. Rather, they are organically changing in a logical way throughout the entire series. As they grow and develop, plot points are born out of the variations, as opposed to them simply changing to service an individual story-line.

    To further facilitate the growth of these characters, the overall story structure of the series is grounded strongly in the season-long story arc school of thought. Instead of having silly filler episodes with simple stand-alone stories, each episode advances the series arc, while focusing on an individual character, or essential event to parallel the overreaching story advancements. For example, the fantastic episode, Daughter, focuses on family and sacrifice for family’s sake – central themes in the show. In it, we see Brandon and Mika’s relationship develop into that of father and surrogate daughter, paralleled with Bear Walken and his daughter (which brings his character full circle, paralleling the events in the episode, Family).

    I could blather on incessantly about the wonderful story structure, and give you sizable dissertations on key moments and central characters in the story, but I won’t do that. In the interest of fairness, I should point out that as fantastic as Gungrave is, it’s not without its flaws. Fortunately, these flaws don’t detract from the overall quality of the series, but do bear mentioning in an attempt to be mildly objective.

    First, the writing on the show is fantastic from a story perspective. When it comes to dialogue though, it’s a bit stilted. Perhaps the subtitled version might be better, but presumably, no matter how you slice it, something is getting lost in translation. The dialogue can be a bit over-the-top, and characters frequently express their thoughts alone and aloud in lengthy, and often silly monologues. Plus, the characters all have a penchant for using the name of the person their speaking to excessively in the conversation, and usually saying it incredibly dramatically (i.e. BRANDOOOOOOON!!!!!). And some of the names themselves are over-the-top. Namely, Bloodwar: Blood of the Battlefield, and our hero himself, Beyond the Grave. Every time someone calls Brandon, Beyond the Grave, I cringed. It sounded ridiculous. Fortunately, they wisely shortened it to just Grave quite often.

    The only other problem I really had was the ridiculous outfit Brandon wore when he became Beyond the Grave. The mixture of mob drama and sci-fi action usually works well - they actually gel a lot better than you might expect - but that outfit is the one exception to this. Anytime you see him in it, it really takes you out of the drama of the show. His black coat works just as well as an iconic outfit, if not better. But I guess the full-on, neo-cowboy duds had to be in there, because this was based on a game, and that’s how he looked in said game. Fortunately, they seem to have known enough to limit the appearance of the getup. It only shows up a few times, and eventually gets destroyed, and doesn’t return.

    Despite these few flaws, which occur in most other anime anyway, the story is still among the best out there. It is brutal and captivating, and at times even touching. Ultimately, this story is a tragedy of Shakespearean proportion. The complex tale of complex individuals is wonderfully thought out, and expertly executed. Themes of freedom, family, and friendship all exist in sharp counterpoint to themes of confinement, betrayal, and loss, and are tackled with a finesse rarely seen in episodic television, and especially animation. This one seems to have slipped under the radar of most people, but if you have a chance, and you are a fan of either anime, or just fine drama in general, certainly check it out. You will not be disappointed.
  • Gungrave is a great mix of action, mafia, and emotional story.

    I didn't think I was going to like it because to me nothing could live up to Trigun, but Gungrave is an excellent show. It has it all: emotional story that keeps you hanging on, action that doesn't stop, and the mafia (which makes any TV show good). I would totally recommend watching this anime!
  • From the makers of TriGun, comes an action-drama anime, titled "Gungrave". If you're the kind who doesn't mind unconstant action, prepare to be amazed.

    When I first saw Gungrave on Anime Unleashed (G4), I wasn't too excited. I didn't normally take the "more words" kind of anime too well, but something about this anime compelled me to return for a few more episodes. After watching a few more episodes, I was totally engrossed. I had no idea that this would become my favorite anime of all time.

    From the compelling story, to the fluid animation, to the amazingly realistic voice-acting, everything about this series shines. Well, "shines" isn't really the best way to describe a serious anime like this, but I'm speaking figuratively.

    The story mainly revolves around two best friends, Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowell. The episodes go from a time in the future, before you don't even know a single thing about the story, to a flashback of Brandon and Harry's time from living on the streets to joining the Mafia, then to Harry's betrayal of Brandon. It returns to the future, showing Brandon's supposed rampage for revenge on Harry, with the occasional flashbacks. Brandon in the future is referred to as Grave, because he has returned from "Beyond the Grave", through a process called Necrolyzation.

    The animation gets progressively better as the series goes on, with one extremely awesome episode (Last Bullet), which is the fight between Grave and Bunji, who also used to be one of Grave's friends. You'd expect a lot of static moments from a action-drama show like this, but it's actually kept to a minimum. In the cases where animation occurs, it's extremely realistic, but that's expected, considering the pedigree of the makers.

    I hear that everyone hates dubs ("go for the subs"), but I really loved the dubbed voice-acting in this. Even with it being [generically] gruff, and what'd you expect, I thought it was very fitting. I have yet to see the subbed version, but I will, as soon as I get the DVDs. And I guarantee you, I WILL get the DVDs.

    If you don't mind not having in-your-face action at every single moment while watching, then you'll probably love this.

    My ONLY complaint is that the series is ended. Never to return. But that's how it goes, considering the plot.

    P.S. They no longer air Gungrave on Anime Unleashed anymore.
  • What do you get when you mix, The Godfather with Anime? Gungrave.

    This show is amazing. If you like mafia fims/shows, such as The Godfather or The Supranos and you like anime (even if you don't know what anime is or don't like it) give this show a shot. The show starts whith Brandon Heat dead and reborn through a technology known as Necrorise. The following episodes divulge his past. The story follows Brandon Heat and his best friend Harry MacDowel from small time punks to big time mafiosi. Again, I recomend this show to any mafia fan, anime fan, or anyone looking for a good show.
  • This is probably the best thing Anime Unleashed has ever played...

    Once upon a time, there was a game called Gungrave. ever heard of it? Didn't think so. This anime is based off of it, but in this rare case, that's definitely not a bad thing. From the creators of Trigun, Gungrave is the story of the lives of 2 best friends, Brandon Heat and Harry McDowell, who evenutally become mortal enemies. They start in a street gang, and eventually become Mafia members. Harry eventually kills Brandon to get to the top, but that's only the beginning. The first episode, where Brandon/Grave is brought back from the dead is actually halfway through the series.

    overall, this series is just plain awesome. the animation and VA are perfect, the story is dark, violent, and dramatic (how the show gets away with PG I'll never know). if you like Trigun, you'll Love Gungrave.
  • One of the sickest shows around

    Gungrave is about a guy named brandon at first he is in nothing but a small gang. Later he gets in the mafia named millennion one of the top mafia. He becomes the sweeper killing any one in his way he does this to protect maria ,harry and the ones he cares about. He gets to the top with his best frineds harry. Later harry kills brandon and evryone who he had cared for. Brandon gets necrolyzed comes back for alittle pay back. He takes down millennion top people. later ends up killing him and harry.