Ok so last night I was reading a book and completely forgot what day it was…
FAIL! So here’s a review a day late, my apologies to anyone who actually reads these….
I promise I’ll do something to make up for it…
Any suggestions?

Anyways so today I decided I want to talk about Gungrave!
Hifsa wrote a post showing some prop guns from anime series and it reminded me of my love of this series! (Like I need reminding I’ve got a huge poster of the main character starring at me from my wall right now. Lol)
Anyways this series is based off of a video game, by the same name, and the character designs and story were done by Yasushiro Nightow. If his name is ringing some bells in your memory that’s because he is best known for the rather famous series Trigun, (Also a great anime and manga) and both his story telling and art styles are predominate in this anime and also why it is so good.
Gungrave is a supernatural action drama that takes place in some bizarre hybrid between San Francisco and Japan but it is America. (And perhaps a healthy dose of New York or Chicago for good measure) The supernatural element plays very little role in the overall plot until very late in the anime. Well, except for the first episode. I’m not gonna lie, not the best first episode out there… its almost not even important to the story at all, but it is very important to setting up the main conflict between our main character Brandon Heat and the antagonist Harry. The second episode begins a long and elegant flash back that gave me plot whiplash the first time I watched it. (I thought I missed an episode or something…) It is here that the real story begins about two street thugs that join the mob and climb their way up the food chain.
This may sound odd but trust me the characters are so relatable and the whole time you watch Brandon and Harry you’re just wondering how the first episode, for telling the future, could possibly come to be.
The story is ultimately one about loyalty, love and friendship, and I’ve watch very few series that made me feel this as much as Gungrave.
The animation is handled very well and is in that era between the 90s grain and 2000s smooth smooth styles. (if that makes any sense at all) I won’t give spoilers but the ending is handled extremely well, in a way that makes it feel real, gives it heart, and ties into the anime’s themes.
I could go on about the themes and symbolism in this series, but I won’t ‘cause that’d be boring and give spoilers, so I’ll just say it’s a well written piece (save maybe the flashback episode in the middle) that uses it’s visual medium to its full advantage.

This series is great for those who love action or drama series. While this is an action anime it’s not really that gory but is more in the style of a good shoot ‘em up gangster movie and the supernatural element is a nice touch. And let’s not forget the real story! Which is great drama between the characters.
This is a series with heavy drama and if you want something that’s a happy feel good anime today this may be one you save for another time.

Give it a watch! Stick with it past episode and trust me you’ll be enjoying this exciting ride!
So there aren’t really any good trailers that I could find for Gungrave, all the ones from Funimation really advertise him as being called “Beyond the Grave” as Brandon’s nickname. While this is true… only one person in the entire series calls him this and mainly in the first episode… This gives the anime a very different vibe than I think it actually gives so… Opening theme song!

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