Gungrave anime is based on third-person shooter video game by Red Entertainment. The plot of Gungrave is about a sweeper named Brandon Heat. Brandon Heat is a street rat along with his best friend Harry McDowell. After being betrayed by his best friend Harry and shot to death. Brandon turns to Dr. Tokika to bring him back to life. He is revived by Dr. T and seeks revenge against his former best friend. Gungrave video game revolves around shooting targets and using his Gunkata. However, there is a name switch about the villain group. In the anime, it was called “Millennion” but video game “Syndicate”. Gungrave anime gave Brandon backstory about explore the character more than source material. The most notable staff that was involve in making Gungrave is. Yasuhiro Nightow who is known for Trigun and Blood Blockade Battle Battlefront manga series.
The first part of the anime is exploring Brandon and Harry youth. They were orphans doing petty crimes to survive. Brandon was a mute and didn’t talk much in the first half. Harry was a con and smooth talking young man. The story establish about Harry and Brandon friendship. Later on Brandon, met of the supporting character Maria. Maria is Brandon childhood friend and love interest. She wants to live a peaceful life. Maria lives with her uncle who killed her mother. Her uncle is very protective of Maria and friend of Big Daddy. Later, Harry and Brandon friends were killed. The two made a name from themselves in town. Maria stay with Big Daddy at his mansion. Harry and Brandon decided to join the organization.
Making it to the top
Second half is about Harry and Brandon making it to the ranks within organization. Harry slowly turns to a rabbing lunatic and evil. Brandon comes out of his shell and decided to stick with Harry. He even lies to Maria about his job. Maria wanted to see Brandon and confess her feeling to him. Instead, Maria fell in love with Big Daddy. After visiting their friend’s grave, Harry was money and power hungry. Brandon suspects Harry betraying the organization and angry about not being boss. He knew about Harry is plotting and kills Brandon. The news was out that Brandon was a traitor to the organization. Even his childhood friend Maria and Big Daddy.
Brandon spends a note to Big Daddy about Harry schemes. He know about Nercolyze prototypes and money distorting. Dr.T revived Brandon using Neroclazation. Brandon’s memories gone for now goes by Beyond the Grave. Grave slowly regains his memory and learns Maria had a daughter named Mika. Mika helps Brandon and wants to learn about Millennion. Brandon Is back from the grave and wants revenge. If Grave wants to get Harry, he must go by Bob, Lee, Bunji and Bear.
What about my thoughts?
Gungrave is a great revenge story in this anime series. We takes a ride on a story of two friends climbing up the ladder for freedom. Brandon’s character developed changing from withdraw to stoic protagonist. Harry is a sociopathic villain like in Training Day. He wants to be on top and do whatever it takes. Madhouse did a good job with John-Woo ish imagery and camera work. Opening is very chilling and smooth atmosphere. The ending didn’t have credits buy lyrics of the song. I would say Gungrave anime is one of the best so far. Every character have a moment in the show.
There is no problem with is adaptation. I love the development and stepping stones that characters face. Narrating is spot on and takes a dive what characters is going through. Brandon pounders that what is Harry doing to change my life. What is Harry’s motives for the Syndicate? If you are a fan of the PS2 video game give it a watch. Fun fact: There is a Gungrave VR and sequel. Gungrave anime is available on DVD on Amazon.