Beyond the Grave — 5 years ago
Gungrave is a gritty and dramatic anime and will be pleasing to most fans of the genre. The characters and settings are brutally realistic, and the atmosphere is brooding from the start. We know something bad is going to happen, even though the young and carefree characters haven’t seen it coming yet. We follow the story of Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowell, who have grown up together in an orphanage and are the best of friends. Together, they indulge in petty crimes and are looking for a way to make it in the world so they can become successful. Together, they are accepted into Millenion and start to rise up the ladder of the most powerful organisation in the city. Together, they battle to gain power, respect and money. But somewhere along the line they arrive at different ways of thinking and become separated from their roots: big problems loom ahead.
The beginning of the series is fantastic, it’s fun and tense and you get carried along in the plot whilst you get to know the characters and their relationships. I was disappointed with the (lack of) plot development around the midle of the series. There is a lot of focus on the action and the storyline doesn’t process. They seem to be forcing the pace and upping the number of gunfights to keep you interested, but I found it to be repetitive and it was dragged out for much longer than was necessary. Things are looking up again by the last disc though, and the characters shine through once more. The final episode reaches a heartfelt & emotional conclusion, and although it is very different from what happened in the videogame, I feel like this ending was very appropriate for the series and it tied everything up nicely.