Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Gungrave - The Complete Boxed Set|
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
For Brandon Heat, death doesn't matter. Driven by his need for revenge, he returns from beyond the grave to cripple Millennion, the huge mafia organizatin that uses undead monsters as its enforcers. His ultimate goal wil... more »
A great one
Antonio Vega | Miami, Fl United States | 02/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"More often than not anime tends to be extremely repetitive. A young guy fights his way to the top whether it be in sports, outer space or love. It's even worse when the show goes on for far longer than it should. You get 150 spisodes into it and the main character is still doing the same thing he was doing 20 episodes into it. Granted, this show is not some revolutionary genre buster but it is definitely refreshing and engaging.
I'll try and not to go into too much detail since there's plenty of other reviews already and if you feel like it you can find many spoilers all around. The show starts out right in the thick of things. A fair comparison can be made with "Berserk" since both shows drop you into things with not much explanation and then take their time to flesh things out. I had read very little about the show when I bought it and after watching the first episode it didn't really seem all that special. Just another cool looking guy shoothing thugs up but I kept watching since even if it did turn out that way it'd still have probably been somewhat entertaining. However, once things start getting fleshed out and we're introduced to the characters you realize there's a lot more going on here.
At the center of the story we have Brandon Heat. He's part of a small time gang led by his life long friend Harry McDowell. They're just a bunch of young guys trying to survive and if they can make a few bucks while they're at it then they certainly welcome the chance. Harry isn't happy where he is though and we eventually come to see that Harry wants to make it to the top. Brandon doesn't really seem to have the same strong feelings he just kind of follows his friend and they slowly move forward. I realize I'm being a bit vague but I think vague is best.
There's quite a bit of violence but it's not really gratuitous. This is pretty much a show about a crime syndicate and obviously there's going to be a decent amount of killing. It's not like the show looks for excuses to have shooting it is simply a product of the subject matter. Even later in the series when it gets a little more gun heavy it doesn't cross the line. Perhaps because the whole series builds up to that point or perhaps because it's well made but it works.
It's a joy to watch the relationships unfold. The soundtrack is great. Definitely worth picking up. The animation is well done and the show ends right where it should. Like a good show it doesn't lose steam at the end but rather it leaves you wanting more. Not in a bad way but in a very good way. A very good show all around, definitely worth buying."
Is It Good? Heck Yeah!
coopertex | CA United States | 04/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gungrave is an drama/fantasy anime set around the 1960's. Harry McDowell and Brandon Heat were just two young street punks, who stole things and fought other street gangs to survive in their turfs. Harry and Brandon, grew up in a orphange and have been best friends ever since. They were willing to do whatever it took to rise to the top and achieve freedom from their life of poverty and danger. Their chance came up when they met a top member of the most powerful mafia called, Millenion. Harry and his best friend Brandon, start off as errand boys, doing petty jobs inside the Millenion organization, but you'll see as they climb up the ladder and become, the mafia's top executives. You'll see as their ambitions and greed take over their actions for better or worse.
Gungrave is really an excellent anime all around. Even though its roots are based on a Playstation videogame, this anime is better than the game itself and should not be overlooked because you may have not enjoyed the videogame. The story theme about friendship, love, greed and betrayal is well scripted and feels similar to the, "Godfather" crime epic. Gungrave adds a supernatural twist by having undead creatures in the action. However, most of the story is told in a realistic fashion only dealing with the people drama. I enjoyed the epic feel of the story and became attached to many of the interesting characters, who were criminals by society's standards, but had a great sense of loyalty for each other. This is one of those anime series which contains a slow but engaging story. The production values are high; the animation is fluid, the artwork, character design, are excellent, the music is moody and the sound effects are loud. Both the English and Japanese voice acting are excellent and fit their characters well. There is graphic violence and profanity, so for adults only. I also recommend the anime called, "Hellsing".
The Godfather of anime
IronMonkey66 | 07/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was looking for a new anime series to watch and stumbled upon Gungrave after reading good reviews. Little did I know I was going to enjoy one of the best series. I have seen quite a lot and some of my favorites are: Evangelion, Trigun, Hellsing, Cowboy Bebop, Full Metal Alchemist, Berserk... Now I have to update this list and include Gungrave. This series has probably one of the best scenario, the characters feel authentic, the drawing and artwork is excellent. I believe some of the team members who made Trigun worked on this title, so we can see similaritudes in the artistic style. However the tone is completely different, it is not goofy and funny like Trigun but very serious and tense, reminiscent of the movie The Godfather. Themes like duty, honor, loyalty, vengence and love are depicted powerfully. I am not the kind of person to cry or get emotional in movies, but this series has many very touching and powerful moments which gave me a knot. I personnaly think there are some anthologic scenes masterfully combing symbolic elements. Needless to say, I highly recommend watching this series and I think there is a potential for making a very entertaining movie out this."
Anime's own "Godfather"
A&M Junkie | UK | 03/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Upon looking at the cover of the first disc and hearing that the series was based upon a computer game I was originally put off from buying this. I imagined the series was a futurist shooting no-brainer aimed at 10 year boys (no offence). However, seduced by the first few volumes being reduced in price, I gave into temptation and bought them. And, my god, how wrong was I.
The closet movie comparison I can make is to the "Godfather." Two young guys, Harry and Brandon, who have been best friends since they were raised in an orphanage together, find themselves joining a mafia organization when their lives suddenly get turned up-side down after a petty battle with a small-time crook. The story charts what happens to our two friends after that, how both change in personality, and how eventuality they become fated to be enemies.
The story opens with Brandon being raised from the dead through human experimentation to protect the daughter of the woman who he once loved from Harry. The story then goes back in time and charts their lives through their late teens, twenties and thirties. The story is slow-paced while it builds up the relationships between the main characters but very rewarding as you too begin to care deeply for the characters, especially the gorgeous sexy quiet Brandon.
Although there are monsters in the form of genetically modified humans, the story concentrates on normal adults (instead of the usual teenagers) who are trying to form a career in the Mafia. Trust, friendship, love, greed and betrayal all influence the decisions made by our two friends and the people around them. The story also has the coolest action shooting sequences I have seen in anime.
With great animation from Madhouse (who brought us Trigun and Tokyo Godfather - but this is better than both) and voice talents from Samurai Champloo, it would be a great shame to merely view this fantastic grown-up anime as simply a videogame rip-off.