Archive for September 7th, 2013

07
Sep
13

Gungrave, Black Heaven

Gungrave

The only cool thing about this anime is this picture.

Gungrave is a 2003 anime based on a 2002 video game. A video-game based anime?! I’m surprised this series didn’t win a thousand Emmy awards from the pedigree alone. The story is about a mute gangster named Brandon Heat who allies himself with a cocky asshole named Harry McDowell. The tale chronicles their rise from low-level thugs to the top of the Millenion crime organization. McDowell only owns a single white suit and never changes it despite the series taking place over the course of DECADES. Geez, that thing must have reeked of B.O. Brandon isn’t technically a mute, but he talks less than Ryan Gosling’s character from Drive. The first half of the series is OK, but in the second half, things go down hill fast.

Millenion is at war with a rival organization. Their enemies decide that the only way to wrest control of the city from Millenion is to use zombies. Yes, that’s right, zombies. Motherfucking zombies. So, we get a healthy injection of the walking dead into what had been a gangster series. The juxtaposition absolutely does not work, and every time a fucking zombie shows up, it just reminds you how far off the rails this show went. Eventually, Brandon gets betrayed by Harry, and he dies. He comes back as a zombie with revenge on his mind. By this point, all the characters in the show are “old.” Old by anime standards. As best I can figure, Brandon died at age 43 and Harry was probably the same age since they grew up together. Of course, at the ripe old age of 43, Harry has gray hair and a deep, old gravely voice, sounding like a guy who is about to get thrown into a nursing home. Goddamn you, anime.

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