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[Review] Gungrave (Spoiler free)

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  • [Review] Gungrave (Spoiler free)



    Gungrave
    Original run: October 6, 2003 – March 29, 2004
    Episodes: 26
    Genre: Action, Action, Drama, Crime, Sci Fi, Supernatural
    Studio: Madhouse
    Written by: 黒田 洋介 (Kuroda Yousuke)
    Directed by: 都留 稔幸 (Tsuru Toshiyuki)

    "One more thing, He's no longer called Brandon. That name does not belong to him anymore. He's called Grave, call him Beyond the Grave."
    - Dr. Tokioka
    [Funimation dub]


    Hey I'm pretty new to Hongfire and I saw these reviews on the front page of HF and thought I'd do one too to contribute to the HF community with a review of one of my all time favorite animes.
    This review isn't going to be very professional though so give me any thoughts and criticism for future reference if I ever decide to do another one.


    Overview:

    I've never played the game but this anime is supposedly based on the game. So basically you'd have this guy called Beyond the Grave all clad in a dark trench coat with a pair of handguns called Cerberus and carries around a metal coffin with doubles as a variety of weapons like a machine gun as the main character.(totally reminds you of Wolfwood from Trigun and Dante from Devil May Cry) with Mika as the tragic heroine and Dr. Tokioka as the support cast and their out for vengeance. Most of this Anime though centers around Grave's past with the first episode as the introductory to the main cast and how badass Grave is and around like 20 episodes would be a flashback to around 20 years ago. You'd think why would they focus 20 whole episodes into Grave's past but that's where the beef of the story lies.

    Story:

    This one anime is a real tear-jerker. You'd think all this talk about Grave being badass makes this anime focused on action, well you're wrong. This anime excels in the drama department. Those 20 episodes of flashback will make you cry like a baby even if you're Chuck Norris tough(ok maybe i'm exaggerating but it is pretty emotional). So basically Grave is out for vengeance against this guy that ordered the death of Mika and her family and the anime explains the relationship of that guy and Mika's parents with the flashback so you'd understand why everything is happening like they are. Oh and if you're worried about the pacing in the anime, it's neither too slow making you think why is it like a 20 sec of Vegeta screaming because he failed yet again in dealing any damage to a foe with his point blank kick or too fast like the recent anime: Itsuki Tenma no Kuro-Usagi.

    Character:

    You'd really get to see how this anime builds up the character's personality and traits. The voice actors from both Japanese and English dubs did well in portraying their characters well. You'd really feel the emotion each character feels from their voice. And every moment from happy event to tragedy in anime slowly builds up the character's personality so you can fully understand what each character had to go though. Although the English dub Mika sounds a bit too childish overall it was great.

    Art and Animation:

    Considering this anime was made 8 years ago, the art still looks better than some of the animes they make today.(cough...Manyuu Hikenchou...cough) There's hardly anything you can say about this anime that you would think looked bad other than the fact that those creepers look disgusting.(But its on purpose so its fine) Angle usage in every scene was perfect too unlike...(k i think i'd piss people off with this so i wouldn't say it unless people really want me to) Action scenes were great but sometimes it could have been flasher or less flashy depending on the situation and I don't think they'd recycled any shots in this anime at all.

    Music:

    Meh the music is ok. It's used well in most scenes but they are't really memorable to say anything good or bad about it. It's just your typical dark action bgms.

    Conclusion:

    This anime is definitely a must watch to whoever never watched it. Although it might not be of taste to people that love happy animes like Lucky Star but if you like any of Key's work you'd definitely will love this one. It's dam hell better than all those Naruto and Bleach people are watching these days so try it. I'd say this anime is on par with Cowboy Bebop, Trigun and Hellsing. Oh and if anyone think otherwise, I did this review on memory alone so I can't make this review too detailed and it might not be as great as i say it was but it's still is a great one to watch.
    So to end off I'll rate this out of 10 :

    Story: 10
    Character: 8
    Art and Animation: 8
    Sound and Music: 7
    Overall: 9


    I'm gonna try to find it again and rewatch it so i might make this review clearer. (I probably won't make more reviews though)
    Last edited by Veneficae; 10-29-2011, 05:15 AM.

  • #2
    I've watch GunGrave about 4-5 years ago and I still remember it. The game was ... pathetic, but the change in the anime was great. In the game, Beyond the Grave was almost mute, but in the anime, you discover his past, how he become like that, everything. Same for Mika, the scientist, and the bad guys. The game was truly poor on the storyline, but with the anime, all the characters get a real life, a true past, and all this fit for the dramatic story.
    And I didn't spoke about the animation, the music and all this stuff.

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    • #3
      I am astonished to learn an anime this great is based on a game of all things. Huh. Honestly I never would have guessed in a million years, since I only watched the anime and was blown away. There's really nothing else like it in the way it merges genres without turning into a hopeless mess. The ending is always vital for a show, time and again I've seen terrific series that end with a disappointing whimper. Not this one. First anime review I wholeheartedly agree with, even if I can't stand english dubs
      "There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Karis Fra Mauro View Post
        I am astonished to learn an anime this great is based on a game of all things. Huh. Honestly I never would have guessed in a million years, since I only watched the anime and was blown away. There's really nothing else like it in the way it merges genres without turning into a hopeless mess. The ending is always vital for a show, time and again I've seen terrific series that end with a disappointing whimper. Not this one. First anime review I wholeheartedly agree with, even if I can't stand english dubs
        Actually the english dub wasn't bad at all. Unlike Inuyasha or most other dubs. Although it wasn't like Dragon Ball Z where english dub was better because the voice followed the age of the person.

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        • #5
          It's always a good thing to give more people a choice so I'm glad the dub is well done. Sadly these days whenever I see a Japanese game ported over to the west it's only english dub sadly, wish the principle of choice was as honoured in gaming as it is anime. I'll add that I loved the music from this show too. In every respect you can tell the people making it cared about quality.
          "There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery."

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          • #6
            I played the game and watched the anime. Despite the small differences between them, they both have captured what makes Gungrave unique.

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            • #7
              The opening episode was probably written to hook the players, and quite well for that purpose, but it almost lost me; just a blitz of action without any character establishment, and the one-implacable-man-army fighting hordes of...zombies? vampires? some grisly looking creatures, anyway. None of this was familiar, so it just looked cliche.

              Second ep got me, though. Brought the story down to earth and tightened focus on the characters for a good crime drama. When the action came back to the beginning, I could appreciate it more knowing the personalities involved, what they'd gone through. A lot of good characters got tearjerking but fitting finishes. I'd play the game if it ever released for PC, but I doubt it will.
              Last edited by DokEnkephalin; 11-18-2011, 07:21 AM.
              Brevity is the soul of...

              My Gallery Since 2008

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              • #8
                I agree the way the show started out was a bit of a tease. Sadly if it was clear right from the get go how thoughtful and slow it would actually be, they could probably kiss the bulk of their audience goodbye.
                "There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery."

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                • #9
                  Love this anime its insight ful and explains the Character developement so well......now im going to go hide in a corner and watch this anime again

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                  • #10
                    this bring back memory.gonna watch again

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                    • #11
                      I remember watchin this a couple years ago such an awesome anime somthing I would highly recommend for people who havn't seen it =)

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                      • #12
                        Hey, thanks for the info, I'm going to check it out. If anyone has any other good series, please send me a message.

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                        • #13
                          This anime is so underrated. Although I am not a big fan of the fighting against supernatural being part, but the story itself is quite awesome. The ending (last episode) itself is also one of the few that I would consider a good ending.

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                          • #14
                            agreeing with bakaouji regarding the underratedness, one needs to give it a couple of episodes for a proper start

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                            • #15
                              a small tear ran my cheek when i watched this. quite a good anime. decent review if you had said otherwise i would kick your arse XD. all the noobs tought that the series would be like that at the beginning, when it began to develop and the past people was like meh and dropped it. not I, anyway its like those series for those who know were to watch, kinda like HxH.
                              Last edited by YamiSouru MkIII; 12-10-2014, 04:50 PM.

                              Humans normally only use 30% of their potential in strength,Hokuto Shin Ken its about mastering the other 70%!
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