Judge Mitchell Hattaway was certain this series would fall apart in its second act, but he's pleased to admit he was wrong.
Our reviews of Gungrave: Beyond The Grave (Volume 1) (published September 23rd, 2004), Gungrave: Undead War (Volume 3) (published December 9th, 2004), and Gungrave: The Complete Set (published August 7th, 2009) are also available.
His name is Heat, but his heart is cold.
When we last saw Harry and Brandon, they had just taken their first steps into the world of the criminal syndicate Millenion. Picking up shortly thereafter, this second volume of episodes from the Gungrave anime series chronicles their first few years in the syndicate, and we slowly begin to see the heights each would reach before fate tore them apart.
Here's a brief synopsis of the four episodes included here:
• Episode Five: "Millenion"
• Episode Six: "Big Daddy"
• Episode Seven: "Five Years Later"
• Episode Eight: "The Family"
I was quite impressed with the first volume of Gungrave, and I was equally impressed by this release; this operatic tale remains compelling, and the story and characters continue to deepen. A few hints are dropped regarding the coming rift between Harry and Brandon, and the forces behind Brandon's evolution from street tough to cold-blooded killer are slowly becoming apparent.
Geneon's technical efforts on this volume rival those of the first release. The anamorphic transfer is impeccable, and the sound equals it. All three audio options are impressive, but, once again, the Japanese DTS track edges out the Dolby tracks. There's not much action in these episodes, and as a result the audio isn't as flashy as it is in the first volume, but when the surrounds and sub kick in, they kick in, with plenty of whizzing bullets, ricochets, squealing tires, and even some steered dialogue. Extras include conceptual art, previews for other Geneon titles, as well as a preview for the Gungrave video game.
The court commends Geneon and Project Gungrave for their continued fine work. Gungrave: The Sweeper would make an excellent addition to any anime collection (although if you haven't done so already, you'll definitely want to experience the series from the beginning). Case dismissed.
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