Judge Mitchell Hattaway was afraid the zombies would ruin this series, but he's happy to admit he was wrong.
Our reviews of Gungrave: Beyond The Grave (Volume 1) (published September 23rd, 2004), Gungrave: The Sweeper (Volume 2) (published November 18th, 2004), and Gungrave: The Complete Set (published August 7th, 2009) are also available.
An army of zombies begins a war against Millenion.
This latest volume of episodes from the Gungrave anime series picks up shortly after the events of Gungrave: The Sweeper, and then quickly jumps forward in time. After several episodes of character and story development, these installments start to ratchet up the action.
Here's a brief overview of the episodes included on this disc:
• Episode Nine: "Dispute"
• Episode Ten: "Conflict"
• Episode Eleven: "Heat"
• Episode Twelve: "Hope"
I'm glad the first episode of this series hinted at the some of the plot's more outlandish elements; otherwise, I think the introduction of the zombie army this late in the game could have derailed the proceedings. As it stands, though, the undead gunmen plot is handled with a fair amount of restraint (or at least what amounts to restraint when it comes to anime); the build up and execution are pretty matter-of-fact, and as a result we simply have another believable twist in already gnarled plot. As was the case with the previous volume, these episodes continue to deepen both the story and characters. I've been particularly impressed by the subtle ways this series conveys the passage of time; for example, as the characters mature, there are changes in their physical appearances, as well as in their patterns of speech. I continue to be surprised and impressed by Gungrave.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, but no one beats Geneon when it comes to presenting anime on DVD. The transfer, once again, is absolutely beautiful; there's not a flaw to be found. The three audio options are all first-rate, but the Japanese DTS track once again comes out on top. Surround action is plentiful, and your subwoofer will be given a vigorous workout. (There's a really sweet scene in Episode Twelve in which Bunji fires his automatic pistols at a speeding car; his shots hit the driver, and the car careens out of control. The sounds of the car travel all around the soundstage, and the car eventually crashes in the right surround channel. Pretty cool.) As was the case with the previous volumes, extras consist of a gallery of conceptual art and previews for other Geneon titles.
Gungrave is consistently entertaining, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment. If you haven't done so already, give it a look. Court is adjourned.
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