The main protagonist is a man named Brandon Heat, and he started out in a small-time gang operating out of Desolation Alley. His best friend, Harry MacDowell, was the leader of the gang. After their three close friends in the gang are killed, Brandon and Harry join the Millennion crime syndicate, which is led by Big Daddy. After being part of the syndicate for five years, both Brandon and Harry became part of Big Daddy's "inner circle." As part of his "family," they were expected to follow a strict code of conduct. However, Harry took the code lightly. Brandon was trained to be an assassin, and he eventually formed his own elite sweeper unit ("True Grave") within the syndicate.
Brandon's childhood sweetheart, Maria Asagi, was the adopted daughter of one of the members of Millennion. After her adoptive father was killed, Maria moved in with Big Daddy, and they grew close after Brandon rejected her. Brandon's reasoning was that he had sinned too greatly during his profession as an assassin. Maria married Big Daddy, and gave birth to his daughter, Mika.
Harry began killing and cheating his way to the top of Millennion, and earned himself the nickname "Bloody Harry." As part of his rampage, he killed Maria in an attempt to discontinue the line of Big Daddy's descendants. Brandon ended up confronting Harry for betraying Millennion, but found that he could not kill his best friend. Harry, however, had no qualms about killing Brandon.
Mika goes to a man named Dr. Tokioka, a scientist that developed the necrolyzation dead regeneration process. Dr. Tokioka used the process to bring Brandon back to life. However, Brandon has been reborn as "Beyond the Grave," and his mission is to seek revenge against Harry and Millennion.
The anime begins 13 years after Harry's betrayal of Brandon, and when Brandon is reborn as "Beyond the Grave." From there, the series backtracks to Brandon's youth, and the audience follows Brandon and Harry as they rise through the criminal world, and the circumstances that led to their falling out.
Gungrave has an interesting premise, and after establishing who "Beyond the Grave" is, the series utilizes a "flashback" motif to tell the rest of the story. However, due to the violence in Gungrave, I really can't recommend it for anyone under the age of 15 or 16.
|Gungrave||26||2003-2004||Toshiyuki Tsuru||Madhouse||FUNimation Entertainment|