ARGUMENT: Gungrave

Ok, I think everyone knows at this point how much I love the show Gungrave. And like Trigun, it is for reasons COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO THE ACTION IN THE SHOW. I love gunslingers, I love badasses, but I love this show because, amazingly, those two stereotypes are not at ALL what it is about.
gungrave poster
Here’s an argument (it’s going to be pretty long) that me and a guy had on :


This show is FILLED with stupidities. The way guns are used for a start.

The main character keeps switching from one wannabe cool pose to another. Shooting dozens of shots in the same direction and sometimes without moving an inch, or aiming an inch for that matter.

And then the plot. Okay, it is based on a game. But how shallow can you get? The cheap philosophy every time someone opens their mouth. And the hero that doesn’t speak? Is that supposed to make him more mysterious? It can make someone mysterious, but in this case i don’t think he could open his mouth without saying something that wouldn’t make any sense or open yet another plot hole.

Brandon Heat is not an idiot, nor “quiet.” He is internal. I can prove this wuth many factual points, but I’ll just make it clear with one reason alone-

He isn’t an idiot. You claim he is “dumb” whether by intelligence or decision not to speak (as a clarifier I mean that the condition “dumb” or mute) makes him a less intelligent, less rounded character.

He narrates the entire thing. Him. Mr. Quiet guy in the corner? Did you ever consider that some people have less to say, and some people just take orders. That’s what a good mafioso, or hell student, is supposed to be. Questioning is one thing. The whole theme of his character is blind loyalty and protection. He’s almost the complete mirror antithesis to Vash the Stampede, and usually when he’s quiet it doesn’t make him look cool- it makes him look retarded. Intentionally! He lacks social skills, he lacks self determination. The only thing he has going for him is a keen eye for observation and one hell of a right hook.

Yet throughout the whole show the voice actor has no lack of script to be read! Constantly Brandon analyzes his situations, reflects on them from where he is at the time, and occasionally as a flashback. For instance, in the third episode, he begins to realize what he’s getting into. Intelligently he describes how death can come for anyone at any time. This is his character growing out of the carefree fight-eternal lifestyle. He and Harry just witnessed the slaughter of their closest friends, and will now be imposed to change their lifestyles forever.

And over time? Brandon actually starts talking more once he gets comfortable with the mafia, once he starts separating himself from the brains of the operation and grows some of his own. Brandon is a sensitive person. They keep alluding to these themes constantly in the show. You think his reasons for not seeing Maria after becoming a hitman are shallow? This is certainly not the case. Brandon on the surface believes she has no idea what he does, and he highly dislikes lying! The character is one of the most brutally honest people in the show that if he had anything to sing it’d probably be a Johnny Cash’s “Cocaine Blues”. He can’t hide his identity from her, so he avoids her. Always watching. Wanting to protect the jewels even if he doesn’t know what they are. Ya know, sorta like the suitcase in Pulp Fiction, only its not a plot device, its another character that reacts and changes and attempts to understand him.

I will offer you one more point as to the three-dimensional nature of Brandon, and why judging him as infantile is an unfair statement that needs to be reviewed:
He does what he does to protect the people he swore himself to, even at the cost of hating (and later zombifying and daming) himself.

He’s just as sacrificing as Vash the Stampede, however in a very opposite way. For this, Nightow and the other writers from the staff PROVE that they are some of the most versatile people on the planet. Brandon is realistic, cold on the outside and troubled on the inside. The moment when he slams down his gun and lays the truth out for her [Maria], and gives her away to Asagi is probably the most tragic moment in this anime series, if not any anime series to date. He finally had to come clean to the one person who saw him for something he wish he could be- a man with no blood on his hands. Yet he only smiles, because now she can be free too and find happiness in someone real with less regrets. Someone who doesn’t hate himself and kills without a conscience.

If that one above paragraph of analysis isn’t enough to convince you to stop ratting on this show for being “stupid” then fine, I couldn’t change your mind. I really know that’s not the point of open forums, but it is the point of debate, and seriously man, I’m a film lit major in college. This is what I study, it is my livelihood, and while it doesn’t make me better than you (I wouldn’t assume such a thing since I’ve never met you), it is ample reason enough for me to defend this show and why I believe it is more intelligent than just plain “dumb.” It is not infantile. This show uses imagery in the most poetic sense. The blanket the young versions of Harry and Brandon chase? Consider that the whole metaphor for the show. The last damn episode is one of the most brilliant directional moves I’ve ever seen, with a “dialogue gunfight” that transcends anime completely.

Some people are too naive, always looking for something that don’t exist and digging deep into something shallow. This series is bad, mm…key?
You are imagining things man, trying to analize something very simple, glorifying something stupid, metaphorizing something boring, ignoring something very clear – this show is just another wannabe.
As all wannabes it’s just loud, two dimentional, artificial, ignorant, using all cheap means to pull attention, and most of all lacking the same talent he wants to prove he has.
And of course, as for every annoying wannabe, there is someone who will like him and think the world of him.
But wannabe alway will be only wannabe, and his fans … well, they are just fans of some wannabe, tryng to compensate on something they don’t have by themselves.
Gungrave is a low product of fashion for wannabes, no more.
The fate of the wannabe is to disappear from the collective memory as time goes by. Only small core of “blanket chasing”, pathetic fans will remain, with their idol’s washed out T-sirts and fade posters.
Farewell, suckers.


Wow, this guy is REALLY clever. You all decide. I’m going to bed.