My Favourite Anime No One Knows About: Gungrave

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Gungrave, I love you. I seriously love you.

This anime is so under-appreciated. I’ve never even heard anyone mention it.

My personal connection: I watched this as a teen. Rewatching it brings back all the right vibes and is so nostalgic, which is ironic since nostalgia itself is a theme in Gungrave.

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The premise: A group of friends living in the slums are struck by tragedy, which leads them onto an unexpected path of opportunity. They join a powerful mafia where they start off as nothing but slowly climb upwards in different ways, with different intentions.

Themes: Loyalty/betrayal, friendship, romance, mafia drama, sci-fi.

Notes:

  • This is a quick watch, only 26 episodes.
  • As far as I know, this is an anime only and no manga counterpart exists. It’s based off of a video game.
  • I last rewatched it a few years ago, but as far as I remember, the artwork was average. People with a higher aesthetic requirement might be turned off slightly, but at the end of the day, the story is the most important thing, and in that, Gungrave is a masterpiece.
  • The soundtrack is killer. I still listen to it.
  • There are so many cool characters in this anime. Bunji. Bear Walken. Big Daddy.
  • This anime has a very classic feel to it. Very “The Godfather”-esque.
  • This is one of my favourite stories of all time. I’m at a loss of words to explain why, but it really just hits all my heartstrings. I love the drama, the characters, the balance in tone, the attention to certain details, the way romance is woven into its fabric. Gungrave is just my kinda story all around.

Overall, I highly recommend Gungrave for anyone who wants to enjoy a quick, original, and dramatic anime with a plot heavily centered on personal relationships and power dynamics.

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