Gun Sword
Volume 4 - Fallen Knights

Starring (voice): Takanori Hoshino, Houko Kuwashima and Kyousei Tsukui
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 03 September 2007

The land of Endless Illusion is a lawless place where heaven and hell collide, spewing forth degenerates of every type. The land is full of Coleridge dreams, whilst the urban areas are morally corrupt and violent. Through this land roams a wanderer with a past. Van is looking for The Claw Man, the man who killed his wife. His lonely existence is changed when he meets Wendy, a young girl who has lost both her parents and her brother. Together they travel Endless Illusion in search of answers...

Volume Four of Gun Sword contains episodes thirteen through sixteen. The show remains entertaining with a nice combination of stand alone shows which do not ignore the overall story arc.

Episode thirteen, Dream in Progress, and the show opens with Ray losing his best chance to kill the Claw Man when a flock of birds get in the way of his shots. His desire to avenge Shino means that regardless of the disarming way the Claw Man behaves he will not be swayed from his task, even to the point of summoning the armour which Shino created. Van, meanwhile, is in an armour fight of his own against his former colleague Gadved, on the same revenge train as Ray.

This was a particularly interesting episode. Having caught up with their nemesis; he acts like a man with a dream of peace, which helps to wrong foot the audience and brings into doubt everything that they know about the main protagonists. In fact if you had never seen the show before, by their actions, you would assume that Van and Ray were the bad guys.

Episode fourteen, Swift Brownie, and after the plot fuelled previous episodes, the show takes a rest with a stand alone episode. In this story Van and Wendy end up at the B-1 Grand Prix Armour Contest with Van competing against Pricilla.

Even with their stand alone stories Gun Sword still delivers a quality plot. Character design and animation remain high with no sign that the show is skimping. There is still a look of the Studio Gibli about the show, but then that is no bad thing.

Episode fifteen, Neo Originals, and the show returns to the wandering in the countryside motif. Things are obviously desperate with Van resting on a 'Bodyguard for Hire' sign. Wendy decides that she is going to gamble the last of her money on a turtle race. After a little gigery pokery the two are able to purchase an airship to Jhoschdarn, to meet Carmen 99.

The episode contains a nice little alcohol fuelled flashback showing Van getting his armour Dann.

Last up is episode sixteen, The Electric Fireworks. Van remains stricken on the ground from the previous episode's defeat. Like before Wendy has to nurse van back to health.

Extras remain quite good with two more amusing Gun Sword-sans episodes (7 & 8). There is also the second TV commercial, the third trailer and an art gallery. Audio is also a little above average with a choice of English or Japanese DTS or Japanese Dolby Digital with English subtitles and/or signs.

Charles Packer

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