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DVD Review

Gun Sword
Volume 7 - Last Rites


Starring (voice): Takanori Hoshino, Houko Kuwashima and Kyousei Tsukui
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 03 March 2008

And so the end of days has come, the Claw Man readies his Birthday system to destroy the planet and rewrite it in his own image. Van is missing, presumed dead and in the land of Endless Illusion Ray, Joshua, Wendy and Carmen launch their last, possibly hopeless attack on the claws compound...

Volume Seven of Gun Sword contains episodes twenty-four through twenty-six of the twenty-six episode - so this is the end of what has grown to become a great show.

As the last three episodes are essentially one protracted battle it’s best to look at them as a whole. The first episode is dedicated to Ray's attempt to attack the compound, which costs him his life, though when all seems lost the return of Van brings a chance of new hope. Of course there are a number of threads to tie up before Van eventually triumphs, and some of them are handles extremely well. The second episode sees the return of Van and the last shows the final confrontation between Van and the Claw.

Running through the series was an examination of motivation and consequences. Both Van and Ray wanted to stop the Claw purely because they wanted to kill him for revenge. This often blurred the line between Van and the Claw and, whilst his companions saw Van as a hero, the audience was able to see that he had a dark side equal to the Claws. The Claw was also painted in various hues, at times portrayed as a kindly old gentleman at other times as a cold hearted killer, though by the last three episodes it's pretty certain that whatever he thinks he is doing to create a new garden of Eden he is, in fact, just another raving madman bent to bending the universe to his will.

Oddly enough it is in the minor characters of Wendy and her Brother that we see a more complex interaction. Wendy, having teamed up with Van to find Michael in the first place only to discover that he works for the Claw, has come to see the world through Van’s eyes. The duel corrupting influences of Van and the Claw are best highlighted when these two innocent siblings finally confront each other. Wendy’s belief in the righteousness of Van’s quest, a quest driven by hatred, means that she is willing to pull a gun on her brother, possibly even to kill him. He, in turn, is willing to throttle the life out of his young sister for a belief in a megalomaniac.

Is it love that saves the day? Do the good guys win because their cause is just? Actually no, in the final confrontation it is Ray and Van's hatred that finally wins through. An odd message for a show.

On the extra front you get another humorous Gun Sword-San (eps 13) and the last chance the show has to take the Mickey out of itself. You also get Dave's Wedding Proposal which is a piece of the shows animation which David Vincent - the American dubs voice of Van - used to propose to his girlfriend. You also get the Creditless Opening sequence part two, an art gallery and some trailers.

The show has a nice widescreen print with the options of English 5.1 Japanese DTS or stereo. 

Overall a satisfying ending to a show that just got better as it went along.


Charles Packer

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