Volume 4 - Die Trying

Starring (voice): Tomokazu Seki, Kenji Hamada and Tsutomu Isobe
RRP: 19.99
MVD 2072
Certificate: 15
Available 17 October 2005

Within the gangster Milennion Organisation, two childhood friends Harry and Brandon must fight to survive. Harry fights to control the organisation while Brandon becomes one of their best hitmen...

So another month and another Gungrave: beyond the Grave release. Volume four: Die Trying continues the story with the four episodes covering chapters thirteen to sixteen of the series. Rather than rehash the background information on the series your best to read the review of season three. If you come into the series at this point, there is still a lot to enjoy but I would suggest you start watching them from the beginning. By volume four, Brandon's lack of dialogue finally comes over as quite introspection rather than brain death.

Betrayal: Harry has come to the attention of some of the higher echelons of the Milennion organisation, and they are not happy. His quest for power and control of the organisation continues unabated, but will Big Daddy allow this threat to his authority to continue. Brandon takes on a new role as Big Daddy's bodyguard, but this conflicts with Harry's plans, who intents to use Brandon to achieve total control.

Die: Big Daddy's heart really isn't in the business anymore, so he decides to retire before he is taken out, but there is one problem. Harry's quest for power has made him a lot of enemies including Big Daddy, who does not trust him and would rather see anyone but Harry take over. Harry overhears a conversation between Big Daddy and Brandon that suggests that Brandon would be willing to overlook his friendship with Harry and eliminate him if necessary, confrontation between the friends seems inevitable.

Harry: Brandon is dead, killed by Harry when he wouldn't sign on to eliminating Big Daddy. With control over eighty per cent of the families operations Harry becomes the new head of Milennion, but power comes at a price. His control over the Necrolyzation Project, with its ability to provide him with an army of animated corpse troops, looks to lead him to greater power, but Harry is haunted by what he has done to his friend.

Letter: The Doc has escaped the destruction of the Necrolyzation lab, but he has not gone alone, fleeing in his truck he takes with him an unknown, newly animated, corpse. For reasons of his own the Doc delivers a letter of confession from Brandon to Big Daddy, admitting that he knew all about Harry's grab for power. Big Daddy goes to meet the Doc to discover the identity of the reanimated corpse.

The extras on the disc are disappointingly small consisting of ten pieces of production art, a couple of trailers and the DVD authoring credits. The disc comes on a little stronger on the audio department with a nice English 5.1 track as well as Japanese DTS and stereo versions. The picture is as crisp as ever, so I guess the DVD authors should feel justifiably proud. The scripts continue to impress, as does the English dub which I've found to be pleasantly superior to a lot of its contemporaries, making Gungrave truly the Godfather of anime shows.

Charles Packer

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