Van, a lanky and apathetic swordsman, is on a journey to kill the murderer of his fiancé. The only characteristic he has to go by is that the murderer has a claw for an arm, hence the murderer being referred to as The Claw Man. During his travels, Van happens to pass through the city of Evergreen, which is defending itself from bandits who aim to rob the city of its treasury. It is in this city that Van meets Wendy Garret, a timid young girl who is looking for her kidnapped brother. When the city pleads for Van's assistance to defend it, he refuses, claiming it has nothing to do with him and thus leaves the city on its own to deal with the peril. Soon after, Van comes across the raiding bandits himself and they eventually tick off the swordsman to a degree where he takes action against them for his own personal vendetta. Surprisingly, Van learns that the bandits had ties with The Claw Man, and in kidnapping Wendy's brother for a reason they did not disclose. After the bandits are dealt with easily, Van and, much to his chagrin, Wendy continue the journey in search of The Claw Man. Little do they know, however, that The Claw Man is involved with something more atrocious than either could fathom.
Gun X Sword... There isn't much about this show that hasn't been done before, but then again you can say that to almost every anime made. So what if the plot is rehashed from many other anime. Anime is just like test driving a new car, "It looks real nice, but how does it drive?" As a matter of fact, it drives REALLY nice.
As i said before this plot has been done at least a good dozen times (in anime AND movies). Hard boiled desperado out to seek revenge for what was lost. Along the way he makes friends and enemies. But happens to hit a few speed bumps along the way. Doesn't sound like much of a story but in all honesty, it was a fun trip the whole way through, from beginning to end. A good way they managed to keep it fresh throughout was that they managed to parody some classic action scenes straight from Hollywood. The ones that stand out the most are Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, and even ROBOT JOX (you might have to IMDb that one). It really made some scenes pretty interesting, especially when you realize how close they actually imitated some scenes from their action movie counterparts.
The art and animation wasn't too spectacular. But as in any mecha anime, you will see all the detail get put in the mechas and the action scenes. They all run so smoothly and blazingly fast. Of course theres the usual cheap action animation but for the most part you'll see the fighters move with accurate fluidity. The character art is very average though, compared to the mechas. Although the art is very average, the settings are varied and vast to say the least. Everything from a barren wasteland, to a lush jungle, to a bustling industrial city are all present here. At first you would think this is a western style anime through and through, but you'll soon realize that is not the case.
Sound (Very Good)
Sound is one thing that is very hard to mess up on and the more sound added to a show the better imo. This show has it in spades. From the environmental sounds, to the flora/fauna/crowds, music and even the voice actors are all there. A wasteland sounds like a wasteland, a large train station sounds like a large train station every environment sounds exactly as it should. The music also sounds like it should, with the exception of the opening theme song. I laughed every time i heard the big band song come on when there was comedy scene. Nothing sounds over used and you'll even hear a few classic movie sounds if you can spot them fast enough.
Now there are a few unique characters in there but for the most part the main/supporting characters are direct ripoffs from other anime either in appearance or personality. Take that as you may but I found it to be a good decision considering how fun this show is to watch. Of course there are a few annoying characters. But overall its a very good cast of characters.
Well once you overcome how insanely plain the plot is and just watch it for what its worth, you'll most likely have a fun viewing experience. Its an audio visual treat! read more
In a nutshell this anime doesn't stand the test of time. If I watched this 10 years back I might have given it a better rating. 10 years down the road, it feels dated and unoriginal. The pacing isn't good. Although each episode strings the story together and moves the plot ahead, it feels slow and draggy. The characters aren't that likeable and doesn't grow on you either. The mood and setting somewhat similar to Trigun or Cowboy Bebop but unfortunately the enjoyment isn't up to par.
What happens when you combine Cowboy Bebop and Trigun together but forget everything that made those two special?
The result is Gun X Sword.
Let’s see: it begins with a doomed love story and this story is centered on characters confronting their past (like Cowboy Bebop). It has the main characters aiding people on their journey and the entire series is set on an Earth-like planet with a Wild West feel to it (like Trigun). In essence, Gun X Sword is unoriginal but in this day and age practically every anime title has some aspects that have been employed before. With Gun X Sword, a quality storyline could’ve materialized with the aforementioned foundation but injecting a mecha element into the mix seriously tampers with an already-fragile framework. With this series directed by Goro Taniguchi, the mastermind lording over the famous Code Geass, it is almost a guarantee that robots would be smashed into this show. Despite the obvious disaster that a Wild West mecha title would be, Gun X Sword might’ve redeemed itself if it had a different protagonist.
You see, the protagonist in an anime series exercises much more power than commanding a legion of action figures and/or body pillows from his or her likeness. A protagonist can single-handedly elevate an otherwise mediocre title into a memorable and worthwhile investment (like in Great Teacher Onizuka). A protagonist, a really well-written one, can transform a quality series into a transcendent title (like in Monster). However, Gun X Sword, seeking the “perfect” poster boy for their series, unfortunately chose Von. He is a complete replica of Spike Spiegel, from his long, lanky frame down to his nonchalant demeanor (Even Von’s actor David Vincent desperately attempts sounding like Steve Blum). It would be acceptable if Von was just another generic, overly cool loner but his entire personality revolves around Gun X Sword’s driving plot (finding a man with a claw for a right hand because he killed Von’s fiancée) and has no other purpose outside of that. Throughout his journey, our frustratingly passive-aggressive protagonist is labeled with a gamut of useless, unessential nicknames from those he encounters (“Garbage Dump Von”, “Pretty Boy Von”, “Nice Guy Von”, “Von of the Dawn”, etc.) that ultimately does little to conceal the fact that Von is but a two-dimensional character. There’s nothing to him besides dousing his food with every condiment imaginable, taking lengthy naps, fighting people with his Armor (That’s what people label “mecha” in this series), and getting pissed at the mention of The Claw. Again, unoriginality isn’t horrible but, if shallow Gary Stus like Von are the result, then I want nothing to do with it.
Even if a series contains a disappointing protagonist, it is usually redeemed thanks to an unforgettable supporting cast (like in Last Exile). That isn’t the case with Gun X Sword. Wendy is arguably the series’ most likable character but even she has her unbearably irritating moments. Wendy has more practical intelligence that virtually everyone else in Gun X Sword but she also has jarring moments of stupidity. Wendy’s character development improves immensely throughout the 26-episode duration of this series but she is often spotted emptily hoping for Von to save the day. Wendy, Gun X Sword’s primary hero, is a character of contradictions. Carmen 99, the Faye to Von’s Spike, is an even less-developed character than Wendy, a fan-service tool with microscopic levels of depth trapped in a forced rivalry with a femme fatale of the worst kind (Carmen’s rival is Fasalina, voiced by Karen Strassman, whose superb acting chops could’ve been better employed than for a role as a shallow ex-prostitute). Despite Gun X Sword’s overwhelming portrayal flaws, they are greatly redeemed through a memorable collection of one-shot characters (from the enigmatic Joe Lutz and the hyperobsessive Driver Twins to the menacing Lucky and even the ever-stylish Kaiji), The Claw (who’s among anime’s most interesting and complex villains), and my favorite character Ray Lundgren (passionately played with a show-stealing performance by the great Liam O’Brien). He serves as an intriguing antihero as well as Von’s antithesis. Ray, this sullen, socially inept loner with poignant flashes of rage, has the most stunning Armor design in the series as well as the show’s most complete character arc. Ultimately, what I don’t understand about Gun X Sword is how it contains a masterpiece like Ray Lundgren and a ditzy one-dimensional nobody like Priscilla (whose lack of attributes I won’t delve into for the sake of your time) in the same cast.
Consistency, or its appalling lack of it, is an issue in Gun X Sword that permeates through every aspect of the show. Most anime titles have a knack for convincingly shifting between light-hearted comedy and ultra-serious drama but, when Gun X Sword attempts to pull this off, it comes across as poorly-planned and awkward. Virtually every episode begins with Jamieson Price’s famously low-toned voice as the Narrator, eloquently establishing the episode’s setting with an overwhelming amount of dry bleakness. Yet, every episode of Gun X Sword, especially the early ones, is littered with tiresome antics and unbearable “witty” one-liners. It’s as if Gun X Sword can’t decide whether to be hilarious or dramatic and this results in the series screwing with its potential. For example, after the magnificently moving episode 16 (literally the only one in the series that I consider flawless), Gun X Sword decides to follow that with the fanservice flop that was episode 17; it was the most pointlessly raunchy spectacle that I’ve ever witnessed. Gun X Sword’s soundtrack sadly does little to elevate this series from mediocricy, as the OST here is serviceable yet forgettable; there’s some jazz here and some folk blues there but the music fails to inspire (excluding hitomi’s relaxing yet emotionally stirring “Paradiso” and Yukino Satsuki’s energetic and climatic “Niji no Kanata”). Oh, and the theme song is simply fantastic; it’s what convinced me to check out Gun X Sword in the first place.
Gun X Sword has evident ties to the shonen genre, with its generic trash-talking and stilted fight scenes betraying itself, but practically every quality shonen knows how to inject depth and dimensions underneath. In Gun X Sword, what’s beneath the surface is a reasonably worthy plot that contains more holes than a tennis racket. In a climatic outer space showdown between Von and Wendy’s brother, there are no sound effects for the Armors’ laser beams. In the series’ third to last episode, Ray reveals that his Armor is the prototype that the Original 7 (a once-great organization created to protect the Earth long ago) based their Armor designs from but that is impossible unless Ray’s fiancée, the one who built his Armor, was secretly an elderly woman. Above all else, Gun X Sword never, ever gave a solid explanation, explicitly or implicitly, for why The Claw murdered the fiancées of Von and Ray. I mean, you can’t conclude a story without addressing why it started, right? Right?
What’s worse about Gun X Sword is that, although it concluded nicely and amusingly, it’s possible for the series finale to have been better executed and the series overall left me to wonder what could’ve been. In the last episode, our heroes converge together and, in the overused situation of a dying planet, they strengthen their resolve through the always-cheesy “power of fwendship”. The show then abruptly cuts to the heroes’ post-victory celebration (Ummm…. what?). When the credits rolled, I started to wonder what Gun X Sword could’ve been if it had a more enjoyable protagonist, if it bothered to explain everything, and if it had more scenes like the one at the end of episode 19 (It was the ultimate tearjerker moment, the most heartbreaking and gutwrenching character death that I’ll ever lay eyes on. That scene is how you make a grown man cry). I know I’ve bashing Gun X Sword for its many faults but what I absolutely cannot deny about this anime is its parody mini-series (only available on DVD). Known as Gun X Sword san, this is an utterly enjoyable experience wrapped in 13 episodes, with four minutes per episode. Gun X Sword san obliterates the fourth wall over and over and over (Its mantra: “This is a kid’s show!”). It pokes fun at otakus, the anime industry, America, and even the governor of Tokyo. Each and every episode discusses or is about something different (There’s even a really off-the-wall whodunit). However, what matters more than the basis of Gun X Sword san is its interesting interpretations of characters from the original series. It is here where the good-natured Wendy is portrayed s a delusional and domineering tyrant with a ridiculous violent streak, where Von, “the coolest guy ever”, is reduced to the show’s primary source of verbal abuse, the butt of everyone’s jokes. Overall, I’d say Gun X Sword san is more entertaining, more enjoyable, more memorable, and is simply all-around greater than the original series. When somebody states that your spinoff series is better by leaps and bounds than the one you’re more invested in, you know you screwed up somewhere. That’s the thing about Gun X Sword; it’s impossible to find a factor in this show that it didn’t completely botch. No wonder barely anyone watches this show. read more
Again i find an anime that i don't like and noone made a review that gives it a similar rating or properly tells its faults. This is practically a review of the first 2 eps because i don't like this show enough to watch it. Making people watch a whole anime they don't enjoy before reviewing will cause all reviews to be 7+. My real actual average is 5.
Villains are clowns. Combat is well animated and pretty but its just watching the main guy win. Its way over the top. No chance he will lose. That is boring.
Characters and comedy either nice or been done before boring. The comedy though is rare. Watching Wendy get her cooking skills by watching vash the tuxedo pour salad dressing ketchup mustard and every other condiment on meat is funny. But that is practically it.
Good voice acting and music.
In the end this show is primarily made up of action that is for fans of black butler, over the top villains villaining and mild character interaction and comedy.read more