Gun Sword
Volume 2 - Abandoned Past

Starring (voice): Takanori Hoshino, Houko Kuwashima and Kyousei Tsukui
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: PG
Available 14 May 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 of 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...

This is the second volume of Gun X Sword (silent "X") and contains episodes five to eight.

Episode five: Twin's Guards - Van and Wendy come across a strange and apparently deserted town. Soon they discover that the town is populated by two identical sisters (L and R, get it) who are in constant conflict. Carmen 99 turns up to provide one of the sisters with a bodyguard, Ray Lundgren, a man who also is searching for the Claw. Van takes the position of bodyguard for the other sister, in exchange for information.

Episode six: Light my Fire, and were looking at what could be at best seen as a pastiche of some gangster movies and at worst as a bit of fluffy filler. Wendy and Van are held up in a restaurant which is so close to the scene from Pulp Fiction that I'm surprised that they weren't done for copyright. You also get a gangster, called Tony Montana, who looks like Don Corleone. To be honest the rest of the episode is pretty much the two idiotic thieves trying to steal Van's armour Dann. Funny at the beginning but it soon starts to get wearing.

Episode seven: The Vengeance Within, and Van and Wendy find their pursuit of the Claw interrupted when the captain of their boat robs them and abandons them on an island owned by Joe. Although Wendy accepts their hosts generosity at face value Van is not so sure. Things are not what they seem, but can Van and Wendy discover the secret of the honey trap before it is too late?

Episode eight: Bound by Blood - Having escaped Joe (well they had to, it was only episode seven) Van and Wendy travel into the mountains where they meet Joshua, brother of Ray Lundgren, who is studying the Dragon Armour which is attacking the local villages. Van joins forces with Ray to take on the armour after which Joshua joins the group.

The extras are not bad on the disc; though the prize has to go to a the featurette that has a very strange and surreal Wendy and Kameo as glove puppets generally being inappropriate - believe me its better than it sounds. As well as that slice of madness you also get the version of the Japanese trailers, which is kind of interesting to watch once. Rounding off is the trailers, art gallery, an O.S.T (original soundtrack) CD Commercial and a Drama CD Commercial - which made no sense to me, but it looks like an interactive CD.

Audio arrives in English and Japanese 5.1 and Japanese stereo with subtitles and signs only. As usual from this studio the English dub does the show some real justice. So, a good if not great show, but well worth a look.

Charles Packer

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