Cast of Characters
(MAJOR Spoilers for both the game series and the anime adaptation!
Brandon "Beyond the Grave" Heat
"There is one thing I know for certain. To protect is not to betray. Never betray. Never."
The roar of an anguished soul terminates everything that exists as it turns into a rave of bullets...
Brandon is the protagonist of both the video game series and the anime. A quiet, passive but gentle young man, he was originally a petty crook who was a prominent member of Harry MacDowell's gang, Harry also being Brandon's closest friend since childhood. Though they lived in a crime-ridden slum called "Desolation Alley", Harry's gang was considered the most good-natured. After the loss of their three best friends, Brandon and Harry joined the Millenion Syndicate and worked their way up through the ranks. Brandon was often favored by Big Daddy, the syndicate's leader, and was trained to become one of Millenion's most powerful sweepers (assassins/hitmen). Brandon eventually chose to distance himself from Maria, the woman who he had strong romantic feelings for, as he felt unworthy of being with her, due to his profession as an emotionless killer. Meanwhile, Harry becomes drunk off of the power he had gained, and quickly desired more, once he discovered and took over "The Necrolization Project"—an otherworldly technology that reanimates the dead as "necrolizers" ("Deadmen" in the games) which are undead, near-invincible soldiers.
Brandon appeared to have a promising future, but during an elevator ride with Harry, his fate was ultimately sealed when he could not side with Harry's plan to kill Big Daddy and ensure Harry's position as the leader of Millenion. Seeing as how Brandon could not bring himself to kill his friend for betrayal, Harry murders Brandon in cold blood by shooting Brandon in the chest multiple times, and finishing him off with a bullet to Brandon's left eye. However, Dr. Tokioka, one of the major members of the Necrolization Project, decides to use the procedure on Brandon's corpse to revive him.As "Beyond The Grave"
Brandon Heat, necrolized and reborn in the form of a 3rd Generation Model Deadman, the semi-titular "Gungrave
". He was "sealed away" in a sleeping state for over ten years, until he is awakened and tasked to protect a young girl named Mika, the daughter of Big Daddy and Maria. In his resurrected form, Grave is taller, sports some spiffy purple cowboy-esque duds, missing his left eye (a scar now in its place), and his remaining eye is a distinct yellow/amber. Upon reclaiming his pair of guns, he goes out into the city to take down Harry and the syndicate.
His trademark weapons are a pair of large handguns: the Left Head and Right Head; together they are called "Cerberus". His secondary weapon is a large "Coffin" , a device that is stocked with heavy weapons—a machine gun and a missile launcher/bazooka. This Coffin can also be used as a melee weapon or a shield. In O.D.
, he receives an enhanced version of his Coffin thanks to Spike, the "Death Hauler".
Grave still retains his status as an expert gunfighter, and possesses all the strengths given by necrolization, but these gains carry weaknesses as well. He was given a "body built for slaughter", but it meant he had to give up his "soul" in exchange—his memories and his emotions. In the anime, Grave suffers "functional disorder" when trying to regain his memories, in which he gets a massive headache and other pains. Due to Grave being in a "dead" state, he has to undergo specially-prepared treatments that periodically refresh his entire body's supply of blood. If he is ever deprived of blood, his body will degenerate (his skin will harden, literally crack and fall apart) rapidly and eventually cease to function.
Often known as "The man nicknamed Death", to most of the characters Grave is a relentless and unforgiving killer, whose body itself is a (un)living bioweapon. However, he's also a selfless, caring man who remains loyal to Big Daddy and his family, even in death. To Mika, he's as much as a close friend and family to her as he is her faithful protector. While viewed as an "antique" by Harry and Garino, Grave continues to prove through sheer determination, his devotion to Mika (whom he's sworn to protect), and lots
of heavy firepower, that he is, in the words of Billy, "the world's strongest Deadman".
, Grave is the most balanced of the three playable characters. Although slightly slow in terms of movement speed, he makes up for it by being useful for any situation. His Demolition Shots (except the time-stopper/slow ones, those are all the same for all three characters) also seem to have slightly more power and range/area of effect than Juji's or Billy's shots.Tomokazu Seki
is Brandon/Grave's seiyuu, and reprises the role in O.D.
. Kirk Thornton
voices him in the dub of the anime, but did not reprise the role for the second game.
- Always Protect The Girl
- Ambiguously Brown: In the video games.
- Anti-Hero: Type III.
- Badass: Goes without saying.
- Audience Surrogate: The character-driven nature of the anime turns Brandon into one.
- Benevolent Boss: To his squad True Grave. He funds his member's mother's medical expenses. After his death, his members still question about his betrayal and prefer using his method instead of Bunji's method when completing tasks. Since Bunji leads them and renames the squad as The Kugashira Group, the squad is never heard again (may be related to the information in episode 19; it's said that Bunji works alone and people who work under him always end up dead).
- Beware the Quiet Ones
- The Big Guy: Even when carrying the coffin Grave is the tallest of all major characters, similar to Guts.
- Blessed with Suck: Grave's powers would be fine if he didn't lose his memory and his feelings (more apparent in the game due to differences in characterization). Then there's the whole thing of needing fresh blood every ten days (supposedly his blood coagulates after a while because his body is dead). The blood needed for transfusion has to match the blood type he was when he was human. On the flipside he doesn't age and lacks the mindless and/or villainous insanity (barring Juji, he's just really short-tempered) of every other Deadman or Orgman.
- Bring It: In the anime, he has the tendency to wiggle his finger at his opponents.
- Celibate Hero: A variant of sort, as Brandon is too dedicated to Maria to be involved with any other woman.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: In the anime, Brandon goes from saving Maria from thugs (which Harry tells him not to interfere) to Taking the Bullet for Big Daddy and even taking Bear's place in executing Sid. Later on, he asks Dr. Tokioka to Necrolyze him so that he can deal with Harry if Harry ever veers off course. This is often lampshaded by other characters as well.
- Creepy Cool Crosses: His battle costumes tend to have a lot of these, even more so when in his Cowboy outfit
- Death by Origin Story: And it's a doozy at that...
- Declaration of Protection: In the games, his promise to protect Mika.
- Determinator: Even when he was still Brandon he would steadfastly refuse to give up or give in, even when faced with seemingly impossible odds as he valued the lives of his friends and loved ones over his own, and his sole driving force is his desire to protect, no matter what the cost, and not even death stopped him—which is why the doctor gave Brandon his new name.
- Eye Scream
- Expy: His anime version closely resembles a cross between Dante (without the giant sword and snarky one-liners) and Legato Bluesummers (without the hefty doses of insanity, blue hair, and Psychic Powers).
- Fate Worse Than Death: In the side notes of the game's artbook, Brandon/Grave was actually meant to be Millenion's greatest Deadman enforcer, a mindless tool of destruction for the syndicate that eventually killed him. Dr. Tokioka really didn't want Grave to be trapped in such a fate and escaped to the depths of the city with Grave in tow, living in secrecy for years until the day would come when Grave could destroy the syndicate once and for all.
- Gangsta Style: His trademark style is his arms crossed above his wrists when shooting.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Young Brandon is quite the capable hand to hand fighter.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Lost his left eye, and the scar left behind as well as his other bullet wounds serves as a reminder of his murder.
- Guns Akimbo: As Brandon and as Grave, he always dual-wielded handguns in a crossed fashion upon becoming a Sweeper. Before that, he just relied on Good Old Fisticuffs.
- The Gunslinger: Types two and four. He was always an accurate shot during his time as a human, and in the games the autolock ensures that his bullets will always be hitting something. When his aim isn't enough, that's when he brings out the big guns in the form of his coffin, or "The Death Hauler", as it is later known as.
- Heroic Build
- Honor Before Reason: One of his defining traits. Unfortunately, it also leads to his death at the hands of his power-hungry best friend, Harry MacDowel.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The huge guy half of the equation; his hand is practically bigger than Mika's head.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: Grave's a deadman who destroys other orgmen and deadmen (except for Billy and Juji).
- Iconic Item: The Coffin and arguably, his original costume
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: That cowboy getup is really hard to replicate for cosplays
- Improbable Aiming Skills: In the anime, if he's doing target practice, he's shown to always hit the head perfectly. And with a sniper rifle, he can deal a headshot to someone behind a window and a closed curtain.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In the anime, Brandon refuses to be with Maria as he believes Big Daddy can provide a much happier life for her.
- Jack of All Stats: Well-balanced in offense and defense, although slightly slower in speed than Billy. He's also the one that must be used before the other two become available.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Brandon when he became hitman for The Organization.
- Living on Borrowed Time: As Grave, unless he gets his blood replaced regularly.
- Manly Tears: In the anime finale, when he admits that he cannot shoot his best friend Harry.
- Meaningful Name
- Moe Greene Special (How Brandon was murdered.)
- Mr. Fanservice: In the anime, Brandon has a Workout Fanservice scene in the second episode, and as Grave, he gets a Shirtless Scene when his body receives a treatment from Dr. T or Clothing Damage ensues.
- My Master, Right or Wrong
- Named Weapons
- Hand Cannon: "Cerberus", a pair of Hand Guns the size of submachine guns, supposedly created by engineers of Millenion for Grave's use. Naturally, only Grave can handle them. Consists of Left Head (silver) and Right Head (red).
- BFG: The "Coffin", a secondary/backup weapon created and designed by Dr. Tokioka. Like Cerberus, only Grave is able to use it. It's loaded with a portable missile platform and a chaingun/machinegun. For some reason, the coffin also has a "brain". When it's upgraded by Spike, he gives it a name—"Death Hauler".
- Nice Hat: Because Cowboy hats are just naturally nice.
- Nigh-Invulnerability / Healing Factor (Grave's regeneration allows him to heal almost any injury he sustains. As long as he receives his blood treatments, he can essentially "live" forever.)
- One-Man Army
- Our Zombies Are Different: Mix and Match of Type C (Construct) and Type R (Revenant). He's one of the very few "products" of Necrolyzation that has a will of his own.
- The Quiet One (Very rarely speaks, if at all. Mika, the girl he was entrusted to protect, usually reads his facial expressions and gestures to interpret what he wants or needs. He acts a lot more machinelike in the game than he does in the television series.)
- Papa Wolf (As babysitter/guardian for Mika. Any enemy that tries to mess with her will have Grave blast 'em into swiss cheese.)
- Peek-a-Bangs: When Grave isn't wearing his glasses, he adopts this look to hide his scar located on where his left eye used to be.
- Deadman Of Mass Destruction
- Possession Implies Mastery: Grave just seems to instinctively know how to use the Coffin.
- Professional Killer
- Purple Is Powerful: As Grave.
- Scars Are Forever: Not even necro-regeneration could restore his left eye or heal the scars on his body.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: In the anime.
- Sealed Badass in a Can: And actually necessary while he's "inactive", to prevent his body from collapsing and Mika respecting her parents' wishes to allow Grave to sleep until she really needs his assistance.
- Sliding Scale of Undead Regeneration: Type III. His healing power is powered by the blood he receives, or else his body will rot and fall to pieces.
- Star Crossed Friend and Guardian: He and Mika are bound together for life but at what price?
- Sugar and Ice Personality: May seem really cold and stoic and apathetic on the outside but deep down lies a warm and gentle heart.
- Super Strength: After becoming Grave.
- Taking the Bullet: For Big Daddy early in the anime. As Grave, he often does it for Mika. It isn't a big problem for him since he is immune to bullets (unless they're the anti-Necrolyze ones).
- Technical Pacifist: In the anime. Young Brandon can give people No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, but he is unwilling to use a gun. He is terrified when Harry shoots Deed to avenge the gang and after shooting a Lightning goon to save Big Daddy, he asks himself why he kills. He doesn't mind about killing anymore since he becomes a hitman.
- Tragic Hero (In the anime, his one true goal in life was to never betray. This brought him huge distress when he had to choose between Big Daddy (a father figure) and Harry (the best friend). His inability to choose led to Harry's assuming Brandon has betrayed Harry and caused Brandon's death / change to Grave.)
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: The deconstruction of his Undying Loyalty. He chooses to remain loyal to Harry, his best friend. What does it get him? Harry riddles him with bullets before jamming a gun into his left eye and shoots him out of the glass elevator. He gets better.
- Took a Level in Badass: Happens twice in the anime. First, after training under Bear Walken. Second, after becoming Grave.
- When He Smiles
- Undeath Always Ends
- In the anime canon, Grave (whose necro-rise/necrolize/necroraise is fading fast) and a dying Harry decide the only way they can truly be "free" is to kill each other, which they do.
- In the video game series canon, this doesn't happen as Grave simply kills Harry and leaves the city with Mika, protecting her now his one and only concern. He remains in his undead state (there seems to be no way to "cure" him anyways, nor is there any indication that Grave wants to be human again) and still needs blood transfusions now and then while lucid. He is put into hibernation when his services aren't needed, as he's only supposed to be awakened in times of crisis.
- Undying Loyalty: Very faithful to those he loves, willingly takes on their burdens so they don't have to do so for others. Sadly, this philosophy also plays a part in his undoing.
"Bloody" Harry MacDowell
"Fall Brandon, down into the darkness and the grave that suits you so well."
The antagonist of the anime and original game. He used to be Brandon's closest friend, but...
Harry was never a completely nice individual. A smooth talker, he had many lofty ambitions. He wanted to be free and to have the power to give what he wants, and take what he wanted. He practically wanted to own the stars themselves. He joins Millenion with Brandon in tow, seeing it as an opportunity to gain fame, power and fortune. He does, but it still wasn't enough for him to make it to the top. Over the years he began to forget what was truly important—friendship—and a rift began to form between him and Brandon which would only grow deeper.
Harry presents Brandon with a plan: kill their boss, Big Daddy, thus assuming control of the entire Syndicate as the new leader. He reasons that if Big Daddy is out of the picture permanently, then Maria would be rightfully Brandon's wife. Shocked and appalled at Brandon's refusal (and being punched in the face for even suggesting such a thing), Harry pulls a gun on Brandon and murders him, which led to the birth of "Beyond the Grave".
Still not satisfied with the results, he kills Big Daddy in the anime and in the video game, has Big Daddy subjected to the early experiments with the latest in necro-rise technology, mutating him into a tortured, mindless abomination. To further cement his grip on the Syndicate, he created the Big Four: Bob Poundmax, Bunji Kugashira, Bear Walken, and Balladbird Lee, as his elite squad and bodyguards, along with using the fruits of the Necrolization Project's labors, the Orgmen, to rule the city of Billion with an iron fist. His cruelty eventually extends to the goal of killing off anyone and anything related to Big Daddy... which just so happens to be Maria Asagi, Big Daddy's wife, and their pre-teen daughter, Mika Asagi. He is successful in having Maria murdered, but Mika flees to the depths of the city, tasked to find a man named Brandon Heat...
Voiced by Tony Oliver
in the anime dub.
- A God Am I
- Ambition Is Evil
- Big Bad: Anime and first game
- Drunk with Power
- Enjo Kosai: In the anime, Young Harry uses this to get money for his gang.
- Graceful Loser: After Grave beats the final boss (a Necrolized Big Daddy) Harry politely concedes to Grave and lets him shoot him.
- Made even more awesome because Grave won't shoot unless YOU, the player, press the fire button during the cutscene.
- Grasp the Sun: Does this in the anime.
- Lonely at the Top: Near the end of the anime, Harry is on the top, but he has nobody else with him except Sherry and Bear's Overkill. At the same time, he's being hunted down by the Millennion splinter-faction who remains loyal to Big Daddy.
- Man in White
- Manipulative Bastard
- One-Winged Angel: Averted, as he never used seed or necro-rise on himself.
- Playing with Syringes: Once taking over the Necrolization Project, he became driven to have all the power in the world through the results of the project. As noted above, though, he never used it on himself.
- Pyrrhic Villainy: In the anime, Harry takes over Millenion and makes it far greater than the city's law enforcement, which is either incompetent or seriously corrupt; he just had to abandon his morals, his ideals, and his best friend to get there. He eventually loses everything he gained, and the lingering guilt over Brandon's murder doesn't do him any favors.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Since Harry's life goes well in Millennion, he tends to use this to solve problems. When he hears about possible revolt from Biscoe, he buys Biscoe's daughter new dolls and lots of gifts. He also buys Biscoe's wife an expensive necklace. It doesn't work. Biscoe turns out to be responsible for leading a splinter-faction to hunt down Harry near the end of the anime.
- Slasher Smile: Sometimes shows this in the anime.
- Tragic Hero: Albeit a villainous version in the anime. His drive to have all the power in the world comes from his desire to protect the ones close to him, so guess what he ended up sacrificing to achieve that power?
- Villainous Breakdown: In the anime.
"Have...I met you before? Dr. Tokioka told me...about you. That you're a friend of my mother..."
The only daughter of Big Daddy and Maria who had been living a normal life with her mother Maria and their butler Tokioka, until agents of Millenion came to their house. Barely escaping execution by Harry's minions, both Maria and Tokioka died protecting her. Injured, weary, and fearing for her life, she was given the Cerberus suitcase left to Maria, and one instruction: "Go to wherever he (Brandon) is." However, while she did manage to reach Dr. T.'s hideout, she sees that the man her mother knew is no longer Brandon—he is now the deadman called Grave. Her appearance and returning Cerberus to Grave had "awakened" him, finally allowing to him to bring vengeance to Harry and the Syndicate. As of Overdose
, not only is she under the protection of Grave, she also acts as his caretaker and assistant, being his only blood donor (which has made her physically weak but she silently bears it because it's one of the few things she can do to sustain Grave's body).
She always felt that she only causes trouble for Grave, and wonders why he would go to such great lengths to protect her, but Grave often pats her on the head, as if to remind her that she is his "special person" and that she is not a burden—she is a living memento of the people that Grave knew and loved when he was still known as Brandon. She means everything to him, and is the only person who can truly understand his gestures and expressions. Though not related by blood, Mika knows that they are a family. After slowly being overtaken by Seed infection, she and Grave are given a counter-antidote, which Grave administers to Mika. As she falls asleep, Grave breaks his usual silent mannerisms by gently telling her that she must live.
Voiced by Tomoko Kawakami
in Japanese and by Kari Wahlgren
in the anime dub.
- A Girl And Her Undead Gunslinger Bodyguard
- Awful Truth: Mika was purposely kept without any knowledge about Millenion and her parents' involvement, as Maria just wanted her to grow up in a "normal" world. That gets turned upside down once the series opens in both the game and anime.
- Break the Cutie (In the anime)
- Bodyguard Crush / Precocious Crush: Mika begins to fall for Brandon/Grave while under his care and protection in the anime, despite her being fourteen and Grave being a 30+ year old reanimated corpse. In the game series, she looks up to Grave more as a close friend, a Cool Big Brother and/or possible father figure, rather than falling for him.
- Distressed Damsel: In the anime. So very much.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl (She's the Tiny Girl (obviously) while her guardian (Grave) is the Huge Guy.)
- The Kid with the Remote Control (She was tasked to seek out Grave and be protected by him as she is the only one left who can call upon and "control" him. She is far from being a spoiled brat—she genuinely cares about and loves Grave dearly, and is eternally grateful to the people who gave up their lives to ensure that she and Grave can be together.)
- Morality Pet (To Grave. She gives him a reason to "live" and to fight, aside from revenge.)
- Parental Abandonment (She was born after her father was murdered and thus, never knew him. She saw her mother Maria die protecting her from Millenion's agents.)
- Zettai Ryouiki (In the anime and original game. She wears a different outfit in Overdose).
Dr. T. (Dr. Tokioka)
"All the blood in his (Grave's) body must be periodically replaced. He got that body, designed for slaughter—in exchange for his soul."
A genius scientist, Dr. Tokioka is also the twin brother of Tokioka, Big Daddy's butler. A pensive old man but with a streak of kindness underneath, he is Grave's "creator" and only ally.In the anime he drives a semi-truck which acts as their base of operations, and is also loaded with the necessary life-support systems needed for sustaining Grave's body. In the video game, he and Grave reside in a small lab hidden deep within the lowest stratum of the city.
It should be noted that in the anime, Brandon requested the doctor to necrolize him in the event of his death, in the video game that's not quite the case. When Brandon died and Harry took over, Harry's new "Family" wanted Brandon's corpse to be used as a guinea pig. They figured if they could resurrect Brandon as a Deadman under their control (Brandon was
a highly-skilled sweeper after all), it would mean they would produce a loyal, immortal killing machine with no will of its own, and incapable of rebelling against them. The doctor was not going to have any of that, and he somehow managed to escape from the Family and go into hiding, taking a valuable piece of "equipment" with him—the body of Brandon, revived as "Grave" but retaining some degree of free will. However, Big Daddy did leave one instruction to the doctor before his death—the order to only
awaken Grave when Maria and Mika need his protection.
As one of the geniuses behind the Necrolization Project, Dr. T. feels he has committed an irredeemable sin. He is stricken by feelings of guilt over his "cowardice" and "damning" Brandon by raising him from the dead as Grave. In both the anime and video game, he is killed.
- The Atoner: Has some shades of this in the anime, along with "what have I done?"
- Beat Them at Their Own Game (Since the doctor knew that Brandon was the only person who could truly put a stop to Harry's schemes and his army of deadmen, he decides to use the necrolization technology against them by creating an even ''better'' deadman to beat them with--Beyond the Grave.)
- For Science! (Seemed to be his initial reason for designing the necro-rise technology, but once he saw the effects of it, in the anime it leads to him thinking My God, What Have I Done??)
- Heroic Sacrifice: Shields Mika from Lee's attack and later gives his blood to Grave, which results in his death in the anime.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: In the anime, is that Aramaki speaking?
- Mad Scientist (Though not so much mad, or evil per se.)
- Mission Control (In the first game, he usually gives an exposition on where Grave needs to go and performs maintenance on Grave's body and monitors his health.)
- Playing with Syringes (He's the one who discovered and engineered the Necrolization Project.)
"You may think the dead feel no pain, but you're wrong. It's just the opposite. No matter how much pain we feel...we can never look forward to the release of death."
Appears as a playable character in Overdose
. Juji is a skilled swordsman, and he is a necrolizer like Mika's guardian, Grave. Juji is loud, rude, and has a mind that operates like a runaway train. Claiming that diplomacy isn't his strong point, he is also blind. But with the loss of his sight, he gained an extremely acute sense of smell. He resembles a patchwork doll—he is covered with stitches and wears a tattered coat. When in battle, a large flame perpetually burns on his shoulder. It's not certain how he got this flame or how he was necrolized, however Juji reveals himself to be a failed test subject. He had died while on the job and Garino forced him through several truly horrible experiments—being conscious
while his body was cut open, and prodded. Juji was infused with a prototype Seed and "died" in agonizing pain, only surviving by using a special breathing technique. Even now he is constantly meditating to keep his deadman half and his seed half in balance. While he can override the need to have his blood refreshed, he is almost always in pain—but if he ever stops his meditation, it would mean a fate worse than death. He wanders the earth with his cohort Billy, seeking to take revenge on Garino.
He is the younger brother of Bunji Kugashira.
In combat, Juji dual-wields a pair of red Gun Blades, "Tsumuji" and "Hayate". He is fast and light on his feet, deftly slicing his opponents to ribbons using the "Kuchiba Style". His proficiency with melee combat means his long-range attacks suffer quite a bit. He cannot charge his guns the way Grave and Billy can, but he can charge his swords to perform a powerful series of sword attacks.
Voiced by Hiroaki Hirata
and Cam Clarke
"She's a lady, and she's sad. That means she needs to be treated with kindness. Real men have a duty to supply that kindness. Period. No exceptions."
Also first appearing in Overdose
, Billy is an outlandishly dressed rockabilly ghost (???), possessing an electric guitar that Juji found while traveling. He is Juji's best friend, and supposedly is a ladies' man. He has much admiration for his grandmother, and strives to be kind to every woman he meets. Why he wanders the world as a ghost is unknown. He plays the goofball foil to Juji's "straight man" persona, and while Billy has the air of a joker, he really is quite kind and earnest. He also holds some inner sadness, as being an incorporeal spirit means that he cannot hold a lady in his arms.
Billy shreds through his foes using his guitar, the "B.L. 20,000V" to generate lightning bolts with slight homing capability and firing them. His melee attacks are weak, but his long-range attacks are the best of the three. Billy is also unable to dive laterally as well as having lower endurance against large crowds of enemies.
Voiced by Hochu Otsuka
- The Atoner: Possibly. His origins are never really explained, but if his dialog after some boss fights are to be believed, Billy might have underwent a really gruesome death, and is trying to make up for whatever he did.
- Blessed with Suck (Seems to be a pattern—if you're some kind of undead in the series' world, it's mostly unpleasant.)
- Boisterous Bruiser (Although more virtuous and chivalrous than most, he's still an all-around nice person/ghost. Even in his appearance in Chaos Wars, Hyoma (the main character of said game) even comments about how Billy just seems to have the natural ability to brighten someone's day.)
- Blue Oni: To Juji's Red Oni.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": The stylized "B" on the back of his jacket (see picture)
- Chivalrous Pervert
- Dance Battler: When using Blue Lightning as a melee weapon. His dodging abilities are more like stage dives than anything else.
- Anime Hair
- Gameplay and Story Segregation / Cutscene Power to the Max: Billy is pretty much immune to everything in cutscenes because of his state as a spirit, yet if you choose to play his campaign, Billy can't dodge very well and takes conspicuous damage.
- To be fair, in game his guitar is being damaged, and if it's destroyed, then he will "die" for real. It's not his fault if enemies realize they must hit his weapon/weak point only out of cutscenes.
- "Aw man, I'm on my last guitar string!"
- Glass Cannon: Has the best ranged attacks of the three characters. His bolts hit quite hard and he's quite beastly in boss fights. Problem is that his defense is very low, and becomes more apparent in higher difficulty modes.
- Improbable Weapon User
- Instrument of Murder: Blue Lightning is the guitar that makes the peoples fall down. Someone or something gets fried every time Billy shreds on it, similar to the Nevan weapon in Devil May Cry 3.
- Musical Assassin
- Shock and Awe: His guitar fires arcs of lightning strikes, which excel in crowd control when used properly.
- Something About a Rose: "Roses from Heaven"
- Soul Jar: The guitar?
- They Fight Crime: Juji is an angry undead blind swordsman. Billy is a sweet-tempered ghost of a rockabilly who loves women and possesses an electricity-shooting guitar. They fight crime!
- Wave Motion Gun: "Thunder Love". When you kill Fangoram in Billy's campaign, the beam has more than a striking resemblance to the The Angel Arm.
"Mika, please...listen to me...Go see Dr. Tokioka. You must survive, Mika. Never give up..."
A blonde-haired woman who grew up in the same city as Brandon. To Brandon, she was his one true love, but Maria's foster parent Jester disapproved of their relationship. After the murder of Jester, she is taken by Big Daddy and his agents to his estate in order to protect her. After being rejected by Brandon, she became Big Daddy's lover and grew pregnant with his child (who will later become their daughter Mika). She was utterly devastated by the loss of Brandon, but was told that he was "alive" and was entrusted with the suitcase that held the Cerberus weapons. She was instructed that if she ever was in dire straits, bringing the suitcase to Brandon will let him know she is in need of help. After the death of Big Daddy, she lived in a smaller home with Mika and Tokioka, until Harry sent out his agents with the order to have them killed. Maria sends Mika away with Tokioka with the suitcase, telling Mika to seek out Brandon's aid. Maria stays behind and stands her ground, fighting off the Millenion agents until they succeed in killing her.
In the video game Grave fights for Maria's daughter because of a promise Grave (as Brandon) and Maria made when they were still alive, and that promise is one of the few human memories that Grave can still remember.
Voiced by Kikuko Inoue
in Japanese and by Michelle Ruff
in the anime.
Big Daddy/Mr. Asagi
"Brandon, I have achieved everything I wanted in this lifetime, with this company. I have achieved my dream. It is time to slowly enjoy my life, with Maria and the child within her."
The founder and leader of Millenion. Despite Millenion being at its core organized crime, Big Daddy is a calm, kindly, if a bit lonely, old man who is respected by many. His outlook on life was to "find harmony in thought". He has a fondness for fishing, and when he began spending time with Brandon, he taught him how to fish and thought of Brandon as the son he never had. He created Millenion as a means to protect his friends and family, and his innermost circle of most trusted associates is called "The Family". To ensure that the Syndicate operates smoothly, he created "The Code of Iron": Traitors of the Syndicate can only receive the punishment of death.
He also wished for Brandon to do what he could to protect Maria and his unborn child, once Maria became pregnant. In the anime Big Daddy eventually confronted Harry after receiving a letter written by Brandon before his death. The confrontation ended with Harry murdering him, who flew into a rage and claims of Big Daddy "taking Brandon away from him". Though the circumstances are different between the game and the anime, it was Big Daddy that supposedly ordered the Doctor to "lock" away the necrolized Brandon, and allow him to sleep until his power is needed.
In the video game series, he is put through a series of experiments conducted by Harry after Brandon's death and disappearance. He exists as a twisted monstrosity at the very top of the Millenion's Tower, a completely mindless shell of his former self.
Voiced by Iemasa Kayumi
in Japanese and by Michael McConnohie
in the English dub.
- A Father to His Men: Especially Brandon.
- Badass Grandpa: Decked Dr T with one punch after finding out about Brandon's necrolization, proving he still had some of that toughness he would have needed in his youth to get to where he did.
- Benevolent Boss: Very benevolent, considering he's the head of a leading criminal organisation. Even consoled a low-ranking member of his organisation on the death of his mother.
- Final Boss: Sadly, he is this in the original game. There is no other way to save him aside from putting him out of his misery. We don't talk about the alien head.
- Foil: To Harry in the anime. Explicitly pointed out in the last episode, when Harry accuses Big Daddy of being a hypocrite (as Big Daddy himself did many horrible deeds in order to get to where he is), Brandon replies that Big Daddy was aware of his own flaws and thus pursued harmony in his later life.
- Honor Before Reason: In the anime, after learning the truth behind Brandon's death and necrolization, Big Daddy confronts Harry in order to prevent Brandon from getting awakened as a deadman. Unfortunately, this leads to Big Daddy's death and Harry's even further descent to madness.
- Papa Wolf: Not only was he determined to keep Maria and their unborn child safe, but he was grief-stricken over Brandon's death and necrolization, and determined to discover the truth, which led to his confrontation with Harry, and, of course, his death.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: Right before decking Dr. T with a punch.
- Tragic Monster (Video game only.)
- Also a bit of a Tear Jerker when you read up on the backstory and realize...you pretty much have to kill your former boss (who was actually a really nice person) and the father Mika never really got to meet or know. Could also count as a Mercy Kill.
- Vague Age: It's never clear how old Big Daddy is. If the anime is to be believed, he basically built the city all this takes place in, which is a city both large enough and old enough to have suffered some damned severe urban decay. But he doesn't look more than sixty.
- It's possible that he just came and turned it into the place of such importance, as opposed to literally building it from scratch.
"That was amazing sir, incredible beyond imagination!"
A supporting character who debuted in Overdose
. Mika found the young boy, who was wearing dirty clothes and holding a sample of the Seed drug. He claims to have amnesia, but possesses incredible knowledge of Seed and the Necrolization Project. His genius allowed him to create a "seed seeker" a tiny creature composed of Seed which he and Mika use to detect and sense Seed. Spike often is at odds with Juji Kabane, who claims to smell "something not right about him".
Spike is really a creation of Garino's, built to serve as an obedient clone, but Spike rebelled and sought out Mika in a plan to use Grave against Garino. Unbeknownst to Spike, his senses were connected to Garino, who could witness everything Spike did and heard. Garino kills him in front of Mika and company, which drives Grave, Billy, and Juji into a berserk mode as they proceed to engage Garino in the final boss battle of the game. In the end, Mika buries Spike next to her mother's grave.
Despite his true intentions, he did
help Mika by creating many of the gadgets and machinery used in Mika's semi-truck and helped her maintain Grave's body and functionality. He also is responsible for improving the functionality and power of Grave's Coffin, even giving the Coffin the name of "Death Hauler".
Voiced by Quinton Flynn
The Big Four of Millenion
"It's my greatest talent; if you took that away I'd have nothing left!"
The friend of Balladbird Lee, Bob loves food. Really, really
loves food. He is almost never without his favorite food, fried chicken, and seems to always have a drumstick in hand. He is a master of wiretapping and gathering information, which Harry and Lee use to a great extent. He becomes seriously obese due to his overeating, and almost dies because of it if he didn't undergo the process to become a Superior (an Orgman capable of free will/sentient thought). He is the first of Harry's "Big Four" that Brandon (as Beyond the Grave) will fight.
Voiced by Chafurin
in both the game and the animation.
"Is the old man's daughter that important to you? Is it loyalty to Big Daddy? Such sentiments...from a corpse!"
Bob's best buddy, Lee will do anything and everything in his power to get what he wants. A sharply dressed Chinese man whose gentle exterior hides a much more sinister personality. He is the second of the Big Four that Grave must do battle with in order to get to Harry. Upon learning of Bob's fate during his battle with Grave, Lee utterly snaps
Voiced by Steve Blum
(English) and Takehito Koyasu
(Japanese) in the anime. In the original game he's voiced by Masaya Onosaka
. (In an interview, Onosaka was surprised that he wasn't voicing the hero in Gungrave
, which makes sense because Grave never speaks at all in the original game
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Cuts off a train and a house in his One-Winged Angel form.
- Avenging the Villain (Let's say he was not happy when Bob returned from his fight with Grave full of holes.)
- Badass Normal: Lee is exceptionally good at sneaking before becoming a Superior. He curbstomps Harry (who has a gun) with needles and Super Speed.
- Berserk Button: If you harm or insult Bob, Lee will do his (considerable) best to kill you. Very painfully.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Bob
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In the animation he can do this to people with blades that shoot out of his body at will.
- Kick the Dog: Has no qualms about throwing Mika out the window of a moving train.
- Knife Nut (Ok, they're needles, but still...)
- One-Winged Angel / Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot (His Superior form is a big creepy spider thing in the anime, and in the original game...for lack of a better description, is a samurai robotic bouncing chicken.)
- The Reveal: In the anime, he turns out to be related to Cannon Vulcan by blood. This is why Millennion's information is leaked to Lightning.
- Taking the Bullet: For Harry, in episode 11 of the anime.
- Three Beings, One Body: Shows up in the second game as 1/3 of the Labratory boss, a mindless hybrid composed of himself, Bob, and Bear.
"Everything I do...is for my daughter, Sherry."
One of Millenion's most skilled and loyal sweepers, Bear is also the overprotective father of Sherry. He is driven by the need to protect what is dear to him, similar to Brandon. He also becomes part of Harry's Big Four, and allows Sherry to be in a relationship with Harry.
Voiced by Ryuzaburo Otomo
in Japanese and by John Daniels in the anime dub.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Destroys a tree, a house, and Grave's Coffin with his katana in the anime.
- A Father to His Men (To his squad Overkill)
- Anti-Villain (In the anime, aside from trying to kill Brandon, he is a charismatic leader to his men and kind father who puts his daughter's happiness above all else.)
- Foreshadowing (In the anime, the execution of his best friend Cid Geralde who chose to take the blame for Cid's own son's grave mistake foreshadows the similar choice that Bear will make. And just like Cid's case, this results in Bear's death.)
- Horrible Judge of Character: He trusted Harry McDowell with both the fate of Millennion and his daughter. Bear Walken was a good mafia boss but apparently terrible with people.
- Katanas Are Just Better: In the anime.
- Manly Tears: Sheds them after Sid's execution, with Sid's corpse in his arms.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous (His One-Winged Angel forms)
- Overprotective Dad: "Brandon, tell Harry that if he fools around with my daughter, I will kill him." He doesn't quite like the relationship between Harry and Sherry at first because Harry is a mafia, and his life is always at risk. If Sherry gets too close to him, her life is at risk too. It happens to be true; Sherry dies in the crossfire between Harry and the splinter-faction Millennion agents.
- Papa Wolf (anime-only)
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Sequential Boss: In the game he is only member of the Four that has two Overkill forms/phases.
- Get Back Here Boss: One of his attacks is a Megaton Punch which projects him to the other side of the battle area, out of the range of Grave's weapons. He then resumes pulling helicopters out of the sky to throw at you until you get in firing range again.
- Sinister Shades
- The Thing That Goes Doink (In the anime, his house has one of these, as he's known to be a lover of Japanese things.)
- Three Beings, One Body: Shows up in the second game as 1/3 of the Labratory boss, a mindless hybrid composed of himself, Bob, and Lee.
"Madman" Bunji Kugashira
"You did everything for the company, like I do. Everything I'm about to do and have ever done, it has been a fight with you."
When Grave was still Brandon, Bunji was Brandon's apprentice. Bunji had lots of admiration for his mentor, and together formed their own sweeper group called True Grave
. While Bunji had great skills, he still ended up playing second banana to Brandon's impeccable marksmanship and couldn't really work with anyone else but
Brandon, whom he often called "brother" as a term of endearment. Their partnership fell apart after Brandon's death and resurrection as Grave, which drove Bunji, as the last of the Big Four, to have one goal: to be the one that defeats Grave and "outshining his teacher". He had himself infused with Seed to help him with the task. Although killed in the original game, the Corsione Family gave him life in the form of a deadman, which allowed him to confront Grave one more time, as a thin man wrapped in bandages and the ability to project "spirit wolves" to attack.
Voiced by Fumihiko Tachiki
in Japanese, Steve Blum
in the second game and Lex Lang
in the anime.
- Aloof Ally: Bunji can work with nobody other than Brandon. Even after becoming one of the Big Four, he has the tendency to suddenly disappear to deal with Brandon/Grave by himself.
- Badass Normal: He pulls off a Big Damn Heroes moment when Brandon is having trouble with Blood War's Necrolyze. He joins Brandon shooting down the Necrolyze and lasts fairly long before getting incapacitated.
- He's armed with bombs and Anti-Necrolyze bullets, but still, he (pre-Superiorization) almost kills Grave/Brandon in a fight.
- Bring It: In his last duel with Brandon/Grave, he does this. It makes Brandon smile.
- Cool Shades
- Defeat Equals Friendship: Only agreed to join Millenion if he could be bested in a fist fight.
- Expy (Of Trigun's Wolfwood)
- Guns Akimbo
- Healing Factor: His superior ability in the anime.
- Hitman with a Heart: Aside from being a Kindhearted Cat Lover, Bunji (although he's clearly annoyed by Mika's beg not to kill Grave) chooses to scare Mika with a few misdirected gunshots instead of shooting her.
- Hot Blooded Sideburns: Older Bunji. He isn't Hot-Blooded though.
- I Am a Monster (In O.D. Bunji loathes himself for being a brutish deadman, and this mentality turned his implanted seed into a spirit wolf.)
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: In the anime, he adopts a cat.
- Mirror Boss: In the original game and the sequel he has the ability to regenerate his health, just like Grave can—and in the original game he can use his own Graveyard Special against the player.
- Nothing Up My Sleeve: Keeps his guns (and extra bullets!) in the sleeves of his jacket.
- Perma Stubble
- Professional Killer
- Smoking Is Cool
- Sunglasses at Night: He never takes his Cool Shades off.
- They get knocked off once though, when an enraged Brandon/Grave beats him for scaring Mika with misdirected gunshots.
- The Reveal (He reveals himself as Jyuji's elder brother in O.D.)
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: He clearly states that he has no interest in kids and asks Mika to leave Grave while they fight. He even chooses to fire misdirected shots to scare Mika instead of shooting her although he is clearly annoyed when she begs him not to kill Grave.
The Corsione Family
"I have a feeling that this will be a very close battle indeed."
The head of the Corsione Family. Upon discovering the power of Seed and Orgmen, which was supposedly destroyed by Grave but apparently not completely, his influence on the underworld spread like wildfire. He is closely guarded by Sherry, the Orgmen, and Zell's mercenary brigade. Garino is his adopted son. The Don's ultimate goal is to take full control of the underworld using Seed and the Orgmen, like Harry before him.
He is ultimately double-crossed by Garino, who just saw him as a pawn. Garino had been supposedly plotting to take the title of Don for years, and when it finally came to fruition, Garino had Corsione infected with a Seed, which transforms him into a mutated Orgman that Grave, Billy, or Juji must kill.
Garino Creale Corsione
"You haven't beaten me yet."
He appears in Overdose
as the adopted son of Don Corsione, of the Corsione family. A blond-haired man sharply dressed in a blue suit, he is incredibly intelligent and commands the ferocious necrolizer, Fangoram. He has a rather cold personality and was given anything he ever wanted since childhood. Has a habit of talking down to people (seems to have a bit of a god complex), and seems to be after something greater than just controlling Seed trafficking.
He reveals that everything behind Seed and the Necrolization Project is the result of Methuselah, a parasitic alien race that came to the planet eons ago. Methuselah only wanted to reproduce and take over the lives of others, so Garino struck a deal with the aliens' "Will". In exchange for Methuselah's advanced technology, Garino agreed to infect every living thing on the planet with Seed, and then leave in the Starship to move on to other planets. He believed himself to be a god when he acquired this power, however, he is ultimately defeated when Grave joins up with Billy and Juji to blow him away with the combined power of their Final Demolition Shots. Garino relinquishes a "counter seed", which is used to cure Mika's infection.
"You traitor! You kill Fangoram's friends...You kill deadmen! Fangoram full of hatred. Must kill...Must kill YOU!"
A vicious and cruel prototype necrolizer that is first seen in Overdose
(almost seeming like Grave's evil counterpart) who serves as Garino's sweeper and bodyguard. He is feared by many and thought to be the world's strongest necrolizer by sheer destructive power, as he is the only being capable of wielding the Center Head, a large gun of otherworldly strength and the last of the Cerberus line of weapons. He is filled with hatred towards Grave, as Fangoram lost his jaw and many of his "comrades" to Grave and swore to get revenge someday.
Voiced by Steve Blum
- BFG The Center Head of Cerberus, which fires rounds the size of footballs and nearly kills Grave in one shot. The recoil of firing is also weaponized, allowing Fangoram to make several shots around him by swinging the gun with the recoil, making him a threat in any direction.
- Damage-Sponge Boss
- The Dragon (He is Garino's dragon.)
- Evil Counterpart: To Grave. Both dress in identical colors with the same motifs and use Cerberus-line weaponry. While Grave is silent, thoughtful, and agile whose fighting style is based on accuracy and rapid-fire shooting, Fangoram is a loud, brutish thug who switches between slow, singular shots and reckless shooting frenzies. They both seem to care for their allies (as seen in the quote above) and both hide their scars to some degree as well, with Grave missing his left eye and Fangoram hiding his bloody mouth.
- Facial Horror: When his mask comes off, there's a good shot of his mouth, which has been stripped of all flesh and has jagged teeth. Makes you wonder how he holds onto his cigarettes...
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Does it through his mask.
- Hulk Speak: Evident in his quote, of course.
- Spikes of Villainy: Sports some impressive ones on his boots.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: On the receiving end of a massive one by whoever fights him. Grave's get's special mention for the fact that he finishes him off by nailing him with a thermonuclear railgun blast. Guess he wasn't taking any chances after their first round...
Sherry Walken MacDowell
"This one's for Harry MacDowell...Now it's your turn...BRANDON HEAT."
Bear Walken's only daughter, her well-being is of Bear's utmost concern. After being thoroughly convinced by Harry that she was okay in his hands, Bear allows them to marry. She fell in love with Harry at first sight during Harry and Brandon's induction ceremony to Big Daddy's inner circle, "The Family".
In the game series, after the deaths of her father and Harry, she returns in Overdose
as one of Don Corsione's bodyguards and also is his adviser. Her one true wish is to get revenge on Grave, the man who killed both her father and her beloved Harry. Her newfound rebirth as a necrolizer will help her see to that.
- Avenging the Villain: She wants to kill Grave to avenge her father's and her husband's death. Although not quite explained in the game, she's already died once, and someone turned her into a deadwoman.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon: She wields a crossbow/bludgeon/blade-shooter hybrid...thing called "Soul Reaver". (Not that Soul Reaver though...)
- The Smurfette Principle: While she isn't the only female character in the series, she's the only female boss you'll fight.
- What Could Have Been: She was set to appear as a boss (named "Nekurora" / "Necrola") in the first game but didn't make the cut. She would have been a mutant boss similar to Big Daddy with Frickin' Laser Beams and a Mind Rape special attack.
"Don't confuse us for others who've never fought your kind before."
, Zell leads a group of mercenaries who were hired by Don Corsione as extra security. He and his group are pretty much normal humans who have developed a special anti-deadman technique, which they have used to fight and destroy at least four deadmen. At his command, his soldiers will gang up on their target and bind it with chains. The immobilized target is then blasted with Zell's custom anti-deadman rifle.
An ancient race of alien parasites whose visiting to the planet centuries ago sparked the events of the series. With intelligence and technology far beyond human reasoning, they only had one goal: to reproduce. However, to do so the parasites needed to take control of a host and transform it into a more effective form. Their technology is the backing force that produced not only the Necrolization Project, but the Seed Project and the Hybridoma Theory as well. Subjects infected with "seed", the substance derived from this alien lifeform, if their mental abilities are not strong enough to control the infection, the result is the Orgmen ("re-organized man"), mindless drones to the alien consciousness. When a host is infected, the seed begins to "analyze" its host to ascertain the most effective way of transformation. Usually only "pure" seed can cause the transformation of the host, so low-quality seed is sold as a designer drug.
Ultimately responsible for corrupting Harry MacDowell, and granting near-godlike powers to Garino Corsione. Seed and Methuselah are absent in the anime.
The main product of the Necrolization/Seed Project, these bioweapons are often known as the "Black Suits" or "Blue-white men". They are mass-produced and cultivated in Harry's labs to serve as his enforcers. They are also the result of test subjects with sub-optimal mental and physical strength to control the Seed implanted in them. Orgman stands for "re-organized man". These beings have no sense of self or free thought, possessing considerable strength in exchange for their heart and soul. When destroyed they shatter into blue-white crystals and are subconsciously connected to something more than human.
These are the creatures that attacked Mika in Butler Tokioka's car (and Dr. T.'s truck in the anime) when she was fleeing from Harry's agents. Butler Tokioka loses his life to one, holding it off long enough for Mika to escape.
Anime-only character. He is Dr. Tokioka's twin brother who serves as Big Daddy's butler. After Big Daddy's death, he serves Maria and Mika.
- Battle Butler: When Maria's house is invaded by the Millennion, Butler Tokioka knocks several Millennion men out with bare hands. This enables him to escape with Mika.
- He wrestles with an Orgmen, buying just enough time for Mika to escape with the Cerberus suitcase and find Dr. T. He dies soon after.
- Heroic Sacrifice
- High-Class Glass
Blood War/Brad Wong
Anime-only character. He was imprisoned for killing 327 people, but after serving in the prison for eight years, he was released. He belonged to the Volcano organization, but he soon cut his connection to join Lightning after discovering the Necrolyzation project by Cannon Vulcan.
Anime-only character. He is the one who begins the Necrolyzation project and spends seven years to develop it.
Anime-only character. He survives the Necrolyze accident, and is later found by Harry, Lee, and Bob in the ruined facility. He tells them about his review to Dr. T's Necrolyze research, which actually only complicates things because Necrolyze can be applied to living subjects (or so, he says). Then he offers to work under Harry, which Harry accepts.
Gary & Widge
Anime-only characters. Gary and Widge worked as loan sharks for those who bet in the illegal race betting, and Widge often considered that position as the lowest position in the Millennion. In the present days, Gary and Widge decided to cut their connections to Millennion not only because the betting was now managed by modern computers, but also out of their loyalty to Big Daddy. Young Brandon worked under them.
Jolice, Nathan, & Kenny
Members of Brandon's and Harry's old gang. The five of them live together in the crime-ridden slums called 'Desolation Alley'. Unfortunately, they are all killed when the gang somehow picks a fight with Deed (whose brother is related to the mafia) and his gang.