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Fan Fic / Betray Me Not

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"I have a family to protect."
—-Brandon Heat

Betray Me Not is a Gungrave Continuation Fic written by Legendary Biologist. It takes place starting from the last few scenes of the final episode. The fanfic is published at fanfiction.net on 1st August 2015 and completed on 28th August 2015.

Mika finally found Brandon, but it was too late. Brandon seemed to be dead by the time she arrived, and she could only assume that Brandon had finally found his peace. Then, Biscoe and Norton approached Mika, revealing that the trailer would soon arrive to take Brandon's body back to the grave.

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In the trailer though, as Mika reminisced the moment when Dr. Tokioka sustained Brandon's body by giving him transfusions, Brandon turned out to be alive. Mika noticed that Brandon was being groggy, and assuming that he was physically hurt, she asked Biscoe to help Brandon. Biscoe agreed.

Of course, it did not happily end there. After finding out that Millennion would soon be in serious deficit, Biscoe revealed that Brandon was partially to blame. What bothered him wasn't the expense the organization had to pay for Brandon; instead, Biscoe was angry at the fact that the organization could have saved a lot of money if Brandon hadn't injured the Millennion agents (in other words, Brandon actually had betrayed Millennion). This surprised Mika and led to an argument between Mika, Biscoe, and Norton. After telling that Brandon had to be punished harshly by forcing him to work for the Mafia (e.g. sending him to Mob War) while being unhealthy, Biscoe finally revealed that he and Norton had bent Big Daddy's Code of Iron for Mika. Brandon was supposed to be executed for betraying Millennion, but out of their respect to Mika as Big Daddy's posthumous child, they chose to save Brandon while punishing him harshly.

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Things went From Bad to Worse in chapter 2, in which it was revealed that Brandon was actually guilty of his betrayal...

Can be read at FFnet and AO3.

The sequel, Worth, is uploaded as of 27th September 2015. Takes place one month after the events in Betray Me Not, it brings up Brandon's grief of not being able to help Millennion while the organization pays his medical expense. In addition, the fact that Brandon's disability bothers Mika gives Brandon suicidal thoughts. Trying to dispatch himself without making a mess, Brandon begs William to kill him as humanely as possible. Of course, as a doctor who prioritizes his patient's well-being, William may not agree with Brandon...

Can be read at FFnet and AO3.

Now, the whole series has been condensed into Gungrave: Aftermath series, which consists of four series (sorted based on official timeline from Word of God):

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  • Betray Me Not: The first series. It's about Brandon's struggle to (re)adapt in Millennion, The Syndicate he has ended up betraying due to choosing his best friend over all else. It highlights the reconciliation between Brandon and Millennion with Mika's help.
  • Rehabilitation: The second series. It mainly tackles Brandon's struggle with his physical disability and is probably the most lighthearted series of Gungrave: Aftermath to date.
  • Loan Shark: The third series. This is about Brandon's 'life' as a Millennion Loan Shark (again).
    • Retribution (7th November 2015 - 12th November 2015): A two-shot.
    • A Loan Shark's Tale (17th October 2015): This is set long after Betray Me Not and Worth.
  • Guardian of a Lifetime: The fourth series. Brandon has to rely on his Cerberus again to protect Mika (and to a lesser extent, Millennion) until she fully grows up. Brandon's duty as Mika's guardian is challenging at times, as he has lost an arm and a leg.
  • Unclassified: A series serving as a collection of Aftermath works that do not fit in any of the four series.

Tropes found in the work (beware of unmarked spoilers for both the anime and the fanfic):

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes In General 
  • All There in the Manual: If something is not explained in the narrative, the information may be at either the footnotes, Gungrave Aftermath wikia, or future works.
  • Broad Strokes / Continuity Nod / Continuity Porn: The style for the work. See other folders for specific examples.
  • Cold Snap: The setting of A Loan Shark's Tale, Wintertime Business, and Crossfire.
  • Continuation: Obviously.
  • Creator Thumbprint: The author is a medical student. There are a few medical references found in the work. See also Genius Bonus at the YMMV page.
    • Ethical issues/dilemmas and dubious morality. This work explores the ethical issues of bending a rule. Another work of the author's that features ethical issues is Mutual Affection, a Gungrave fanfic that is based on the ethical issues of euthanasia. To a lesser extent, another Gungrave fanfic of the author's A Complete, yet Imperfect Life also counts. It is about killing to protect the people you love.
  • Elite Zombie: It's All There in the Manual, mostly.
    • Standard necrolyzers are a hybrid of Brutes, Regenerators, and Zombie Person. However, the green-skinned giant variant emphasizes on Brutes more than anything else.
      • Due to not having his renewal therapy for a long time after Dr. Tokioka's death, Brandon's regenerative system takes a hit, nearly removing the Regenerator aspect from him. However, he's still capable of recovering from his injuries faster than a regular human.
    • Hellhounds and necrolyzed rats are Undead Animals and Ferals/Hunters/Stalkers. They are very fast and armed with sharp fangs. The rats are even worse, as they are small and tend to cling to their prey, which makes dispatching them more difficult.
    • Orgmen are Enhanced Zombies. Big orgmen are Brutes who fight with brute strength, while small orgmen are Ferals/Hunters/Stalkers who rely more on agility. Big orgmen can turn their fingers into Finger Gun and fires superheated plasma projectiles, while small orgmen can extend their arms long enough to attack their foes.
  • Equivalent Exchange: Word of God regarding writing Guardian of a Lifetime series, particularly The Hellhound of Billion. Trading Character Development for actions.
  • Fan Verse: Despite initially written to resolve the Ambiguous Ending of Gungrave anime, this series has grown pretty large and named as Gungrave: Aftermath series. The basic concept is Brandon surviving the event in Gungrave anime, but not without damage. Physically, Brandon has lost his left arm and his right leg. Emotionally, Brandon is hurt by the realization of his betrayal towards Millennion, while he ends up surviving thanks to Millennion (with Mika's help). From the outside, everybody in Millennion (except Mika) scorns him. The setting and sci-fi aspects are still using what the anime universe has, but to add some realism into it and allow fandom blind readers to read it more easily, some Broad Strokes are applied.
  • Finger Firearms: Orgmen can turn their fingers into cannons.
  • Footnote Fever: Most of them have footnotes.
  • Happily Adopted: How the fanfic series treats the anime's ending. Brandon survives and under Millennion's care, continues 'living' with Mika as her father figure. After regaining more of the physical abilities he lost during the last few episodes of the anime by mastering how to use an artificial leg, Brandon works as a Loan Shark in Millennion. Meanwhile, after the major conflict of Betray Me Not is resolved, Mika resumes her life as a student.
  • Immune to Bullets: All undead species resist regular bullets. However, anti-necrolyze and Cerberus rounds can harm them, especially when put through the head.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Orgmen die this way.
  • Living on Borrowed Time: All necrolyzed beings will slowly decompose without the renewal therapy.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: Zigzagged. A normal girl Mika is adopted by a techno-zombie Brandon, but the one who provides them all they need is Millennion, a mafia organization consisting of humans.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Regarding the undead. The orgman is a huge reanimated corpse that can throw a car, smash a building, and knock down a street light. It can also transform its fingers into Finger Firearms. And then Brandon is a one-eyed, one-armed, and one-legged zombie wielding a pair of Hand Cannon to destroy the orgman.
    • In The Hellhound of Billion, there are necrolyzed dogs. One of them does a Wall Jump and injures Brandon.
  • One-Gender Race: No female orgman.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: One of the most effective ways to dispatch an undead.
  • Shown Their Work: This overlaps with Write What You Know, since the author is a med student. See other folders for specific examples.
    • Prosthesis in general along with wheelchairs and anything related to an above-knee amputee.
  • Signature Style: Most of the works are a mix of Continuity Nod / Continuity Porn and Broad Strokes. It generally works for fandom blind readers.
  • Super-Detailed Fight Narration: Plenty. Especially in Guardian of a Lifetime, which is intended to be an action series.
  • Super Serum: The necrolyzation serum converts a corpse into a necrolyzer when consumed before dying. It can also turn a corpse into a necrolyzer if injected into the corpse in huge amounts.
  • Super Strength: The orgman can create lots of craters on the road and knock down a street light.
    • And he sent Brandon smashing through a wall with a swing of his hand!
    • Basically, all undead has insane strength. Necrolyzers like Brandon and Charles are capable of smashing concrete easily.
  • The Triads and the Tongs: The Gatou Gang.
  • Troperrific: Mafia, zombies, and loan sharks and some fluff between a gentle zombie daddy with a little girl. It's to be expected.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: As in Brandon's What an Idiot! action in the anime: breaking up with Maria. In Betray Me Not series, Brandon is saved and given another chance in 'life' only because of Biscoe's and Norton's respect towards Mika, who has Big Daddy's Royal Blood in her. If Brandon has married Maria instead of leaving her to Big Daddy, Mika couldn't have had the ability to save him in the finale. And maybe Mika may have to go down in the end as well. Brandon actually spawns a life form who saves him in the far future!
    Betray Me Not 
Decisions, Consequences, and a Second Chance
  • Adaptation Expansion: This expands Biscoe's character in the last episode, in which he refuses to save Brandon for Mika at first, but eventually changes his mind.
    • Also includes the process in detail, ranging from calling the trailer to stopping the attack. In the canon, it's not specified how the man responds to Biscoe and why Biscoe suddenly grows angry when talking in the phone, but here, it's revealed to be related to Biscoe's men not wanting to listen to Biscoe's orders, or so it seems.
    • It also explains how anti-necrolyze rounds work in detail. It alters a necrolyzer's nerve functions speeds up the decomposition process of a necrolyzer's flesh, which will hurt the poor necrolyzer.
    • The moment tells Brandon "Welcome back" is revealed to be when she finds out that he's (barely) alive.
  • Broad Strokes: Most of the characters' speeches. It makes some of the scenes more heartbreaking than the canon, such as the way Mika begs Biscoe to save Brandon and how angry Biscoe is when his men wouldn't listen to him.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Being Millennion's leader isn't easy for Biscoe, as he is faced with some dilemmas. If he saves Brandon, as Norton says, his leadership is questionable. But if he doesn't, he'll ruin Mika's life.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Norton suggests Biscoe to punish Brandon brutally when all is settled. How is it? Force Brandon to work hard, and if he slacks off, shoot him with anti-necrolyze. Knowing how anti-necrolyze works, Biscoe disagrees, because it's very much like flogging an animal.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Brandon turns out to have survived, much to Mika's and Biscoe's delight. Mika will never be alone anymore, while Biscoe is glad that he manages to save Brandon on time.
  • Family of Choice: Brandon, Mika, and to a lesser extent, Biscoe and the whole Millennion.
  • In Medias Res: It begins with Biscoe finding Brandon's motionless body and holding back his tears at the remorse.
  • Men Don't Cry: Either averted or played straight by Biscoe. He tries to hold back his tears at the realization of his fault, which leads to Brandon's 'death'.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Biscoe is Millennion's boss, but he decides to help Mika.

Betray Me Not

  • An Arm and a Leg: When Mika found Brandon, he had lost his left arm and right leg.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: "Mr. Biscoe said that you were a traitor. Is that true?" That hits Brandon hard.
  • Artificial Limbs: Deconstructed. Brandon wears a conventional variant of artificial leg in chapter 5 and has his movement restricted.
    • Truth in Television, people wearing an artificial leg can't feel when his/her foot has touched the ground. This usually results in imbalance, and it requires practice to walk properly. In Brandon's case, because he's forced to wear it and walk immediately, he keeps falling down unless supported. If he doesn't fall down, his movement is very slow and limited. Also, he's exhausted faster.
    • In addition, the Artificial Limb doesn't give Brandon the ability to flex his knee. This is part of why his movement is restricted.
    • Because Biscoe and Norton don't bother giving Brandon time to undergo prosthetic fitting process, Brandon ends up suffering skin breakdown. And the prosthesis is too short as well.
  • Badass and Child Duo: An interesting example. Brandon excels at physical combats and guns, but has little to no authority in Millennion due to his past as a traitor to the syndicate. This is why he looks petty in the organization (mistreated and takes all the maltreatment without complain). On the other hand, Mika is a Non-Action Girl, but has some authority in Millennion due to Royal Blood. She is able to take care of Brandon (and snaps at those who mistreat him) thanks to her authority in the organization.
  • Break Them by Talking: Harry's goon, knowing Brandon's relationship with Harry, deliberately starts talking about Harry to take advantage of Brandon. He almost has Brandon join his side, but then Brandon sees the patch on his pants, which Mika made as an attempt to delight him...
    • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Harry's goon chews out Brandon for rejecting his offer. He calls Brandon a false friend and a traitor, since he betrays Harry this way. And things do not end well for him. Brandon snatches his D-Point and riddles him with bullets.
  • Broad Strokes: Mostly done to make the story fandom-blind friendly. For example, the sequence in which Brandon protects Mika from the agents' bullets (episode 1 or 18), the agents run instead of letting an orgman fight Brandon/Grave before running away. Also, the mutual Mercy Kill. In the last few shots of the anime's finale, Harry is actually aiming at Brandon's chest (either animation error or deliberately done so in the Gungrave canon), but here, Harry is said to be aiming at Brandon's head.
    • The most prominent one is Brandon's Nigh-Invulnerability. Instead of Healing Factor, Brandon is given Super Toughness. The anime canon seems to be very vague about Brandon's Healing Factor, though.
    • The transfusion doesn't involve a lot of blood bags at once, as hinted in the anime and the game; instead, it's more like a normal transfusion, only that it's given faster like massive transfusion.
  • Call-Back: The Code of Iron, which is last mentioned in episode 20, becomes probably the most important aspect in this story.
  • Central Theme: To Be Lawful or Good and Undying Loyalty. Family of Choice as well.
  • The Chains of Commanding: This is what actually the meaning of 'don't make us difficult' speech by either Biscoe or Norton. If Brandon ever betrays them, they will have to make difficult decisions. Going by Big Daddy's Code of Iron, they will have to execute Brandon to cause fear to their underlings, but this will make them disrespect Mika since Brandon is her beloved Parental Substitute. They can spare Brandon out of respect to Mika, but this equals to disrespecting Big Daddy's Code of Iron and as Brandon believes, this will make their underlings view them as sentimental authority figures. If they Take a Third Option, which they do throughout the story, it'll cause Brandon a lot of pain, which will disappoint Mika (and to some degree, make her worry) and anger Dr. William, but probably scare their underlings.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The way Biscoe and Norton punish Brandon: forcing him to wear an artificial leg while his leg is still in stitches and bandages. Explicitly pointed out by William, who is not pleased after finding out that Brandon is on the risk of losing more of the remainder of his leg. By the time William checks Brandon, the flesh around the wound on Brandon's leg is already rotten.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Brandon has to choose between Harry, his best friend, or Mika (and Millennion), his family.
  • Continuity Nod / Continuity Porn: A lot. Mostly elaborated on the footnotes. However, according to some fandom-blind reviewers at fanfiction.net, they find themselves invested in the plot and characters despite the Continuity Porn due to the work itself being a Continuation Fic.
    • It starts from the last few scenes of the show. Even the 'welcome back' speech is kept. And later, there's even the orphanage flashback that plays at the very end of the anime.
    • Brandon wondering why he survives his Mutual Kill with Harry. It turns out that Harry's gun (which is Brandon's old gun) actually has no bullets, as found in the intermission after Harry is shot for the first time in the final episode.
    • The dream sequences in chapter 2 are actually referring to the orphanage flashback in the finale and Grave's battle in episode 1 and/or 18.
    • Mika sewing Brandon's tattered clothing refers to episode 20, in which Mika says that her mother is capable of knitting.
    • Brandon tells Mika that her mother often says that despite smiling, he is actually sad inside. This is also a reference to episode 20, in which during the flashback between Brandon and Maria, Maria says that she doesn't need Brandon's words to know that he's sad.
    • The patch Mika uses to mend Brandon's pants. It comes from Brandon's destroyed cowboy outfit in episode 22.
    • Norton suggesting Biscoe to let Brandon work for Millennion's loan shark department. Early in the anime, Brandon is a loan shark.
    • The trailer, which is last seen in episode 23, is brought up again.
    • Unlike other post-canon fanfics found in the fandom, this work keeps Brandon's lost limbs and uses this aspect for drama. Similarly, Mika calls 'Brandon' instead of 'Grave,' which ends up as a heartwarming moment.
    • Harry's goon calls Brandon a monster. It refers to Bunji's comment in episode 8 after witnessing Brandon's Improbable Aiming Skills.
    • The D-Point from episode 10 and 11 is brought up again.
    • It also includes Brandon's year of birth and death, which is etched on Brandon's grave in episode 15.
    • Brandon's CV sums up his life from episode 5 to 14.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: See Undying Loyalty.
  • Deconstruction Fic: Following the show's spirit, this deconstructs Undying Loyalty. This time, however, reconstruction exists.
    • Betrayal is also deconstructed. See Undying Loyalty.
    • To some extent, Principles Zealot. Finally committing a betrayal breaks Brandon very much.
    • See Artificial Limb and Feel No Pain.
    • Also, this deconstructs what if Brandon survives the ordeals in the anime's finale. Unlike most post-canon works found in the fandom (which is very little to begin with), this brings Millennion into consideration. In the final episode, Brandon injures some Millennion agents to protect Harry, his best friend who is a traitor to Millennion. The organization does not let Brandon get away with it, and only spares him because of Mika.
  • Doctor's Orders: Doesn't work at first; instead, Biscoe disregards William's explanation about what Brandon needs as an amputee and interrupts him from speaking. The moment William angrily reveals that Brandon is on the risk of losing more of his residual leg due to infection and necrosis (which Biscoe and Norton are responsible for), Biscoe and Norton finally comply.
  • Dramatic Irony: Most of the characters aside from Mika don't bother learning how sensitive and gentle Brandon is, but readers have known that Brandon is a nice zombie through his interactions with Mika and his grogginess upon waking up in the first chapter. The characters do learn slowly though.
    • And worse when it turns out that Brandon is struggling to cope with his grief and guilt of his betrayal.
    • And simply tearjerking when it's revealed that Brandon lets them treat him in any way they like just so that they can instill fear in their underlings' minds.
  • Dreaming the Truth: This plays a role in changing Brandon's view of himself. At first, Brandon has no clue why he dreams of the moment he protects Mika after seeing her kindness to him, but after hearing Mika's sincere and loving You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech, he realizes that he, despite his betrayal, is actually not irredeemably evil.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: And how. Considering the crap Brandon and Mika have gone through in the anime series and this work (although Mika suffers far less than Brandon here), the ending is simply heartwarming. Biscoe (implicitly) apologizes to Brandon for having put him through so much pain and almost causing William to amputate the remainder of his leg, and as a compensation, he lets Brandon rest. It's also hinted that he'll be giving Brandon the aftercare he needs. Norton also doesn't seem to be that harsh to Brandon anymore. Now, Brandon is living with Mika as a family, much to Mika's joy. But the most heartwarming of the ending is that Brandon is always Harry's best friend, and he finally smiles a genuine smile upon realizing that. He has moved on and will be living with Mika (and probably the whole Millennion) as a family.
  • Family of Choice: Brandon and Mika. In the end, the whole Millennion probably counts as Brandon's and Mika's family.
  • Foreshadowing: The guards' apathy towards Brandon's deteriorating condition foreshadows the main conflict in the sequel one-shot Worth, in which Millennion guardsmen are really unpleasant towards Brandon.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Or White and Grey Morality. Nobody is purely evil; every character has their own reason behind their acts. Mainly caused by the issue of To Be Lawful or Good.
    • Biscoe and Norton spare Brandon out of respect to Mika, but they also put him through a Cold-Blooded Torture because they respect Big Daddy's Code of Iron, in which traitors have to be executed. The only difference is that Biscoe is more lenient than Norton.
    • Having betrayed Millennion, Brandon lets Biscoe and Norton put him through a Cold-Blooded Torture because he thinks he deserves it and wants to cause fear to Millennion's members.
    • Having some authority in Millennion, Mika acts unpleasantly to Biscoe and Norton and even Millennion agents because Brandon is her beloved Family of Choice / Parental Substitute.
    • Dr. William defends Brandon because he notices that Brandon is actually aware of his betrayal, and as a doctor, William just wants to protect his patient from further physical/mental damage.
  • Hand Cannon: The D-Point.
  • Hidden Depths: This is what that causes Dramatic Irony.
    • Biscoe and Norton. They seem to be Jerkass at first glance, but it turns out that they've bent the Code of Iron to save Brandon, much to their chagrin.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Brandon and Mika, respectively. In one of the dream sequences, Brandon can let Mika use his coat as a blanket even when he's wearing it. Then, when Mika kneels on his lap, her knees only touch one of his legs.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Sort of. Ironically, it's William and Mika who point out Millennion's cruelty (and even call Biscoe and Norton monsters) instead of Brandon, the undead whom Millennion mistreats for being a traitor.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Happens twice to Harry's goons. Brandon literally silences them with a gun.
  • Meaningful Echo: Mika has been claiming that Brandon, despite his betrayal, is a good person. When Mika starts to doubt Brandon's loyalty after learning Biscoe's plan for Brandon, Biscoe reiterates what Mika has told him (Brandon is a good person), which is actually one of Biscoe's few reasons of saving Brandon.
    • Mika repeats the same speech when Brandon starts to doubt if he can betray Harry.
    • Similarly, "Betrayal is bad." Mika initially uses Brandon's awareness of his betrayal to console him, but when Mika nearly leaks Biscoe's secret to Brandon, Brandon reminds her of that. Complete with a reason, since Brandon is a Principles Zealot.
  • Men Don't Cry: Averted by Brandon himself. He cries several times out of his grief.
    • Played straight by Biscoe. Or maybe averted as well. After realizing that he almost causes Brandon to lose more of his amputated leg, Biscoe becomes teary. Mika notices this and asks him about this, but Biscoe simply ignores her.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Chapter 2 is actually the retelling of chapter 1, but the POV is shifted from Mika's to Brandon's. This worsens everything as Brandon is aware of his betrayal and stressed out.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The driving force of the story. Betrayal is the most serious offense in Millennion, and traitors are supposed to be executed. But out of respect to Mika, Biscoe and Norton can't execute Brandon, but they have to punish him, lest their underlings won't be afraid of them. Unfortunately, Biscoe and Norton go too far.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: This is part of how Mika comforts a depressed Brandon.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Brandon suffers one after brutally murdering Harry's goon. More likely because of the pressure to the psyche than injuries or exhaustion.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: This fanfic provides an interesting case of this trope. Mika, being Big Daddy's posthumous child and the rightful heir of Millennion, has some authority in the organization. Brandon never asks her for help, but Mika uses her authority to make Biscoe and Norton help Brandon and provide him the regular transfusions he needs.
    • It's also highlighted that Mika actually needs Biscoe and Norton to keep Brandon alive. Mika has the authority, but she doesn't have the wealth/ability like Biscoe and Norton (including hiring a doctor, providing the materials, etc) to sustain Brandon's body.
  • Red Herring: The chapter title 'Another Betrayal.' One may think that Brandon ends up betraying Millennion and Mika again, but actually, the definition is more like 'another form of betrayal.' Brandon ends up betraying Harry again.
  • Rule of Symbolism
    • According to Word of God, stitches are symbolic of Brandon's family, especially those on Brandon's leg.
      • Mika asked Biscoe and Norton to help Brandon, and Biscoe and Norton had William stitch Brandon's wounds. In other words, Mika gets Brandon to return to her family, with of course, Biscoe's and Norton's help: hiring Dr. William and providing the equipment the doctor needs.
      • Another small stitching symbolism is the patch on Brandon's pants. It saves Brandon from rejoining Harry; in other words, the patch can be said as something that keeps Brandon from leaving his family again.
      • Biscoe and Norton are responsible for Brandon's snapped stitches later on. This is symbolic of how terrible Biscoe and Norton have been. By putting Brandon through a Cold-Blooded Torture, they almost break a family.
      • Brandon willingly letting Biscoe and Norton put him through a Cold-Blooded Torture causes his stitches to snap. Symbolic of how Brandon almost sacrifices his family for Millennion, much to Mika's distress. Now, Mika's worry makes more sense.
      • William being the one who stitches Brandon's wound actually symbolizes him as a very important person to the family. Without him, nobody can save Brandon and bring him back to the family. Also, in the finale, Biscoe and Norton apologize (implicitly) to Brandon partly thanks to William's anger at the snapped stitches.
      • Biscoe finally feels terrible for what he and Norton have done, so he implicitly apologizes to Brandon and gladly lets him rest until he fully recovers. This is symbolic of the Happy Ending for Mika's family. Brandon and Mika (and the whole Millennion) are officially a family now.
    • Death and the friendship between Brandon and Harry. Brandon and Harry are dead, but Brandon is still living as a zombie. However, Brandon still finds it difficult to betray a dead Harry. In other words, Brandon and Harry are still friends even in death.
  • Shout-Out: A few to Lilo & Stitch. It begins with the famous 'ohana motto from said franchise. And then: "You're my family, Brandon, and I'll always love you."
    • An obscure one: the title of the second chapter, "Lullaby for the Lost". Lilo & Stitch has a song titled "He Mele No Lilo", which is loosely translated to "Lullaby of the Lost".
    • The story title itself comes from Lichner's Forget-Me-Not.
    • The chapter title Sweet Remembrance is a Shout-Out to Felix Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words.
  • Shown Their Work: Regarding prostheses and fake smiles.
  • Taking the Bullet: In the dream sequence, Brandon shields Mika from the agents' bullets with his back.
  • Tears of Joy: Brandon unconsciously sheds them after Mika comforts him.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: How Brandon dispatches Harry's last goon. After dealing a headshot, he proceeds to blast him to Swiss cheese with the D-Point he has just snatched from the goon.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: One of the most prominent themes, and it is highlighted in chapter 4. All major characters except maybe Brandon (see the last point of this trope) are faced with the problems of either following Big Daddy's Code of Iron by executing Brandon, a traitor, or breaking it by sparing Brandon.
    • Biscoe and Norton decide to Take a Third Option because of Mika. They spare Brandon and provide him the treatment he needs, but they still punish him severely and act quite badly to him. Only when they see Brandon's Papa Wolf attitude do they start to realize how terrible they have been towards Brandon.
      • Interestingly, Biscoe is more on the good side, while Norton is more on the lawful side.
      • In chapter 4, after seeing how much Mika matures after spending some time with Brandon, Biscoe himself admits that bending Big Daddy's rule is wrong, but things go better this way.
    • Mika, being a naive child and honoring her bond as a family with Brandon, chooses the good side (to stay lawful to how she is supposed to treat her family). She forgives Brandon and dislikes Biscoe's and Norton's attitude towards Brandon. She even wants to argue with Biscoe and Norton, but Brandon stops her.
    • William, being a doctor, chooses the good side as well (to stay lawful to his profession's ethics). At first, he doesn't really care about Brandon, but after finding out that Brandon is aware of his betrayal and this doesn't do well to his psyche, he tries to persuade Biscoe and Norton to give Brandon a lighter punishment. Finally, William presumably snaps at Biscoe in the phone (which angers Biscoe) when he finds out that Brandon's leg is badly infected and rotting due to the injury that is caused by Biscoe and Norton forcing him to wear prosthesis before he fully recovers.
    • Brandon himself prefers the lawful side. He never outright does anything, but his desire to be punished severely leaves a hint. Similarly, his act of stopping Mika from arguing with Biscoe and Norton also hints his lawfulness.
      • The revelation of Brandon deliberately letting Biscoe and Norton mistreat him hints that Brandon is indeed, lawful. He assumes that the Code of Iron is created to prevent betrayal with fear.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Despite having been mistreated by Biscoe and Norton, Brandon still respects them. He even willingly lets them abuse him just so that their underlings will be afraid of them.
  • Undying Loyalty: This work features both the deconstruction (mostly comes from the anime itself) and the reconstruction. Brandon is very faithful to his best friend Harry, which at the first hand, has given him a lot of troubles. Protecting Harry from Millennion agents cause Brandon to lose his leg and betray both Millennion and Mika, which results in a shaky relationship with Millennion and Mika (though Mika chooses to forgive him). Said shaky relationship causes Biscoe and Norton to treat him like trash (fortunately, there's Heel Realization). That is on the outside. From the inside, Brandon is aware of his betrayal towards Millennion and Mika. This breaks him so much that he is frequently haunted by his guilt and believes that he deserves nothing but a severe punishment.
    • Brandon is still very loyal to Harry when Biscoe has him attack Harry's goons. Brandon himself has even thought that there's nothing wrong with betraying Harry, a dead man, for Mika, a child. However, during the confrontation with Harry's goon, Brandon can't bring himself to declare Harry as a dead man. He even almost joins the goon's side and betrays Millennion once more.
    • The reconstruction happens when Brandon ultimately chooses Mika over Harry. Brandon then tearfully apologizes to Harry and says, "I have a family to protect," showing his immense loyalty towards both Harry and Mika. This is lampshaded near the end, in which Mika says that Brandon's Undying Loyalty is sure to make Harry proud to have a friend like Brandon.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: The Code of Iron and how Biscoe and Norton view it. By executing traitors, the organization will be safe and stable. Mika doesn't really like it.
    • Brandon himself sides with this belief, as implied by how he educates Mika and his confusion when Biscoe tells him about his 'easy' task.
  • Was Too Hard on Him: Biscoe realizes this and while doing his best to hold back his tears, he apologizes to Brandon.
    • Norton as well, although it's vague.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Biscoe and Norton show no respect to Brandon, an undead. Even William cares less about him. But of course, it changes as the story progresses.
    • After witnessing Brandon shedding tears at Mika's kindness in chapter 2, William realizes that Brandon is sentient. But what especially drives him to defend Brandon is that Brandon is aware of his betrayal and is stressed out.
    • Biscoe and Norton don't mind hurting Brandon physically, as he's dead and can Feel No Pain. But they (especially Biscoe) finally realize how inhuman they have been, after William snaps at them and reveals the truth about Brandon's skin breakdown and infected/decaying leg, which Biscoe and Norton are responsible for.
  • When He Smiles: The ending. Brandon finally smiles a genuine smile.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: This is how Mika consoles a depressed Brandon, who has deemed himself to be irredeemably evil after betraying Millennion and Mika.
  • You Monster!: William calls Biscoe and Norton inhuman for putting Brandon through a Cold-Blooded Torture.
    • Mika calls Biscoe and Norton monsters as well, but Brandon isn't fond of it.

Worth

  • Continuity Nod / Continuity Porn: To both Betray Me Not and the anime.
    • Mika is still a student, as mentioned in episode 17.
    • Brandon/Grave is described to have sharp teeth, which is based on the animation art in episode 1 and/or 18. May be a Mythology Gag as well, as in the game's artbook, Brandon/Grave is drawn to have sharp teeth.
    • Even there's the Letter Motif, like in the canon, in which everybody's names start with the letter B. The Big Bad's name is Brian.
    • Mentions of the events in Betray Me Not, such as Mika asking Biscoe to save Brandon and later scolding Biscoe and Norton for being unpleasant to Brandon, Brandon being easily pardoned for his betrayal (at least, in Brian's eye), and Biscoe's and Norton's Cold-Blooded Torture.
    • To enable some mobility, Brandon wears the old, defective artificial leg he is forced to wear to annihilate Harry's goons in Betray Me Not.
  • Disabled Means Helpless: Subverted. Brandon thinks that he is useless, but in the eyes of others, he actually isn't. And then in The Beauty of Simplicity, guess what Mika gives up just to make sure that he can live on without risking his body.
  • Diving Save: At Brian's first attempt to shoot Biscoe, Brandon, despite wearing a defective artificial leg, is able to launch himself at Biscoe just to push him out of harm's way.
  • Dream-Crushing Handicap: This is what that causes Brandon's sorrow at first hand. Having lost An Arm and a Leg and being frequently disturbed by his phantom sensation, Brandon believes that he is just a nuisance and can't do anything good to help Millennion and/or Mika. It's so bad that he's Driven to Suicide. Fortunately, Dr. William is no Dr. Jack Kevorkian.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Brandon finally learns from Biscoe that if he dies, he can't dedicate his life to repay Millennion. So he decides not to ask William to kill him again. For a Martyr Without a Cause like Brandon, this is a happy ending for him, because he can spend his lifetime to work for Millennion. But for others, it's rather bittersweet.
    • However, Brandon does learn how great a man he is in the eyes of others. The whole Millennion is no match for him.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: It's not that Brandon can't, but he just doesn't want to leave a bloody mess, which is sure to terrify Mika.
  • Shoot the Dog: Brandon asks William to end his life as humanely as possible to avoid scaring Mika. This is to lift the burden Millennion and Mika have to bear. However, William refuses.
  • Shout-Out: The conversation between Biscoe and his guard at the end sounds like what is found in the last page of Don Rosa's Donald Duck comic Super Snooper Strikes Again.
  • Taking the Bullet: Brandon takes two for Biscoe. First, as he reaches Biscoe, Brian fires his gun. The bullet hits the left side of his face instead of Biscoe's heart. After that, he prevents the mob boss from getting a headshot with his hand. Brandon is Immune to Bullets, fortunately.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Some members of Millennion aren't fond of Brandon being forgiven. Brandon has been put through hell before being pardoned, and some think it isn't enough. When Brandon asks William to kill him, who does he want to die for? Millennion. This makes the moment when a guardsman finally showing his appreciation towards Brandon very touching.

Others

  • Adaptation Expansion / Continuity Nod: In The Will to Live, it's briefly mentioned that Lee's and Bear's attacks play a role in the loss of Brandon's left arm. In episode 22, Brandon blocks Lee's blade with his left hand. In episode 23, Bear knocks Left Head out of Brandon's hand by punching his left arm.
  • Broad Strokes: The Will to Live has some.
    • The last scene in episode 23 has Mika simply hugging Brandon/Grave. Here, Mika is given some dialogue, in which she pleads Brandon to stop fighting because he's dying.
    • Brandon's and Harry's dialogue as they prepare to shoot each other is modified slightly, so that things are fandom blind friendly.
  • Feel No Pain: The Central Theme of Pain Perception. Brandon is unable to feel any physical pain, so he doesn't know that his old wounds reopen in his sleep. From this, Mika learns that things are no better if she's insensitive to physical pain.
  • Shown Their Work: In Phantom Limb, regarding phantom sensations and the psychology behind it.
    Rehabilitation 
  • Ambiguous Ending: The ending of Halloween Night Fever has two possible interpretations when considered as a standalone work. First, the true one is that it's just a Fever Dream Episode. The second interpretation is that it's a reality: Mika is dead and Brandon has yet to realize it.
    • The Footnote Fever just increases the ambiguity, considering that the fever may come from blood transfusion. It may be Brandon getting a fever during the transfusion to replace the lost blood during the Halloween mayhem.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Beauty of Simplicity may seem like the most lighthearted companion fic to the series, but the underlying plotline and the ending are actually pretty sad. The driving conflict is Norton suggesting Mika to move into one of her father's mansions instead of living with Brandon inside Dr. Tokioka's trailer, because Mika is a godfather's child and must look rich and prestigious. However, Mika refuses because Brandon's body will be at risk due to the environment (which supposedly speeds up the decomposition process). It ends with Mika deciding to stay in the trailer. It takes away her dignity as Big Daddy's child, but Mika looks happy, because she gets to live with her beloved Brandon.
    • Played straight in Lost Leg if it's considered as a standalone piece. It ends with Brandon's prosthesis broken and him accepting his loss by hoping for the best.
  • Broad Strokes: Brandon's weakness to prolonged exposure to unsterile air. It's never stated in the anime canon, but considering all the tissue on Brandon's body is dead as stated by Bunji in episode 20...
    • There's no indication in the anime, but in the work, it's hinted that Jolice's bar is Brandon's home along with the rest of Harry's gang.
  • Continuity Nod / Continuity Porn: To the prequel fics and the anime. Mostly elaborated on the footnotes.
    • Biscoe has a wife and a daughter as revealed in episode 15 in the anime. In The Beauty of Simplicity, Biscoe gives Mika and Brandon his daughter's comics.
    • The ruins of Brandon's home, which is destroyed in the last episode. See also Broad Strokes.
    • Brandon's senses. His sense of taste and smell are dead, as hinted in episode 21 of the anime.
  • Deconstruction Fic: Lost Leg deconstructs Brandon's Determinator nature. If he hasn't been forcing himself to walk around with the defective prosthesis just so that he can be healthy and return to work sooner, his prosthesis won't have broken.
  • Disabled Means Helpless: The aversion of this trope is the Central Theme of Feat.
  • Fake Arm Disarm: Played for drama in Lost Leg. It causes Brandon to undergo Five Stages of Grief.
  • Fever Dream Episode: Halloween Night Fever. That bloody nightmare is caused by Brandon having a fever. However, due to the ambiguous nature of the story (especially if it's considered as a standalone one-shot), it is possible to think that this is reality.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Brandon in Lost Leg. When he trips and breaks his prosthesis, he denies it angrily. He forces himself to walk again, only to break the prosthesis further. After realizing that he can't deny the fact that his prosthesis has broken, Brandon wails and smashes the trailer's floor with a fist. When Biscoe visits him, he's so agitated that he's quickly enraged. He only calms down because he realizes that he is kicking Biscoe, which may have injured the mob boss if it hasn't been his phantom sensation haunting him. When Biscoe leaves, Brandon wonders if his prosthesis may still be fine if he hasn't walked so much. Then he wonders if Biscoe is going to fix his prosthesis. However, Brandon soon gives up hope because Biscoe has been highlighting Brandon's impatience and obstinacy, meaning that Biscoe won't probably fix the prosthesis as Brandon is likely to wreck it soon. Growing tired of the frustration and grief, Brandon decides to assume that Biscoe will fix his prosthesis someday, allowing him to accept his loss and finally rest.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Following the spirit of Don Rosa's W.H.A.D.A.L.O.T.T.A.J.A.R.G.O.N. comic, there is the acronym P.A.P.A.B.R.A.N.D.O.N. in The Beauty of Simplicity, which Mika gives to Brandon in a similar manner to Donald's nephews in the aforementioned comic. It lists all Brandon's positive traits (likely due to Mika's naivete): Protective, Affectionate Papa and Altogether Brave, Reliable, Agreeable, Noble, Devoted, and Obedient Necrolyzer.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: With a death scythe's arm, which serves as a Blade on a Stick - Sinister Scythe hybrid for Brandon. He kicks lots of asses before going down.
  • Kill the Cutie: Poor Mika is crushed to death by an ogre orgman...until you realize that it's just Brandon having a nightmare. But if Halloween Night Fever is considered as a standalone one-shot, it may just happen.
  • In Medias Res: The style for The Beauty of Simplicity. It begins on the conflict, in which Mika has to decide whether she would move to one of her father's mansions or stay in Dr. Tokioka's trailer.
  • Lighter and Softer: The companion fics of this series are usually not as dark as the main fics. Except Lost Leg and Halloween Night Fever.
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors: Mika likes to play this with Brandon in The Beauty of Simplicity.
  • Shout-Out
    • Since The Beauty of Simplicity is written for a challenge that requires the author to use Disney songs as inspiration, it's to be expected. For starters, the inspiration song is The Bare Necessities from The Jungle Book. After that, Mika spends her time reading Don Rosa's W.H.A.D.A.L.O.T.T.A.J.A.R.G.O.N. with Brandon. There's also the mention of Donald Duck... In addition, Mika also calls Brandon 'papa bear.'
      • Donald Duck gets the title U.N.C.A.D.O.N.A.L.D. in the aforementioned comic. Brandon also gets P.A.P.A.B.R.A.N.D.O.N. from Mika.
      • The dog refers to Major Snozzie in the comic. It's also mentioned that he accidentally sniffs Uncle Scrooge's smelling salts.
  • Shown Their Work: Stump care in The Beauty of Simplicity.
    Loan Shark 
  • Adult Fear: A Loan Shark's Tale features Mika getting trapped inside Dr. Tokioka's trailer alone without lights thanks to a car hitting the trailer very hard.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The first chapter of Retribution ends with Brandon having avenged his dead friend. However, he also feels guilty of what he has done to his target: killing a little girl's father. The second chapter, however, corrects it into an Earn Your Happy Ending.
  • Broad Strokes: Brandon's fondness towards cold weather. It's especially highlighted in Wintertime Business courtesy of integration with reality: the history of Ötzi the Iceman.
  • Bullying the Dragon: The way how Vash accidentally counters Brandon is basically an insult to a Handicapped Badass Loan Shark who is formerly The Dreaded Professional Killer. He knocks down mailboxes and trash cans, which trip Brandon. After that, Vash's movement atop the traffic light causes lumps of snow to hit Brandon on his face.
  • Cane Fu: The old man who happens to be Brandon's target in A Loan Shark's Tale attacks Brandon with his cane. It doesn't work.
  • Continuity Nod / Continuity Porn:
    • A Loan Shark's Tale features Brandon working as a loan shark, as hinted at the final chapter of Betray Me Not.
    • Brandon's Loan Shark office sounds like Gary's and Widge's office in the anime.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Retribution. See Pay Evil unto Evil.
  • Dramatic Irony: In Wintertime Business, Vash wonders why Brandon and Mika look like the people he knows. Because fourth wall exists, he of course doesn't know why. But readers will immediately think of their original creator.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: A Loan Shark's Tale ends with Brandon realizing that he is always a good 'daddy' even if he doesn't work in the winter to help Millennion fund his medical expense. Similarly, Mika finally gets what she wants: Brandon not working everyday so that she won't be alone too often.
    • Retribution ends with Brandon realizing that wallowing in his guilt of murdering Leonard and causing Parental Abandonment to his daughter won't get him far. Brandon moves on and resumes to be the good 'daddy' Mika loves.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Retribution. The major conflict is sparked by civilians lynching a Millennion loan shark. They may be formerly loan shark's victims, but their act of beating a loan shark to death is still terrible. Brandon, on the other hand, is a loan shark and does a morally questionable action to counter the civilians' act.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Regarding Vash's question about why Brandon and Mika look like Legato and Meryl respectively.
  • Lighter and Softer: Wintertime Business. The other works of this series are just as dark as the main series, especially Retribution.
  • Loan Shark
  • Mugging the Monster: Subverted in Wintertime Business. Brandon tries to extort Vash, a Person of Mass Destruction in the folklore he comes from. But then, Vash hides his dangerous side like usual. However, it's subverted again because Vash is a Badass Pacifist; Brandon breaks his artificial leg during the pursuit and may be in a serious trouble with Norton afterwards.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Deconstructed and reconstructed in Retribution. Brandon decides to execute the man who has led a riot that killed his Loan Shark friend to bring justice to his dead friend and Millennion, but what he gets is guilt. Due to Leonard having a daughter, Brandon finds it difficult to kill Leonard because doing so will cause Parental Abandonment to the little kid. He decides to kill Leonard anyway, because it's the right thing to do if he favors Millennion, but seeing the little girl crying at his dead daddy (and worsened by the fact that he sees Mika and his own corpse instead of the girl and her father's corpse), Brandon feels terrible and falls into Despair Event Horizon. But then, Mika (indirectly) reminds him of his importance to her and Millennion by reminding of Brandon the fact that he has to retire his prosthetic leg to protect his residual limb from rotting and further amputation and how lovable he is when he's in good mood. Brandon is finally able to let go of his grief and changes his view: being good to others isn't always good for his family; something he puts above all in his 'life.'
  • Protected by a Child: Subverted in Retribution. Leonard's daughter getting in Brandon's way does make Brandon hesitate to kill Leonard, but in the end, Brandon simply shoves her away and kills Leonard.
  • Revenge: The plot of Retribution. It begins with a group of civilians who are once extorted by Millennion loan sharks teaming up and beating one of the loan sharks to death. Brandon, The Ace Loan Shark of Millennion, is none too pleased about it; he resolves to hunt down and kill the one who leads said riot.
    • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Calmly but angrily, Brandon gathers information by using the list of his former clients, who are known to be the rioters. He visits them and if they refuse to speak, he will beat the crap out of them until they tell him what he wants to know: the leader of the riot. When he's done with it, he sets off to execute the leader to bring justice to his dead colleague.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Brandon/Grave vs Vash in Wintertime Business. Sorta, because it's a pursuit instead of a battle. It's a tie. Brandon manages to catch Vash, which is why in the end, Mika and Arnold think he's already great for catching Vash. On the other hand, Brandon doesn't manage to extort Vash because his superiors order him to stop due to the collateral damage these two have caused in the pursuit. Also, Vash has wrecked Brandon's artificial leg and presumably putting him in a big trouble with Norton. Or maybe Brandon avoids the problem with Norton, because Vash decides to give Brandon the money he earns from Millennion to help him cover his medical expense.
    • In a more philosophical view like what both shows are all about, the fanfic actually shows what will happen if loyalty (Gungrave) and pacifism (Trigun) are placed against each other. Brandon's Undying Loyalty to Millennion is why he steadfastly tries to catch and extort Vash. On the other hand, Vash's pacifism is why he keeps running and devising strategies to exhaust Brandon. This causes Brandon to use his Super Strength to smash his way through, which in turn, will make Vash think of more pacifistic strategies. And the cycle repeats again and again. In addition, Vash and Brandon are not humans (Plant vs Zombie), which is why the cycle is almost endless. This causes huge collateral damage. When Millennion's order comes, Brandon retreats, but he still retains his Undying Loyalty to Millennion. Vash, too, continues to be the All-Loving Hero he has always been. Philosophically speaking, it's also a tie.
  • When Elders Attack: The old man who happens to be Brandon's target in A Loan Shark's Tale. He's got the guts to smack Brandon with his cane. But since Brandon is a necrolyzer, he is no match.
  • White and Grey Morality: Wintertime Business has Vash on the white side and Brandon on the grey side.
    Guardian Of A Lifetime 
Crossfire
  • Cutting the Knot: A wall safe? Unknown password? Bust the door down with a punch. Given Brandon's monstrous strength, it's justified.
  • Flower Motifs: Brandon's favorite flower is forget-me-not, and he knows (and presumably tells Mika) the tragic romance story behind the flower. He and Mika bring them to the graveyard and place them on Big Daddy's and Maria's graves, symbolizing that they will never forget Big Daddy and Maria.
  • Mob War: The main conflict. Due to a land tax issue, a war breaks out between Chimera and Millennion.
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: A Chimera goon does this on Brandon by holding Mika at gunpoint. This keeps Brandon locked in place, allowing the goon to shoot Brandon (only to realize that his bullets are all useless), until Mika draws the goon to Brandon's reach by saying that one can only kill Brandon by Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain with a point-blank bullet.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Vash is the loud, cheerful Red, while Brandon is the quiet, depressed Blue.
    • The Flower Motifs. Brandon's favorite flower is forget-me-not, the 'True Blue'. Vash's favorite is red geranium.
    • Their fighting style, however... The calm and slow Brandon bulldozes everything in his path with his brute strength, while the energetic and incredibly fast Vash relies on plenty of tricks to slip away from most dangerous situations. Brandon is still pretty smart when the situation calls for it, though.
    • In terms of viewing life and the world, Vash is so idealistic that he often comes across as naive, while Brandon has a more jaded and cynical opinion about life. Vash will always say that it's possible to resolve every conflict without killing, while Brandon will always dismiss it because according to him, killing is necessary to protect.
  • Revenge: The Chimera family is none too pleased after knowing what Brandon has done to Zed's bar.
  • Rule of Cool: Wait, a door becomes a shield and it's used for bashing people?
  • Shield Bash: As Brandon enters Zed's office, he rips a door off and uses it as a shield. Then he takes out all Zed's guards with a swing of the door. And he rams Zed with it.
  • Thief Bag: Brandon walks out of Zed's bar with a bag full of money. He loots them all.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: With Vash joining Chimera, the organization that opposes Millennion, Brandon/Grave vs Vash is bound to happen in the future.
The Hellhound of Billion
  • Adaptation Expansion: The flashback at chapter 2 features Brandon destroying Millennion's research facility, which happens in episode 24 of the anime. However, this explains how he sets the lab on fire: Brandon shoots some test tubes containing volatile chemicals despite Charles' (one of the scientists) protest.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Norton seems to get more role than usual in the last chapter.
  • After-Action Healing Drama: And it's heartwarming. After having the anti-necrolyze bullets taken out of him, Brandon is dying of hemorrhagic shock. Nobody sleeps just to make sure that he can make it through.
  • After Action Patchup: Brandon's arm is bitten by a necrolyzed near the end of the first chapter, and the second chapter opens with Mika patching it up.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Mika and Biscoe are none to pleased upon discovering Brandon leaving Millennion Tower to find the dead Anti-Necrolyze squads. But they do end up thinking that their anger isn't justified, because Brandon just wants to protect them.
  • Asleep for Days: Downplayed. Brandon falls asleep for just more than twelve hours after being beaten up by Charles, and it's a dreamless sleep. Dr. William has done a surgery to remove the anti-necrolyze bullets from his wounds by the time he wakes up (though this may or may not involve anesthetics).
  • Attempted Rape: Part of the flashback in chapter 6. Brandon stops the thugs from assaulting Maria.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Many have died during the turmoil with the hellhounds (most notably Arnold, Sara, and Charles), but this serves to strengthen Brandon's resolve to protect Mika.
    • The Goh's family arc. Charles, having been trying to get his revenge done on Brandon, ends up being seriously injured by Gilbert. As he lies dying painfully in his mother's arms, Brandon comes. Unexpectedly, Brandon decides to shoot him dead, because Brandon thinks this is the best for him. With this, Charles sheds Tears of Joy before dying with a smile, although his facial muscles have all gone stiff. After Charles' death, Sara realizes that she can no longer feed herself, so she lets a hellhound shred her. However, she welcomes her death and eventually reunites in the afterlife with her son, as hinted by the butterflies.
  • Blade Lock: Between a bludgeon made of a severed leg and a Hand Cannon. Rule of Cool applied.
  • Blood from Every Orifice: Brandon bleeds from his ears, nostrils, and mouth thanks to a basilar skull fracture.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Although Gory Discretion Shot is utilized at some places, it's still the most violent work in Gungrave: Aftermath.
    • Its direct sequel Of Debt Bondage and Determination is just as gory.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The hellhounds no longer bleed in the last chapter due to the lack of renewal therapy to sustain their bodies.
  • Break the Badass: Charles shoots Brandon in the legs with anti-necrolyze rifles, breaks his hand and probably his skull as well. But what actually breaks Brandon to the point he sheds Broken Tears is the fact that he has a very low chance to live long enough and stop Charles, as his relationship with Biscoe and Mika is probably shaken by the fact that he goes against their requests: staying inside the building.
  • Broad Strokes: The flashbacks in chapter 6. Unlike the flashback in episode 25, the way Brandon defeats the thugs utilize a few Offhand Backhand punches aside from a simple No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. And then, he threatens a thug to scare them off. Similarly, the flashback in episode 6 involves only setting differences, with a Lightning goon coming out of an elevator instead of the path from another fork in the hallway.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: In the last chapter, Brandon sees a white butterfly perching on Arnold's headstone. Lastly, after finding out that Sara has died, Brandon sees two white butterflies flying in the sky, hinting that Sara and her son have died in peace and reunited in the afterlife.
  • Cane Fu: Overlaps with Improbable Weapon User. In Of Debt Bondage and Determination, Brandon helps fight off a necrolyzed rat with the railing he's just pulled off when he rolls down the staircase.
  • Children Are Innocent: Poor Kevin is unable to fathom his father's death. And then, Norton's insensitivity just rubs salt into the wounds.
  • Cycle of Revenge: The recurring theme of the story.
    • Brandon inadvertently ruined Charles' life by destroying his workplace. The destruction of the lab forced Charles to take a low-paying job, which gave him troubles taking care of his mother and prevented him from having a happy family. Then, Charles attempted to raise his income by creating the hellhounds and selling them as ferocious guard dogs, only to have one of them ripping his throat out and leading the remaining hellhounds out of the lab. Before dying, Charles was so angry that he gained the strength to grab a vial of necrolyzation serum and drink it. And his plot of ruining Brandon's life starts there... Then, at the realization that his necrolyze is nearing its expiry date, he grows angry again and thinks that crippling Brandon isn't enough for all the troubles he has caused.
      • In Charles' case, the cycle ends when Brandon decides to show him mercy, despite everything he has done.
    • The destruction of Gilbert's house is not really Brandon's fault; in fact, Brandon is actually thrown into the house by Charles, which impact creates a big hole on the wall. But because Gilbert sees a lone Brandon lying on the floor and dying near the scene, Gilbert blames him, steps on his wounds, and steals his wallet. Biscoe discovers this and orders his men to teach him a lesson: sacking his house and kneecapping him. The latter cripples him and forces him to walk with a cane. Later, a hellhound gets into Gilbert's house easily through that hole, and Gilbert is forced to lock himself in his bedroom. Charles later comes and tries to befriend him (by spreading Brandon's 'notoriety') so that he can convert Gilbert into a necrolyzer, which succeeds quite easily because Gilbert is already very annoyed at Brandon for causing all the troubles. Gilbert's hatred reaches his climax when he falls from a flight of stairs due to his unstable gait, and he presumably becomes a necrolyzer by the end of the chapter.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After being beaten to a bloody pulp by Charles, Brandon figures out that he has failed his mission and nobody wants him anymore. This leads to him letting a civilian harass him, which ranges from scolding him, stomping on his gunshot wounds (caused by anti-necrolyze bullets), and nabbing his wallet.
  • Dream Sequence: Opens with one.
  • Elite Zombie: The necrolyzed dogs. And rats.
  • Fake Arm Disarm: Subverted. Charles shot Brandon in his thighs and thus, paralyzing everything below.
  • Fingore: A heavily mutated necrolyzer in Of Debt Bondage and Determination has his fingernail shot off.
  • Impaled Palm: A Cerberus round went clean through the stray necrolyzer's hand in Of Debt Bondage and Determination.
  • Kick the Dog: Literally. Brandon does this to a necrolyzed dog, but for a good reason.
    • Charles and the nameless civilian (later known as Gilbert) do this to Brandon.
  • Mercy Kill: Brandon's motive of dispatching Charles. By the time he finds Charles, Charles' skin has turned yellow, his muscles have all seized up, and he has no more blood. Brandon initially doesn't want to do this due to the crimes Charles has committed, but knowing that Cruel Mercy won't do any good, he decides to end Charles' misery.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Harassing a Millennion member (especially the important people like Brandon, Mika, or the higher-ups) is a serious offense; the Millennion agents will make you pay dearly for that. Gilbert learns it the hard way.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Despite severe injuries and blood loss, Brandon still insists on helping the Anti-Necrolyze squads in investigating Charles' lab. When a necrolyzed rat appears, all seems to be lost as the rat clings to an agent's thigh, preventing the squads from firing because they may just harm their comrade. Brandon chooses to shove the rat away with the steel railing he's ripped off the wall by accident, allowing the Anti-Necrolyze squads to fire their guns and finally destroy it. Then, when the search is over, Brandon finally passes out.
  • Revenge: The recurring motif. Charles wants to ruin Brandon's life because Brandon indirectly forces him to become a necrolyzer. Then, there's Gilbert, who also wants to teach Brandon a lesson because he is robbed and kneecapped by Millennion agents for hurting and robbing Brandon.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Charles takes pleasure in beating and tormenting Brandon. All because of Brandon causing him to take a lower paying job.
    • Deconstructed near the end. Charles' thirst for vengeance eventually leads to a lot of pain to him. Blinded by vengeance, Charles necrolyzes Gilbert without explaining the side effects. When Gilbert notices Charles' deteriorating condition due to his necrolyzation nearing its expiry date, Gilbert realizes what Charles is putting him through, and rips off his leg as a retaliation.
  • Rule of Cool: The clashings between a severed leg bludgeon and a Hand Cannon. The wielder of said Hand Cannon is a one-eyed, one-armed, and one-legged necrolyzer who has lost his wheelchair before this fight. And he has plenty of unhealed wounds under his shirt.
  • Shout-Out: Brandon and Mika read Don Rosa's Donald Duck comic Super Snooper Strikes Again at chapter 6. Said comic's ending is also discussed.
    • The title of the last chapter? Butterfly. Yeah.
  • The Tooth Hurts: Brandon ends up with a few loose molars after fighting the stray necrolyzer at chapter 8. Presumably a damage caused by the severed leg bludgeon hitting his face.
  • Unbroken Vigil: Biscoe, William, and especially Mika when Brandon is injured and eventually dying of hemorrhagic shock after the surgery to get the anti-necrolyze bullets out of him. Mika, however, spends the night preventing Norton from waking him up abruptly and ends up sleeping on top of him.
  • Villain Episode: Chapter 7 focuses on Charles, the Big Bad of the story.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 4. Up until that point, Brandon has been built up to be an extremely badass necrolyzer, and by the end of the chapter, he is incapacitated utterly and falls into Despair Event Horizon.
  • We Have to Get the Bullet Out: Justified and deconstructed. Anti-necrolyze rounds are harmful to Brandon's body and if left inside him, they'll destroy him from inside. However, taking them out isn't easy. Brandon bleeds so much that he is dying of hemorrhagic shock after the surgery. Thanks to Mika, William, and Biscoe taking care of him for the whole night, he's saved, but the wounds still hurt.
  • You Can Barely Stand: The necrolyzer in Of Debt Bondage and Determination slices Brandon's thigh muscles with his claws. This causes severe blood loss and difficulties in walking. However, Brandon chooses to help out the Anti-Necrolyze squads in the following search for the necrolyzation serum. The effect of the injuries show when Brandon rolls down a flight of stairs, but still, Brandon simply uses the railing he has accidentally pulled off during the fall as his walking stick.
Twisted DeathHas its own page now.Others
  • After Action Patchup: Part of Brave Heart ending. Suffering so many deep grazes with sand and dust around the wounds, Brandon needs to have his wounds cleaned ASAP to prevent infection (which is harmful to a reanimated corpse). Mika immediately asks Daniel to bring her a piece of cloth and some water so that she can clean Brandon's injuries as they wait for help.
  • Eye Scream: Brandon shoots out the orgman's eyes with his Hand Cannon in Brave Heart.
  • Fake Arm Disarm: Brandon breaks his artificial leg when fighting the orgman in Brave Heart. Justified and lampshaded by Mika before the fight: Brandon's original leg is way stronger than his artificial leg.
  • Fingore: In Brave Heart, Brandon shoots the orgman's Finger Firearms, aiming at the barrels. And the orgman's arm explodes.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Lessons from the Streets uses 'Lesson' instead of 'Chapter'.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: In Brave Heart, Mika first thinks that the injured Brandon is this if she tries to escape from the orgman.
    • No One Gets Left Behind: However, Mika decides not to leave Brandon and encourage him to fight back instead, because they are family.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: In Brave Heart, Brandon fights while sitting on the ground, and falls back down after killing the orgman due to his injuries.
  • Shout-Out: The title Brave Heart is an obvious Shout-Out to Digimon Adventure. Even Word of God suggests listening to the OST while reading the teaser.
  • There Was a Door: In Brave Heart, the orgman simply busts down the wall as he corners Brandon, Mika, and Daniel.
  • Wisdom from the Gutter: All over Lessons from the Streets, courtesy of Brandon.
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