Genre: Sci-Fi, Action
Notes: If you like this, try Berserk, same themes in a medieval setting. Based on a game with designs by the creator of Trigun.
Brandon Heat and Harry McDowel are best friends and petty crooks in a harsh world where one has to steal to scrape by. Brandon follows Harry's ambitions and joins the Syndicate, but Harry's ambitions include betrayal. Harry climbs to the top with his army of Orcmen created from resurrected bodies. Brandon has anticipated this and has left directions to have his body resurrected as a killing machine. He becomes "Beyond the Grave" to exact revenge on his former friends. But will he survive long enough to kill Harry, his best friend since childhood? This is based on the video game of the same name.
Animation is rather stilted and the lighting is uncomfortable. Nearly every scene seems washed out, as if the sun is glaring from every angle. The character designs are nothing special, and there are weird transformations where humans become mutant creatures with cybernetic powers. Mika, the damsel in distress, has really weird large eyes unlike most of the other characters. Harry seems to be the only character that ages noticeably. Beginning and ending themes are pretty good, overall score is just okay. Voices are fine but the use of English throughout for the names is awkward (especially "Big Daddy").
Think of all the Mafia cliches and you'll probably find most of them in this series which plays like "Once Upon a Time in America" with a sci-fi twist. There's not really a whole lot of character development or thoughtful motivation. Brandon talks in the voice over but says little in conversation throughout the series. Harry is a one dimensional, ambitious, Machiavellian type, but his driving motivation is simple and not textured. The story of the past and how Harry comes to be in charge of Millenion through his manipulations is more interesting than the present story when "Beyond the Grave" (that's what they really call him in English) exacts his revenge while protecting the child of his ex-girlfriend. Then it just becomes a fairly typical action packed shoot-them-up video game.
The overall plot and themes are similar to Berserk - a charismatic leader with high ambitions, a devoted follower, betrayal on both sides, followed by vengeance. But swords are more exciting than bullets, and demons are more scary than monstrous human-machine transformations, which often appear laughable.
There are monstrous creatures, lots of bullets flying, lots of blood. Not recommended for children under 12. Recommended mostly to guys or fans of the Sopranos, the Godfather, etc.