It has often been said that a good story depends on its villains. If this is so, it is obvious why GunXSword is such a delight: no anime has ever had villains so utterly crazy and unpredictable. However, it’s a bit unfair to actually label them villains. Rather, GunXSword excels based on its unique characters, which includes antagonists with unlikely goals, traits, and capabilities. Without spoiling too much, The Claw and his assistant, Fasalina, easily steal the spotlight in this series.
GunXSword has often been compared to Trigun, but its main character, Van, is no Vash the Stampede. He is crass, abrasive, and a hero only insomuch as his quest for revenge against The Claw calls for it. Blessed by chance with a mech, Dann of Thursday, that puts most other “armors” on the planet to shame. On a related note, The Prison Planet of The Endless Illusion is not quite the Planet Gunsmoke, although more than a few characters would feel right at home if moved from one to the other.
Van gradually acquires more and more help in his quest. At first, most of this help is from Wendy, who joins him in search of her brother, Michael, who has been kidnapped by The Claw. Later a full team of eccentrics develops around Van, much to his chagrin. The organization that they are facing is sophisticated and resourceful. Eventually, the entire world depends on the success of Van’s revenge.
The visuals of GunXSword are stunning. The opening changes as characters are introduced and eliminated. The music, though sparse, is top-notch. The English voice acting is perfect, from the gritty tone that Van has, to the insanity portrayed by Fasalina and The Claw. This is simply one of the best anime every made.