I admit I’m drawn to dark and gritty characters. I like a flawed protagonist that must overcome their own internal demons more than their external ones. The latest character that has caught my attention is Van from the anime Gun X Sword.
Dressed in a black tuxedo and wearing an epic black hat, Van looks the part. He is obsessed with revenge against the man who killed his bride on their wedding day. This single-minded obsession helps him to overcome one obstacle after another in his pursuit of the killer (The Claw) who happens to be an evil mastermind behind a plot to end the world. Of course, it helps that he pilots one of the most powerful mecha suits on the planet.
Along the way, he picks up several companions, despite his lack of manners or sense of decorum. The most important of which and the teller of the story is a young girl named Wendy who is trying to find her brother. The relationship between Van and Wendy is entertaining, mostly because of his lack of empathy for anyone who can’t help him catch his nemesis. This doesn’t stop them from becoming attached emotionally.
Van is not a brain surgeon, or really even a loveable character, but he has a code of honor to go along with his obsession with revenge, and Wendy’s presence tempers his lack of compassion. Also, he is a man of few words, which is okay in my book. Basically, Van is violent and obsessive, yet dependable in that he will not stop until he gets his man.
The anime is entertaining because of these two characters, although the series drags a bit in the middle with the long quest to find The Claw. The end is predictable yet entertaining, with Van swooping in to save the day in the most violent of ways.
If you like a dark and gritty protagonist, check out Gun X Sword and cheer on this pragmatic hero.