Gun x Sword
Years ago, Van's bride was killed on their wedding day by a man called "The Claw". Ever since he's been bent on revenge, and has wandered from town to town looking for him. In one town, he encounters a young girl named Wendy who's brother has been kidnapped by the Claw. Wendy decides to team up with Van (whether he likes it or not), and the two begin their long journey together. Both of them will experience personal growth in their travels, as they encounter unusual clues left behind by the Claw. There is a bigger plan at work here, and it may not only come down to Van settling a score, but stopping a scheme which could destroy their world.
Gun X Sword is like a mash up of more popular titles. Parts look like they were grafted right out of other anime. Normally imitation at this level means the creators completely lack the ability to come up with things on their own, and thus lack the ability to put them together well. Gun X Sword however isn't that bad. It's just unfortunate that the show never moves beyond being a mash up to do something on its own. This is a weird way to do a review, but lets talk about how unoriginal this anime is.
Environment: It's a lot like Trigun. Gun X Sword takes place on a distant plant, left to itself. It's an odd mix of high tech machinery with Old West style towns (and no explanation why that is). The most valued tech are the giant robots called "armors". As a giant robot show Gun X Sword is ok, but not particularly inspired aside from the novelty of one of them being controlled through pole dancing. Some have guns, some have swords, but often it comes down to some random power not hinted at before. The one mecha that does shine is El Dorado 5. This mecha is strait up Voltron style, controlled by 4 old guys who mainly spend their days drinking and complaining about kids these days. They're an amusing homage to old school giant robot anime, but also put to good use in the story.
Characters: The obvious one to talk about is Van: a near carbon copy of Spike from Cowboy Bebop - slight differences in personality, but so similar it's eerie. Wendy is introduced in the first episode (she's the gun in Gun X Sword). With parts copied from other anime, I figured she would be one of those annoying kids I often hate. Wendy however turned out to be the best character in the show in my opinion. She never becomes a gunslinger, nor does she even use her gun more than once. Instead she's just a regular girl on an adventure. She even has a good personality. In the interest of keeping this review short, I'll skip the rest of the characters and sum them up as "nothing unexpected".
Plot: Van wanders from town to town with spunky companion Wendy in search of "The Claw" and Wendy's brother. Gun X Sword is so episodic and vague about it's direction, that it's unclear if it will bother to wrap things up. However the last 7 episodes dedicate themselves to the endgame plot - as opposed to trying to squash a finally in the last episode or two as many shows do. Much like everything else being copied, the final plot happens to be the James Bond movie Moonraker with giant robots. Moonraker was a fair movie so I'm fine with that.
Gun X Sword: unoriginal, but not bad. The big problem with this show is that it lacks its own flavor. Long term that makes this one pretty forgettable (which is probably why you hear so little about it), but it's a decent watch if you just want to be entertained. Even if you're aware that it's mostly paint by numbers.
Van: You're an insult to good housewives everywhere.
Screen Caps: >