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Bear Walken
Bear walken

First Appearance:

Gungrave
Episode 1 (anime)

Species:

Superior

Voice Actors:

Ryuzaburo Otomo (anime, Japanese)
Beau Billingslea (anime, English)

Relations:

Sherry McDowell-Walken (daughter)

Bear Walken is a veteran sweeper of Millennion and one of Harry McDowell's Big Four. Prior to Harry's rise to the top, Bear had worked as one of the closest members of Big Daddy's Family.

PersonalityEdit

Bear is calm and collected and handles matters with utmost solemnity. Bear had recognized and distrusted Harry McDowell and his eagerness to involve himself in Millennion's affairs. When he was invited to Harry's new house, Bear dismissed Harry's attempted pleasantries outright and instead opted to determine Harry's goals through studying his eyes, claiming that "the eyes never lie". Having detected Harry's drive and willpower to stop at nothing until he gets to the top, Bear approves of Harry as Sherry's husband. This decision ties Bear to Harry, and though Bear inwardly disapproves of Necrolization and Superiorization and Millennion's new Machiavellian policies, he remains with the organization and goes through Superiorization to protect Sherry. Mika further notes from observing Bear that he "doesn't seem like a bad person".

Like most fathers, Bear is also protective of his daughter Sherry, asking Brandon to tell Harry that he will kill him if he involves himself romantically with her shortly after Sherry reacts shyly to Harry. Bear also disapproved of the relationship because Harry was in the mafia, as Sherry's romantic involvement with the mafia would have placed her in danger. This prophecy ends up coming true when Sherry becomes murdered by a vengeful gunman shortly after Harry's Big Four is killed by Grave.

Still, Bear is not solely defined by his desire to protect his daughter, and strives to protect others closest to him where possible. In his tenure as one of Harry's Big Four, Bear has internally apologized to Big Daddy "countless times, from the bottom of [his] heart." Even as Harry turned able employees in the organization to Orgmen, Bear prevented Harry from touching his Overkills, refusing to allow even a single subordinate be turned to an Orgman.

In the anime, Bear is shown to have an affinity for the Japanese aesthetic and can frequently be seen in a Japanese robe, in his Japanese-styled house, with the shishi-odoshi in his rock garden. He also breaks his regular gunslinging fighting style and opts for swordsmanship when he challenges Grave to a duel.

History Edit

In his youth, Bear was a powerful gangster who was involved in a heated rivalry with Cid Gallarde and his gang over black market territory. The two would have killed each other had not Big Daddy intervened to stop their feud, and the two decided to unite under Big Daddy and became best friends afterwards.

Millennion Edit

Bear Walken

Bear as he appears during Brandon and Harry's youth.

Some time in his adulthood, Bear would witness Jester's tragic death at the hands of Mad Dog Ladd, intervening just as the latter was about to kill Brandon Heat and Harry McDowell. Bear gets into a gunfight with the younger gunman and manages to disable him. Rather than execute Ladd himself, however, Bear tosses the gun to Brandon and Harry. The two boys stare at it dumbfounded and Ladd uses the opportunity to make a grab for the gun, but is executed by one of Bear's derringers. Bear leaves the boys disapprovingly, calling them "a bunch of stupid brats".

Mentoring Brandon Heat Edit

Five years later, Bear would teach Brandon to be a sweeper, Brandon quickly surpassing his mentor in callous efficiency. Bear would later witness Big Daddy induct Brandon and Harry into his Family. The same night, he and Cid would meet with Brandon and Harry. Bear deduced from Cid's drunken behavior and his refusal to go home that night that Cid had done something to betray the Family. Bear decided to confront Cid, and the two shared a cigarette before Cid resigned himself to die by Bear's bullet. Bear was unable to shoot his friend until Brandon took his gun and shot Cid for him. Bear cradled his friend's corpse in his arms in tears, and at his funeral, stated that he told Cid that he wouldn't have to die a traitor. Bear chided Brandon for doing painful jobs for others, saying that, like Big Daddy, it made him a little awkward.

In light of Lightning's rise as a potential rival to Millennion, Bear would approve of Brandon and Harry to investigate. Later, as Brandon, Harry, Balladbird Lee, and Bunji Kugashira were cornered by a necrolized Blood War, Bear and his hit squad Overkill would arrive by boat and severely wound War with a barrage of gunfire.

The Rise of Harry McDowell Edit

Three years after the Lightning incident, Bear would confront Sherry about her infatuation with Harry McDowell. Sherry asserted that her feelings for Harry were genuine, but more than that, she was willing to die for Harry just as Bear was willing to die for her mother. Unable to convince Sherry of her attraction otherwise, Bear decides to assess Harry for himself, dismissing the latter's flattery and luxurious proposals for simple eye-to-eye contact. The determination and ruthlessness in Harry's gaze ultimately win Bear over, and Bear tells Harry to "take good care of Sherry", tying his loyalty to Harry in order to protect his daughter.

Sometime after Brandon's death and Harry's ascension to boss of Millennion, Bear hears Big Daddy confess that he has a daughter, and Big Daddy wonders if he would be breaking the Code of Iron. Bear assures him otherwise, telling him that after he stepped down, more than simply leaving the Family, he had left Millennion and was no longer a member, and thus has no responsibilities that would make him liable to the Code of Iron.

Beyond the Grave Edit

Thirteen years later, Bear, as one of Harry's Big Four, reflects on the sins of necrolization and on Millennion's new Machiavellian schemes. He privately wonders if Big Daddy must be laughing at him now, but holds his conviction that everything that he had done was for Sherry, who was married to Harry.

Game Synopsis Edit

Bear would be one of the Big Four who greets Grave after the latter slaughters the other Millennion executives on Harry's airship. Bear comments that Grave has lost his manners with his life, prompting Grave to turn one of his guns on him, but in turn provoking Bunji to turn his gun on Grave. Bear leaves with Harry and the rest of the Big Four after Harry approves of Bob to fight against Grave.

Bear then meets Grave at his penthouse dojo, where he obliterates the entire floor before proceeding to fight Grave with a submachine gun. Pushed to his limit, Bear then transforms into his Superior form, pulling helicopters out of the sky to throw at Grave, producing shockwaves along the floor with his sweeping attacks, and even charging him with a straight from his oversized right arm. Grave finishes him with a modified Deathblow from his Coffin.

Anime Synopsis Edit

Bear would be one of the Big Four who greets Grave after the latter arrived at the mansion on an information maneuver set off by Bob Poundmax. After leaving Bob to fight Grave, Bear privately notes to the other members of the Big Four that he felt nostalgic upon seeing Brandon again, but is reprimanded by Lee, who asserts that Brandon was a traitor and that was the end of the issue. After Bob's death, Bear is seen ordering Lee to calm down from his rampage.

Bear later meets with Harry to discuss their next course of action: Lee was going after Grave with 150 Orgmen and though the chances were otherwise small that Lee would lose, Bear volunteered to take down Grave himself should Lee perish. As Bear is about to leave, Harry asks if he is doing this for the organization, which Bear hesitantly confirms.

At some point after Brandon returned as Grave, Bear also underwent the Superiorization procedure perfected by Laguna Glock to ensure that he wouldn't lose to Grave in terms of strength.

Bear is later seen sitting at Harry's right hand when he attends an emergency meeting called by a number of Millennion executives. Bear witnesses some of the executives announce a mutiny, citing their desire to protect Millennion, and demand that Harry settle the issue with Grave himself, prompting Harry to call in an Orgman to kill off the mutinous executives. Bear is later seen dining with Harry and Sherry, before receiving a call and leaving the dinner to meet with his Overkill hit squad outside Grave and Mika's hideout.

Bear announces that the Overkills are disbanded and free to do as they choose, and that he will be challenging Grave personally, not as a member of Millennion, but as a man. He meets with Grave privately on the roof of the hideout, noting how odd it was to be talking with a dead person who wasn't really dead. Grave angrily demands a reason for Bear's loyalty to Harry's Millennion, at which Bear explains that he still holds fondness for the late Big Daddy but prioritized Sherry's safety and happiness, the latter of which is inseparable from Harry. He thus chose to protect Harry's Millennion to protect Sherry and challenges Grave to a duel, setting the location at his estate at night. Before leaving the pair, Bear apologizes to Mika for her mother's death.

As he waits for Grave to arrive, Bear reflects on his final conversation with Cid from sixteen years ago, noting that he had arrived at the same decision as his best friend for the same reason. Grave arrives, and Bear draws his sword and begins to fight. Grave dodges the first slash, although his Coffin is split by the attack. Bear further reveals that he became a Superior in order to make sure he wasn't outmatched by Grave in strength, and engages him further as he enhances the strength of his sword arm, obliterating his dojo and the surrounding rock garden.

Revealing that he couldn't afford to let Brandon live, Bear transforms into his Superior form, encasing his right hand in a bone-like armor and then manipulating his other hands to knock one gun out of Brandon's hand and restrain him before he deals a final blow. However, this scenario caused Bear to become overconfident, enabling Brandon to drop his gun from his restrained hand into his unrestrained hand and defeat Bear with anti-Superior bullets.

Now defeated and on the verge of death, Bear bows his head and asks Brandon to finish the job. Bear's last thoughts are of Sherry before Brandon's final shot ends his life, his glasses being all that remains of him after his death.

Trivia Edit

  • The anime portrays Bear's eyes as red underneath his sunglasses.
  • Bear's fight against Grave plays out very differently than in the game: due to working closely with Brandon when the latter was a living human, Bear constantly refers to Grave by his human name. He chooses to use a sword instead of a gun, and manages to break Grave's Coffin with his first slash, whereas Grave's Coffin deals the final blow that ends his life in the game. Bear's Superior form, while enlarging his right arm, does not enlarge it by a gross amount and produces other disembodied arms that he can control remotely to restrain Grave, although Bear is capable of restraining Grave before dealing a combination attack in the game. Like Lee, and later, Bunji, Bear is finally killed with Dr. T's anti-Superior bullets.

Gallery Edit

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 2.43.37 AM

Bear's wife with Sherry

References Edit

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