Sorry for censoring the header image, but that should just be more incentive to check out this anime right? Well first, let us see if there is more to this story then just nudity and violence. The concept of Gantz is quite interesting, and apparantely it was interesting enough for a live action adaptation to come out this year. One day on his way back home from school, Kei, our anti-hero sees a tramp fall onto the rail tracks in the Underground station. Despite not wanting to get involved he is pressured into helping a former friend of his to rescue the tramp. Unfortunately it does not go well as he and his friend are torn to shreds by a train. However, instead of dying, they find themselves transported to a strange sealed room filled with people and a black round ball named Gantz. It turns out that each person in the room was in the process of dying when they were all transported to this room, including a suicidal girl, gangster, and school teacher. They have been given a second chance to live provided that they follow the orders given by Gantz.
Let us get it out of the way, obviously if you’re an anime fan and you haven’t heard of Gantz, you were probably living under a rock. It is a well deserved anime for its praise, but WOW, the pacing was so slow that it takes hours to get done what a Western production would have taken care of in about 20 minutes of screen time. But this isn’t a Disney animation and it narrowly missed out Most Violent Anime lists but that doesn’t mean this doesn’t have its share of gross-out moments. The main reason for those problems can most likely be chalked up to this anime being made while the Manga was still in its early stages. This anime shows just how diverse human society is and the way people think.
Aside from that aspect, despite the gorgeous animation and the fascinating plot, Gantz has nothing to offer to the viewer who’s seeking more than gratuitous sex and gore. If these things disturb you, don’t say I did not warn you. It doesn’t bother more so than infuriate me with the way they use these shock tools. An example is the main character. All he thinks about is getting laid. But, unlike Desert Punk or similar perverted anime, the tone doesn’t fit with this anime at all. When he’s not ogling Kishimoto’s breast, he’s complaining about the situation he finds himself in. It literally made me sigh in disbelief a few times how many times they would run the same gag. In addition, there is a lot of dialog and indecisiveness amongst the characters when they first start the game and most of the time they just stand there with their mouths open and wondering what to do.
If I hadn’t been so curious to find out what Gantz was and why it was doing all this, I likely would have quit after the first couple volumes. As it turns out, neither we nor the players ever learn any more about their situation than they knew in the beginning. So of course, there is lots of room to just worry about sex. As you can tell from the attached images used to promote this review, there is lots of tongue-in-cheek sexuality being used. The actual sex in the show is not shown in graphic detail, but it’s a little more than what you would see on late-night Cinemax. Still, I wouldn’t let kids or even teens near this show. Kishimoto is constantly naked, and Kei is very much a pervert.
What I can take away from all this is that their story gives glimpses into character personalities of those who have attempted suicide and failed, attempted suicide and succeeded, those who didn’t make much of their lives and didn’t expect to die so soon, etc., and how these characters react to other people after the fact that they’re pretty much dead and stuck in some alternate universe that no one really understands or cares to understand. This does remind me of Battle Royale in its violent and clever “reality show” premise. However, it lacks the moral center provided by Shuya and Noriko in Battle Royale. You’ve now been told bascially all of the character development you will find in this series. Even though the visuals and voice acting are pretty good, the actual product is lacking any kind of structure and suffers from horrid pacing. Gore hounds and perverts will eat it up though, and in the end, that demographic alone is powerful enough to make anything containing those ingredients a hit. The series was fun in places but Gantz is not a series I will ever watch again. At the very least, we still have the 2nd live action Gantz movie to look forward too later in the year.