sothis's avatar By sothis on Jun 15, 2006

Prior to watching GANTZ, there were only two anime that I had seen that made me think "SHOCK VALUE": Elfen Lied, and Narutaru. While Narutaru excels in psychological shock value (episode 12, anyone?), Elfen Lied excels in "oh my god I can’t believe that body part just got ripped off of their body" shock value. GANTZ definitely rivals Elfen Lied with its grotesque nature, but is definitely stronger due to how nonstop the gore, violence and sexual undertones are displayed. While Elfen Lied only has sections dedicated to brutal violence, GANTZ is a nonstop assault on the senses with scenes of attempted rape, nudity, and an uncountable number of death scenes which often involve implosions, explosions, and involve a variety of subjects including aliens, animals, old people and children. Truly nothing is safe from the violence of GANTZ, and that definitely has to be the selling point of the series.

Story-wise, GANTZ starts out as violent as it ends up. Childhood friends Kei and Katou are waiting for a subway and see a drunken man on the tracks. Katou is the good guy and tries to save him, and Kei attempts to help, but their bravery costs them their lives. Kei’s decapitated head flying through the air is a harbinger for the violence to come. The two "awaken" in a room filled with strangers and a large black sphere known as GANTZ who, unbeknownst to them, will soon send them on harrowing missions to kill strange aliens; missions which carry a notable reward, and a high chance of dying in very nasty ways. The duo is joined by a very large breasted naked woman, a dog who can’t keep its face out of her crotch, and a company of others. And thus, the violence begins.

There are really two main facets to GANTZ: the violence and the sex. While I can appreciate the gratuitous violence to some extent, I definitely couldn’t appreciate the sexual part. Then again, I’m not male. The sexual aspect of the series is also very violent in nature for the most part, and usually involves Kei (the girl) being at risk of getting raped by random people. In addition, Kei (the male) is always thinking of sexual fantasies involving Kei (the girl) and his desire to pretty much force her to have sex with him. Along with the enormously proportioned and unrealistic anime breasts, she is a completely sexual character that is always the target of violence. I guess I just don’t find anything redeeming about that whatsoever. Episode 14 and 15 take the sex factor up 50 notches with some full blown hentai (aka porn) scenes. This makes me understand why the TV version was heavily edited. Sex aside, the violence does what it intends; it portrays maximum shock value. Elfen Lied was cool because people randomly get ripped apart; but in GANTZ, the violence is not only brutal, but it’s very uncomfortable to watch at times. I’m down with a random person getting blown up, but not when they are pleading for their lives, or are an old feeble person or a child. As mean as the aliens might have been, I was very uncomfortable watching them plead for their lives while crying, only to have a limb chopped off or be killed.

The only things I didn’t enjoy was the nonstop ecchi (as previously mentioned) and also the pacing; some episodes were based solely on waiting for GANTZ to send them out to fight an alien, reminding me of the multi episode battles in popular shounen series. Extended dying scenes that rivaled the 3rd Matrix also could have been trimmed.

Ultimately, the one thing that tarnishes the story in a major way is the ending; which, as everyone warned me about, is terrible. I’m talking open ended explaining nothing terrible. It’s very unfortunate, because you have a lot of questions throughout the series, only to have it end in such a disappointing fashion. On that note, the last few episodes are disappointing in general, too. Think Scryed episodes 25 and 26. It could have ended sooner, but instead was drawn out. Even so, I loved the story.
Visually GANTZ is an interesting mix of beautiful imagery and unique character designs, and 3D animation. When the characters run through the streets, it becomes 3D. This is interesting, but admittedly looks a little odd and definitely is not seamless. In general though, the colors are dark and gorgeous and the animation is pleasing. As mentioned previously I could have done without the nonstop nudity and ecchi cleavage shots, but I fully admit I’m not the target audience on that one.
I’m a big fan of GANTZ’s music. First of all, I’m a huge DNB fan and the intro is a DNB tune that I ended up loving. The music is mixed with metal, rock, opera, and other elements that make it unique and also very appropriate for the series.

The dub is good and doesn't sound scripted, though I don't know how happy I am with Kei (male) and Katou's voices. Both sound a little too high compared to their Japanese counterparts. Kei (girl) had the most offensive English voice, sounding low, raspy, and very out of place compared to the cute and innocent Japanese voice actor. Some of the other characters had voices that matched very well, though... but overall, poor choice of some voices for the dub.
Somehow, the creators managed to develop all of the characters wonderfully, even if the result is an uncomfortable feeling. For the most part, your opinion on all of the villains – human or alien – is turned upside down. You change from hating them, to feeling sorry for them for a variety of reasons. It’s hard to put a finger on how they did this... sometimes they would reveal the character’s past at the last minute, other times it was a simple sentence a character said. All I know is that when certain characters died – characters who I originally wanted to die – I felt very sorry for them and didn’t want it to happen anymore. After the first alien battle, a new set of characters are brought to the room of GANTZ. With most of these characters, we are shown their lives and hardships prior to their deaths, helping you feel closer to them. This also makes you more anxious, because you know some of them will not live out the next battle. The best part of the character development, in my opinion, takes place in the times in between the battles when you learn about each character’s history, and how they have been affected by their new power, role, and responsibility.

Kei (the guy) is arguably one of the most hated characters in anime history. He whines and has inner dialogues nonstop, during which he complains about the people around him and the situations he is in. He wants to have sex with Kei (the girl) so badly that he gets irritated and angry every time she a) won’t sleep with him, and b) shows interest in the very kind and compassionate Katou, who clearly deserves the affection of the ladies much more so than the misogynistic and selfish Kei. He’s an asshole, a jerk, and a selfish excuse for a human being... and the story is told through his eyes, which makes for an interesting perspective. The female Kei is pretty much what she was intended to be: a somewhat brainless sex symbol. Though the reasons behind her death are compelling, she doesn’t manage to shake her useless and vacant image. Katou is notably the good guy of the series, wanting to help people survive and help them even when they probably shouldn’t be helped. Clearly he’s the character you are supposed to be drawn to. All of the three main characters are developed throughout the series, with Kei (the guy) changing the most for the better.

While the violence and sex might be the reason people are drawn to the series, it’s my opinion that the character development, combined with the above, is what truly makes this series special.
8.5/10 story
8.5/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
noname0302's avatar By noname0302 on Aug 13, 2014

What is this and how do you dare compare it to Elfen lied???

I understand that they need a few episodes to estabilish the atmosphere and introduce the main characters, but here...I bumped into Gantz a lot of times throughout the years and at last I decided to give it  try even though the story looked bizarre and I didnt like the animation much. I didnt expect much and I was still disappointed.

Story: Im not going to judge, 3 episodes are not enough to do so, but it looked weak at best. We have our fair share of action(that is obvious even at this point), but it is a bit chaotic. These guns look useless. You shoot someone and he explodes in like 30 seconds. Your opponent has time to kill you 10 times even after getting shot. 

Characters: wtf is up with these guys??? Are they all retarded? In the start when they are killed by the train they had like 2 minutes to get the guy out then get out themselves. Dont tell me that highschool students cant a climb wall that is barely more than a meter. Just ask for someone to give you a hand and pull you up or work together or anything but this. This was the stupidest start to any anime I have ever seen. And then: a naked girl falls into your arms and Kei kisses her and the other guy wants to rape her. Wtf? You have like 6 grown men there and only one of them is smart enough to actually give the girl some clothes? These charcaters couldnt act any more stupid then this. And the first opponent is a green onion alien. Yeah...What were they smoking when they came up with this.

And about Kei. ffs when an old woman asks you if she is in the right station, you tell her. Even serial killers know that. 0/10

Animation: the animation is not bad, it has its own style which feels a bit outdated. This style evolved a lot in the past few years, but still, it does the job. The problem is, that the whole whing is gross. Why does the onion kid have to puke every few seconds. Just why?? Elfen lied had a lot a blood and still it wasnt repelling. 5/10

They shot themselves in the balls with the first few scenes and did nothing to redeem themselves. If you want to watch a massacre and some nudity watch Elfen Lied. It beats Gantz miserably is every way possible. 

I may be a bit harsh, but to be honest, this was the worst anime I have seen in a while. Some people really like gore and such, thats probably why they like Gantz, but there are tons of other series out there that are way better. 

Overall: the animation is not bad and we get some action. If I watched a few more episodes it will probably get better, but there is no chance I will watch any more of this. 3/10

PS: I doubt that this review will be a popular one, but I wrote it, so others dont get fooled by all the good reviews. Everyone has anime they like and some they hate. Im gessing Gantz will be many peoples favorite, but others will hate it. Im the latter. 

?/10 story
5/10 animation
?/10 sound
0.5/10 characters
3/10 overall
FreddyCrab's avatar By FreddyCrab on Jan 11, 2012

Story: The story of Gantz is an interesting one. I will admit that. A group of people faced with death are abruptly thrust into a room with a large black orb called Gantz. These people are then charged with killing aliens, a deed what will not go unrewarded, as the person who gains the most points in doing so gets a prize. The first episode of this I found very interesting, I was hoping for people dying, limbs flying, everything what titles such as Higurashi and Elfen Lied had drawn me in with. However, I had two main issues with this series what ruined it for me, making me drop it so early on. 

Problem One: The gore? It wasn't human gore. It was all humans blowing weird green onion aliens apart. And to me, this wasn't very appealing. I like horror titles when humans are being brutally mudered in a multitude of ways. As sad as that sounds, aliens dying in brutal ways just didn't appeal to me- I just felt sorry for the poor things. This immediatelly killed my interest in this show, since a alien-killing series is not something I'd want to watch. If I watch horror, it has to be purely human horror.

Problem Two: The pornographic aspect to it. Straight from episode one the typical dumb big-breasted girl appears, stark naked in a group of men. Within two minutes of her appearance a man grabs her and tries to make her give him a blowjob- something I do NOT want to see. Then after she is saved by the only likeable character of the whole bunch, a dog comes up to her and gives her some nice oral sex. And the girl just sits there and takes it, giggling and slightly muttering ''!'' yet doing nothing and obviously enjoying it. She disgraced the female gender so much I have to say she sickens me to the point where I'd kill her if I go the chance. 

Animation: Animation in Gantz was very good, though I must admit I wasn't that keen on how all the people resembles REAL people as opposed to usual anime people. That ruined it a little for me.

Sound: I LOVE the Gantz opening. I can't remember the ending, but the music played in the actual show was very good too. It was creepy, spine-chilling and suited the overall show.

Characters:  Although interesting (It certainly was a unique change for the protagonist who you hear the story from to be a complete jerk) the amount of unbelievably despicable characters in contrast to the only one decent character was too strong. Out of the 15 people stuck in the room with Gantz, all were men who were cruel, abusive and thought badly of others. Even the few one of two of them what were alright turned psychotic by the end of killing just one alien. Only one girl was featured in the show which I also didn't like, and as aforementioned she was a complete twat who hardly deserves living **vents** D:< Kazuo was the only genuine amazing character, with a good heart and willingness to help his friends or anyone in need. However it infuriated me when the main guy would complain at how the stupid ditzy girl preferred Kazuo to him. Why he fails to see why Kazuo is the only mildly human character is beyond me- he was the only guy who wasn't planning to rape the girl every second.

Overall: I see why this is so popular, but the pornographic aspect and lack of human murder just took away all interest this held for me.

8/10 story
7.5/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
7.5/10 characters
7.5/10 overall
Vehementi's avatar By Vehementi on Jun 13, 2012

I have to say this is probably by far one of the worst anime I have ever seen. I would go as far as to say this anime does what Twilight did to the Vampire genre.

Semi spoilers:

Constantly throughout the anime there are over used long pauses. The characters are so indecisive they make us college kids look like born leaders. It was pointed out to them early on that if you kill them all in time you can get healed regardless how far gone you are.

So what do they do time and time again while someone is about to die? They stare comment and just plain old watch till the person dies.

Maybe this is how the Japanese culture is and it's lost in translation but honestly. No one stands by like that. Yes eventually the main character does stop being like this but at that point he's too gong ho for his own good.

I feel the creator of this story just watched/played Persona/SMT too much and decided to try and reinvent the "Savior no one dies, Hero kill all that's against us, Can't we all be friends" story line.

The evolution of the characters is so inconsistent it's not funny. They keep bouncing back and forth from being actual people to being "Herp a derp what do I do now, They'll die if I do nothing but.. Killin is wrong... Though I did kill so many already.. Oh the guys dead now.. Shit.. If only someone did something."

There's also the fact early on the you start to notice subtle differences in how the episodes end and start. One of the early ones where Mr. Lets pacify the enemies confronts Nishi. Nishi is raised and gripped by the collar at the end. In the next episode he walks out of the room long before the convo gets to that point.

Giant spoiler :

There's also the travesty Gonzo did for the ending. If I want to watch an ending like that I'll /continue/ watching Mighty Max for crying out loud. ( I mean in the fact of the paradox where the end restarts the beginning in an infinite bullshit loop.)

3/10 story
7/10 animation
8/10 sound
1/10 characters
4/10 overall
Seority's avatar By Seority on Apr 5, 2013

GANTZ is one of those animes that no matter how hard you try, you will never forget nor want to forget even if you didn't like it.

Even through all the violence and sex, the ideal of it is still intriguing to the thought. What does happen when we die? Are we given a second chance? If so, what will we have to do to get it? And since our protagonist isn't the usual prince charming, we can relate to him more since he's a person from all sides, wither is violent, perverted, or just down right evil.

Other than a great story, the art and music are amazing as well. Gives a very realistic depth to a very fictional story. Even though it is not one of my top favorite animes, I can assure it is one of the greats.

"Come see a side of the world that few look into, and realize that you will never go back."

9/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
8/10 characters
9/10 overall