Okay this anime has been getting a lot of hate, and I can understand why and I agree the manga was much better. But I'm atleast happy that the adaption was made and finally one of Ito's works actually got an anime adpation. I thought the adaption was.... entertaining at least, despite its many flaws. On to the review! *Spoilers ahead*
Story- The story is changed from the manga. Kaori is now the main character and Tadashi is the one who gets infected. idk what they tried to gain from this but I don't think it worked... I guess its nice to see something different from the manga, but I think what they should have been focusing on is to get the feel of the anime right before making changes. Instead of the Proffersor's assasistant, theres a photographer and also a pointless DP scene featuring one of Kaori's friends who is also not in the manga. Theres also a plot inconsistency when Kaori clearly gets scratched by the leg and doesn't transform. I have no idea why they did that and why Kaori would have immunity to the disease. Also the last scene of the manga had such a strong impact of despair as Tadashi watches the parade of infected marching past and the fact the Kaori had finally "escaped the stench". The way he made it was that there was hope for the future(the scientists who were supposedly immune) and himself, but his love for Kaori still remained. In the anime I feel like they're trying too hard to force the feeling of despair. Kaori doesn't even get to see Tadashi's corpse and the scene with the boat at the end just didn't leave any lasting impact for me. I did like that they kept the carnival scene though, which was done quite nicely. Main point is that get the feeling of the original manga right and then see if you can still retain the same feeling after adding and changing chars... if you can't DON'T CHANGE THE DAMN STORY.
Animation- I think the character desgins were done quite well, they look like Junji Ito characters atleast. But whats with the colors... its like they chose to use the brightest colors out there. Its supposed to be a horror manga not a slice of life or some BS like that. I think this would have benefited greatly from a more subdued color pallete, like the colors in Serial Experiments Lain, Boobiepop Phantom and Kino's Jounrey for example. Also why the hell would you make the zombie fish CG? A shark with mechanical legs is already hard enough to believe how would having it be cg in a 2D world help? Also whats with the colors of the infected humans? Barf green really? On the cover of the 2nd book it looked more like a peachy flesh color with hues of red and yellow... and also why did they give the infected Irises, when they had none in the manga it made them look much creepier and scarier, as well as the disgusting looking bumps and sores all over their bodies that were not very well detailed in the anime. They just look like fat green people, in the anime and just didn't seem that scary. I mean look at the cover of the 2nd volume (above) thats frikin terrifying
Sound- Don't have much to say about sound. It fit the anime well and added to the atmosphere, nothing spectacular though.
Characters- One of my big problems with this anime... the siwtch of main characters makes the last scene of the anime much less effective. Kaori had always hated the stench and even in "death" could not escape it, but finally she was able to by the end of the manga. In the anime we don't get to see Tadashi's corpse infact we barely learn anything about Tadashi, we just barely see him while hes talking on the phone before he gets infected. Kaori's 2 friends, one slutty one and the fat one are just so useless... they literaly don't add anything to the story they're just there for the DP scene (which was pointess) and the whole jealously thing which never really was effective. The reporter that Kaori meets, is supposed to be a a replacement for the assistant of Tadashi's uncle. IMO he doesn't do a great job he never really gets involved in the plot hes more of an observer who gets infected at the end, which is much less effective than the assistant who was actually part of the project and was taken away by Tadashi's uncle after she became infected. Also the scientists who were working on a cure were taken out... so much for a glimmer of hope...
Overall- I enjoyed the OVA, but they just changed too many things from the manga which just led to this not being anywhere near as good as the original. I'm happy this adaption came to be but just stick to the manga next time and don't use such frikin bright colors and don't use bloody cg. If they ever make another adaption of his work and they follow that Im quite certain it will be a success ( I would love to see a proper Uzamaki anime adaption considering how crap the live-action was)
What do you get when you combine sharks, the smell of decaying sea life, and machines that have no business existing? You get Gyo, an anime that takes all three things and mashes them together in hopes of creating something scary. In it, we follow the adventures of Kaori, a girl-next-door who rushes back to Tokyo to find her boyfriend, who's caught in the worst of a sudden and unexplained "fish-on-legs" epidemic. To say much more would spoil what little plot there is in Gyo, but suffice to say there's not much of one anyways.
However, let's get this out of the way, since it's very likely to be the first and last thing you notice about Gyo (and maybe this is a selling point for some people, I don't know): it's gross. And I do mean that very, very literally. We are talking about rotting fish, giant pustulent bodies, and, to keep it classy, shots of thong-clad buttocks farting. I am not making this up. You cannot make this up.
Unfortunately, being a Junji Ito creation and a scent-based horror story, Gyo suffers from several unforgivable animation flaws. Ito's work has been known for its use of body horror, with close-up shots of bodies twisted into improbable shapes and stark black and white images of characters' terrified expressions. However, what works well as a still image doesn't necessarily translate well as an animated one, and that's where Gyo loses any real semblance of credibility or entertainment value; instead of being directly presented with the horrific images themselves, not only are they animated so that the gruesome detail that Ito favors end up looking childish and silly, but they go by so quickly that one can't fully absorb the horror of what they're seeing before Gyo rushes you off to the next scene so that it can fit the entire story into its 70-minute time limit.
The animation of the various odors and gases emitted by Gyo's creatures and characters is simply a bunch of oily-looking overlays and watery effects colored in a multitude of unpleasant shades, such as 'my dog's barf after consuming a rotting squirrel,' 'that one time my roommate was so wasted he shit himself,' and other such visual delights. Unfortunately, showing someone gross colors and then images of people covering their noses and making faces doesn't convey scents, it just looks silly.
One of the most effective parts of TV and cinema horror comes from the unknown - not being able to see the entirety of what you're afraid of, the use of dark, muted tones, heavy shadows, and so on. Gyo uses none of these. Instead, the colors are vivid and clear, with shading and shadows being minimal and under-used, thus detracting from the very "Ito" qualities that made the original manga actually horrifying. When the skies are a vibrant blue, the bushes are the same color as a granny smith apple, and everyone's outfits are so vivid that the only way you'd miss them is to be colorblind, it's hard to be very scared.
Unremarkable. The voice acting was passable, the sound effects worked for what they were, and, well, no one can say Gyo didn't put a decent amount of effort into the sounds a shark with mechanical legs might make if it were a real thing. There were a few minutes when the music overpowered moments of exposition or dialogue, but you're not missing much anyways.
Gyo has a handful of equally unlikeable and unmemorable characters, who are mostly an excuse to play a horror movie drinking game or take bets on who'll be the first to die. There's Kaori, a fairly non-descript nice gal who's trying to reunite with her boyfriend in these fish-infested, incredibly dangerous times and Shirakawa, a reporter who makes it his objective to help Kaori get to her boyfriend. We also meet Erika, the sexually promiscuous provider of panty shots, and Ari, a big eater with some misanthropic tendencies. (If you're playing the Gyo drinking game, give yourself a pat on the back if you guessed Panty Shots will be the first one to have something unfortunate happen to her; you guessed well.) Everyone else is cannon fodder and don't warrant names or identifying characteristics.
There are too many plot inconsistencies, zero characters that one might care about, and such poor quality animation that nothing all that positive can really be said about Gyo. Anyone looking for a faithful or interesting adaptation of Junji Ito's admittedly ridiculous (but still vastly superior) horror manga will be disappointed.
Basically, this adaptation (I know, I know)...stinks.
What the heck did I just watch???
While I believe Gyo deserves some credit for coming up with something other than the overused zombies, the story is gonna keep your ideas about this "walking fish" juggling around. Seriously? walking dead fish? Anyway, the more you find out, the more your new understandings of this new creature gets thrown out the window. Then you end up seeing too much that you just stop and start watching something else.
***spoiler start*** (the juciest stuff)
First encounter you find a fish with legs that smells of death. The same characteristics apply to a huge shark that later invades a summer home the main characters stay in. Later in the movie the infection is passed on to other sea creatures, land animals, and eventually humans. Then looking into the matter you find that it's a discovered bacteria capable of infecting a[n] animal/person and makes its body emit gas. Supposedly it was top-secret WW2 bio-weapon. And then they bring up these little 4-legged moving mechanical things made so the infected can get around (the infected in this movie are supposed to be immobile due to the infection) and infect others with litterally a poke of it's leg. These 4-legged things are believed to be powered by the gas emitted from its "pilot". Then nearing the end, science goes out the window and you're led to believe that the gas is very much alive/has a life of it's own.
If you're like me and questioned the movie, you probably asked yourself how is there sooooooooo many of those 4-legged things, and how they vary in size. Also that first fish that was crushed, how the hell did it fly in that bag? Is it the gas??? It just doesn't make sense at all...
You will end up with a vague understanding, you're literally gonna flip a table and yell "dafuq is this sh**?!" It elevates to stupid confusing from mid-climax to end.
I guess you can say this is where Gyo shines the most. It presents well drawn, pretty visuals and realistic animation throught the entirety of the movie. If you're one of those people who really pound on blending 3D/CG visuals with animation, you won't have to pound this movie very much. The CG blends very well the surrounding color/lighting.
It was satisfying to me; not amazing but fit well enough. I didn't feel that any of the environmental sounds or sound effects in Gyo were out of place or used inappropriately at any point. ...Well maybe except the transition to the title frame needs to be touched-up, but I'll be nice about that.
Typically in apocalyptic/zombie movies there's always that badass charachter that can kick ass that everyone looks up to, and the character that ends up a coward or a real ass. If you're looking for new lovable charachters in Gyo, you will be disappointed. Most OVA characters develop barely enough to understand who the character is and his/her personality, nothing down to the littlest of details; only the main charachters get the spotlight. It's no different here. Not only that but Gyo's characters don't develop well enough for you to like any of them.
Keep this in your waitlist. More saddening than entertaining in my book. While it made much sense in certain parts of the movie (like the rise of some cult during a terrible event), many other parts just make you wanna stop watching. It didn't pack the violence I had expected given the magnitude of the terrible events that happen in Gyo but truth be told it's sick in it's own way. Gyo definitely brings about a lot of wierd stuff that we don't see every day! (Kinda makes you wonder what went through the director's head during the making of this movie) If you're intrested in apocalyptic movies and/or seek some mindf***, then give Gyo a shot. Otherwise you may want to pass.
Perhaps I was being too nice reviewing Gyo.
All that comest to mind is WTF!?!??
This anime starts off sounding like a fish-zombie apocolypse type thing but it gos a bit further than that.....to anyone curagious enough to watch.....dont eat durring....just dont...
At first it starts off with the whole fish-zombies, then as you realize early on that any sea-life can be infected, as we see a shark has turned up pretty early in the game, leaving your mind to wonder about the possibilities of horror(or pure amuzement) could come next. Octopai or squid really do seem to have a huge advantage on prey now that they have legs along with those freeky suction cups, but it seems that that is where the sea creatures end, it was a shame that we did not see a bigger varriety of aquatic-zombies.......like a night scene where a lantern fish walks about a city to draw in its unsusspecting victoms, theres your horror spin right there!
-My orriginal Overall score is "WTF" but 4 will have to do....