Much to the annoyance of Kei, he and his childhood friend Kato have died, having been torn apart by a train. But rather than finding themselves at the gates of heaven, the duo materialize in a room full of strangers and a giant black sphere known as GANTZ. As if dying once wasn’t bad enough, the occupants of the room are then forced to embark on dangerous missions to kill strange aliens; missions that very few return from. Now, Kei, Kato, and a well-endowed friend must fight for their freedom with an arsenal of guns, high powered suits, and a very low chance of survival.
StoryPrior 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. AnimationVisually 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.SoundI’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. CharactersSomehow, 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 â€“ human or alien â€“ 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 â€“ characters who I originally wanted to die â€“ 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.OverallIt’s hard to explain why I thought GANTZ is as good as it is, or why it ended up impacting me as much as it did. Throughout the series, so, so many people die in so many horrific ways. Literally no one is safe from the scythe of the Grim Reaper, and several of the deaths will shock you. The assault of violence and excessiveness (with the gore, the deaths, and the sex) eventually desensitizes you to some extent, yet still makes you feel horrible when person after person is killed. I wasn’t expecting to like GANTZ as much as I did, but I’d recommend it to anyone who likes and/or can handle very violent and very dark series. Keep in mind that the first few episodes aren’t the best; I thought it started to pick up, character development-wise, at episode 5. Regardless, this is a great series, and one that I still think about from time to time.
GANTZ is a unique anime to say the least. It makes me question a lot of things. I would say its seinen but it feels like it was aimed at adolescent boys. At first I hated it, being so shocked, but the story just kept on getting better. The second half has an amazing turn of events, I didn't see things coming. The story gets pretty intense. It is shockingly explicit, going beyond what I've seen in an anime. Elfen Leid was more reasonable than GANTZ and I loved Elfen Leid. After the first few episodes I was thinking a more graphic version of Kick-Ass. It grew on me, in a similar way that Elfen Lied seemed initially shallow, but later turned out to be awesome. There is excessive mature themes, including violence and gore on the level of Elfen Leid. I can kinda understand why some people would say this is like Elfen Lied, but I didn't agree. Elfen Lied had a different, more sensible atmosphere, while this anime is more gritty and could be an 80s Hollywood movie. But afer watching it all, especially the end, I'd say the comparison to Elfen Lied is fair, but this is different in many ways. Should you watch this? If you don't get easily offended and can look past bullshit for an interesting story, then go ahead. Or you could watch the more tasteful live action movie for less time and less offensive crap. Also, before you read this review, please note that I hate ecchi and any nudity and explicit content that is present for no valid reason. Animation For a 2004 anime the quality of the animation is shoddily bad. A real shame given the style of the anime is actually rather unique, complete with interesting camera angles and a slightly different style of character animations. At times I felt like this was a western animation, but after a while it sinks in that these characters are animated very similar to most other animes. As I mentioned, unique shots are used, the camera flicks around at different perspective, often giving a better view of the action. There is one other thing to talk about here. Portrayal of very graphic themes. Is the nudity done in a sensible and mature fashion? I'd argue it isn't. The first real scene was very similar to the start of the Kick-Ass movie, but going further with the nude fantasies. There are other ways to show that the main character is a hormonal pervert. But things go further, there's a dog that (ugh sorry for this) eats pussy. I'm sorry but that is appauling behaviour and I'd put that dog down if I were it's owner. Moving on to other things, the sexual abuse refers to attempted rape. In the first episode a Yakuza member tries to rape Kei Kishimoto. I'm not comfortable with such a subject matter myself, but I have overlooked it in the past in films and such and ended up enjoying the rest of those stories. Here it is arguably fine, just because of the context of the situation, it kinda makes sense and it's not just put there for shock value. There are relatively explicit sexual scenes, which in addition to the stuff, I've mentioned already, takes things too far. Then there is the sheer gore. Brains splattered all over a lot of things, the blood is quite normal. Theres even a bit where a guys eyes explode, ears pop and neck breaks, exploding heads, decapitation, etc. Personally, I deal with gore just fine, I'm a bit desesitised to it since it is an animation. Overall, the animation was just shocking due to the sexually vulgar and purile content. Sound The music is okay, but not to my taste. The intro song is a bit of a rap song, but nothing that sounds like music to my ears. The music during the anime itself doesn't seem to stand out too much, though its generally quite fast paced at times to match the action. The outro music is much better, but again, not so great that it would want to make me get the soundtrack. The anime is available in both English and Japanese. Surprisingly, the dub is fairly decent. If the main character sounds a tad like Greg Ayres, you aren't far off. The VA for Kei is actually Chris Ayres (the brother of Greg) and another major name in the dub business is Chris Patton, who does the voice of Joichiro Nichi, also did many voices including Greed from FMA, Asura from Soul Eater and even Tatsuhiro Sato from Welcome to the NHK, one of the earlier animes I watched and I feel nostalgic about. Funnily enough, Greg Ayres has a small cameo role as a very minor background character. Characters Kei Kurono is the typical perverted high-school student. So much so that, like at the start of Kick-Ass, he gets 'excited' during class fantasizing about his (young female) teacher and female classmates. He is somewhat selfish, though this anime seems to show that this is actually a trait shared by pretty much every human. He had a history of being a bit of a badass kid, so much so that his friend Masaru Kato looked up to him and wanted to be like him back when they were kids. Nowadays Kei is a perverted coward who can't stand up for himself like he once did and often cries, which is a bit weird for a teenager. Instead he is jealous of his friend for gaining the attention of the girl and he really wants to bang her, like any perverted adolescent would. To actually explain this character, he is rather shallow for the first few episodes, therefore a bit of a disappointing main character. But later on, this character becomes very interesting. The more interesting character is Masaru Kato, Kei's old friend, therefore also a highschool student. This guy is the opposite of Kei in some ways, not a wimp, not a pervert, naturally buff and strong and he has a big sense of pacifism. He live with his younger brother at his aunts house, after his parents died. His aunt actually treats them like shit and his pacifism means he doesn't fight back. But of course so much shit happens to him in this anime, that he begins to question his philosophy. He seems perfect, but he isn't, in a realistic and well done way. He doesn't feel that violence and killing is the right answer and this gets him in harms way. This isn't kept to as religiously as you'd think however, while there are bits that could have viewers shouting at the screen for Masaru to act, there are other buts that will have us shocked and reconsider his personality. The best character in this anime, not simply one sided as he might appear to be. Kei Kishimoto, a frequently naked big breasted high-school student. This immediately screamed terrible character, but then I got the backstory in later episodes. There is major bullshit in the lack of modesty with this character, she can't even defend herself from a snatch-licking dog. She also SPOILER< moves into Kei's place as his pet >SPOILER but this is also due to the intersting history and personality this character actually has. She isn't exactly psychologically stable, explaining some of her actions and her situation is a potentially controversial (Asian parents...) one. It's mentioned in the anime that she is reliant on other's too much and this is actually a fair point. She is infatuated with Masaru, despite the fact that Kei, the main character, is the one who wants to bang her most and gets the closest opportunity to, but she is able to control the situation there. If only she could do the same with the stupid dog. There are various interesting side characters, like the douchebag Jouichiro Nishi, who knows what's going on and is a veteran of the whole situation. The biker character Tetsuo Nemoto is also interesting, this thug actually has a wife and baby in need of his support. There's also a suprising addition of a gay character and a stalker girl, who looks like the grudge girl (also said in the anime itself) stalking a pretty boy model. There's a martial artist Sei Sakuraoka who provides an interesting plot development with romance. Kei's techer is more than just a minor side character, especially towards the end and many more simple characters get surprisingly major roles throughout the story. Story There is definitely a somewhat unique plot here, I've never seen anything like it and like Elfen Lied, it get's better ther further in the anime we get. Kei and his friend Masaru are killed when they are hit by a train and they are bought back by a mysterious sphere, the titular Gantz. There is a lot of gruesome deaths in this anime and they really aren't afraid to kill off characters, since despite the ambiguity of death in this anime, there is a legit death status and characters can die properly. They find that they have been put into a survival game where they must hunt down and kill alien creatures to stay alive. There is much more to the plot than this, each character has their own agenda and side-story going on, Kei has his issues being a hormonal adolescent, Masaru must protect his brother and deal with his abusive aunt. The female Kei also lands in a very unique position, one where she has nobody to depend on. However, the overall plot is rather slow and certain arcs of the story take too long, in my opinion anyway. But the second half is where it all happens. The anime takes many unexpected twists and turns, characters actually have some progression, despite the small time period during which this anime takes place. There are needed gaps in between the action, but I can't help but feel there is some filler in there in the first half. There are various mature themes depicted in this anime, though the manner in which this is done is questionable. The second half made me question my very own beliefs about the morality of many issues. Right now I want to list the many mature themes that were present in this anime like I did with Elfen Lied. There were many aspects of the story and things happened that made me shout WTF out loud for the neighbours to hear. However there are some very tense moments in the second half. The plot just gets so erratic, in a good way. I wouldn't say this is a spoiler, but the alien enemies get more and more challenging and difficult as the story progresses. And the final enemy, is the most difficult of all and it is the most interesting. I feel like this anime is trying to give some social commentary. The only downside to the story is the occasional bullshit and the initial slow pace. Conclusion This is one anime that gets much better in the second half. Gantz is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. The shocking vulgar content seems like it would appeal to teenagers who enjoy that sort of stuff, but to the ordinary person, may just put them off. I wasn't drinking for this one, I didn't think I'd need to. But I didn't like the manner and atmosphere with which some things were dealt with, especially with both the male and female Kei's. The story made this anime for me and for the interesting story alone, if you are an adult capable of looking past some terrible bullshit, this is a must watch. Just like Elfen Lied this is an anime that improves over the series and it also similarly depicts some mature themes and makes the viewer think. Family-friendliness Rating: 5/5 The absurdity of this anime (I'd give it higher if possible)... it goes places where no other anime does, not even Elfen Lied (lower is better) Overall Rating: 7.5/10 (higher is better)
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 thing 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 guessing Gantz will be many peoples favorite, but others will hate it. Im the latter.
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