Wednesday, 5 October 2011


GantzTitle: GANTZ
Distributor: GONZO
supernatural, spirit, death, alien, violence

Age Rating: R (extreme violence and mature scenes)

Episodes: 26
Aired: April 12, 2004 - June 26, 2004
Official Site: at

Authors Rating: 8.5/10

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. 

Gantz is a tense, emotion wringing story with a lot of blood and a side portion of... well... all manner of rude things. Unless you are very tolerant of hardship, gore and mature scenes then this anime is not for you. Parents won't want their children to watch these episodes until they are 18... actually EVER. Lets put it that way. Mid-teens will love watching the show when and will miraculously be totally unharmed with the exception of being exposed to a couple of interesting ideas. 

These ideas are as follows (certainly not comprehensive);

1) What happens after you die? Heaven or Hell? ... Nothing? Or it could be something else entirely that no one has considered?

2) Young men tend to be more up for it than have common sense. 

3) Materialist idea of 'you' or 'I'. It appears that almost all of the characters in the show are 'captured' at the time of their death and recorded and transported to Gantz. This either implies that the soul is recordable and re-creatable or that the soul is unnecessary in the recreation of a person. 

4) The weaponry is immensely original. Kei Kurono is certainly the most interesting character in the series. He can be annoying to listen too, is obsessed with the female form and is fully self-indulged, but I think that merely makes him a relatively accurate depiction of a teenage male. One of the key points in this very gore filled series is that violence is real and although the activities in the Gantz games are certainly violent, you can not escape it, even in a place that should be safe like home. This is demonstrated by Kato's little brother being beaten by their Aunt that is taking care of them because their parents are dead. The effects of violence at home, rather than violence in the Gantz activities are what appear to motivate Katou in to incredible rages. Katou, who is the most reasoning character in the series. Kato, who is unable to kill in order to survive or even protect his friends - is driven by the violence at home and school to beat people without remorse and to a pulp.

The character design is beautiful as are the back-drops, some of the best I have seen. However, character development leaves a little to be desired. There is a feeling of shallowness to all but one, Kei's childhood friend who dies with him, Katou. None of the other characters are given much, if any depth or history which leaves an overall 'empty' feeling to the show. 

The voice acting is superb, as one would expect with such a line-up, in both English and Japanese. I feel that the cast have done a superb job, given the lack of portrayed on-screen emotion from the characters themselves. 

As for the music it is a colourful choice. Japanese rap, if you will. I have to admit, it's a nit cliche, yet fun to listen too and great to attempt to jam along too! 

Overall Gantz has many pitfalls and is lacking in a conclusive ending, character depth and tangible story, amongst many other things. However, it is right up there with my most memorable anime's of all time! The scenes and settings, the graphic content and the brilliant animation just impress this one on to your cortex and force it down in to the long-term memory. A definite must see for all who are not squeamish.

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