Since the manga for Gantz is probably coming to an end in two chapters, I have decided to do a review for a series I have surprisingly come to like. Normally I am not fond of sitting down and reading 200 or more chapters of an ongoing manga but after seeing the surprisingly short anime of Gantz, I wanted to know what happened next.
The story of Gantz starts off with a perverted ass hole named Kurono. Kurono is by no means you’re happy or determined typical protagonist, he clearly has no redeeming qualities about him or any goals for that matter. He seems standoffish and ready to bite anybody’s head off. When he and his friend Kato is ran over by a train in the subway, after saving a drunk bum is when the the story takes off.
Originally in the world of Gantz when people die, they can get transported to a game where an alien named Gantz forces the contestants to play a game. The game allows the contestants to fight and kill aliens, receiving points for each one they kill. If a contestant reaches 100 points they have three choices:
1. Have their memories wiped of the game and have a second chance at life.
2. Revive someone who has died in the Gantz game. This reduces their 100 points back to zero and they must continue to play Gantz in order to reach a 100 points again.
3. Exchange the 100 points for a stronger weapon. The player’s points are reduced to zero and they must continue to play Gantz in order to reach a 100 points again.
Yes, all of these rules come into play. Gantz is full of a variety of characters and personalities and it is interesting to see who spends their 100 points on what. Sadly-well depending on who dies- some characters never reach a hundred points; dieing in the game permanently.
Not for the Feint of Heart
Watching the first few minutes of the anime and reading a few pages of the manga will tell anyone that Gantz does not shy away from full descriptive frontal nudity and highly detailed gore. Pin up drawings of Gantz female characters are on each starting chapter page for a long while (although I wonder what made the artist do a male pinup here all of a sudden), and there is enough blood spilled to fill a nation of starved vampires. I find it funny that the Gantz manga censored male frontal nudity for a while but later started showing male frontal nudity without any forms of censorship later on. This is a warning for those who like to read manga or watch anime in front of people who might have an issue with huge amounts of nudity or gore.
Diversity and Surprisingly Deep
I love how each Gantz game introduces new contestants with different personalities. The contestants range from students, helpless grandmas, yakuza members, and even a dog and later a panda. Some contestants are excited to run into the Gantz games and kill with pleasure and others try to hide from the aliens and end up dead. Some characters’ personalities do develop through each Gantz game and I wanted to see Kurono, Kato, Kei, and some of the contestants willing to team up with Kurono, survive the Gantz games and return to a normal life. Gantz also does a good job of making some really despicable characters and seeing those characters die permanently is sometimes amazing.
The anime unfortunately ends shortly with a chapter different from the manga and the manga still kept going and going and going. I don’t have ADD but I do have an issue with long series (like Naruto, Bleach, majority of Shonen Jump, and almost everything from Rumiko Takahashi). Gantz went from being a simple game for people to reclaim their normal lives, to fighting humans, to fighting vampires, to fighting aliens on another planet and parts of Earth being destroyed. Of course there is nothing wrong with making a story bigger as it goes on but a few characters and plot points become lost or loose the impact the creator might have been going for in the process. Sometimes I had to stop and think of who characters were that were introduced chapters ago, disappeared, and later come back a hundred chapters later. A few manga chapters have some obviously drawn out scenes. For a few months, I did not read Gantz in hopes of seeing if the story moved along by the time I went back to read it.
Gantz may look like an anime or manga insistent on showing gore and nudity but it is a surprisingly deep series. Unfortunately it may take some time to get to the last chapter of the manga due to Gantz’s long length (over 300 chapters) and deepening and plot that gets crazier and crazier as it goes on. There are a bundle of characters who’s personalities are very diverse and work well with the main cast of characters. Gantz anime and manga is worth a look and hopefully the manga ends soon. Both the anime and manga is dirt cheap on amazon at least.