After reading comments and praises of Gantz for awhile now I finally decided to check it out… And have to admit I’ve come away with some mixed feelings on the show. The plot does sound very interesting… People die and wind up in an apartment with nothing but a large black sphere only to discover that to get out and back to “normal” life they must hunt aliens. They also get cool weapons and suits that give them superhuman powers. At this point it sounds pretty good, and I’m totally in.
Unfortunately… The show is also burdened with some major flaws (in my opinion). First being the insanely long drawn out dialog scenes that seem to go nowhere. And I’m not talking a few scenes here and there… There are whole episodes made up of seemingly pointless dialog, or long drawn out explanations of things the audience has already seen and likely figured out for themselves. I found my self yawning and my mind drifting to other things during many of these scenes, and there were a few times I thought about quitting watching the show altogether. Seriously… People joke about A Certain Magical Index and Touma’s monologues, but they have nothing on Gantz’s insanely long dialog scenes.
Another issue I had was looking forward to the action scenes, and then finding them to be more “action-less” scenes. Rather than fighting the monster these people are… Still just talking… Do you really have a ten minute dialog about whether you should save this guy being killed by an alien while watching him being killed? There were a few good action scenes in the show, but for a show that is essentially a repetitive monster battle show you would expect more. The creators could learn a few things from other repetitive battle shows like Yu Yu Hakusho, Inuyahsa, or even Pokémon. These battles seem like they would be more suited to still frames on a page than on screen.
And finally… The Evangelion style wtf?! ending. I’ve read some comments that suggest that the show follows the manga up until around the last few episodes at which point a rather unintelligible end was tacked on. It just makes very little sense and nothing is really resolved. Aside from the fact that the manga was still ongoing it made even less sense to give the show a rather definitive end. Many fans have commented that the show should have just stopped at the last story arc that followed the manga and left it there. I rather agree. It was actually a nice spot to stop, was no more wtf?! inducing than the ending they made up, and it still left the series open to future series. Unfortunately this happens when the animation companies stray completely from the original material. It is never a good thing. I do understand that the show ending rather abruptly might seem awful, but anyone who wished to continue the story could simply read the manga to find out what happens next.
So my points listed above aside the show was somewhat entertaining. The concept of the show is really awesome, but the execution was poorly done. While I have not read the manga I have heard that it is vastly superior to the anime, and the fact that the manga is still ongoing after 11 years tells me that this may be true.
Now for the technical details… The show is animated decently, although there are points where the CG is blatantly obvious. But it still looks pretty overall. The English dub is pretty good, and Chris Ayers does give a great performance in the lead role. Since it is an ADV dub it can be fun picking out the usual suspects in the supporting roles like Luci Christian, Monica Rial, and Greg Ayers. Also one of the redeeming points of this show is that it has really great OP and ED songs. The OP song is Super Shooter by Rip Slyme and has an edgy fast hip hop beat while the ED song Last Kiss by Bonnie Pink is a rather sweet ballad.
If you ask would I recommend this show to people??? Yeah I would… It does have some interesting bits, and touches on some very gritty and edgy subjects like murder, rape, and violence. Interestingly there are characters in the show that are more monstrous than the monsters. All in all I think the show could have been great if it had addressed some of the issues I listed, but it’s still a decent show. I would recommend that one might wish to skip the last three episodes… Or actually watch them, but keep in mind that that is not how the real story goes, and then read the manga if you want to find out what happens next.
Oh yeah… I guess I should put a warning here that there is quite a bit of nudity, and some seriously graphic sexual scenes. If these things bother you then maybe you might consider avoiding Gantz.