Gantz Vol. #06 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: TV MA
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Gantz

Gantz Vol. #06

By Chris Beveridge     July 28, 2005
Release Date: July 05, 2005


Gantz Vol. #06
© ADV Films


What They Say
The carnage erupts as the surviving players in the Gantz’s twisted game find themselves facing two kinds of aliens! As both novice and experienced players are mercilessly slaughtered, the unarmed and unsuited Kurono’s only hope lies in somehow managing to survive until the clock runs out… But how can he manage that when he’s trapped inside a whole nest of aliens? The climactic end of the second game brings the sixth volume of GANTZ to a blood-chilling conclusion!


The Review!
Gantz finishes out its first half of the series and completes the most current mission by continuing to have a cast of characters you just want to beat to a pulp for all the idiocy.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The Japanese track has a pretty decent stereo mix to it which is mostly really active during the action sequences. There is some good directionality to various dialogue scenes when there are a lot of people in a given area and it shifts nicely with some of the ambient sound effects. The music makes the most use of the stereo channels though and uses it well. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in 2004, the transfer for this series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. The transfer is also of the uncut version of the show that wasn't fully aired in Japan but used for home video. The shows design is similar to a number of recent Gonzo shows where it has a lot of bright bold colors and has a very digital feel across the board, from the layered look of the characters on top of the backgrounds to the camera movements. The transfer is essentially free of problems and looks really good though there is some noticeable color gradient issues but that's just inherent in how this is animated.

Packaging:
Using some of the character artwork from the Japanese releases, Kei Kurono gets the cover this time around though it's an awkward picture since it's of him holding a rife type weapon but the weapon isn't in his hand, unless it's supposed to be him getting ready to use his fists in which case it looks even worse. The mixture of the blacks and reds in the background and the Japanese logo for the series gives it all a rough and raw feel. The back cover provides a number of shots from the show around a circle in the center that holds the summary of the premise while most of the background is similar to what's on the front cover background. The discs features and technical information are easily found along the bottom along with the production credits. The insert replicates the front cover on one side while the reverse side lists the three episodes titles and… that's it. This is definitely one of the biggest wastes of space for an insert.

Menu:
The main menu layout uses a lava lamp like background with murky blacks and reds while the bulk of the menu is given over to the round black orb from the show where the menu selections reside. A brief bit of the opening song from the show plays along before looping back. This is one of those where using just the first 30 seconds really doesn't work out well at all and leaves you with a highly annoying menu. Access times are nice and fast and the layout easy to navigate. The disc also properly read our players' language presets and played accordingly.

Extras:
While the first volumes had some good extras to help flesh out the time here and make it feel like you got something, this volume drops down to just the clean opening and closing sequences and a few TV spots.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The second full on session for the main trio of characters fills out the entirety of this volume which makes out better with a bump up to three episodes. It brings the arc to a close and covers what some consider the first "season" of the show. There has been a lot of chaos in this arc starting right from the first moment they all entered the strange room with Gantz and it hasn't gotten any less strange along the way.

While the Greenonions thing was weird enough in and of itself, the robot container suit that the enemy is wearing this time is just bizarre and gets only more so when we see Kato get involved in Nishi's problem and he simply grabs the Yuzo thing and squeezes it. Squeezes it like a Gogurt and it pops out one of the large sized bird creatures. This ends up killing it but not before events go so badly that Nishi's been thrashed around so much that he's essentially dead. Watching the life drain away from him, it's interesting in trying to determine what they want you to take from his death. He's been something of a cruel character from the start so it's easy to not care that he's dying but at the same time, part of the point of the show is to point out how disconnected we all are to things and death is one of them. Not being able to be emotional over it is just as bad.

While all the characters continue to be mind numbingly stupid throughout a lot of this – to a point of disbelief really – the secondary characters keep up with the main characters on this quite easily. While a core group tries to deal with what's happened to Nishi and figure out what to do next, the story follows the two punks and the grandma and her grandson as they each look for something to get out of this situation. Though they walk together they're not really together as the punks are looking for some food while the grandma talks about calling the boys mother and getting him some food. As expected, they start to stray out of the target area and pop goes one of the punk's head. That sends the other one screaming back to his former leader while the grandma and her grandson go wandering.

This turns into another area where much like Nishi, you have to wonder what kind of emotion you're supposed to have. Part of what they're trying to get across is just how bad society is and that it's not just this generation and it's a long afflicting thing. Nishi pointed it out perfectly with the grandma/grandson pairing in how she coddled him. With them separated and eventually coming into contact with the Yuzo creatures again, she does her best to try and stop them from hurting her family. As the two of them get worked over by the Yuzo's, it's a strong scene as even blinded and bleeding she goes to protect him, the boy who foolishly took of his suit and just ran around naked for awhile, in order to try and cause him the least amount of pain possible. You can feel the strings being tugged but again, just how much emotion can and should you have for the pairing?

Much of the remaining material in the episodes goes towards dealing with the "final boss" as Kei dubs him since all the little ones they've killed haven't ended the mission yet. Haruya's return to the group has him a bit panicked but he takes advantage of the confusion and death of Nishi to take the weapons and leadership of the group as a tyrant in order to try and end things and get home. Using the suit-less Kei to hunt down the final group and the boss is amusing but it was a lot of fun watching it play out as they finally dealt with the last group. But I keep having the same problem as before with the show in terms of all of the characters outside of Nishi.

They're all idiots. Truly. From some that won't use their gun to others that even when threatened can't seemed to do anything but stare stupidly in front of them, they're all like deer in the road. Of course, maybe it's heavily cultural and my coming from a society that glamorizes "the average man who takes up a weapon when in need" in so many Hollywood movies that going in the opposite direction is just hard to understand. Are they saying that modern Japanese are shallow in their survival instincts? They do comment at one point that women are usually superior when it comes to such instincts after Kishimoto does some major damage and actually does more than just look hot in a skintight outfit, but for the most part the majority of the people dragged into this have been complete wet paper towels when it comes to dealing with things even when pushed to the edge. It's an interesting difference but at the same time it doesn't make for a terribly interesting show if they all just crumple at the first sign of resistance.

In Summary:
The messages that Gantz sends out are wildly open to interpretation and there's certainly enough to take a stab at to come up with different ideas. This set of episodes makes out much better with the addition of the third episode and the closure of the arc, though it was amusing that two entire characters managed to be so completely invisible so as to not merit a mention at all until the very end. I'm curious to see where the second half goes and the show has interested me enough to hope that the manga comes out but this is still a show I'm really hesitant to recommend to people since I'm not sure what it's really trying to say.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Japanese TV spots,Clean opening animation,Clean closing animation

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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