Gantz Vol. #6 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: MVM Entertainment
  • MSRP: £19.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Gantz

Gantz Vol. #6

By Dani Moure     September 18, 2006
Release Date: September 18, 2006


Gantz Vol. #6
© MVM Entertainment


What They Say
The carnage erupts as the surviving plays 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!

Episodes comprise:
21. Big Brother?
22. Don't Say It Twice
23. Kurono Alien

The Review!
The death toll rises exponentially in the penultimate volume of Gantz.

Audio:
For this review I listened to most of the disc in Japanese with subtitles. The stereo track is your standard mix, and I noticed no dropouts or distortions during regular playback. The voice acting is actually quite good, with the principal cast performing quite well.

I briefly sampled the English 5.1 mix for an episode, which adds a bit of directionality to things, and I noticed no problems with this track.

Video:
The four episodes on this disc are presented in anamorphic widescreen, and look excellent for the most part. Aliasing is barely noticeable even in the pans in this volume, though the transfer did look a tad soft on a couple of occasions. Colours are vibrant and the show generally just looks very good.

Subtitles are in a nice yellow font and I didn't notice any major grammatical or spelling errors.

Packaging:
No packaging was included with this check disc.

Menu:
The menus are pretty simple but fit the tone and style of the show. The show's logo appears taking up most of the screen before it shrinks and becomes a part of the main menu screen. This features the cover image of the guy with the blue hair on the right, with episode numbers, and links to the setup and extras menu down the middle. A section down the left has movies from the show looping round beneath a red silkscreen. The opening song plays over this menu. Sub-menus are static and silent, just providing their selections in the same theme as the main menu. It's simple but fits the tone of the show, and access times are nice and quick.

Extras:
The clean opening and closing makes another appearance here, as well as a lengthy interview with the Japanese actors for Kurono, Kishimoto and Kato. Each person in turn picks out a ball from the "Gantz box" and they all discuss that topic briefly. The format works quite well and they all seem to have a good chemistry which makes the interview fun to watch.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With a show like Gantz, sometimes you wonder if it'll have the balls to go through with some of the more surprising moments. Will it play out as it should, or will they cop out? For instance, at the end of the last disc, we were left with much of the main cast facing death. What would the outcome of this game be? Well, the answer is actually quite surprising, because while they cop out on one of the potential deaths, they more than compensate with several more along the way. Incidentally, skip to the end of the review if you don't want to know who dies, as some deaths just have to be discussed!

Where we left off at the end of the last volume, the latest game looked set to end in a bit of a pinch for the core cast (well, that's actually a bit of an understatement). Most of the combatants were already dead, and Kurono, Kato, Kishimoto and Sei had gone to showdown with the statues. Alas, Kishimoto ended up sacrificing herself for Kato, while Kurono had some limbs sliced off. Now, it's up to Kato and Sei to try and win. Of course, it doesn't exactly go to plan, and as Kurono and Sei share a nice moment between them, where they talk about spending time together when they get home, Kato is busy fighting several of the statues. It all ends rather horrifically, with both Kato and Sei ending up dead, and Kurono left returning from the game alone.

Unfortunately the producers cop out on killing Kurono completely, as he regains his body completely when he's returned to Gantz's room at the end of the game. This had been established earlier in the show so you can't really hold it against anyone, but it would've been very frustrating had everyone returned in that way. Thankfully they didn't, and instead the quite ballsy feat of killing three quarters of what could be considered the major cast at this point is completed. While I always expected there was a good chance that Sei would soon be a goner, I honestly was surprised that they chose to kill off both Kishimoto and Kato. It's a great move though and in some ways raises the bar in the series for me, because it really puts Kurono through the ringer and messes with his emotions.

The second episode is the perfect example, as he doesn't know what to make of his sole survival, going back and doing things Sei had talked to him about, and even going to see the other Kishimoto who has no clue who he is. As much of an idiot as he has proved to be during the course of the series, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him when she thought he was a stalker and ran off. He really is like a lost little puppy on his own without a clue what to do, until he's whipped back to Gantz's room where once again he's presented with some real challenges.

This time, the cast is a bit different; Kurono has met most of these people before. The teacher who is having an affair (and who he doesn't like because of it), the shopkeeper who ordered Sei's book, and most challenging of all, the lowly men who killed the tramp on the last disc. He's completely at a loss in this new environment with all these new people, but he tries to make the best of it by taking charge of the situation and demonstrating the power of the suit, and also by predicting what will happen in hopes that the others will believe him.

Typically for the series though, most of these people are morons, and you have to wonder why they can't believe what he says even with a bit of a demonstration and the fact that it's screwed up enough just based on the fact they all know they died but are somehow "alive" again.

And things are really thrown for a loop when Gantz declares the target of this next (and likely final) game: Kurono himself. Yes, as if his ordeal wasn't bad enough, he is now made the target and will be forced to kill his "team mates" or be killed himself. This is one final great twist, and though you might have seen it coming you can't deny it's a fantastic way to really put even more pressure on Kurono. In fact it makes me wonder if that is the whole purpose of these games of Gantz's in the first place, because looking at it objectively everything has centred around him.

The focus has always been on establishing points of conflict and envy for Kurono, like with how Kato was always the one everyone appreciated, and his relationship with Kishimoto as well. Even Kurono's own relationship with Sei points in that direction, as if she was placed there solely so he could get attached with someone else. Now, with his emotions mixed enough as it is, all his friends are murdered and he is the target in the next game.

Since we don't know the purpose of the games (and I have no idea if it's something we'll find out), it does seem to make sense that it's something to do with Kurono, since all the events seem linked through him in some way. Regardless of what the reason may be, though, I find myself more eager than ever to find out how Gantz will end. The characters may be stupid and annoying, and the plot on the outside quite silly, I still find this one of the most addictive and watchable shows around.

In Summary:
With events in this disc twisting the story in exciting new directions, I can't help but anticipate the final volume with baited breath. It's plain to see that this is by no means a brilliant series, nor is it particularly intelligent much of the time and is often extremely silly and annoying. But it's always the first disc I want to put in my player when I receive it, which says a lot for just how compelling it is. Roll on the final volume, and here's hoping it'll be just as entertaining as this.

Features
Japanese Language (2.0),English Language (5.1),English Subtitles,Clean Opening & Closing,Cast Interview

Review Equipment
Philips 28" Pure Flat Widescreen TV, Philips DVP5100 code free DVD player, JVC gold-plated RGB SCART cable, standard stereo sound.

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