ADV Films // 2004 // 50 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // May 12th, 2005
Hi. My name's Mitchell. I'm here to review the third volume of Gantz. Why am I back? Well, you know what they say about a moth and a flame...
Anyway, this third release contains the fifth and sixth episodes of the series. Here's a synopsis of each:
* Episode Five: "That Means at the Time..."
After finishing their first assignment for the mysterious Gantz, Kei Kurono, Kei Kishimoto, and Masaru Kato attempt to return to their everyday lives. Unfortunately, the three quickly discover that this won't be as easy as they had hoped. Kurono keeps seeing troubling news reports about his disappearance. Kato's adoptive aunt continues to bully him and abuse his younger brother. Kishimoto begins to believe she is only a doppelganger of her actual self; to make matters worse, the real Kishimoto is apparently lying in a hospital bed after having survived a suicide attempt. Kurono returns to classes at his high school; a gang of upperclassmen punks is constantly threatening one of his friends. The punks soon begin threatening Kurono; he uses his Gantz battle suit to turn the tables on the head punk (a particularly psychotic bastard who collects the teeth lost by his opponents), but something funny happens during the fight: Kurono discovers that the suit seems to respond to sexual impulses -- it only activates after he has started thinking about a naked Kishimoto. Funnier still, Kurono's thoughts cause him to sprout an erection; the punk leader notices this and believes it to be the result of Kurono's sexual feelings about him. After the fight, the victorious Kurono returns home, where he finds Kishimoto waiting outside his door.
* Episode Six: "All Right!"
Kishimoto returns Kurono's student I.D., which she found in a jacket he had let her borrow. She starts to leave, but turns back and asks for a glass of water. Kurono thinks he might have a shot at getting lucky, but Kishimoto leaves after she finishes her drink. She turns back yet again, this time to ask if Kurono will allow her to stay with him, a proposition to which he readily agrees. Kishimoto then asks to use the shower. Knowing that he'll explode if he doesn't get out of the house, Kurono runs down to a nearby convenience store, where he purchases some tea, a manga, and a box of condoms. Kishimoto has finished showering by the time Kurono returns, so they watch a little television before going to bed. There is only one bed in the apartment, a fact that further excites the already horny Kurono. Kishimoto says she needs to go to the bathroom before she retires, which gives Kurono time to slip on a condom. Kurono, after a little hemming and hawing, convinces Kishimoto to have sex; in the middle of Kurono's awkward attempts at foreplay Kishimoto starts talking about her suicide attempt, which is just the thing to ruin the mood for Kurono. (This episode also features subplots about a member of a biker gang and a little boy with a doting grandmother, but as of yet I don't know how they fit into the story.)
Something funny is happening: I don't hate Gantz as much as I once did. Don't get me wrong -- I still don't really enjoy the series, and I certainly can't recommend it, but I now find myself not want wanting to claw out my eyes while watching it. Maybe I'm getting mellow in my old age; either that or I'm becoming numb to the pain. Then again, it could have something to do with the fact that Licky the Wonder Dog doesn't make an appearance in these episodes. Truthfully, though, I think these episodes are an improvement over the previous four due to the more character-driven nature of the plots and the absence of the pointless violence and gore. There's not a quantum leap in quality, but at least it's a step in the right direction.
The technical presentation falls in line with that of the previous volumes. The anamorphic transfer is very nice, as are the audio tracks -- you can select the 5.1 dub or the stereo Japanese track and neither will disappoint. Extras include clean opening/closing sequences, a preview for the next volume in the series, previews for other ADV releases, and a short chat with the actors who provide the voices for the three lead characters in the original Japanese version of the series. This segment, which appears to have been recorded at a fan convention, is mildly entertaining, although the actors appear to be having a much better time than anyone in the audience.
Can it be? Is Gantz starting to grow on me just a little? Nah, can't be. Not a chance. Anybody know when Volume 4 is coming out?
Review content copyright © 2005 Mitchell Hattaway; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 50 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Clean Opening/Closing Animation
* "Cast Talk" Featurette
* Volume 4 Preview
* ADV Previews