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Gantz: Vol. 6 (UK) (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000086396
Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 4/9/2006 23:36
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    Review of Gantz: Vol. 6

    7 / 10


    I hate it when we come to the end of an anime series, although not just for that sense of melancholy that ensues when a particularly enjoyable story heads to a conclusion. The length of the typical anime series usually comes to an awkward number of episodes, which result in fewer than normal episode numbers on the final volumes. While the DVD format could easily support higher episode counts, we usually follow the lead of the US releases. The UK audience isn`t as large as the US though, and it`s harder to support such releases. Things are beginning to change, with shows like Gunslinger Girl, Chobits and She, The Ultimate Weapon getting reduced volume counts in the UK, and Gantz has had a lower volume count than the US, where ADV trialled a two episode per disc format for the first half of the series. Still, the final two discs of Gantz do have three episodes apiece as opposed to the usual four, which can`t be pleasant for the average wallet.

    A mysterious black sphere appears suddenly in an innocuous room in Tokyo. Suddenly the lives of random people are inexorably changed, beginning at the moments of their deaths. Reincarnated in that room they learn that the sphere, known as Gantz, now controls their lives. They are assigned missions by the sphere, to hunt down and eliminate an alien menace unseen to the rest of society. They also learn that they too are unseen as they do Gantz`s bidding. Equipped with strength enhancing suits and fantastic weaponry, they compete to amass points. But what is Gantz, where did it come from, are they dead, dreaming or playing some bizarre game?

    We`re getting close to the end, and once again another cliffhanger awaits resolution as we begin this volume. We`ve already lost familiar faces in the battle in the Buddhist Temple, and as Kurono lies mortally wounded, it`s up to his surviving friends to rescue him. Volume 6 of Gantz: Judge, Jury and Executioner contains three more episodes in the series.

    21. Big Brother?
    Kurono lies, horrifically injured, and time is running out, as are surviving players of the current game. It`s down to Kato to defeat the Buddha alien before Kurono dies. But the final statue harbours a sinister secret.

    22. Don`t Ever Say That Again!
    Kurono has to come to terms with barely surviving the last game, as well as losing so many of his fellow players. He doesn`t have long to do this though, as Gantz is already gathering players for the next game. Kurono appears in the Gantz room, surprised to see the owner of his local bookstore, but shocked to see his high school teacher, as well as the two thugs who were preying on the homeless in the previous battleground. But worse is yet to come. The next target in the Gantz hunt is the `Kurono Alien`.

    23. Kurono Alien!
    The one person who knows most about Gantz has been designated the next alien to be hunted, and Gantz throws in some mind games for good measure. Soon no one, not even his teacher trusts Kurono, and then the game begins.


    This volume of Gantz is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic ratio on a single layer disc. The image transfer is up to MVM`s usual impressive standards, clear and sharp throughout, with only the usual colour banding associated with anime, as well as the occasional signs of the NTSC to PAL transfer. It`s all pretty unnoticeable.

    By now the blending of 2D and 3D is pretty seamless, or at least I`m used to the look of the show. The character designs are as detailed as you would expect from a Gonzo animation. Once again, conversation scenes are more static, but the action sequences are very impressive.


    You are presented with a choice of DD 5.1 English or DD 2.0 Stereo Japanese. I chose to listen to the original language track as always, and I found it to be quite acceptable. The dialogue is clear and there is audible separation on the stereo, with subtle ambience and spot effects. I spot-checked the English track, and found it to be of similar quality, with the surround effects given greater reign. The English dub is acceptable, but in an attempt to push the age rating even higher, there is a level of profanity absent from the original language track.

    This is another series that relies on a good soundtrack, and I found the rap theme tune grew on me with repeated exposure. The show`s soundtrack continues at a similar frantic pace, but the reflective piece that plays over the end credits is the highlight of the soundtrack. You get translated English subtitles, as well as a signs only track.


    The bare minimum for an MVM disc include the animated menus, trailers for Tsukihime: Lunar Legend and Le Portrait de Petite Cossette, two textless openings, and one textless closing.

    More substantial is the Cast and Crew Interview, which lasts 20 minutes, and begins with a spoiler warning for the end of the series. It may be worth waiting until you have seen volume 7 before watching this, although I didn`t notice too many spoilers. In it, Hitomi Nabatame (Kishimoto), Masashi Osato (Kato) and sound director Hiroyuki Hayase talk about the characters, the aliens, working with the director, the recording sessions, and more.


    Well, it took six volumes and just over 21 episodes, but Gantz finally got interesting. That isn`t to say that the show has been dull so far, but there is only so much a person can take of the flashy eye-candy action combined with the endless angst of a pretty un-likeable cast. So far, Gantz has just about managed to develop the characters, Kurono most of all. It quickly settled into a routine of alien hunting games broken up by brief character moments as the survivors tried to fit back into their normal lives. And as each successive game got harder, and the toll on the players mounted, we`ve seen Kurono shift from a whining observer to a much more outspoken and active participant in what is happening to him.

    In this volume, it`s all turned upside down as Gantz informs the new batch of players that Kurono is the next alien to be hunted. It`s an inspired twist that immediately grabs the attention and demands that you keep watching. What`s surprising is that the newest batch of players is so quick off the mark. Previously, all we got were a bunch of idiots who stood around debating endlessly whether they were doing the right thing or not. It would affect the flow of the series considerably as, action sequences would pause halfway through while the characters would stand around having a moral debate. Yet this new batch takes to hunting Kurono with ease, with only one solitary figure resisting the idea. I wonder how the earlier episodes would have shaped up if they had been chosen back then. This volume also stands out for some quieter character moments that quite effectively round off an emotional arc. They are worth watching out for, although to go into detail would invite spoilers.

    Finally, Gantz becomes compulsive viewing, although having to get through five volumes of build up first means that it`s too little, too late. Given the structure of the series though, I doubt they could have pulled this plot twist off any earlier. If you have been sticking with the series though, this volume will more than justify your interest. And yes, once again this volume concludes on a cliffhanger.

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