Gantz is probably one of the strangest cartoons I've ever watched, but it's also very enthralling at the same time.
The story involves a young highschool student who finds himself on the receiving end of a subway train while trying to save a man who had fallen onto the tracks... in short, he "dies". This young man is then "magically" transported to an empty apartment where he encounters other people and a strange object called "Gantz"; a large black orb that initiates a contract of sorts. This contract is simple: These people who have been transported to this room are being given a second chance by Gantz that will allow them to return to their normal lives as if nothing has happened. The mysterious object called, Gantz will give them a mission (almost like a game) that they must fulfill in order to gain points. Once they gain enough points, they can reclaim their lives, as it were. However, if they die in the "game" they die permanently.
This series is quite violent in it's entirety and there is a lot of explicit sexual content so this series isn't for younger viewers. Again, viewer discretion is advised.
Overall, it might be best to watch a couple of episodes before you decide to buy it. This cartoon is a little odd, but that's one of the things that make it interesting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Action packed, disturbing, and compulsive seriesMarch 9 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
Gantz is a lot of fun, despite being shockingly rude and gruesome in places. One day on his way back home from school, Kei, our anti-hero sees a tramp fall onto the rail tracks in the Underground station. Despite not wanting to get involved he is pressured into helping a former friend of his to rescue the tramp. Unfortunately it does not go well as he and his friend are torn to shreds by a train. However, instead of dying, they find themselves transported to a strange sealed room filled with people and a black round ball named Gantz. It turns out that each person in the room was in the process of dying when they were all transported to this room, including a suicidal girl, gangster, and school teacher. They have been given a second chance to live provided that they follow the orders given by Gantz.
Although it is the thoughts of the main character Kei who we hear it is difficult to call him a "hero" as he is so self-absorbed. His thoughts are filled with apathy at the world around him and the people in it. He does not want to get involved with anything or anybody and only helps others when he is forced to by others, by his own guilt, or if he thinks he has something to gain from the situation. His main motivations always seem to be lust-filled and he is constantly mentally undressing his female companions. However, by equal turns he is a very likable character and has refreshingly honest feelings. He friend on the other hand is our moral compass - he goes out of his way to help others and empathizes with the people around him.
These two contradicting old friends find themselves forced together again when the strange Gantz machine supplies them with weapons and orders them to kill an alien. And just when you thought the series could not get any stranger, we are greeted with a green onion loving (and looking) alien. What follows is a tension ridden series, full of action, bloody scenes with limbs torn apart, and some graphic nude sequences. It is by turns unpredictable, mysterious, emotionally disturbing, and exciting. The series forces you to ask yourself what you would do in their situation and recalls the feeling of Neon Genesis Evangelion in that we are faced with teenagers who are forced into battles and have to risk their lives unwillingly.
The graphics are excellent and are supplied by Gonzo. The music and dubbing are also very good, with a cast that includes Chris Patton (from Full Metal Panic) and Spike Spencer (from NGE fame). If you enjoyed Paranoia Agent, Neon Genesis, or just want to see a compulsive character-driven action series that does not include robots, you will enjoy this. Due to the content it is recommended for those over 18 years. This complete box set contains the first 13 episodes in a thin-pack set.
This may sound silly but this is an anime series that makes you feel "alive" and I guarantee that by the end of the series you will not be able to stop yourself singing to the main opening credits song. Totally addictive.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Gantz and Life After DeathNov. 2 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
Gantz is a tense, emotion wringing story with a lot of blood and a side portion of sex. Unless you are very tolerant of hardship, blood and sex this isn't for young children. Parents won't want their children to watch these episodes until they are 18, teenagers will love watching the show when they are 15 and perhaps even a bit younger and will miraculously be totally unharmed except being exposed to a couple of interesting ideas.
Ideas (certainly not comprehensive):
1) What happens after you die could be Heaven or Hell, could be nothing, or it could be something else entirely that no one has considered before
2) Young men tend to be more horny than have sense. (Amazing how for some reason this just isn't projected most times there are teenagers around)
3) Materialist idea of 'you' or 'I'. It appears that almost all of the characters in the show are 'captured' at the time of their death and recorded and transported to Gantz. This either implies that the soul is recordable and recreatable or that the soul is unnecessary in the recreation of a person.
4) The weaponry appears to be fairly original.
Kei Kurono is certainly the most interesting character in the series. He can be annoying and is certainly obsessed with sex, but I think that merely makes him a relatively accurrate depiction of a teenage male.
One of the key points in this very violent series is that violence is real and although the activities in the Gantz games are certainly violent, you can't get away from violence even in a place that should be safe like home. This is demonstrated by Kato's little brother being beaten by their Aunt that is taking care of them because their parents are dead.
The effects of violence at home, rather than violence in the Gantz activities are what appear to motivate Kato to incredible rages. Kato, who is the most reasoning character in the series. Kato, who is unable to kill in order to survive or even protect his friends - is driven by the violence at home and school to beat people insensible.
The series is neat. Not all questions are answered in the first series. Nor, I suspect are they answered completely in the second season. Some questions perhaps we do not have the answers. Some answers are held in the Manga and possibly Japanese Anime versions of the show.
I hope they continue to produce Gantz Anime, and perhaps some of those answers will be revealed. Perhaps it will be like the original Guyver series. One of the best Anime I've watched and I was horrified that the end, was in fact the end. Clearly a show (just as Gantz) that there is plently of material to continue the story.
While I'd love to continue reading the story in the Manga, it appears to currently not be available in English.
I will hope that people will be able to watch this show and not be put off by the sex and violence contained within it - just as they are contained in real life. It certainly provided me with a nice diversion.
Oh, and yes, I hate the fact that there are only 2 episodes per disk. Who makes that kind of decision? I have anime with 5 episodes per disk, 2 episodes per disk but most commonly 4 episodes per disk.
Don't waste resources people! 13 episodes could have easily fit on 3 disks compared to 6! The extra disks, cost to the manufacturer, extra materials for disk holders and the large box - man - it just makes sense to shave some cents off the cost of the series and sell it for the same amount and make more money than waste all those disks with 2 episodes each.
Blech. Good thing I really like the series.
Atheists, agnostics and secular humanists will probably enjoy this series as well as people who are fairly moderate in temperance.
Folks that take their religion too seriously, don't like anime, don't like sex or feel that there is too much violence on TV - need not apply.
Funny how this is a Japanese animation, with so much blood, guts and sex and they have lower incidences of violence in their country than in the USA. Must not be the violence and sex on TV that causes the problems, folks! If blood, guts and sex on TV causes it in reality then Japan must be overrun with roving gangs, rapes and thousands of murders, but we know this is not true.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Bloody EmotionJune 4 2006
Antonio D. Paolucci
- Published on Amazon.com
GANTZ is a strange mix of an anime. It's probably the bloodiest, most disturbing anime out outside of some unmentionable hentai titles. It presents itself as something that will gross you out if it needs to and never goes away from its unflinching look at violence in today's world. Yet on the opposing end, it has a touching story of learning how to band together as a group, and of how one boy must find himself again if he wants to save those dear to him.
In this season, it follows a young, irresponsible, pervert of a kid named Kei as he faces death and then GANTZ, the robotic ball that takes charge of the lives of anyone who just so happens to die in its watch. Kei, along with his childhood friend Kato and a somewhat confused young girl named Kishimoto, now finds himself the agent of GANTZ, who charges them, along with any other victim that finds his or her way into the room where GANTZ resides, to hunt down and kill aliens in the city. What follows is a short series of shockingly violent deaths and intense battles for survival. None of the survivors come away normal because of this; yet normal is what they must become, as when GANTZ is through with them the survivors are sent back to live their lives again in wait of the next call from the black ball. Kei must face all the same things, such as school life and basic, everyday tasks, while also finding himself obscenely attached to his fellow GANTZ gamer, Kishimoto. Kato finds himself struggling with the violence of GANTZ. And Kishimoto finds herself alone in a world that has forgotten her. The stark contrast between the violent games of GANTZ and the emotional new lives the characters must live is what makes this series as brilliant as it is.
This box set contains volumes one through six of the series, and includes thirteen episodes. Below is a rundown of the volumes:
Vol. 1 Game of Death
Vol. 2 Kill or Be Killed
Vol. 3 Aftershocks
Vol. 4 Terminal Dispatch
Vol. 5 Process of Elimination
Vol. 6 Sudden Death
The reason for the number of discs is because GANTZ's original release was at a two episode per disc ratio. It left a lot of people angry at the time, but if you were interested in GANTZ yet didn't buy it because of the episode count, then now is the perfect time to get this disturbingly brilliant anime series. If you're a fan of darker anime such as, say, Ninja Scroll, which is the only normal anime I can think of that comes close to the shock-fest that is GANTZ, then GANTZ is definitely for you.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Awesome box set...April 24 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
This is an awesome box set to have if you like box sets. Especially I like this one considering I found it used-like new for very little. Great product.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Addictive, cool anime!!!!June 30 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
This anime definitely is one of the best out there for your money. I've seen many animes over my time (Fist of the North Star, Blue Gender etc) but Gantz is really unique, A cross between "Brainstorm", "Aliens" and "Matrix: has stunning visuals, good character development, lots of action , violence and sex to satisfy anime fans.
The plot is pretty simple but explaining the rest of the series isn't. Kurono and Kato try to save a homeless man on the subway. They are apparently killed and decapitated or are they? They are transpored to a strange world that looks like their own with the exception that they have strange new powers and must kill aliens around them if they don't kill each other first. They meet "Gantz" a computer like being who makes them play this game of kill or be killed. We are introduced to other characters in this world like Nishi whose basically a villain watching his own back likes seeing people die.
Gantz is a great anime and you will definitely want to rewatch the episodes to pick up new things and enjoy it's development. Keichan is a pretty decent reluctant hero, Kishimoto is sweet and kind. Kato while initially a coward becomes brave. The DVD doesn't have any great special features but if you haven't seen the anime you have to pick it up.