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Gantz-Can You Survive Your Death?
Manga, Anime, or Live Action?
I was first introduced to Gantz the anime, and was blown away. This is indeed one of the bloodiest, goriest, and most unusual animes I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. While I haven't read the manga or seen the live action movies, yet, I understand that the manga is way better, for several reasons.
But if you are an anime fan and want something different, or just something that will make you squirm while watching, this is the anime for you. It does require your full attention, though, because you might get confused with the "rules" to this game.
Death at the Subway Station
Gantz starts with Kei Kurono and Masaru Kato, two high school students, getting killed at a subway station when trying to save a bum from an oncoming train. From the beginning you are inside Kurono's head and hearing his thoughts, and, he is pretty selfish. He doesn't want to even touch the stinking bum, but not wanting to look like a snob in front of everyone else there, and at the persuasion of Kato, who is not even a friend, really, he agrees to jump down onto the tracks with him to try and save this guy. Well, they all end up getting killed. But don't worry, that's not a spoiler, it's only the beginning of the fun.
Throughout the entire anime, Kurono keeps coming back to that moment, the moment of his death, and the people that he interacts with there are people he later runs into after death. And, immediately after his death, he and Kato "wake up" in a Tokyo apartment with nothing but a huge black sphere sitting in the middle of the room. That sphere is Gantz. Also, there are a number of other people who have apparently just died, too, in the room.
Everyone but one kid, Nishi, seems to be confused, and rightly so. No one knows what happens after death and if it is anything like this, I would be confused, too. At any rate, this Nishi character, although knowledgeable of what's going on, keeps it a secret, so the rest of the group are left to figure things out on their own. After a few "missions" and a lot of "deaths" Kurono starts to get the hang of things, but what I think is one of the most dramatic and telling scenes of this anime is Nishi's death.
Nishi's Speech and Death
As you can see from the clip above--very powerful stuff. This anime, and this scene in particular, bring to life the selfishness which is a basic human quality, within us all. I disliked Nishi until this very scene, and I was sad that he died.
The good news is that while in the anime he is lost forever, in the manga he gets to come back! The manga, of course, is longer and offers a lot more details. As I said before, I haven't read it yet, but it is definitely on my to-do list.
The rest of the anime involves Kurono and Kato working together to kill aliens in order to survive, even though they are already dead. The insinuation is that after collecting 100 points by killing aliens, you get to go back to your previous life, but it's not even a guarantee because no one is there to testify to that, and Nishi, the one with the most points, dies.
There is also a love interest, or love triangle, in this anime. Kurono is in love, or in lust, with Kei Kishimoto, but after her accidental death and appearance in the Tokyo apartment, she falls for Kato. Well, as in all animes, this just makes for more fun. And Kishimoto's "death" is a suicide, but it is also and accident, so that adds another aspect to this drama.
A Must See For Anime Fans
Over all, this anime gets the thumbs up from me. I was sucked in after the very first episode, and if you generally like to read the manga as well as watch the anime, then this is definitely one for you. But, honestly, I can't say which you should do first, watch the anime or read the manga. I think that the manga is different enough from the anime that it doesn't matter. And as for the live action movies, which I also haven't watched, I would save them for last because they can sometimes disappoint. The point of this hub is to offer the you, the reader, information on this wonderful work. So get out there and pick up a copy!
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