Monday, October 24, 2005


Today at work I took a break from my dedicated activity to check out the upcoming DVD releases for November. I always do that at the end of the month. It usually takes me a million years to get around to things, but I'm pretty good at this DVD pre-order biz.
Anyway, scrolling down the list I saw something called Gantz, a Japanese anime and it was rated R. There aren't many animes with an R rating. In fact I don't think I've seen one since Legend of the Overfiend, and since I can't help these occasional surges of *prurient interest*, as they call it, I felt a strong urge to check this Gantz out. I called my video store and the girl told me they had the first four parts (It is a 26-episode series with four episodes on each disc.) I got the bus home jumped off early near the video store went in and rented the first volume.
I just finished watching the first four episodes. This shit is wild.
It starts off with a shoolboy Kei and he is daydreaming in class. He pictures the female teacher and students all naked and gets a boner. Other kids in class notice this and torment him about it. He gets embarassed. Then after school he goes to the train station to get a train home. All the while we hear his thoughts and he is thinking things like man she is hot I wouldn't mind giving it to her, and goddam that stinking bum why don't ya go and have a bath and get a job.
At the train station that bum he saw wanders up smelling bad then stumbles and falls down onto the tracks. Nobody on the platform goes to help, instead we hear their thoughts, making excuses why they can't help, and even some looking forward to seeing the train run over the poor guy.
Kei has noticed another guy, he used to go to school with this guy, his name is Masaro. Well, Masaro jumps down onto the tracks to help the bum. Oh my God, somebody actually does something to help this guy. It's unheard of. But there is Masaro down on the tracks yet he can't lift the guy by himself, and that's when he sees Kei. Naturally he asks Kei to come down and help him, but Kei is going aw man, why did he have to notice me, I don't wanna go down there, we might get hit by the damn train, and all that jazz. But he is shamed into going down eventually.
They manage to get the bum back on the platform before the train comes. The problem is they can't get back up there in time and they get hit by the train. Heads fly off and blood spurts. The end.
No, not the end. They reappear in a room with a big black sphere in the middle of it. It looks like a big wrecking ball. There are also some other people in the room. There's a goofy schoolteacher, two Yakuza guys, a loud guy with long blond hair and a strange sinister looking dude sitting in the corner, and a dog.
Where are they? Are they dead? They can't get out of the room. There's a force field or something preventing them from opening the door or getting out to the balcony.
Suddenly a girl (Kishimoto) begins to appear - a laser transports her into the room gradually so you see the inside of her body as she is being recreated. She arrives naked and groggy and one of the Yakuza guys, a big brute of a bastard, takes her off to rape her. We hear her screaming. Kei does nothing but Masaro rushes in to save her and there's a big showdown between him and the nasty Yakuza. Masaro succeeds in saving her but as she is sitting sobbing against the wall, the dog comes up and starts molesting her with its tongue. What a crazy show!
Anyway, back in the main room some text appears on the big black sphere saying, basically: I OWN YOU ALL NOW AND YOU WILL DO WHATEVER I SAY. What the hell?
The sphere splits open to reveal all kinds of hardcore-looking guns and a uniform for each person. They all get transported down to what seems like a regular suburban town with an order to kill a Green Onion Alien. Built into their suits is a radar so they find the Green Onion Alien pretty fast. This little green guy, all he wants to do is eat his green onions. Why do they have to kill this poor little guy? What kind of rotten cruel horror have these supposed dead folks been placed in?
But it's the Yakuza guys who shoot the little Green Onion Alien. Masaro is horrified and disgusted and sick, starts crying and wailing what have you done! But then an enormous guy comes along and he is obviously a relative of the little Green Onion guy. He rips the Yakuza guys to pieces, also the schoolteacher who tried to shoot him.
Well, in the end it's only the three of them who survive - Kei, Masaro and the girl, Kishimoto. That weird sinister dude who was sitting in the corner appears and it turns out that he has been there for a long time. In the room, that is. He has seen dozens of people come through and die on these missions. So he seems to know about this Gantz sphere, did I say the sphere is called Gantz? Well that's what Gantz is. That's where the name comes from. And there's a guy in the sphere, a sick green guy with his eyes closed and he is plugged into the sphere. It's all wild and crazy man. It's violent and gory and there's nudity. I guess this was made for teenage Japanese boys. So why do I like it? Have I not grown up yet? Have I not progressed to the next level or something? Oh well. But there's more than just sex and violence going on here, you know. And this is only 4 episodes out of 26, after all.
The theme songs are excellent as well. The opening theme is a fast drum'n'bass/breaks type of tune Japanese style ('Super Shooter' by Rip Slyme) and the closing theme is a Japanese power ballad ('Last Kiss' by Bonnie Pink).
Gantz has really sunk a big hook in me and I will be zooming off to the video store for the next four-episode disc very soon.

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