While I was binging Netflix shows last week in between studies, I happened upon a bunch of CG anime movies on by Netflix. I’ve had rough experiences watching CG anime, as a lot of them are stiff and uncanny-valley-like:
-took you out of the moment:
-or they’re just……….this:
But seeing as technology has significantly advanced in the past decade, I thought why not give this movie a chance, right?
Gantz:O is a CG movie based on the Osaka arc of the infamous Gantz series, known for its penchant for gore, sex, and crazy action. The basic plot for those of you unfamiliar is that when the characters die, instead of going to heaven or hell (or nothing, if you are of the atheistic disposition) they end up being ressurected as combatants in a game curated by a black metal talking ball simply called “Gantz.” The game’s goal is to get 100 points by killing aliens, who take on the form of Yokai, with varying degrees of toughness. Getting 100 points gives you three choices:
- Ressurect a Dead Player
- Gain a really strong power
- Leave the Game and forget this all even happened.
So the plot is already pretty interesting, but how exactly does it look?
Well, the CG here is actually pretty amazing. I mean the girls still KINDA look like sex robots, but I think it’s just the typical reaction seeeing CG girls in skintight suits. At least they move like humans do now and not just stiff robots with flesh.
The standout of this movie is not in the human characters however, but from the designs of the monsters (NSFW).
They are all based on Yokai, and REALLY freaky ones at that. My personal favorite design is the female form, just because of how gross and disgusting it looks despite being based off the form of a curvaceous and attractive female, as well as the way it moves so fast despite its size and uh…….floppiness.
While the creatures look great, seeing them get cut to bits, crushed, shot and generally maimed, is a spectacle in of itself. I don’t really wanna spoil the action scenes in this movie because they are so over-the-top and way more fun to experience for yourself.
Osaka as well looks incredible at night, and maybe it’s because I played Yakuza 0 a lot, but seeing Dotenbori (the city of neon lights) in such HD quality is really something:
The characters are also all very serviceable, and the movie, to its credit, does go out of its way to make you care about them and cheer them on. The protagonist, Masaru Kato, is your typical everyman protagonist who soon enough fits the mold of hero as the story escalates. From here on out, there will be SPOILERS for Gantz:O, so if you haven’t watched it, please go ahead and watch it first, then read my review. It’s a really fun movie to watch when you just need to get some adrenaline flowing, and I highly recommend it. The plot may be confusing for a short bit, but the Osaka arc is the most standalone of Gantz arcs, and the movie does a good job of catching you up with the manga’s events, albeit a bit expository.
Watch Gantz:O here on Netflix.
With that said:
Masaru Kato is a great subversion of the everyman hero archtype. Unlike in other series, where he would be the “chosen one” or some such, and suddenly gain an inexplicable power boost to defeat the insurmountable big bad (who has like seven or so forms, btw)-
-Kato gets his ass kicked. A lot. So much so that about three people butted in to save him from being such a hero, and two of which died trying. Those two being their best fighter and Kato’s love interest.
That’s really ballsy of a movie to do that to the main character, as Kato is clearly not the most able of the characters in the movie. In fact, the whole movie does a very good job of making you scared for the lives of each character, as nobody is truly safe. Hell, we even hear from Reika that the last “protagonist”(Kei Kurasano from the manga) actually died right before Kato showed up because of his own hero complex.
The three most competent characters are actually DEAD by the end of the movie. The final boss really does feel like a final boss, as it takes the combined efforts of every character in the movie to take it down. The conclusion as well, is one of the strongest endings I’ve ever seen to an action movie. The stakes are high, and so is the adrenaline, and it culminates in probably one of the sickest kills in the entire movie.
So yeah, the strongest points of this movie was definitely the visuals, creature design, action and spectacle. However, the plot is where it kinda gets muddy.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly serviceable for an action flick, the third act with the bossfight is amazing, and the twist at the end certainly does throw you for a loop in a way that isn’t convoluted, but the plot is pretty barebones, otherwise. A lot of the dialogue in the first half is explaining the world, and what happened to post-mortem characters not appearing in the movie really dragged on for about ten minutes too long, and everybody besides Kato is pretty two-dimensional. Of course, this is because of the fact that the other characters were already established in the manga, but the movie probably could have done a better job of explaining this other than just talking about it for 20 minutes.
Another gripe is the kinda forced romance between Kato and Anzu.
It’s not that bad by any means, but it does progress way too fast and seems to serve no other purpose than to make Kato suffer more when she dies later in the movie, as we see no reason for Kato to like her back.
Overall though, Gantz:O was a hell of a good time, Gantz fan or not, and I certainly recommend you to watch it if you want a fun popcorn movie to watch with friends or family.