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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Gantz Volume 3 - Aftershocks
Gantz Volume 3 - Aftershocks
ADV Films // Unrated // April 5, 2005
List Price: $17.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted April 3, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
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P R I N T
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The Show:

With the third volume of Gantz the series improves dramatically.  They have toned down the blood and guts (though not removed it entirely) and are concentrating on characterization a lot more.  The background of some of the main characters is revealed and they start acting like real people.  The intriguing mystery doesn't get any closer to being solved, but with solid shows like these, I'm content to wait.

Kei Kurono is a high school student who gets into some serious trouble on his way home from school one day.  As he's waiting for a train, he sees a homeless drunk fall onto the tracks.  Kato, a childhood friend of Kei's, Kato, whom he hasn't seen in years jumps down to help and Kei goes to his aide.  They manage to get the derelict off the tracks, but as they do an express train arrived and kills them both.

Or does it?  They both wake up in an apartment with several other people and a large black sphere.  The other people have recently 'died' too, and no one knows why they are there.  Unable to escape, they wait until writing on the sphere, called Gantz, tells them to kill an alien hiding in the city.  It opens up to reveal weapons and uniforms, and then the recently dead disappear one by one to confront their adversary.  It's all arranged like a game, but no one knows the rules.

This volume starts after the first 'game' has finished, and Kurono has to get on with his real life.  That's not as easy as it seems.  He goes back to school but still thinks about what happened.  When some bullies start to pick on him though, he has a confidence and strength that he didn't have before he 'died.'

Kurono gets a surprise in the next episode.  When he arrives home, he finds Kishimoto, the buxom young woman who also participated in Kurono's first game, waiting at his door.  She has no place to go, and asks if she could be his 'pet' and live with him.  Has Kurono's wildest fantasies come true?

This volume of Gantz raised my opinion of the show.  There wasn't the emphasis on blood and violence that the previous volume had.  There was still some violence, but it was worked into the story in a better fashion, and didn't dominate the show.

Kurono starts to change in these shows too.  While he's still a bit of a jerk, he's acting more likeable, and the changes seem natural.  When he told the bully that he wouldn't pay him any protection money, he was scared and couldn't believe that he said it, something that seemed realistic.  I also liked his reaction to Kishimoto's wanting to stay with him, and the awkward way that he propositioned her.

A lot of background information was filled in with these two episodes.  What happened to Kishimoto, and how she came to be in the room with Gantz is revealed, and Kato's home life is examined too.  I liked this fleshing out of the show.  It is much more interesting now that we know something about who is fighting, and possibly dying, in the hunts that the Gantz sets up.  If the rest of the shows are more like these, this will turn out to be a good series.

The DVD:


Gantz in being released with only two episodes per volume, and a retail price of $17.99 per volume.   While I applaud ADV trying something different with this release, putting the 26 episode series out on 13 discs is a really bad idea for many reasons.  First, it will cost over $50 more than it would have if it was released over 6 volumes at $29.99 a pop.  Then there is the shear volume of space that the series will take up when completed which another down side.  Lastly, it will take over a year to get the whole series with only two episodes being released each month.

This slow pace could be something that Gonzo wanted, the way they insisted on the four episodes of Blue Submarine #6 to be released on four DVDs.  Whether an experiment by ADV or a stipulation of licencing the series, the way that this is being released is a big negative to me.  Happily, ADV has been making noises that they will increase the number of episodes per disc in the future.  For more information, check out the latest instalment of AnimeTalk here.

Audio:

Gantz comes with an English dub in 5.1 and the original Japanese soundtrack in stereo.  The original track sounded very good, but the English dub was a little easier to watch.  There are several scenes where people's thoughts are audible, and it was a little easier to understand who's thoughts you are hearing in the English dub.

I preferred the Japanese soundtrack overall.  Though the English dub was in 5.1, it wasn't as dynamic as I was expecting.  The explosions didn't have a lot of impact, and didn't sound much different from the stereo mix.  There were several scenes where the English voices were mixed too low and a little hard to hear.  Besides that, they did make good use of the surround channels, throwing some of the effects and occasionally the voices to the rears.  The Japanese track also did a good job with the front soundstage, using it to full advantage.

There were not any audio defects worth noting.

Video:

Generally the anamorphic widescreen image was very clean, though there was some aliasing.  This was minor though, mainly occurring in the backgrounds.  The colors were a little on the muted side, but that was probably the creator's intention.  A very nice transfer.

Extras:

This disc also includes clean opening and closing animation, a series of previews.  In addition to these fairly standard extras, there was also Cast Talk Part 1, an 18 minute panel interview with Daisuke Namikawa (Kei Kurono) Hitomi Nabatame (Kei Kishimoto) and Mashashi Osato (Masaru Kato.)  This was just okay, not great.  The three of them seem to get along really well, and they spent a good amount of time goofing around.  The questions the moderator asked were fairly standard, "What was it like making the show" and things like that.  It's definitely worth watching, and I'm glad ADV included it, but the interview came across as a little bit superficial in parts.

Final Thoughts:

I'm still not enamored of the two-episodes-per-disc method of releasing this title that ADV has taken, but it looks like that may change.  (Keep you fingers crossed.)  This pair of episodes has raised my opinion of the show quite a bit.  Blood and gore doesn't dominate the show at the expense of characterization and plot like it did in the previous volume.  Hopefully the rest of the series will be more like these shows.  As it is, this volume is recommended.

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