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Gantz Vol 7 - Fatal Attractions

ADV Films // Unrated // August 9, 2005
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by John Sinnott | posted August 29, 2005 | E-mail the Author
The Show:

The seventh volume of Gantz kicks off the second half of the show.  To commemorate this event, ADV has increased the episode count to four shows, which it how the discs should be from here on out.  This was a good move on ADV's part, and I'm glad they abandoned the two-shows-per-disc concept.  As for the show itself, it really kicks into high gear as the third game starts.  This time there are more enemies and they are much more dangerous.

Series recap:

For those of you who haven't seen the previous volumes, Kei Kurono is a high school student who gets into some serious trouble on his way home from school one day.  He and an old friend , Kato, get killed.  Or do they?  They get hit by a train and their bodies are scattered over the station, but moments later they both wake up in an apartment with several other people and a large black sphere:  the 'Gantz".  The other people have recently 'died' too, and no one knows why they are there.  The sphere, communicating through poorly spelled messages that appear on its surface instructs 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 a deadly game and most of the people who play it don't make it out alive.  While playing the game they discover that the suits they wear give them super-strength and offer them some protection from harm, but not enough.  Just who or what the Gantz is, why they have to play this game, or what the points that they are given at the end of every game mean are still a mystery.

Along with Kurono and Kato, a young, attractive and very insecure girl named Kishimoto lives through the first game.  She turns up on Kurono's door soon after the first hunt and asks to move in with him.  He naturally says yes, but is dismayed to learn that she's not interested in my physically.  She just needs a place to stay.

Volume Seven:

There are some interesting developments in this volume of the show.  Kurono is under a lot of pressure, and not all because of the game.  His living arrangement with Kishimoto is driving him crazy.  He's paying for her food and rent, and all she seems to do is talk about how cool Kato is.  Kurono is sexually frustrated in the extreme, and things finally come to a head.  One night he yells at her and she leaves after confessing that she like both he and Kato.

It's soon after this that the third game gets underway.  In the room, aside from the survivors from the last game, are a Buddist televangelist, an overweight gun nut, and an attractive lady named Sei.  When Kishimoto is transported to the room, she falls into Kato's arms and tells him that she's "been with Kurono."  This has two meanings of course, and the fact that Kato now thinks that they've had sex, when they haven't, makes something snap inside Kurono.  He goes into the hall, and is soon joined by Sei.  They talk for a minute and she finally says that she'd like to help him with whatever problem he seems to have.  He honestly tells her that he needs to get laid, and she obliges.

Meanwhile the Gantz opens up and reveals their target.  This time it's not a single alien, but two.  Not only that, but they have an extra thirty minutes on the timer, something that Kato thinks means that this assignment is going to be even more difficult.  He's right.  It turns out that the aliens they are fighting are giant metal statues outside a temple.  These come to life and attack the group.  Though they are large and very heavy, the aliens are exceedingly nimble and can dodge the "X-gun" bolts with ease.  This is going to be another tough fight.

The pace of the show has picked up again with this disc.  It seems like a lot happens in a short amount of time, which I really like.

I'm very pleased with the way the characterization is working out in this show.  People are growing and changing, but not in the ways that I imagined.  Kato is reacting to the death and violence that he sees by becoming more of a pacifist.  He is determined that everyone will come back alive, and does his best to save everyone.  Kurono has the opposite reaction.  He doesn't seem to care about the other people, and just wants to kill the aliens as fast as he can.  He's becoming more aggressive and violent as the series goes on.

The great thing about this show it that you can see why each of these characters reacts that way.  Given their family background and history the way the react to the games seems natural, even if they are opposite reactions.

The violence is ramped up a tad in this show, but they've also added sex in the second half.  Not fan service peeking at girl's underwear sex but actual intercourse.  Given the level of violence that the series has, this seems like a natural move, and it works very well in the context of the series.  The sex isn't gratuitous, but fits in very well.

The DVD:

With this volume, Gantz moves to a four episode per volume format, discarding the two per volume format.  This is a great move on ADV's part.  The series seems to be faster paced now, and it's easier to get into the story when you are given four episode chunks.  Good going guys!


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.


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.


Not only does this disc come with more episodes, they've also added more extras.  In addition to the standard clean opening and closing animation, there is a series of videogame commercials and two interviews.  The first is a 16-minute talk with director Ichiro Itano and the CG director Yashuhiro Kato on the CGI work done on the series.  The second interview is with creator Hiroya Oka and actress Chiaki Kuriyama.  Be forewarned that both of these interviews contain spoilers for the series, and it might be best to wait until you've seen the whole thing to watch them.

Final Thoughts:

The more I watch Gantz, the more I'm pulled into the show.  In the beginning it seemed to be a Go Nagi type of splatter-fest, but as the show develops it becomes apparent that it's really examining how various people react under tremendous pressure.  I like the way the characters are developing and how the game is effecting them.  The fact that it is being released in four episode chinks now is a great plus too.  Highly recommended.

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Highly Recommended

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