Imagine waking up in a room, your only memory is of you dying. Around you are other people wearing weird black onesies and a large black sphere. Welcome to Gantz, your savior who brought you back from death in order to fight monsters and demons he identifies for you. As a fan of the manga, I was genuinely excited when I heard they were animating the Osaka arc, the best arc of the manga.
Mild spoilers for both the movie and the manga ahead.
The movie opens mid-mission with a Gantz team taking down the target monster but not at the cost of their leader. Worn and demoralized, the Gantz team is returned. Cut to Masaru Kato, bringing home a gift for his little brother’s birthday when all of a sudden a psycho murderer with a knife stabs him on the train platform. He awakens in the Gantz room with whats left of the team seen in the opening. Here he learns of what Gantz is from the old team consisting of Suzuki-san, Reika, and Nishi.
Manga fans would notice the first major difference here. Why was Kato killed here? Where’s the rest of the Tokyo team? They were unfortunately left out, which is a pro for keeping the story of the movie concise and cutting any filter and Kato’s entrance as a new team member also helped for exposition about Gantz for anyone not familiar with the franchise. The changes from the manga honestly were not bad for a standalone movie. It gave the viewers less to focus on for an overall easier to follow story. However, just covering the Osaka arc feels way out of context and a viewer may be confused about everything going on without knowing all the arcs leading up to Osaka.
Visually, it isn’t that bad for a CG movie. I typically stay away from CG anime but this was not as jarring as some other CG shows I’ve tried to watch. The uncanny valley definitely is a thing but the fluidity of the action was excellent enough to not even care. The monsters definitely looked a lot more appealing to look at than the people and the detail on them and the environment was basically perfection.
The one area this movie lacked heavily was the soundtrack. A lot of the sound effects had a very video game-y sound to it and any backing music just didn’t cut it for me. The soundtrack during the half hour final boss fight was a very typical “final showdown” action movie sound that did not draw up as much hype for how tense the final fight actually is.
Overall, the visuals, outside of the CG humans, carried this movie. While they did make changes from the source material, it did not detract too much from the adaptation. They tied it all together fairly well with the end scenes that worked well in the movie but would not have made sense in the manga. I’d give it a solid 7 out of 10. It’s not the best adaptation, but fans of the manga or even the anime should give it a watch, just don’t expect too much.