Gantz is a sexually-charged sci-fi head-trip' a gory experiment in flesh and blood where the only thing worse than dying is dying again.
If you are chosen by the bizarre black sphere known as the Gantz, you are already dead. You remember dying, yet you can eat, sleep, have sex; it feels a lot like life. Strangers join you in this limbo. While some are good, some are very bad. All are dead like you for now.
You might be able to reclaim your mortality. But first, the Gantz demands that you undertake missions of brutality and madness, killing aliens hidden among the population. It is your only chance and you have no choice. You must play this disturbing game. You must experience this nightmare. And if you die again and you likely will it's permanent. As Gantz
opens, alienated high-school student Kei Kurono and his childhood friend Masuru Kato are killed rescuing a wino who's fallen on the subway tracks. They wake up in a room dominated by Gantz, a mysterious black sphere that sends them and other newly dead people on missions to kill weird aliens hiding on Earth. Among the recently departed is buxom redhead Kei Kishimoto, and Kurono's visible reactions to her overendowed figure constitute one of the running gags in the series. But Kei falls for Kato, who can't bring himself to shoot even the most grotesque alien--although he has no qualms about beating a menacing upperclassman to a pulp. After each assignment, Gantz awards the surviving participants points: if anyone makes it through enough battles and takes out enough aliens to acquire 100 points, they're set free. The inane plot is little more than an excuse to show all the blood, gore, and nudity the filmmakers can pack into each 22-minute episode. Although Kurono goes berserk fighting aliens, he can't save his friends from being crushed, shot, eviscerated, and cut in half. The story shifts illogically, violating rules that were established a few episodes earlier, before stumbling to a conclusion that has nothing to do with most of the previous action. Gantz
feels like a throwback to the early '80s, despite director Ichiroh Itano's heavy-handed efforts to jazz things up with split-screen effects, reverse colors, badly integrated CG, and odd camera angles. Gantz
was heavily edited when it was broadcast in Japan in 2004, but these uncut episodes seem less like the focus of the battle over censorship Itano describes in his interview than a cheesy exercise in gratuitous violence. A live-action feature adaptation of Gantz
debuted in Japan in January 2010. (Rated TV MA; suitable for ages 17 and older: nudity, sexual and toilet humor, graphic violence, violence against women, violence against children, torture, explicit sexual situations, suicide, grotesque imagery, extensive profanity, tobacco and drug use, ethnic stereotypes) --Charles Solomon
(1. It's the Beginning of a Brand New Day, 2. They Aren't Human, 3. Kei, You're Awesome, 4. Okay Hear Are Your Skores (sic), 5. That Means at the Time, 6. All Right! 7. We're After You, 8. Uh-oh! 9. I'll Kill You Without a Moment's Hesitation, 10. Yuzo? 11. He Can't Shoot, 12. Kato, You Wait Here, 13. Please Die, 14. Goodbye, 15. I Wanna Be There Now! 16. I'm on It! 17. I Can Shoot Them, Can't I? 18. Welcome Back! 19. What the Hell Is That? 20. Just Shoot Me! 21. Big Brother, 22. Don't Ever Say That Again! 23. Kurono Alien! 24. No Labyrinth Is Inaccessible, 25. Let's All Go Back Alive, 26. Please Live)