Gantz first started of as a Manga written and illustrated by Hiroya Oku, it was adapted as an Anime back in 2004 and now have also become a 3D CGI Movie that’s specifically covering the “Osaka Arc” from the manga. (The Anime didn’t cover this arc as it wasn’t enough manga material at the time for the show to get there.) I have both read the Manga and watched the Anime and now watched the movie on Netflix.
I have to say its one of the better Manga adaptations out there. It does change some things about Gantz, such as if the timer runs out they die instead of losing their points, and there are less characters than in the manga.
The movie makes use of CGI for the animation, and the result is quite excellent.
The visuals are jaw dropping. They feel like mix of photorealism and next-gen game CG cutscenes. I am grateful they opted to use CGI instead of live actors for the human characters, as it better suits the crazy monster designs without it making them seem out of place. The choice to make a CGI film with this quality of animation was perfect.
Something also really great is the lighting in this film. Not only does it have excellent effects for all of its lighting but there are also very “film”-esque lighting. For instance, there is eye lighting. In film, this is the act of putting a light on the eyes despite it not likely making sense in the real world. This is something I love. A scene can be crowded and busy but not only are we greeted with someone’s face and their reaction, we’re drawn to it with more focus solely because there’s a light source reflecting against their eyes and skin. It’s so classic noir but it feels great to see this employed in an animated feature, no less.
But alas there are some downsides I found to the movie, which was :
it feels too small. A lot of the characters was cut out of this movie, so while it has the basic story, it doesn’t feel that big. The story arc the movie covers was supposed to be a full on war, and while there are tons of aliens, there aren’t as many Gantz players running around.
Another problem I have is with the characters. This movie changes a few things from the manga, most of which is good or brings something new, however the characters may be the worst change.
With Kei Kurono dead the last members of the Gantz team don’t want to fight anymore, instead they rather run and hide. This doesn’t make sense as both Suzuki and Reika would want to fight to bring back Kei. Its not that big of a problem but it I could see it would bother fans of the series.
The last problem was that it’s a little too much like a movie. This has some nice gore, and the CGI makes it feel very realistic. But the problem is there are too many last minute saves in this. There are a lot of people that would have died if not for being saved in the last second, something that Gantz rarely ever does, maybe 1 time every 3 arcs. It feels much more like a movie and less like a Gantz adaptation.
In conclusion, Gantz:0 is an awesome movie that caters to both fans of the manga and new comers. It has some changes from the manga, but most of them are good changes. While it does have some problems that should mainly bother fans of the manga, they seem very minor when the rest of the movie blows you away.
Now only to hope we get the rest of the Manga adapted somehow…