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My Impression of Gantz

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I re-watched the Gantz live action movie recently. I remembered that I had watched it near the time of release years ago, but I had an itch to revisit the series so I want to watch the live action movies and re-read the manga over again. Gantz is a two part movie series, and this blog post is about the first movie released in January 29th, 2011. It was directed by Shinsuke Sato, and starred Kazunari Ninomiya, Ken'ichi Matsuyama, Yuriko Yoshitaka, Kanata Hongo, and Natsuna Watanabe. The Gantz series was created by Hiroya Oku.

The basic premise of Gantz centers around a black ball with a man inside of it that transports certain people when they die to an apartment room in Tokyo during the night. They are forced to complete missions by killing the alien that Gantz tells them to hunt with special suits and special weapons. Nobody really knows why this is happening, except that they get points for each alien that they kill to get up to 100 points where they can redeem them for freedom or revive their loved ones. The story centers around Kei Kurono (Kazunari Ninomiya) and Masaru Kato (Ken'ichi Matsuyama) who were killed recently in a train accident, and have to fight their way to 100 points while surviving with various other characters who have died as well. The first film covers to the end of the Buddha mission arc.

My thoughts about the film overall is that it was a decent film. It definitely captured the mysterious vibe from the manga. Plus at the time, it had some pretty great visual effects that still looks great today. This is especially good since in general, Japanese films often don't put much budget into visual effects and such usually it just looks so cheap and bad. It still kept much of the small details from Gantz such as the song before a mission starts (distorted and everything from the manga), and Gantz's humor when assigning peoples' nicknames and brief description about them. I enjoyed it as much as I did watching it the first time years ago. The acting is standard, not bad but not super good. But it is a live action adaptation from the manga, and I do remember how the characters reacted in the manga which kind of mirrors in the movie.

The music was mainly for background. I didn't really notice any standout musical pieces. The theme near the end was fitting and makes you excited for the sequel. One thing I like about Japanese cinema is that when they shoot sequels back to back, they almost always release the sequels months apart from each other. Meanwhile, Hollywood makes us wait an entire year for the next iteration in the series.

There were interesting cinematography shots, and interesting camera angles. It is really cool to see the visual effects when they teleport, but I am assuming they don't show it all the time but to show different angles is to save time and money for those shots. But it is interesting to see the different angles.

Overall, I enjoyed Gantz Part 1. It takes some time to get to the action, but it does a good job to introduce the characters and their reactions before all hell breaks loose. I would recommend a watch for the visual effects and action. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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