Something in Okinawa reeks, and it isn't long before Kaori and her friends realize that the smell is coming from dead fish, which are walking out of the sea. The fish are fused to metal legs and are infected with a disease contractable by humans that was invented as a weapon by unknown sources. After what happens to Tadashi, Kaori finds herself in a new world very much like the old one but with the stench of death.
If you read the manga and like me, were looking forward to this adaptation - prepare for a dissapointment, that is, if you bother to watch this...
Basically, someone has taken this story and though...
"How can I make this fairly well known story that bit more popular? I know! I'll make it a lot less mature (i.e. easier to follow) and conform to idealism by throwing in some well known cliche's - newbie's and the more impressionable viewers will eat this all up!"
... and her we have this hour long OVA. I'll expand on the above...
Originally, a young couple are at sea, when they see something
highly curious; this 'horror' tourments them wherever they go - true harrassment via an unlikely offender. After acting in an arguablely unreasonable and paranoid manner - the girl soon becomes ill, her boyfriend, who is somewhat in the loop when it comes to science and has sceintific connections, works hard to find answers to this mystery whilst avioding constant peril and virtual isolation - it's a true horror story.
In this OVA, we have his girlfriend as the leading character - and isn't she an angel. She's on a hoilday with her friends - she is made aware of this horror, takes it in her stride, goes to 'rescue' her boyfriendwho's in trouble, whilst not knowing hat's going on and not really having a clue; erazing the formality that existed beforehand - along the way, she meets a pretty guy around her age who, like her, as a tragic backstory that has allowed him to be driven.
Basically, we have a role reversal that allows us to follow the 'hot girl' instead of the 'in the know guy' and the disease has been pushed on to lesser characters; the conveinent and 'more deserving'.
Now - I will forget all about he manga and treat this OVA as a stand alone story...
Still, not good!
We have a pretty female lead, on hoilday with her 'less likable' friends.
An obscure terror shows up and this girl must now leave her friends behind and 'leap into action' (she's no action girl, this is all suppose to be quite realistic) upon coming to the accurate conclusion that her boyfriend is in need of a hero. On her journey, she comes across a guy who is of much help and has somewhat of a similar backstory to hers (rocked by a certian loss).
This story leaves the more observant viewer asking a few questions, such as...
"The body count is massive, yet the main gets attacked often and is never phased - why is this?"
'If paracite monsters are killing and infecting people threwout a mulitude of area's, why are plains still opporating and sending people into the 'eye of the storm'?"
"The train the two mains are on has just crashed out of the blue, all on it look either dead or unconcious - why are the two 'mains' allowed to climb out, unscratched and unshaken before walking down an underground tunnel which I'm sure lacks oxygen, whilst maintaing energy to spare?"
Basically, the plot bends to the will of the famale lead - she's the main character and a decent person, so why shouldn't 'the unlikely' simply open it's door for her whenever she stops by?
This is the immaturity^, now, for the cliche's...
A typical case of possotive and negitive accossiation.
We have a pretty leading female who's 'sensible' persona arguabely borders on Mary Sue - she's the friendly mediator type; everyones friend who makes friends easily, yet she'll also do all in her power to protect those around her, she'll even speak for the unfortunate who don't have a voice. She always wants the best possible outcome, such as hoping officials will come out with a cure for the many infected, highly dangerous strangers roaming the streets, in favour of killing them. She doesn't get too scared or show a single hint of selfishness or hesitation when it would be perfectly natural to do so either. On a whole, she's ideal.
Her sidekick is a good looking, young (about her age) video photographer who has all the action recorded and is very interested - in a constructive way, in uncovering what is going on - he has a bit in common with the leading female and seems to have a crush on her.
We have the female leads two frineds - a promiscuous, overall stylish 'pretty' girl and a chubby, introvert girl with no particular styling in clothes, hair or facial features and no particular body shape - ofcourse they aren't going to be admirable or acheive anthing!
Fine, nothing spectacular, but nothing wrong scenery wise - the character design is lovely however; everyone looks different and fairly realistic.
It was fine as a stand alone series, not too complex; which is what you shoud really get from a plot like this, but the length was sensible and it did have what most would call an end?
I watched this and threwout I had the though lingering in the back of my head - it all reminded me of a tacky Hollywood movie where the pretty girl screems her way threw to the end (only, minus the screaming, this girl bough us little).
So on a whole - no, I didn't enjoy it personally.
For me personally, a bit of a watse of time.
The manga was just 20 chapters long and it moved at a steady to fast pace - everything; begining, middle and end could have been covered in this OVA, why they changed it o something else, I can only put down to marketing?
There was no need for this (again, forgetting the original) to incorporate such cliche's as; character sheild, 'petty behaviour justifies death', 'everyone loves a tragic female lead' and 'mix gneder team with clear romantic feelings apparant' - whilst spoonfeeding information in a way that only fits a story 'aimed at all' (such as; data that answers everything, present on the desktop screen of a computer, which happens to be swithched on, in an importiant person's home, that happened to be easy to access).
On a whole, the simplification and writing tools (cliche's being the critical and more accure term at this time) spoilt things. :(
“I wonder if that stench of death will ever vanish.”
It is clear that Gyo was highly anticipated for quite a while since it is the first animated feature from one of the bizarre Ito’s story. For that matter, we may as well say that it will be the only one since Gyo is perhaps the only story that has this cinematic feels to it (and yes, Uzumaki live action was shit). Anyway, Ufotable’s adaptation of the manga completely changes the feeling of the manga to something more action and drama oriented. While it is not a problem by itself, some of those who
read the manga might actually feel slightly deceived on how it actually turned out to be. However, for the sake of the review, I won’t pass too much time comparing the two since it would be downright useless; let’s just stick with the OVA, while making some very minor comparisons
For an OVA of merely 70min, the direction isn’t wasting much time for the Story. Precisely, the calm before the shit storm only last for a few minutes, the time we get to identify our main characters. It doesn’t take long to the story before it gets into something quite chaotic. The whole movie feels like a crescendo of what terrible event can happen next until it hits the fan. Then again I have to precise that Junji Ito’s version on paper is much more extravagant than this anime, where, compared to the manga, is more down to earth. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Junji Ito’s work if it didn’t have its typical signature: a romance story behind all that. And even if it was never the strong part of any of his work, Ufotable seems to have placed it as a priority in the anime. In a way, it makes the story much more of drama than an actual horror one. As for the bad thing, Gyo actually have quite a few useless scenes that certainly feels out of place, but there not so much of them. As a whole, the story is direct and doesn’t waste much time.
And for having so little introductions, it is hard to evaluate the characters. Since the plot is mostly driven by some apocalyptic events, the cast obviously won’t leave a spot in your memory, there are for the most completely forgettable. In the essence of a horror story, Gyo is composed of a main heroine, a main hero and some other characters that go to the name of: potential victims. As such, the only back story of the heroine that is given is actually related to the story, but doesn’t add much of it. As for the progression of the characters, the most interesting part is no doubt when the hero and heroine teams up together. However, this is like saying apples are tastier than shit.
The artwork is generally well done. Of course, Gyo suffers from some awkward 2d – 3d relation on the screen that may feel completely off, but didn’t seem to irritate me as much as others said. The character design is more clean and polished than the manga, and thus they look more beautiful than what we would’ve expected to be. Certainly, at some points in the anime, Junji Ito’s drawing style can be seen to make a focus on “when you should be terrified”. It is questionable whether it actually worked, but I thought the intention of having a mix bag of different art style actually felt nice.
As for the matter of sound, Gyo has a soundtrack of typical horror music that really set the mood correctly. On the bad side, I may have to say that Kaori’s performance wasn’t the greatest I ever heard. Her many dramatic break outs never felt passionate, nor could I take her seriously.
In conclusion, Ufotable presents their own version of the story by making it more action oriented and dramatic. Still, while having some obvious and minor issues, Gyo mostly succeed at being a fast paced and intense ride from start to the finish, even though it may look awkward and clumsy for a certain audience.
[Contains mild, creative language used to emphasize certain things, also contains spoilers]
This review doesn't seem to flow, think of it as fragments of criticism.
So basically, I started the movie with mediocre expectations, it had a horribly low rating, but it was animated by Ufotable. So, I may be watching mediocre shit, but at least it'll have pretty visuals.
Anyhow, the introduction piqued my curiosity, a group of fishermen appeared to be dazed and shocked from a discovery, the discovery wasn't revealed till later. Now, what was the discovery? It was landfish.
The landfish essentially have a grotesque smell, followed by a
what the fuck appearance. Imagine fish, now imagine mechanical spiders. Now imagine a combination of the two. Now give the combination of the two to the storyboard of Guilty Crown. And now you have your fucked up landfish. The landfish play an integral role in this, they basically invade town and do whatever the fuck they want. They don't target humans specifically, they just do what the fuck ever, like eat the shit out cars and subways, just for shits. Later on, it's revealed that it's not limited to just fish, it just originated from them.
The storyline started off as somewhat meh, but possibly promising. It quickly drifted off to something you would write in a drugged frenzy. The storyline is basically composed of the chick accompanied by some dude, looking for her fiance. Along the way, they discover that the landfish was conceived as a biological weapon during WWII (unpredictable, right?). They also discover that the fish is half organic, and half synthetic; but, it's also infectious. In other words, a pointless biological weapon because it fucking infects everyone, your side included. The rest of the storyline is inconceivable shit, so I'll move on to the other sections. It should be noted that it's not shit because it's bizarre, different, and shocking. It's shit because it's shit, it's cliche and it flows about as well as this shitty review. Seriously, it ends by trying to invoke some fucking philosophy. The entire storyline thus far was giant fucking robot monsters shoving their tentacles up your ass to mind control you.
The characters were also a bit "what the fuck" worthy. Essentially, it's just the main heroine, but her two friends should be noted. First first friend is perhaps the paragon of "what the fuck how retarded are you?" A giant landshark comes through the window when she's screwing two guys, needless to say, she was injured. During the attack, she was scared shitless and the two guys ditch her. After the attack, she thanks the two guys for "saving" her on TV, then proceeds to screw them once more. The second friend actually started off as a pretty decent character; she was the third-wheel. However, it appears that any redemption for a decent character was killed during the second half.
The characterization was also minimal. You're just given some history, and you'll have to assume the rest by assuming some common character archetypes. The history would be much more convincing, if the voice acting wasn't so bland.
The voice acting in this was beyond mediocre, it was the apathetic type of emotion, it just didn't fit the characters at all. You could find better voice acting in Hentai than this, just saying. In Hentai, when a giant tentacle monster attacks you, emotions are heard. In Gyo, when tentacles attack you, you're reading off the script. However, ufotable did a decent job here, the visuals were good. The OST was lackluster to say the least, it's mostly silent. It could be argued that it enhanced the ambiance, but when music did play, it usually wasn't anything special.
This series also intends on inserting fan service, regardless of the occasion. It's more of a, remember to pay attention, otherwise you'll miss some boobs, or some scenes reminiscent of something you would normally find with the keywords tentacles and schoolgirl penetration. Some examples include a certain characters death scene. She's essentially about to die, then her eyes flashes before her eyes. What flashes? Was it precious child-hood memories? A lost love? Regret? No, it was her essentially before being screwed by the entire football team fully nude.
The law enforcement in this anime also seem to fucking blow. Hey, giant fish invading? No problem, let's fly a plane and hope for the best. Guarding a quarantined zone? Beat the shit out of anybody that tries to past, regardless of the reason. Your loved one's stuck on the other side? We should probably convince you not to go by physical encouragement.
Overall, if you're looking for plenty of nudity, and tentacles, go watch hentai. If you're looking for cheap scares, and shit storylines, go for Another or this. Shit, this review blew, but I spent too much time on this to delete it.
TLDR: It's not shit because it attempts to think outside the box, nor because it attempts to be creative & innovative, it's shit because it's shit.
"I can only believe that which I've seen. Is what I've seen the truth?"
Well, what happens when you cross Sharknado with Stink Bomb (from Katsuhiro Otomo, director of Akira) and a zombie fish apocalypse? Gyo, that's what.
Artwork and Animation: 7
Gyo was animated by ufotable (Fate Series), and with that comes their flair for the 3D CGI. While not up to the standard set by Fate before it, for a 2012 anime, the 3D is decent. It's obvious that this movie was on a budget, and it shows through some dodgy animated segments and absolutely average hand drawn animation. While it does a good job
with the gore and viscera, everything else is mostly meh.
Sound and Voice Acting: 5
Not really much to say here. The cast voices, small as they are, are forgettable, the background music is pretty standard horror fare with high tension string sections and jarring shifts in loudness. The skittering, sucking, and squelching noises are pretty tasty though.
Taking the Sharknado and Stink Bomb idea further, Gyo basically puts a new spin on the old classic of "menacing, methane filled sea creatures with mechanized legs coming out of the ocean to destroy humanity". *Whispers* "Wait ... waaaat?" I'm being told that this is actually the first time that this has been done. Points for originality?
--Not really. Gyo changes gears waaay too fast. It starts off with this horrible stench, one that permeates everything- a miasma of death. Soon, the characters find that the source of the stench are dead fish possessed by a spider-walker, who are then hell bent on killing any and every living thing.
A little bit of exposition later, and the fish are apparently this way because of a chemical weapon/virus created during world war 2? Soon, the humans are becoming infected too, and this pseudo scientific explanation isn't enough, so we tack on that the machines were probably created so that the fish could spread the crippling smell and infection, since they don't have legs of their own.
The disease is shown to be transmissible, as humans can catch it from merely being scratched. Symptoms manifest nearly immediately in the form of hilarious bloating from production of methane gas inside the body, which then cause the host to burp and fart methane continuously until they reach a breaking point and explode bloody viscera. (Nevermind that anyone nearby or trapped indoors with this much methane would have long since passed out or asphyxiated.)
Next, the story changes yet again; the machines have no screws, so they were obviously not created by humans, but made by aliens. (I can't make this stuff up.) The stench has created a personality of its own, and is seeking to assimilate all life on earth to create a giant, spider legged, methane gas spewing army... that is, until all the hosts rupture.
Yeah, so to throw some less sense in on top of this, certain people are (for reasons unexplained) unaffected by the illness, and also apparently immune to methane asphyxiation.
Kaori, the protagonist, is a bit of a Mary Sue character. Bland and essentially faceless, she allows for the viewer to project onto her to witness the horrors firsthand. Her motives once the fishpocalypse begins consist solely of finding her fiance, Tadashi. To do what, who knows? (I'm betting on escape, but this isn't even really addressed.)
Her friends are not very interesting- one is the quintessential party girl looking for a good time and finding nothing but pain, and the other is a repressed, angsty girl who exists solely for sweet schadenfreude.
Elsewhere, we have Shirakawa, a freelance journalist whose camera gives us a bit of a 'found footage' feel to the unfolding horror. He comes equipped with things like "goals" and "motive" in the otherwise trudge of a plot. Once the outbreak happens, he takes it upon himself to get the word out to the world what's going on (and maybe make a buck or two at it in the process).
Well, there's a moment that's supposed to be tragic, and one that's supposed to be reviling, and the rest of it is just gross. I rode somewhere in between mild interest and passing grimaces the whole time. The sheer ridiculousness and lack of a plot put this one in the "So Bad It's Good" category. It's just plain weird.
Overall: 5 (Mediocre)
Gyo is an oddity, for sure. The "wtf" factor is strong with this one, but not in a shocking or reviling way, just meh. Not recommended, unless one has 70 minutes to kill and nothing better to watch. Just go watch Stink Bomb, at least it's funny on purpose.
+ Decent 3D animation
+ Laughable craziness
+/- Either too long or not long enough
+/- Totally ridiculous
- Stupid plot
- Boring characters
"I want sharks with FRICKIN laser beams attached to their heads!" - Dr. Evil
Nothing makes an anime scarier (or more thrilling) than those that feature grotesque beings terrorizing everything -- including us viewers. This in-depth look at these utter monstrosities will reveal why these horrific beasts are, in fact, so frightening.