Death does not have to be the end; one can live again, but only through beating the game posed by the black ball called Gantz.
On his way home to celebrate his younger brother's birthday, brave and kind-hearted student named Masaru Katou is stabbed to death. He awakes in a small room with a cityscape view in the heart of Tokyo—and he is not alone. To his surprise, it is not the afterlife, but the waiting room for a high stakes game with their lives on the line. Before he has the chance to process the situation, Masaru is handed a gun and teleported into the center of Osaka to carry out one simple task: eliminate any alien on sight.
Accompanied by the aged Yoshikazu Suzuki, the stunning idol Reika Shimohira, and the cold but experienced Jouichirou Nishi, Masaru must overcome his fears in order to survive the game and return home to his waiting brother.
Gantz:O is a CGI adaptation of a manga that was an extremely enjoyable piece of work. The CGI was consistent and beautiful, the fight scenes were amazing, and the makers stayed true to the storyline to an extent, which is excellent as well. The gore was something that I had worried about since this movie is PG12, but it was very vivid for a PG12 rated film, and personally it was satisfying enough for me.
There are some changes to the characters and storyline which
were a little disappointing, but to be honest those changes were understandable, and it didn't ruin the experience at all. Some of the big changes that came to my attention was,
1. The absence of several Tokyo and Osaka team members, including some members who had amazing battle scenes in the manga.
2. Katou's stance in the arc; in the original, he has already experienced battles against aliens, but in this movie he's shown to be a newbie, oblivious to the rules and weapons of Gantz.
3. An altertative ending to the Oni alien arc and Osaka arc.
Overall these changes are understandable because this movie is obviously for newcomers as well as fans, and if they had put all the characters in a 96 minute movie Gantz:O would've become a extremely rushed movie. Despite having these restrictions, the changes managed to fit in very smooth with the entire atmosphere of the Osaka arc, which is one of the reasons I give this movie such a high rating.
In conclusion Gantz:O is a film that you simply need to watch if you're a fan of the original work, and even if you aren't, it's worth the watch with a solid story, outstanding graphics and fluid fight scenes.
Basically, if you don't know anything about Gantz, I'd say don't bother. The movie clearly tries to introduce newcomers to the Gantz game concept but does so in such an awkward and incomplete way that I'd say it's very hard to understand unless you're at least kind of familiar with the rules.
The story makes some drastic changes from the manga, which by themselves wouldn't make it bad, but together make the Osaka Arc a much simpler and more boring experience (You can feel this in particular during the first half of the movie). The new ending is the only change I think affected the movie
positively. Without spoilers, I'd say that while it wouldn't have had sense in the manga, it makes a perfect fit for the narrative flow of the movie.
I think the most disappointing part of the film was the music. The trailer had this really strong theme going on, but it was absent from the movie except from the credits, and all the music was pretty much the same "dramatic eleventh hour track".
Anyway, I personally enjoyed the movie, but upon thinking about it for a while, I realized it had some very weak points. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who's never heard of Gantz, but if you want to see the Nurarihyon fight animated, or at the very least have seen some of Gantz and liked it, I say go for it.
TL;DR: Watch this if you want to witness a bloody survivor game between Aliens vs Resurrected Mortals!
Gantz:0, a movie covering the Osaka arc in the manga, acts as a new gateway for newcomers and fans of old Gantz franchise to experience the thrill of the survivor game, Gantz, in a new limelight. Right from the beginning, the viewers alongside the main character, Katou, are thrown right into the meat of the action and are left scrambling trying to figure out what exactly is happening. The story, shown from Katou's perspective, is simple yet complex because it feels like the characters are from different
timelines whilst at the same time it feels like it's one continuation timeline. The pacing is really good and the gregarious eye-candy fight sequences keeps you at the cusp of your chair. Although the story gets really cheesy and predictable at times, the ending is quite satisfying and all the confusions viewers have throughout the movie more or less gets answered.
However, try as you may, the characters in this movie just goes from bad to worse as the story progress. The supporting characters are just one-dimensional, bland and downright worthless. Even with a few characters missing from the original manga (budget saving 101), with the characters present, the director does a poor job at utilizing them well. He tries to use them as a foil for Katou but he fails to realize that a commoner in Osaka city would've served the same purpose. Although the main character goes through some form growth during the movie, he just doesn't react realistically despite having the "typical idealistic MC" personality. None of the main villains have any real purpose for wrecking havoc in Osaka and viewers are just supposed to go with the idea that because they are aliens, we have to kill them. The only memorable characters will be Reika, for her "plot" contribution and Oka, for his utter badass fighting scenes. Credit must be given to the seiyuus for the sub and dub version who tried their utmost hardest to bring life into the characters but it is what it is.
Despite the criticism the story and the characters face, the movie's best selling point is their art and sound. Their 3DCG animation style is just phenomenal. The character design, the fight sequences, the background all harmoniously tie together to give the viewers a complete experience. The animation was blended and the director never dropped the ball in maintaining that level of precision from beginning to end. The OST delivers in hyping every moment of the action and able to portray the characters' emotional state throughout the movie. Definitely worth re-listening to the OST again.
Overall, Gantz:0 is a fun movie to watch for old fans and new. At its essence, it is just a nice mindless action flick where the plot and characters are too contrived for the viewers. Though the story might be confusing and the supporting characters' decisions will leave viewers screaming at the TV, the astounding art and sound makes sure it isn't just a run-of-the-mill movie. Nevertheless, if you want to watch an inception like movie with features from Iron Man, Samurai Jack, Godzilla and Pacific Rim playing Hunger Games in Osaka, Japan, definitely hit this up. If you enjoy it, read the manga to clear up any confusion. Simple as that!
P.S. I’m always open to criticism and suggestions and I hope you found this short but supaishi review helpful.