Gantz (ガンツ Gantsu )Script error is a Japanese manga and anime series written and illustrated by Hiroya Oku. Gantz tells the story of a teenager named Kei Kurono who dies in a train accident and becomes part of a semi-posthumous "game" in which he and several other recently deceased people are forced to hunt down and kill aliens. The missions they embark upon are often dangerous. Many die on each mission, but others replace them in the same manner as Kei Kurono's appearance.
The Gantz anime, directed by Ichiro Itano and animated by Gonzo, ran for 13 episodes and had a direct sequel called Gantz: Second Stage, which continued the series for another 13 episodes. Both seasons make up the 26 episode series. It was licensed in North America by ADV Films. The anime series is distributed in the United Kingdom by MVM Films, and in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. Dark Horse Comics started releasing the manga in English in June 2008.
A pair of high school students, Kei Kurono and Masaru Kato, are seemingly run over by a subway train, after saving the life of a homeless drunk who had fallen onto the tracks. Following their untimely deaths, Kei and Masaru find themselves transported—alive and well—along with a number of people who have also just died, to the interior of an unfurnished Tokyo condominium from which the Tokyo Tower may be seen—and none of them are able to leave. At one end of the room is a featureless black sphere known as "Gantz". By way of green text that appears on the surface of the sphere, Gantz informs those present that their lives have ended. The following words appear on the black sphere's surface: "Your lives have ended. What you do with your new lives is entirely up to me. That's the theory, anyway." (The ADV translations have it as "Your lives are over, you bastards. What you do with your new lives is entirely up to me. So there you have it.")
Without explaining anything to them, the Gantz sphere opens up to reveal a bald man on life support in the center, and three racks that offer various items for them to use. Information on the Gantz Targets appear on the surface of the sphere, shortly before the Gantz Team are transported to the location of the mission.
The series consistently introduces new characters. Most of them are killed off almost as quickly as they appear, though at times a stable cast of veterans forms.
The hunters can not return from their mission until all enemies have been killed. They are then issued out points and allowed to leave, only to be summoned back whenever Gantz needs them for the next mission. They are given points for everything they kill. Those who manage to accumulate 100 points are presented with the 100 point menu which list three choices:
1. You will be freed along with your memories erased 2. You will be given an extremely powerful weapon 3. You will be able to revive a human being from the memory
Gantz gives out individual suits for each person there, giving them great strength, speed, jumping ability, and protection from harm. There are also three types of guns at the start, the controller, and a room with swords and two vehicles. Additional weapons and items are gained from the hundred point menu.
CharactersThe characters in Gantz change fairly often due to the nature of the plot premise. However, some characters are featured with greater frequency than others. The story appears to center around the relationship between Kei Kurono and Masaru Kato, two highschool boys who had been childhood friends, but had lost contact over the years.
As the story begins they meet again coincidentally at a subway station, just before an event that draws both of them into the world of Gantz. As the story goes on, they meet, befriend, and interact with a variety of other Hunters who are drawn into the "game" via untimely deaths similar to those that brought Masaru and Kei to Gantz. While many of the characters have very short parts in in the story, and tend to represent stereotypes one might encounter in Japan, others have longer involvement and thus deeper character development. Allies, adversaries, and others who are simply confused make up the backdrop of an ever changing cast in the story. Of note are the love interests that test Kei's resolve to survive from mission to mission.
The one constant in the series is the enigmatic Gantz character himself, an individual who appears to be in some sort of artificial stasis inside the black sphere and communicates either via broadcasting his voice or images and messages displayed on the sphere's surface. Currently, this character's origins and motivations are still unclear, but it is evident he possesses a great deal of power and control over the destinies of his chosen Hunters.
Before each mission, Gantz provides the Hunters with brief information regarding their next target. This includes an image of the alien, as well as its physical characteristics, likes and dislikes, and a favorite saying. Often, Gantz gives only vague or incomplete target information for reasons that he chooses not to share, leaving the Hunters to discover on their own what is necessary to complete each mission. While in the anime version, there are four targets, including a "Kurono alien" (based on the manga's Buddhist Temple mission), at present, there have been nine different types of alien targets in the manga.:
Written by Hiroya Oku, the manga chapters have been published in the Japanese-language magazine Weekly Young Jump since 2000 and is still ongoing; the individual chapters of the series are being released approximately every fifteen days. Gantz is divided into two main story arcs referred to as phases. After the completion of Phase 1 the author put the series on hiatus for a short time to work on the second Phase. Phase 1 consists of the first 237 chapters. On November 22, 2006, the first chapter of Phase 2, chapter 238, was released. The individual chapters are collected by Shueisha in collected volumes; the first volume was released on December 11, 2000. To date twenty-four volumes have been released in all.
Publishing company Dark Horse Comics currently has licensing rights for the release of English translations of Gantz. The first volume was released on June 25, 2008. The series is also published in Spain by Glénat and Germany, Italy and Brazil by Planet Manga.
Template:Seealso The Gantz anime is divided into two seasons: The first season is known as "The First Stage", while the second season is known as "The Second Stage", which is a direct continuation of the first season. The anime has been licensed in the United States of America by ADV Films.
On March 17, 2005, Konami published a game for the PlayStation 2 based on the Gantz series. It was named simply as Gantz: The Game. It features the characters and plot up to the Buddha Alien mission (though the vampires and the Shorty Aliens are present). The game may be classified as a third-person shooter, although it does have a little RPG elements put together. More information can be found on the game's website. The game also includes extras including Free Play mode, a Mini Mode, Magazine Browser mode, Gantz Rankings, a special preview movie and the scenario completion statistic.
The first season, known as the "First Stage", was heavily edited on Japanese TV, but the second season ("Second Stage") remained uncut. The Gantz anime is often criticized for its ending and pacing problems. The anime was made while the manga was still in early production, and thus Gonzo had to produce episodes at an irregular pace, and end the series in a manner a number of fans found unsatisfying—a common occurrence when an anime is made from a manga that has not finished its run.