The synopsis on the back of GANTZ' case promised sexually-charged sci-fi and, hoo boy, that wasn’t an empty claim. Oh no, not a bit. We get an entire classroom of nude ladies and a dude struggling to hide his inappropriate erection within two minutes of this episode’s inception, and the train of sauciness just keeps chuggin’ along from there on out. F-bombs, S-bombs, porno mags, inappropriate touching… this is charmingly provocative.
I chose to watch this first episode today because I’ll actually be attending the premiere of the GANTZ live-action movie tonight and I figured it'd be smart to flick my tongue out and get a little taste of the experience beforehand (and, yes, that phrasing was intentionally skeevy.) I reported on the trailer however many months ago, but all I really remember about it was the skin-suits, vaguely-S&M scuba suits and the giant black marble.
Judging by this first episode, I’m expecting a taboo-crossing story like BATTLE ROYALE that’ll take concepts of death head on like BLEACH does, only this’ll be spun more out into kickass gunplay. If they’re going for a redemption arc (and that text message on the marble hints pretty strongly at that,) then they’ve got a hell of a ripe candidate with this Kei kid. What a beautiful twerp.
I’m starting to suspect that anime mixing the real world and fantasy suffer a bit from the constraints inherent in 22-minute installments. With a show like FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, you get dropped into this other world right away and subsequently don’t have any problems accepting alchemists, homunculi and chimeras. This, however, reminds me of the first episode of DEATH NOTE, in the sense that the jumps to get the weird stuff test your suspension of disbelief a bit. The whole Kitty Genovese-esque scene with the onlookers gawking at the bum on the train tracks seemed pretty outlandish in itself, even as social commentary. Anyway, out of the pilots I've watched so far, this is the one that's got me most intrigued. I'm just dying to see how much saucier it gets.
This episode was titled “It’s the Beginning of A Brand New Day.” As far as I know, it isn’t available for streaming anywhere online, but Funimation’s putting out a very spiffy collection of the whole series soon.