trope |trōp| noun
- a figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expression
- a conventional idea or phrase
So I just finished watching Gantz and I have to say it has one of big tropes that piss me off about anime. (Or films in general sometimes) Besides the usual schtick of having everyone blab on and on and have messed up lives, it has a major problem with guns. Which is funny considering the violence inherent in the series.
Now I'll start off by saying I KNOW the Japanese, and several other countries around the globe have an inherent issue with guns. These cultures just have a different view of guns in general than those of us from rural America. I completely forgive some of the oddities I've noticed in gun use in anime; but one of the tropes that just bug the heck out of me, and it's not always guns but in Gantz it surely was, is the idea that folks won't pull the trigger even to save themselves, let alone those who are close to them.
Again, I know the Japanese as a culture tend not to be very comfortable with guns, but every human being has a desire to save themselves in some way. Most of us also would do quite a bit to save those close them. That being said it is crazy to see groups of people, who are all armed, standing around watching one another get torn to pieces and do NOTHING. In fact worse than that they point at each other to "do something." Sure there's a bit of the whole "more people there are the less likely you are to get help" (see killings in crowded areas and those who just stand there watching. Which Gantz DOES a great job of showing in the opening train station sequence. Totally true!) but as personal attachments are formed and people obviously care for one another you STILL stand still?
Finally I know that it is a "tension builder" and a good use of internal conflict to have people have issues with shooting people/things. There are plenty of ways of showing this and doing it that doesn't require 15-20 minutes of screen time and sometimes story time! When I'm yelling at the screen to just "SHOOT THE BASTARD!" you've wasted way too much time. Especially after you've already blown up a couple of guys or seen others blown up.