Pick your weapon.
Last night before going to bed I watched one episode of the controversial anime Gantz. This show was supposedly heavily-edited before it was shown in Japan TV because of the gory violence and stuff, so I was actually kinda pumped to see it. Unfortunately, I don't have the first two episodes, so I had to start with episode three.
Anyway, the show is about a youth named Kei Kurono who gets run over by a train with his pal. While the gory way they get run over is one of the controversial bits, I've read that the real cause for the hubbub is how this show portrays how people act as impassive voyeurs when their fellow men are in danger, treating death as a spectacle and little else. This pretty nihilistic view is questionable in my view, but whatever.
After getting killed, Kei and his friend suddenly find themselves in a small sealed apartment, with some other people (also recently deceased) and a BIG black ball. The ball, known as The Gantz, has various alien weaponry inside it (and also apparently a human body) which it distributes to the 'contestants' for the game. This game is pretty clear- they have to kill or dispatch some hidden aliens. The contestants have a limited time to complete their missions; failure means permanent death. Survival and terminating the aliens means continued play.
Well, my comments on the first episode are mixed. For a Gonzo anime, this show looks pretty BAD. The computer effects aren't too impressive, and the character animation, even little things like how they talk, is awkward and badly done, to the point that I thought this was made at best by less-skilled Korean animators, or at worst an amateur, fan-made feature. I don't know if this was intentional or what, but it just looks BAD. The voice acting is also on the annoying side; the dialogue is irritating with lots of awkward filler and your usual anime cliche speak with the whiny hero, the screechy girl and the shady, amoral practical guy. The talking went a bit like this...
Kei: WHAT'S GOING ON HERE!!!
Other Guy: I don't have to tell you.
Kei: YOU HAVE TO TELL US!!!
Other Guy: Okay, I will.
Kei: I DON'T BELIEVE YOU!!!
Other Guy: You don't have to believe me. You're all hypocrites.
Kei: I'M NOT A HYPOCRITE!!!
Maybe it's not fair to judge the show on this one episode (and episode three at that), but really, I wasn't that impressed. However, I'm willing to watch the next couple of episodes to see if it's going anywhere, and if the quality of the visuals and audio improves. Anyway, the third episode didn't blow me away particularly to be controversial or anything... in fact, the most horrifying thing I saw was the substandard visuals and animation given that this is by Gonzo, one of my favorite anime production houses. Well, with them doing a G.I. Joe OAV, a Witchblade anime and probably tons of other stuff, maybe they're spreading themselves a bit too thin.