Review: Gantz II: Perfect Answer [SDCC11]

Gantz starts as a simple story about two childhood friends. Then they get run over by a train. Instead of heaven however, they end up in an empty apartment and are recruited as soldiers for mysterious black ball called Gantz, which now controls their lives. 

They are sent out on missions and given points based on how well they completed their task, before promptly being sent back to the world of the living until called back for another round.  100 points wins a permanent return to their old lives with no memory of their former employment, or a chance to bring back a fallen comrade.  Yup, apparently the dead can die again.  Oh, and did I mention that it’s an alien movie?  Confused yet?  Fear not!  The second movie includes a recap of part 1!  Or at least the Blu-Ray version that was screened had a recap, as well as a message from the director introducing the film.  And a terrible, Godzilla-esque English dubbed version.  Luckily I did not have to beat anyone up since they screened the subtitled version instead.


Released in Japan a few months after the first film, Gantz II: Perfect Answer continues the story of the people brought back to life to work for the mysterious black orb called Gantz.  It centers on college student Kei Kurono (played by Kazunari Ninommiya, as seen in Letters from Iwo Jima and in the ever popular "Johnny’s Entertainment" boy band Arashi) as he attempts to get enough points to resurrect his fallen friend Masaru Kato (Kenichi Matsuyama, also known as L from the Death Note live action films).  However, things become complicated as Gantz begins to send the crew into more dangerous scenarios that put bystanders at risk, while the mystery deepens when Kato reappears in the living world without Gantz’s help.  Or is it really him?  It soon becomes clear that there is a powerful enemy stalking Gantz and its army, but will the team realize it in time to be able to stop it from destroying everything? 

An exciting and action-filled movie, Gantz II: Perfect Answer has many things working for it.  The cast is full of Japanese idols with plenty of acting experience under their very stylish belts, and the storyline and side plots have a little something for everyone. From the boy waiting for his older brother to come home, to the almost forbidden love connection between Kurono and a regular living person, to the action packed sword fight scenes between the aliens and Gantz’s little impromptu army.  However, as with many manga turned novel turned anime turned live action film, the audience is somewhat expected to already know the storyline (and the entire first movie) and therefore some liberties are taken in the explanation of certain things.  Things like ‘Why is there a time delay between pulling the trigger on their guns and something exploding?’  ‘Why does Gantz choose people without any combat experience to work for it?’ and of course, ‘Why do Japanese idols overact in almost everything they star in?’


Though I am generally a huge fan of Japanese popular movies, even I have to admit the acting in this one was pretty exaggerated, especially for a crowd accustomed to the Hollywood style (a.k.a. us Americans).  The death scenes in particular were prolonged and unnecessarily vocal, and therefore, unintentionally quite funny.  And when you’re fighting aliens who can materialize guns and swords from their bodies, there are quite a few of those moments in a very short amount of time.


Ratings for Gantz II: Perfect Answer
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