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Gantz II: Perfect Answer (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

February 4, 2012 by  



The sequel and conclusion to the “Gantz” films, “Perfect Answer” is more exciting and features a lot more action than the original film and a more engaging storyline with plenty of twist and turns.  The Blu-ray release features a fantastic lossless and immersive soundtrack that compliments the action onscreen.  Fans of popcorn sci-fi action flicks will enjoy “Gantz II: Perfect Answer”.  Recommended!

Images courtesy of © Hiroya Oke/Shueisha, 2011 “GANTZ” Film Partners. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Gantz II: Perfect Answer

FILM RELEASE: 2011

DURATION: 142 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Japanese and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: New People Entertainment

RATED: Not Rated

RELEASE DATE: January 17, 2012

 

Directed by Shinsuke Sato

 Based on the Manga by Hiroya Oku

 Screenplay by Yusuke Watanabe

Supervising Executive Producer: Hiroshi Miyazaki

 Produced by Takahiro Sato

 Music by Kenji Kawai

 Cinematography by Taro Kawazu

 Edited by Tsuyoshi Imai

 Casting by Yumi Minamidani

Production Design by Yasuaki Harada

Starring

Kazunari Ninomiya as Kei Kurono

Ken’ichi Matsuyama as Masaru Kato

Yuriko Yoshitaka as Tae Kojima

Kanata Hongo as Joichiro Nishi

Go Ayano as Kurofuku-Ichi

Ayumi Ito as Eriko Ayukawa

Takayuki Shiada as Masamitsu Shigeta

Natsuna as Kei Kishimoto

Tomorowo Taguchi as Yoshikazu Suzuki

The GANTZ saga meets its ultimate conclusion in GANTZ II: Perfect Answer, which offers an intensely gripping story-line yet to be known to even readers of the original manga series. Determined to resurrect his friends who have died on previous missions, Kei and other members trapped in the world of GANTZ aim to score the 100 points needed to break through and regain their freedom. But with the emergence of a mysterious man investigating the Gantz members, Gantz begins to act up and the next target shocks the members. Some fight for love, some for justice but what will each member sacrifice?

In 2000, mangaka Hiroya Oku created the “Gantz” manga series.  A series which is still ongoing to this day.

The 26-episode, two season anime series was released in 2004 and for many Americans, it was among the popular series to be released on DVD due to its sci-fi action, adult humor and violence.

Five years later, it was announced that two live action “Gantz” films were being created and starring in the film is actor and idol singer and ARASHI member Kazunari Nonomiya (“Letters from Iwo Jima”, “Yamada Taro Monogatari”, “Ryusei no Kizuna”), actor Kenichi Matsuyama (“Death Note” films, “L: Change the World”, “Kamui Gaiden”) and the film would be directed by Shinsuke Sato (“The Princess Blade”, “Tokyo Lullabye”, “Sunadokei” and also character and scene developer for the video game “Tekken 4″).

The film was shown in America first as it was simulcast in theaters in 46 states, in Japan, the first film was released in theaters on Jan.2011 and followed with a Blu-ray and DVD release in the U.S. courtesy of New People Entertainment.  Now the second film “Gantz II: Perfect Answer”, the conclusion of the film series, will be released on Blu-ray on Jan. 2012.

It’s important to note that the films are loosely-based on the manga and anime series.

A summary of what Gantz is about

“Gantz” begins with college student Kei Kurono (played by Kazunari Ninomiya) awaiting a train as he prepares himself for a job interview.  While waiting, he sees an old friend of his, Masaru Kato (played by Kenichi Matsuyama) awaiting for the train.

When a drunk man falls over to the train tracks, Kato goes to help him back up.  He screams for Kurono to help him but he pretends he doesn’t know the man.  But with the help of bystanders, the drunken man is saved but with the train coming, Kato needs help getting back up the platform.  Kurono tries to help him back up but instead is pulled down and both are in the direct path of the oncoming train.

Next thing you know, both re-materialize in a room with a few people watching them and a black orb sitting in the middle.  After the two arrive, a woman named Kei Kishimoto (played by Natsuna) rematerializes in the room without any clothes on.  Kato covers her up and tries to protect her from a yakuza looking man who tries to approach her.

Immediately, they see the orb start playing music and telling them to prepare for their new lives.  Everyone in the room at first are thinking they are dead, because their last memories were either being hit by a vehicle or trying to kill themselves but others think they were drugged in a hospital and are now part of a group experiment.

Meanwhile, the orb known as “Gantz” opens up and inside are suitcases with the names of the people inside the room, as well as weapons.  Inside is a live being, that is on a breathing apparatus.  No one knows what is going on but they are told they must kill an alien child who eats green onions.

While Kei Kishimoto puts on her Gantz outfit, the others are not so sure if they should wear it.

Each of the people inside the room materializes to a new destination and they spot the alien child.  One of the people of the group, Nishi (played by Kanata Hongo), tells them that it’s all part of a game show and whoever catches the kid will win a lot of money.  With many of the men unemployed and needing the money, they go after the kid with their weapons.

And the three of the men end up killing the child.  But not long after, a huge alien man comes  (who appears to be the brother of the alien child) and he begins to brutally kill each of the people of the group.  Kato who tried to stop the people from shooting the alien child is left panicking.  Meanwhile, Kurono just looks from afar and not sure what is going on.

As the alien tries to kill Kato, Kishimoto kicks him and sends the alien behemoth flying.  They then know that the suits given to them by Gantz is quite powerful and gives them some special abilities.

Nishi comes and kills the alien and now everyone who survived the fight rematerializes back into the room.  Everyone is frustrated and shocked of what happened and Kato is angered that Nishi didn’t come to save the others who were killed by the alien.  But Nishi tries to explain to them that they are part of a game, where many have been killed.

Eventually, the group learns from Nishi that with each battle of eliminating aliens, Gantz chooses the individual and give them points.  The overall goal is to reach 100 points. With 100 points accumulated, they can be set free and their memory of Gantz wiped out.  Or they can revive another person that has been killed.

With every night, each of them having to be sent to the battlefield, they are joined by other people who have recently been killed or just died and try to prepare them for the battle that awaits them.  But with each battle, these alien beings become more deadly.

With “Gantz II: Perfect Answer”, the film is set five months later after many of the people were killed including Masaru Kato, Megumi Kishimoto and other friends of Kei’s.

Those who survived to fight for another day includes Kei Kurono and the older Yoshikazu Suzuki.  For Kei, his goal is to revive his friend Masaru Kato but also to fight as long as he can and revive everyone.

But unusual situations have been taking place as Masaru Kato has been revived but according to Gantz, he is still dead.

Also, battles are now taking place in public places instead of the dimension that the group have been fighting in, so now anyone innocent can be slaughtered during the battles.

Meanwhile, as Kei and Tae begin to get closer, all hell breaks loose when a few of the top members who were able to escape Gantz (by reaching 100 points) are all brought back into Gantz together for some unknown reason.  And to make things worse, their target are not just aliens but Kei’s friend Tae Kojima.  To make things much worse, there has been an appearance of a smaller version of Gantz which is in the possession of a group of aliens and their instructions were also to kill Tae Kojima.

As Kei tries to protect the girl that he loves, that means he must fight against the powerful aliens but also his fellow members.

Will Kei, Tae , Masaru and Kurofuku-Ichi survive this onslaught?

VIDEO:

“Gantz II: Perfect Answer” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1).  The picture quality for the film is actually very good.  The picture quality features cool colors leaning to more blues and blacks, detail is very good and there is a fine layer of grain that can be seen.  Some scenes are darker than I would have like but there is a good amount of detail on closeup shots.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Gantz II: Perfect Answer” is presented in Japanese and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and I have to say that the most shining aspect of this Blu-ray release is its lossless soundtrack.  The soundtrack is absolutely immersive as this second film is action-intensive and there are explosions, gun shots, sword fights and destruction galore in this film.    The surround channels and LFE are heavily used throughout the film and for the most part, fans with a solid home theater setup will no doubt enjoy this film’s soundtrack.

As for the English dub, I prefer to watching live action Asian films in their original language but with that beings aid, New People Entertainment and Viz Media are known for hiring the most talented voice actors in the industry and I’m sure the English dub will appeal to those who prefer an English dub.

Subtitles are presented in English SDH, Spanish and French.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“Gantz II: Perfect Answer” features a third bonus DVD featuring special features such as:

  • Exclusive Director’s Interview 2 – (22:01) Behind-the-scenes footage and an in-depth interview with director Shinsuke Sato.
  • Cast Profiles – text biographies on the cast.
  • Trailers – (4:04) Original “Gantz: Perfect Answer” theatrical trailers from Japan.
  • New People Presents –  New People trailers.

EXTRAS:

“Gantz II: Perfect Answer” comes with a DVD version of the feature film.

Exciting and more action-packed and satisfying than the first film, the sequel “Gantz II: Perfect Answer” is a popcorn action-flick with a lot of twist and turns.  A fitting and exciting conclusion to the “Gantz” films.

What one can expect from a popcorn action film starring a few of Japanese top young talents!  “GANTZ II: Perfect Answer” features constant action that will thrill you!  Definitely one of the better film adaptations from a manga series in terms of visual effects and costume design.

I personally enjoyed “GANTZ” for the reason that I’m familiar with the talent on the film.  Kazunari Ninomiya of ARASHI fame is very popular as with actor Kenichi Matsuyama, but even before I watched this film, I always felt that the costumes of “GANTZ” was the coolest costumes since the Matrix!

But with that being said, this is a popcorn action film with a lot of action and visual effects but at the same time, it’s a film that is quite different from the manga/anime series.  There is a lot of violence, even sexual perversion in the original manga release but because the manga is ongoing in Japan, for the film, things had to be different.

The first film featured a lot of time showing the viewers of the relationship between Kei and Kato and how they were good friends and how they stopped being friends and then trying to become friends once again.  But most importantly, there was a bit of ego stroke on Kei’s part as he was the person that is typically not seen as a hero and thus, granted powers via the suits from Gantz, he started to gain an ego but learned a big lesson.

In the end of the first film, the major characters were killed after fighting a killer Buddha.

But in “Gantz II: Perfect Answer”, we know with the big Gantz, he sends out people who were just killed, on missions of killing of an alien.  It’s part of their mission in order for them to survive but also to gain points necessary to live a free life once again or to resurrect someone. And with Kei now nearing 100 points, he intends to bring back his friend Kato.

But what happens when he comes face-to-face with Kato, who revived him?  Obviously Kei didn’t, so who did?  Or is it Kato?

And as Kei and the others take order from Gantz, we are introduced to a group of aliens who also take orders but this time, a smaller version of Gantz and similar to Kei and the others, they must kill as part of their mission.

And possibly taking a page from terrorist attacks that would seem more fitting for a “Call of Duty” film, “Gantz II: Perfect Answer” has one of the most violent scenes in a Japanese film (which no one hopes will happen ever in Japan) as Kei and the others are transported into a train, but instead of taking place in an alternate dimension, they are put into the public.

And when the Gantz group and the aliens are battling, there is always massive destruction.  So, you can imagine how chaotic things get now that the battles are taking place in areas where a lot of people are.

To make things much more interesting, both the aliens and the Gantz group receive a mission but it’s to eliminate Kei’s girlfriend (or female friend that he is trying to get close with).  You know Kei is not going to let that happen and it becomes a chaotic slaughter-fes.

While Kei is the character that is focused on in the sequel, Actor Ken’ichi Matsuyama as Masaru Kato plays a different type of role in this second film.  As Kato, he is much more restrained, but when his other self is revealed to be an imposter alien, Matsuyama plays a crazy killer.

We also get more of actress Yuriko Yoshitaka (who plays Tae).  In the first film, she was interesting because she was the manga fan who secretly likes Kei.  In the sequel, their friendship is now growing to the point where they start having feelings for each other.  But when orders are given by both Gantz to have her eliminated, you can only hope that her well-liked character survives.

Last, we are treated with a storyline with an investigator named Masamitsu Shigeta, who is trying to find out how these dead people are coming back alive.  While the character adds some drama in the film, we know that he’s just human and compared to those in the Gantz suits and the aliens, he’s just not strong enough.  And his storyline is possibly the weakest in the film.  As the screenplay utilizes him more to give a break to the action.

But “Gantz II: Perfect Answer” is in-your-face, all-out action that fans will probably enjoy much more than the first film.  The first film tried to play more on character development and relationships and establish Gantz and the missions but with that part being over, it’s all about the actions and missions this time around.  And with the twist and turns in the storyline, you can’t help but be captivated with all this crazy action and this destruction happening in the film.

It’s important to note that while this film is not rated, this is a violent film.  You see people being stabbed and cut up with swords, a woman getting shot point blank in the head, it’s a violent film.  So, definitely don’t have your children around while watching this movie.

But for fans who enjoy popcorn action films, the sequel to “Gantz” is much better this time around. While manga/comic book film adaptations are never exact, still..I can’t but help but saying that I enjoyed the “Gantz” films.  Yes, they are different and while I thought the first film was OK, I enjoyed the sequel even more.  Much more to be exact!

As for the Blu-ray release, you get the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the film and several special features as well.  The picture quality is good (sometimes too dark) but the best part of this Blu-ray is its lossless immersive soundtrack which is fantastic!

Overall, fans of the first film, those who are looking for an exciting Japanese popcorn action film or people who are fans thatcan separate themselves from the original storyline of the “GANTZ” anime and manga series will enjoy “Gantz II: Perfect Answer”.

Recommended!

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