Apr 24, 2011

Let's solve Gantz's mysteries!

Yeah! I finished watching Gantz and Gantz 2. Today's the 2nd day of screening in Japan. :) The theatre was exceptionally crowded, with mostly teenagers making up the audience. I think they were probably drawn by star power though. Umm.. like me... hahaha.. seriously, if 二宮和也 is not starring in the movie, think I wouldn't spend 1800yen x 2 to watch the movies on big screen too. :P

Anyway.. first a disclaimer, if you intend to watch both movies, then perhaps, you should skip this post, as there will be lots of spoilers. I will practically rumble on about the many mysteries of Gantz, which will likely spoil your fun. Go watch them first!


Ok, so you have watched the movie? Here we go. I watched with 2 Japanese friends. They are both Japanese, so naturally, they wouldn't have any language problems when watching the movies without subtitles. And one of them read the manga (up till book 25), while the other finished watching the anime. So, the following discussion, includes their inputs :)

Mystery 1 - What exactly is Gantz?

The movie didn't explicitly explain this. So we are left to speculate. I think Gantz is like a game, whereby the game-master, which is that guy in the huge black ball, will choose the players. The players chosen are all dead, so they literally have nothing to lose to join the Gantz game, since by joining, they can continue to lead their lives as normal, outside the Gantz game. I think Gantz game is out of our reality realm, that's why only dead people are picked to join.

Mystery 2 - Why are the 'graduates' called to join the game?

In Gantz 2, a second black ball appeared. This smaller black ball is used to call players instead. Usually the huge black ball will select from the pool of people who had just crossed over to death, but this time, Gantz has specifically called upon certain people, and to do that, someone has to kill them first.

And hence a 'graduate' (other players who had played the game, and left the game after exchanging 100 points for forgetting the entire episode) is called upon to start killing these chosen people.

Mystery 3 - Why is Gantz so bent on killing Tae Kojima (main female lead)?

Gantz has tried to kill Kojima twice. Once by asking his 'graduate' to kill her via the instructions on the small black ball. And another time as an emergency mission to his current players to kill her.

This, I do not understand too. Though, the production crew has specified that it is been explained in the movie.

My friend who read the manga, said that, in the manga this is how it was explained: Kojima has accidently taken pictures of the actual Gantz game (players killing aliens), hence she has to be silenced.

In retrospective, maybe, her manga are the reason she has to die? Referring to her drawings, they resemble the 葱-alien episode too much.

Mystery 4 - Why are the 'graduates' called upon to join Gantz game again?

In the movie, it said that maybe they are called upon to assist the existing players to kill the last boss, just like a computer game.

Otherwise, it may also mean that Gantz is running out of battery as Nishi (the very smart but selfish player) has suggested, since Gantz had been acting weirdly. Eg. real people are in the fighting scenes, and real people are being killed. Emergency missions, etc. And so Gantz is running out of time, and needed as many players as possible to end the last game.

Mystery 5 - Why are there so many aliens? And now there's the 黑服人...

黑服人 are the last boss, probably the most intelligent and strongest form of aliens who are coexisting with Earthlings. They fight because they want revenge, as their fellow aliens are continuously being killed by Gantz players.

In Gantz 2, the aliens have repeatedly questioned the Gantz players why they fight, what are they fighting for.

I think Gantz players are fighting for only 3 reasons though.

One, they have someone in mind to revive, so they are fighting for their loved ones. Once they get 100 points, they want to revive their loved ones.

Two, they just want to end the game. They hated the game, resented the fact they are chosen, but yet had no choice, so they struggled to get 100 points to leave the game without any memories of the game.

Three, they like the game, and violence??? I wonder if Nishi falls in this category. He is a deep character I can't really fathom.

Mystery 6 - Why are real people killed?

Gantz is running out of battery, so he can't 'masked out' the real people, or bring the players and aliens in an alternate reality... perhaps.

Mystery 7 - Why did the clone (黑服人) have to kill Katou in Gantz 1?

This is subtly explained in the movie when the clone stabbed Nishi's dead body once more to change its appearance from Katou to Nishi. In the manga, the alien has to stab the person/ body to 'download' information into itself for it to transform and clone him.

Mystery 8 - Why did Kei Kurono have to die in the end?

:( I dislike the ending. The ending says that Kei sacrificed himself and became the next Gantz game-master (person in the huge black ball). He probably asked Gantz how to stop the game after the entire room exploded, and Gantz had told him that to do that he had to be the game-master, and to be a game-master, he had to gain full marks. That is why he had to kill the last alien. The alien who cloned himself into Katou and Nishi, though deep in his heart, he really wanted to stop killing.

By being the game-master, means he can't return to the reality. So the movie ended with his existence being erased from Earth, which is so sad! Why can't people just remember him as dead, or having faded memories about him. He did existed before Gantz game afterall! But neh, he was just erased. Just like that.

I cried when I saw the scene when Kei's love confession message is broad-casted on the ferris wheel, all staged, waiting for Kojima. Kojima was there, saw the message, but she didn't remember him at all. (T_T)

But is it really the end of the game? If so, why didn't the last game-master end the game like Kei did?

By the way, if Kei had to die, I do hope he died together with Kojima though in that romantic scene. Typical huh :P I just hated the fact that his existence is erased :((

Mystery 9 - What is the message behind the 2 movies?

The recurring question in Gantz 2: Why do you fight? What do you fight for? Why are you following the instructions of a black ball?

And Suzuki (cowardly uncle) answered that he is fighting for his loved ones. Pretty typical of shonen manga... 大切な人を守りたいから。

According to my friend, in the anime, the message was humanity. The aliens questioned the players why they fight, why did they kill aliens? And many other ugly facts of mankind like selfishness, thirst for violence, etc. But then, Kei pointed out to them that, yes, some people are like that, humankind has these traits. But humans can also change, so given a chance, they can turn over a new leaf. Learn from mistakes and become a better person.

But I think the movie was trying to convey more of who or what are you fighting for, and also the theme of sacrifice. Marked by Kei's sacrifice to revive everyone who died in the game.

And that's all...

There are lots of Gantz goods for sale as well. My favorite is the 0点 T-shirt. Those who watched Gantz 1 will probably get the 0点 -> いたの? joke. :P

Thank you... I managed to catch Nino-kun 3x on big screen this one-year stinct in Japan. ども ありがとう ございます、 神様!