This Gantz 2 Perfect Answer review starts off with a brief synopsis and overview of my expectations for the second half of this two-parter. After that, the spoilers come pretty fast, so watch out. I’ve even included the ending for you.
In the first part (simply titled ‘Gantz’), Kurono Kei (Ninomiya Kazunari), Katou Masaru (Matsuyama Ken’ichi) and Kishimoto Kei (Natsuna) are recruited by a big black ball named Gantz to kill aliens. If they get one hundred points, received after killing sufficient numbers of aliens, they get to choose from a special prize menu. Said menu offers one of two choices — having your memory wiped and being returned safely to the real world, or bringing another person back from the dead. Katou and Kishimoto die after getting into a fight with giant alien Buddhist statues and Kurono vows to resurrect them.
Before I watched the second half, there was just one thing I wanted to know — who the man was inside Gantz. I guessed he was probably human, captured to power it. But I did have a certain amount of faith that the revelation behind the process would be worth seeing.
Overall, I thought there were some spectacular fight scenes in Gantz: Perfect Answer. The scene on the train was superb, although the climax was not as good as the one from the previous film and the plot arc wasn’t as tight. I thought it was a stronger movie than the previous one though and, having read up a little on the anime and manga, appeals to me more than the original works.
Here come the spoilers.
The writers have taken the break between films to introduce another plotline and a few original characters. Just to start with, a model named Ayukawa Eriko (Itou Ayumi) gets a tiny black Gantz ball in the mail that tells her to kill. There’s also an investigator (Yamada Takayuki as Shigeta Masamitsu) on the trail of Gantz, briefly glimpsed in the previous film. He’s so unimportant, I don’t know why they bothered.
As for the Gantz team, they are tasked with fighting aliens from Planet Black Suit. In Japanese, ‘black suit’ tends to imply a man employed by shady businesses (cabaret clubs, etc) and is possibly associated with the yakuza. Or not, as the case may be. In comparison to onion aliens from the first movie, this change seems positively sensible.
The fight scene on the train between the Gantz team and the aliens from Planet Black Suit features wuxia (“CGxia”) and gun kata. Also everyone has Gantz-themed katana because the guns take so long to charge, making for quicker and more visually appealing attacks. This was definitely my favourite scene.
By this time, my favourite character was Suzuki Yoshikazu (Taguchi Tomorowo). As he wasn’t played by a famous actor, I had written him off somewhat as an NPC, as background to the two main actors whose images are on the posters. However, when he chose to bring back Katou instead of going home, that’s when I really started cheering for him.
After the second major fight, between Kurono, Katou and a shape-shifting alien that has taken on Katou’s form, Kojima Tae (Yoshitaka Yuriko) turns up looking for Kurono. She is awful, but I don’t think any actress could have made this scene work. She runs towards Kurono as the alien slices her several times with his katana. Dying, she makes it to Kurono after shuffling along for a good minute or so. It would work as a manga sequence (and probably did!), possibly even in anime, but as a live action piece it looks ridiculous.
The final climactic battle is not much compared to the previous fight scenes. The two opposing sides stand in front of each other and open fire. As already shown in the first film, everyone is capable of returning from the dead. This is a huge barrier to good storytelling, particularly when you only have a short amount of time (unlike with manga) to show how difficult it is to get those one hundred points that make it possible.
However, the final battle causes Kurono Kei to achieve ‘maximum points’ and he can now have pretty much anything he wants (is this just me or does this sound like the climax to Madoka Magica?). So everyone comes back. Everyone, even Katou’s younger brother. The only one who doesn’t return to the real world is Kurono Kei.
…because he’s now inside the ball, powering it.