BACK TO THE INDEX.
Introductions are hard.
-By Stephen Kelley-
-Presented by DMG Ice.com-
-Your life belongs to us now, deal with it.-
| I guess an introduction is in order.
This is the very first entry into a new series of entertainment
articles that I will start submitting bi-weekly. I am a mid
Missouri Sci-fi / anime / video game / British television addict who
likes to spread his addictions like a plague. So, step right up,
one and all and prepare yourself for “For No
What will appear in these articles?
To begin, I would like to talk about an anime series I have been more-or-less addicted to recently.
GANTZ season 1 from ADV films 12.99 per volume x 6 (13 episodes 2 per disk. 3 episodes on disk 6)
You can tell right off the bat, that this show is odd. From the cover alone you can also tell that this is an anime series for an older audience. Gone are the cushy love stories and giant robots seen in most anime these days. They are replaced by a cracked out sci-fi series about life, love, and survival.
Gantz tells the story of Kei Kurono, a typical apathetic high school junior who happens to live buy himself and take his only enjoyment from watching TV and reading adult magazines. Kurono, like many other people in this world, wants nothing more than to just be left alone, but a drunken homeless man on a subway track changes everything forever. A former friend of Kurono’s named Kato runs into his former acquaintance just as the drunken man falls on the train tracks of the express train. Everyone, in a perverse way, pretends to either not see the man, or wonders what his death will look like. Everyone, that is, except 2 people. After some debate, Kato and Kurono take action, and die in the process.
They awaken in a room filled with other people and a mysterious black orb called Gantz. The resurrectees are told by Gantz to don an odd black suit, brandish various odd weapons, and kill an alien. Are Kurono, Kato and a new friend named Kei still alive? What is Gantz? Do they really have to kill to survive?
That is a synopsis of the first episode of the show in a nutshell. I do not want to give away many more spoilers, because this show is like video-crack. After seeing 3 episodes at A-Kon this past month I rushed out and purchased all 6 volumes of season 1 within 2 weeks. Watching the show at A-Kon was an odd treat mainly because after the first really bloody occurrence happened I more-or-less imagined that half the audience would get up and leave. To my shock, nobody left that I know of. This was also the first show I have seen at A-Kon that after it ended a chant started for more episodes. It seemed that everybody was really into this show. I quickly got my friend Todd also hooked on the show the moment I got back, and have been recommending to almost everyone I see ever since.
The reason the show is so addictive, is that it keeps you guessing all the time. From the first time you hear the ultra catchy theme song “Super Shooter” by Japanese rap group Rip Slyme, you are hooked. It is also a throwback to how anime was back in the early nineties for me. At that time all you could get ahold of were more adult oriented anime like Akira and Ghost in the Shell. These films were full of wall to wall blood and guts, and cursing flowed like water in many of them. To a teenager burnt out on the PC “lets make kiddy crap” cartoon of the 90’s, I latched onto anime immediately. It was almost nostalgic in an odd way to watch Gantz, because it made me think of why I got into anime in the first place, and that is adult oriented animated films.
I have now seen all of season 1, and I still do not have an adequate grasp of what exactly is going on. I feel that that is one of the major strong points of the story, you are in the main characters shoes, and know just as much as they do. This instantly makes you feel for them more, and want to see them succeed.
ADV tried something different with the Gantz packaging and has released 6 budget-priced DVDs with 2 episodes each. This is good and bad; good in the sense that you essentially pay less, but bad in that you do not get to see plot lines resolve because of odd cliffhanger breakage between volumes.
As for the content: I would say to watch it (Gantz) if you are into old school movies like Vampire Hunter D, and Akira. Beware, however, this show shows excessive violence and gore along with adult situations, and nudity. This is not a kids show, but if you are able to handle a Tarantino movie, you should have no problem.
On a different note from the anime goodness that is Gantz, I am currently playing Kirby: Canvas Curse for the Nintendo DS. This is possibly the first “true” DS game that I have played seeing as it has levels and utilities the touch screen to its full remarkable potential. I have really enjoyed the games I own, (Feel the magic, Mario, Mr. Driller, Wario Ware) but most of them seem more like tech demos, or just plain old remakes than completely new gaming experiences. I believe this is the true strongpoint in Kirby, as the touch screen is not used as a gimmick, but is VERY important (well necessary) in the game. I am currently on level 7, so I will not do a full review as I have not beaten everything, but I would definitely recommend it to any DS owner.
Next I hope to buy Puyo pop or Bomberman, or even Meteos, I have not actually decided. All I know is that I cannot wait for the upcoming Castlevania and the new Mario game to finally come out, as well as Trauma Center: Under the knife, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. The latter two games look odd, but I likes my text based adventure games, so I can not wait for them.
I am also currently getting into X-Men Legends, mainly because the price shot down to 20 bucks last week. My girlfriend and I are addicted to Baldur’s gate Style action RPGs, and I am a giant X-men nut (from time to time), so it was a given that we would enjoy this game. It has a few issues, but so far, its really fun.
Since I am still recovering from the epic that was working at a retail store for 11 hours during a Harry Potter release Party, I will cut this short, but I leave you with a few short picks that do not really deserve a full paragraph or two.
Steve’s Brief picks:
Movies: So far, Batman Begins has been the best film I have seen all month, War of the Worlds was good, but had some flaws. I will be seeing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory next week, so I will keep you posted.
Anime: Aside from Gantz, Kino’s journey has been a great show. If you enjoy more introspective or philosophical shows, then this is a sure bet.
Books: Currently I am reading “Real Ultimate Power” by Robert Hamburger, which is basically a book based on a website that a fake 10 year old boy created about ninjas. To see what started it all visit the website.
TV: Right now, I am really enjoying the fact that BBC has began running the long running Rowan Atkinson (of Mr. Bean fame) comedy Blackadder once again. The show centers on a Lineage of people by the name of Blackadder (all played by Atkinson) that are all complete nit-wits in some regard. BBC America is a great channel, if you do not watch it, do yourself a favor and start watching it soon.
Music: Not much to report here in all honesty, I picked up a CD by a band called Kamelot called “Black Halo” last week. Kamelot is an American progressive power metal band that sings songs about dragons, wars, and other things that sound way too much like Lord of the Rings to be a coincidence. The saying is “If you have heard one power metal band, you have heard ‘em all” and that is pretty much true. Check ‘em out if you like bands like Manowar, Iced Earth, Dream Theater, or even Judas Priest.
Until next time,
-Editorial by Stephen Kelley-
-Property of dmgice.com-