Anime Club: Gantz:0

GANTZ: O

DIRECTED BY: Yasushi Kawamura

STARRING: Daisuke Ono, M·A·O, Tomohiro Kaku, Saori Hayami, Shūichi Ikeda, Masane Tsukayama, Yūki Kaji

GENRE: Science Fiction, Action

YEAR: 2016

COUNTRY: Japan

While fighting invading monsters, Kei Kurono rescues his friend, Reika. Though she protests, he faces off against the monsters’ leader, dying just after killing it. Reika and her surviving teammates are teleported back to their base. Elsewhere, Masaru Kato dies after attempting to save someone from a knife-wielding maniac in a subway (who seems to be indiscriminately killing innocent bystanders). He wakes up in a small room with Reika and her teammates: Yoshikazu Suzuki, an old man; Joichiro Nishi, a surly teenager; and an angry, unidentified man. Suzuki explains that, in the past, they have each died and woken in the room. They are subsequently forced to fight against waves of monsters. Before Suzuki can explain further, a black orb identified as “Gantz” announces that their next mission is about to begin. The angry man defiantly refuses to participate and is killed by Nishi, who reasons that the rebelling man will be nothing but a liability.

Alright Gantz:0, what do have in store for me? While I am not too familiar with the Gantz franchise, as it has been almost a decade since I have seen the original series, but I felt Gantz:0 actually found itself a place in this gory/bloody franchise. By far the best part of Gantz:0 was the design of the enemies. They were weird, surreal, and equally terrifying to the point of pure amazement. For example, when the boss arrives in his final form, he intrigues me at the same time of horrifying me beyond belief. Now that I think of it though, it seems loosely influenced by the Summoned Skull monster from the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, just 10 times more bad ass.

However, beyond the monster design, nothing really stood out to me at least in a positive light. The CGI animation, while showcasing the advances we have made in the following years, it made the human characters seem bland and unimportant. While this does provide the illusion that they are just soldiers, not unique in any way, but that also takes away what little character development there is. Continuing with character faults, the voice acting is also rather poor, this story should have just been left subtitled.

PROS:

  • Character design.
  • Score.

CONS:

  • Poor cast performance.
  • Awkward CGI animation.
  • Bland character design.
  • Pacing.

SCORE: 4.5 / 10

 

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Anime Club: Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King

BERSERK: THE GOLDEN AGE ARC I: THE EGG OF THE KING

DIRECTED BY: Toshiyuki Kubooka

GENRE: Action, Dark Fantasy

YEAR: 2012

COUNTRY: Japan

Guts, a mercenary, attracts the attention of the Band of the Hawk and is forced into joining the group after being defeated by its leader Griffith twice. Once the Hawks defeated the kingdom of Chuder’s Black Ram Iron Lance Calvary, they are recruited by Midland for its war against the rival kingdom. During one siege, Guts and Griffith encounter the demon Nosferatu Zodd, who notices the Behelit around Griffith’s neck and warns Guts that Griffith will be his doom.

I want to preface this that I have only seen very little of the movies and series in the Berserk franchise, so I am only a bit familiar with the background and lore of the franchise. By far one of the most popular anime franchises, The Golden Age Arc – The Egg of the King is the first film in the movie compilation that serves as a retelling of the Golden Age arc. The animation style is superb and definitely, serves as a standard for the technology at the time. Also, I would like to give a shout out to the voice cast, as their performances resonated with their characters rather well.

I have two major drawbacks and disappointments when it comes to The Egg of the King.  First off, while the art style was done really well, I didn’t feel that it resonated with the Berserk story as well as it could have. It definitely created a more stylized feel than the grittiness the Berserk is known for. Lastly, I didn’t enjoy the film as much as I could have because there is honestly very little action or anything going on. The Egg of the King is definitely no more than setting up for the rest of the Golden Age arc story.

PROS:

  • Appealing animation.
  • Main cast performance.

CONS:

  • The majority of the story is just setup.
  • Animation is too stylized.
  • Quite uninteresting if you know nothing about the Berserk franchise.

SCORE: 5.5 / 10

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Anime Club: Seven Deadly Sins: Signs of Holy War

SEVEN DEADLY SINS: SIGNS OF HOLY WAR

the-seven-deadly-sins-signs-of-holy-war

CREATED BY: Tensai Okamura

GENRE: Action, Fantasy, Adventure

NO. OF EPISODES: 4 Episode OVA

YEAR: 2016-2017

COUNTRY: Japan

Taken the kingdom of Leones back from Holy Knights, the Seven Deadly Sins, along with Elizabeth and Hawk, can finally enjoy peaceful lives they earned. However, with premonitions of a new threat are looming, their happy, ordinary days are about to end soon. If you would like to check out our review of the 1st season, you can check it out at The Seven Deadly Sins.

Alright, it’s been long enough that we should have a second season of Seven Deadly Sins from Netflix right? Wrong! The biggest drawback for the “second season” was Netflix’s flub of a marketing plan. Netflix marketed Seven Deadly Sins’s OVA as it’s second season, which really pissed off fans (including ourselves).  Normally Netflix is rather timely for their releases, but to actually release an OVA? For shame Netflix.
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Come join for a beer!

But we need to look at the bright side of things right? Sign of Holy War is an “enjoyable” OVA that explores and fully cements the characters. For example, we finally are able to watch Ban and Meliodas fight each other “to the death”. We also get to see King and Diane have a date on the town, with possible action if King hadn’t lost his memory like an idiot. The OVA is a light hearted look out the sins on how they spend their downtime, and it definitely is well deserved. Fight on Sins, fight on.

PROS:

  • Light-hearted comedic value.
  • Cements characters in their “off-day”.

CONS:

  • Netflix marketing flub.
  • Episode length.
  • Filler.

SCORE: 6.0 / 10

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