On January 20th, 2011, many anime fans rushed out to the premiere of the Gantz Live Action movie. The Aventura mall AMC Theater was packed with fans that night, but did those fans enjoy the movie?
One of the major let downs of the movie is the dubbing. For those of us who are familiar with Japanese films, dubbing has been a dismaying distraction. Despite the fact that it was released for the USA audience, it should have been subtitled. Listening to an American voice trying to lip sync with a Japanese actor and failing in every scene except the very last close up is a major turn off. After all, the USA has a fairly high literacy rate (99% of the population aged 15 and over can read and write according to the CIA), especially among anime fans who dedicate themselves to reading manga and fan subs to get their daily anime fixes. Let us use our literacy to enjoy foreign films.
Because it is a movie, it is understandable that not every event in the anime or the manga is portrayed. Characters were left out, scenes were skipped and certain aspects of the storyline were changed in order to meet the time frame.
To create a worthwhile movie, the director (Shinsuke Sato) and screen writer (Yuusuke Watanabe) had to make some calls on what audiences would be entertained by. For example, listening to Kei Kurono’s inner thoughts complain about the people around him for 30 minutes of the film would not have been very wise. An episodic anime can get away with this, but a movie cannot.
A bonus from the movie was the opening and ending interview scenes. When it debuted in California, the two main actors, Kazunari Ninomiya and Keinichi Matsuyama were in attendance to present their thoughts and feelings on how the movie went and their hopes for the next one.
That’s right, anime fans, there will be a sequel to this movie later on in the year. The actors laughed when they told everyone how they hoped we would be able to hear their voices in the next movie instead of the voice actors.
Is it worth watching? Do birds fly? An adaptation is just that: an adaptation. It is a different view on a similar concept. If the storyline was continuous in the manga, anime and movie there would be nothing new for fans to watch. Your Fort Lauderdale Anime Examiner says go watch it, but do not go out of your way for it.
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