Monday, April 26, 2004

The Gantz anime turned out to be rather disappointing. The manga was a trippy, violent tits-and-viscera heavy on the visuals, with an amoral, entertainingly horrible protagonist. Our heroes, after getting killed in various ways around Tokyo, are re-assembled in a downtown apartment by a big black ball which tells them they belong to it, and that they're to kill aliens for their keep. I rather enjoy the manga, which probably says nothing good about my character, but there it is. The anime has the amorality and the weirdness down pat, but somebody in Practices and Standards lost their nerve mid-way through the project. The nudity and the gore has been cut. Now, when I say "cut", I don't mean removed at the script stage. There are scenes and parts of scenes missing. The show looks like somebody left it alone in a room with those volunteer videoshop editors who chop up mainstream movies for their Mormon customers who want to enjoy pop culture without being corrupted by the gentiles' predilection for tits and gunplay. Scenes which were cut for gore and violence are referred to later on in flashbacks which make no sense - because there's no back to flash to! Characters get shot - and disappear!

Now, when I say "somebody in Practices and Standards", I'm being metaphorical, because Japanese television is famously without institutions such as a department of Practices and Standards. But this isn't the good old days, before Hideaki Anno pissed on Those Who Must Not Be Urinated Upon, and producers and sponsors have started to act as if there were such a department, acting the part of a Practices and Standards board. So, we get something based on a wild manga like Gantz, but we get it cut to shreds by somebody who isn't quite sure what he or she wants. Bah.

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