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Original Title:
Gantz: Perfect Answer

Japan 2011

Action, Sci-Fi

Shinsuke Sato

Kazunari Ninomiya
Kenichi Matsuyama
Yuriko Yoshitaka
Ayumi Ito
Kanata Hongo
Go Ayano
Takayuki Yamada
Tomorowo Taguchi
Ayako Yoshitani
Shigeru Okuse

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Gantz: Perfect Answer

Story: Kei Kurono (Kazunari Ninomiya) is keeping his girlfriend Tae (Yuriko Yoshitaka) at a distance because he has a secret he can't tell her about. On a regular basis he is ordered by the mysterious sphere Gantz to eliminate aliens that have settled on earth. Alongside other fighters he is collecting points that way in order to trade them for a normal life again or to revive a loved one. Kei wants to bring back to life his friend Kato (Kenichi Matsuyama) and until that day he takes care of his little brother for him, who thinks that Kato has only gone on a trip for a while. However, one day Kei meets Kato again and has to wonder about how he can still be alive. Even though Kei doesn't get an answer to that he is told by Kato that he wants to bring down Gantz.
At the same time the pop idol Eriko (Ayumi Ito) gets a small sphere that orders her to kill certain individuals. Police detective Shigeta (Takayuki Yamada) is therefore hot on her trail. Shigeta is observing the strange happenings in the city for a while already and tries to understand how the dead can suddenly walk around again. For this he even and unknowingly accepts the help of the aliens who are now mobilizing all their forces to destroy Gantz.

Review: "Gantz" had left us with some unanswered questions but gave us the prospect of getting the answers in the sequel. Now it's finally time to get all those long-awaited answers but what does "Gantz: Perfect Answer"? The movie raises even more questions! So those who expect - as for some odd reasons the misleading title suggests to do so as well - a perfect answer will be extremely disappointed. While the first installment could at least deliver good action and out-of-the-box aliens the sequel may manage to score with some nice action, too, but all the aliens are now battled in the shape of humans. Furthermore, the finale can't live up to the expections it raised itself. "Gantz: Perfect Answer" is thus not a really well-achieved manga adaption and this even though you can see the potential that lies in the story at any time. The movie should have become a more conclusive and coherent whole in order to be really satisfactory.

Even in the first part there was some strong deviation from the original, especially concerning Kei's character, who even becomes a selfless hero in the movie. In the second installment the movie storywise differs even more from the original material, but that isn't supposed to sound like some criticism. "Death Note" or "Shinobi" for example proved that a film can work out pretty well when differing from the source material. It even should differ to offer a few surprises to fans of the anime/manga as well and also is a necessity, after all the the story of a whole series needs to be told condensedly in a movie. For that reason itself it's not my intention to criticize the ending but it has to be criticized that "Gantz: Perfect Answer" takes some liberties here whereas it doesn't take them in other respects even if it should have. A few more answer in order to fill the numerous gaps in the story would have been appropriate!

It's also questionable why there are constantly new characters introduced in the movie. Even though the Extended Cut of the sequel got pretty long with its 145 minutes running time again this still isn't enough space to introduce new individuals. This way not only the old faces remain drawn pretty shallow but the new characters as well. At best they stand out with some personal objectives that make them look at least a bit distinct. Especially in this respect there are some scenes that leave no doubt about the fact that "Gantz: Perfect Answer" could have worked out on a more drama-heavy level as well, if there just would have been put more focus on it. In order to achieve that the story simply should have been cut to a more coherent whole, some unnecessary dialogue could have been removed and the introduction of new characters been set aside. That is because the most frustrating element in the film is that neither the old questions are all resolved nor the new ones.

Very unfortunate as well is that the aliens are only appearing in a human form now. The wacky enemies of the first installment all had their unique charm and made the film stick to you even after the credits. The same can't be said about the sequel, though. Here, the aliens appear as humans that are able to take on the shape of anyone and furthermore are also capable of creating whatever weapon they need in an instant. We get to know that they are at war with Gantz and that he/it started with the killing. This naturally raises some questions, but there aren't any answers to be found here either. At least there are some nice action scenes. A true highlight is the confrontation between the Gantz-fighters and the aliens in a subway. This time civilians are among the casualties as well and the movie can be pretty ruthless in this respect. Because of the cramped space this is an interesting place for a battle and finally we also get to see some sword fighting with more substance to it. Yes, one of the aliens even engages in a fantastic gun-fu fight with one of Gantz' fighters. It would have been nice if there had been more of those scenes later on!

Sadly, the actual finale is presented with an anti-climax. What's also problematic is that everything goes down the drain at the end and we are still aware that nothing has to stay like it is forever. Everything could turn for a happy ending after all and this somehow makes you feel that you as a viewer are obviously given the runaround. Some of the twists can't really work out because of that. Despite some attempted explanation in the movie it's also not clear why of all people Tae suddenly becomes a target of Gantz. Such strange story flaws are apparent throughout the whole movie, though, and make its entertaining factor decrease a lot. The finale with its drama may in fact work out better than we expected because of the weak character drawing, but it still remains unsatisfactory with its many loose ends. Therefore, "Gantz: Perfect Answer" can't live up to the expectations the first installment raised and so it simply remains an entertaining action flick that never comes close to its true potential.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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