As a followup to the new Spring anime TV series post I wrote the other day, here are another 2 shows I’ve had a chance to watch.
GANTZ – I remember seeing a preview for a movie version of this at the beginning of MATRIX REVOLUTIONS last year, and thinking that it looked very cool. I don’t know when the movie is to be released, or how it relates to this new TV series (since the TV series has the tagline “the first stage,” I’m assuming that it acts as a lead-in to the movie). One of the things I really liked was the zooming technique used to tell the story. A lot of the narration is told through the thoughts of characters, and the camera does this by zooming in and out of various characters in an area, and you hear their thoughts. Most of the narration is told through the thoughts of the main character, and they’re hilarious because he’s always thinking (usually insults) the opposite of what he says. As far as the story goes, it’s still hard to say where this is heading. 2 boys die trying to save a homeless person on a train track, and they end up in a room with other people that have also supposedly died. Out the window they can see the Tokyo skyline, but they’re unable to touch the door or window handles (some kind of force prevents it). There’s a huge black sphere in the middle of the room, and at the end of the first episode it communicates with them with a message written in green on it, something telling them that they’re now under its control. Looking forward to the second episode. There are trailers for the show at the official site. Oh, and it’s got a great theme song by Rip Slyme, the only Japanese rap group I can stand.
PANDA-Z: THE ROBONIMATION – I mentioned the Panda-Z merchandise a while back, and now they’ve come up with an anime series. What’s fun here is that they are only 5 minutes shorts, and quite wacky at that. There is no spoken dialogue, and all dialogue appears as text on a black background, sort of like early silent movies. In the second episode, you have one of the pandas trying to eat batteries, with a message constantly scrolling at the bottom saying that batteries are not edible, and later the message starts getting absurd. Every time he’s unsuccessful, the panda freaks out and gets in a battle pose, which is the exact same bit of animation every time (part of the joke). Fun stuff.