Aliens walk among us. So says the franchise Gantz. Gantz, which started out as a Japanese manga (or graphic novel), back in the year 2000 by artist/writer Hiroya Oku, has since gone on to a two full seasons as an anime series and also two full live action films. In all cases, the three versions have become highly successful and critically well received. Jason Lloyd of Horrorphilia stated that Gantz is was one of the best genre films of year when it was released as two live action films.
When an indigent person happens to fall off a subway platform, two older high school students, Kei Kurono and Masaru Kato, independently jump down to help him. Unfortunately minutes into the story, both die in the tragic accident. Yet each finds themselves soon after in an apartment looking out on the city of Tokyo unaware how they got there. With them are a group of other strangers from various walks of life and in the center of the room is a giant black metallic ball that will soon determine their final fate.
Gantz happens to be both a science fiction story in the vane of both cyberpunk and techno-thriller subgenres with strong and graphic horror elements. Yet the largest critical reception of the franchise is the misanthropic arc the story takes while it leads to an eventual ambiguous deliverance. Though showy with its grindhouse and exploitation elements, the story of a handful of condemned individuals tells a lot more than its surface elements. Co-host Abe joins Phil for his very first appearance on Dark Discussions, now finally released as its own episode.