In not so many words what I actually thought of Gantz’ Ending

Gantz manga the end

I recall a summer back in 2005-2006 when I picked up Gantz the first time. Little did I know that late evening and my sleep would be gone instead dedicated to Gantz the moment I read the first chapter. Before I knew it I was over the first 100 chapters into a story of personal survival, to save the earth, unspeakable monsters, and ultra tight black suits. My mind filled with contents I wouldn’t wish to others unless they’d agree to it. I confess that this is not a rare experience as many who have picked up Gantz reacted in a similar way – they can’t put it down. Much like those freakishly bizarre aliens. That’s because Gantz is an experience on its own. Everything has to end at some point. If there is any team of people who has earned their rest in the manga story, I’m sure Gantz would be up there.

The good, the bad, and shit that just happened

Gantz Tae in not so many wordsaddressing the elephant in the Gantz’ room

Things I and many didn’t care about

Final volume, final chapter, end of the story. Getting things out of the way. I speak for the big majority that didn’t give a damn for Tae. Tae is dull. Not as talented or smart. Not hot or pretty. Not even part of the Gantz team. Hold on, that sort of makes me sound like a jerk for not siding with the author’s decision, doesn’t it? Still it’ll be fairly inconclusive to not mention one of the reasons the latter developments in the manga didn’t live up to expectations. I didn’t like Tae for multiple reasons which can be anything from her lack of characters to poor status in the series save making Kei a more “normal” man. Can’t he be a normal man with someone else? Case in point, if you didn’t care for Tae or similarly for Tae x Kei then all those several several chapters about rescuing Tae were a waste of ink. Sorry, Tae lovers.

You know that you are screwing it up when lots of readers want your destined to be final (and only remaining) girl to be killed by one of the incoming four-eyed aliens and get it over with so the story can move on.

gantz mechas final battles

The whole Final Arc

Statues, Buddhas, dinosaurs, aliens, Yes! ALL THAT GOOD STUFF we fondly remember. Remember when they fought those crows? Amazing. Remember when they kicked and punched -dinosaurs-? Incredible. Remember when they fought those Buddhist statues. Glorious.

On one hand we have these amazingly executed creative battles we won’t easily find anywhere. On the other hand, we have the final arc. All these cool battles were replaced by gigantic machines and LASERS destroying world. They were not up to part with any of the previous cool battles. The stakes might be the highest but damnit, I couldn’t get hyped by any of it as I was before when the Gantz teams fought them with their guns and their bare hands. That shit was the real stuff. Gigantic robots of doom are surely-fucking-not. Not even the art was as good. It really kills me I’m not showering Gantz’ ending with praise in this final entry because I would very much would like to be doing that.

Gantz Reika RIP

Great characters that just didn’t make it

Speaking of killing. It pissed me off so much that they killed off Reika in the last volume. Color me mad. Moreover, what pissed me off more was that her final battle did not even get its own chapter! Of course, she dies by coming to rescue clone Kei as it was prophesied by long hair dude. And she saves Kei. Think about it. The one female character that stood up the most in Gantz does not even get her own screen time or proper farewell. Really? What could be more important? Spin-offs? Pages of cliff-hangers about rescuing dumb Tae? No, author, noo..

There was also Sakurai, the ESP dude with amazing powers, that died after he used up all his powers to destroy as many damn aliens as he could to avenge his girlfriend and teacher. Shit, he didn’t deserve to die. A lot of Gantz characters didn’t deserve to die. Like many of those not mentioned. Like those that died trying to down the aliens’ national hero. Except, maybe Nishi, he was kind of a consistent jerk.

Gantz Host samurai etc

Ideas and characters that were questionably handled

Samurai host, Kei’s brother, etc. What their objective was and why they were relevant to the plot, we mean really relevant to this final arc. The thing is that many characters showed up in Gantz then later disappeared. What happened to them? Why couldn’t more of them be part of the final epic battle? Oh forget it. Even the main characters didn’t get enough as the final chapters and its conclusion were approaching at an inhuman speed. Not that Gantz tried to do a lot through these years and not always was able to handled all the stories properly.

Also every character you don’t remember can be attributed to how long the series has been running and the innumerable number of times it was put on hold then picked up again when more chapters were released.

Gantz room of truth aliens final chapter

The Truth Room : Piss off guys

But, fuck everything. If you’ve read Gantz you know a lot of characters are going to die.
I confess I have some level of respect how Oku Hiroya took for how he took risks to kill off characters, no matter how important they were in the past and managed to continue this amazing story. But this is the final arc. You expect not the great characters to die. You expect the recently introduced and the temporary characters to be the ones to fall prey to the aliens, especially when they can’t be revived again seeing the story is over and all.

When you write a story as intricate and outrageous as Gantz you take tremendous risks to give it all some level of meaning, comprehensible to people before sooner or later you have to explain how things, in this case Gantz’ world. There were too many questions since the manga started. What is Gantz? Its purpose, what are these alien creatures, and why do they have to fight them. All surprisingly not as badly answered as one could imagined by explaining the reasons behind Gantz’ technology and the aliens. So, the aliens were pissed at the other aliens thus helped humanity (they’ll call it keeping the equilibrium) though they could care less.

The aliens’ overall attitude and killing Reika, Angelina Jolie, and in the process clone Kei was like a big “fuck you” if you ask me. Call it a way to conclude those subplots but my opinion remains. Was that really necessary? As a reader, I say no because the finale could have easily lived without it. Story-wise, as maddening as it was it is consistent with the theme aliens are assholes.

Gantz final chapter final scenes

Out with it: Well then the ending was pretty sucky

One things that all manga authors need to understand is that: You need to properly build up to the finale. Page by page. Panel by panel. You don’t need to dedicate a full volume to the final moments of the story but you need to provide enough chapters so the ending never feels rushed. You do this is by not spending time on events that don’t contribute to the finale, by not introducing new elements to the story, by answering unanswered questions, by creating a proper climax. More importantly, you don’t end your whole story in one or two chapters like this was. The ending sure could have used two or more chapters

I know there is a theory out there says the final scene was a dream. I’m not buying it. That would actually make the ending worse. The ending is exactly as it happened. The actual ending is better than that rushed as it was.

Gantz the end

And to the Protagonist

One of the greatest feats of Gantz aside from its battles and story was creating this hard to like, selfish, coward, awkward young main character named Kei who grows each volume until he becomes this incredible character and also unstoppable machine that destroys any alien who stands in his way and handles impossible scenarios emerging victorious. Kei changes from selfishly trying to survive to one who willingly returns to the game to save his dead friends and girlfriend. Ultimately, Kei’s character proves to be and truly feels as *the* protagonist, and only one, of the story. One detail impossible to not mention is Gantz, as a story, continuing after having killed the protagonist and passing the baton to another protagonist.

There are many decisions made that I strongly disagree with regarding the directions the story took. The way I see it the final arc was more about Kei than the world (or the story) as the original Kei chooses his path and ultimately unselfishly throws himself into danger becoming once again who he used to be in the beginning – fearless.

gantz bosses

If this comes across as a semi-rant is because it is. It should also come across as reminder of Gantz’s history through these years. The final arc of Gantz doesn’t compare to the surreal magic of the first half of the series. If there is one apparent flaw to the second half of the series is the direction it took after so many twists and the execution of the final arc. Gantz could have ended greatly or poorly as it tried to do so much. As one of my favorite manga all of time donning an impossible “masterpiece” statue, you expect a lot more from Gantzb’ finale. The conclusion was not nearly as satisfactory or as fun as these long years were but if I could do it all over again I’ll read Gantz again.

This marks another long running manga that ends. Gantz makes its way next to Mirai Nikki when the manga ended as there won’t be another title that is going to replace it. I am going to miss it after so many years and for those who picked it up when it first came out in 2000 even more. Miss old those impossible missions, those aliens, and really “what Gantz was”. My one final thought concerning of this madness is that years later I’ll re-read Gantz again not for the great ending but simply for the insane developments and outrageous battles as it was king went it came to this.

My other thought is again, “I can’t believe Gantz is over.”

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13 thoughts on “In not so many words what I actually thought of Gantz’ Ending

  1. Ah. Gantz. I’m with you on this final chapter. It has became lackluster that I practically lost interest in the whole manga after investing so many hours on it. It was very suspenseful at first but became very repetitive in the next chapters. My favorite arc is the Nurarihyon arc. But this alien invasion thing doesn’t strike a chord with me. Anyway, I’m glad that it’s finally over – but, yeah, the ending could have taken its sweet time for a proper closure.

    • Man, the Osaka Arc.

      Mine in general was the first phase as the mysteries of Gantz extremely far. The final arc seemed weird and unfitting even for Gantz. Then again what more powerful way for a final battle then one for the whole world. I know. Cliche. But you know.

      The second part of the manga took Gantz in a different direction somehow leading us here.. and we know what the rest.

      Bye, Gantz. That’s another long running manga that ends.

  2. Man the biggest disappointment I had with Gantz was Sabastain. Remember the part when he basically called himself god and made a airplane fall out of the sky?

    How in earth do you just forget about that scene and act like it never happened. So yea the aliens died, yet you got a man that can make airplanes fall out of the sky roaming around calling himself god.

    That is what pissed me off the most about this manga. The scene was probably the greatest part of any manga I’ve have ever read. When the guys from Germany explained where the balls came from and the theory behind the Akashic record. That was just an awesome concept and I think about that daily.
    I thought it was just flat out cool how he explained the aliens scent data to his retarded daughter and she spat out random numbers. Then the Germans had scientist decode what she was saying leading to them creating the Gantz balls. Awesome concept.

    And Sebastian was basically the main German guy that made the Gantz balls. My point is Sebastain is still alive and the series just ended without concluding his part in the manga. WTF!!!!!!

    • It looks like Hiroya forgot most of the characters, focused on what looks like a whole new manga that does not resemble Gantz. The vampires, the ESP, Sebastian…all great conceps that could make a story by themselves. However, Hiroya decided to let it all go because he loves giant robots and huge things. I can’t say I did not like the concept of these giant aliens trying to invade earth and their indifference and how they scare me, but the ending ignored what came before. About the truth room, I loved it. I think the explanation to everything was rational and “Gantzesque”. As a fan, that was the kind of explanation I would expect (humans are nothing but a drop in the ocean that is the universe).

  3. i’ve gone back to finish the manga from when i left off on the first hiatus only to find out that reika would die. what the hell. i also couldn’t understand why most people hated her because of being a fanservice even when she is far more complex than just shouting kei-chan!!! the whole 10 chapters or so. (i dont hate tae though)..
    anyway, even if she’s flat chested and is not sexy, i would still love her character .

    so much loopholes as well with so much subplot not being build up. (just what is said for sebastain -up comment- and the whole gantz ball that is being manufactured) hopefully they remake an alternate ending (which is really unlikely).

  4. reading the manga itself, i strongly agree that the author intend to end the series because of his own emotions expressed to his work.
    I can feel the pain of the author, maybe the author represent himself as Kei Kurono, dying to save someone very important to him.
    that he expressed that if he is Kei, he will only trust himself, I guess the author itself suffer in a emotional depression,

    The Alien Invasion represents Tragedy/ Catastrophe to the author’s life, maybe someone is going to die in real life,
    And then everything turn into nothing and someone died, the author expressed that no god at all, if you remember
    When they asked the truth Kato and others, the alien things said that humans are arrogant, worse species, deserved nothing actually,

    I strongly agree that there is something wrong with the Author himself.

  5. Yup Gantz had so much going for it, the start was amazing you had no idea what would happen next. There were so many plots that just died mid swing, I wish the ending would get a rewrite. Sadly the final few archs felt rushed and empty of plot and character closure. Ah well was a good read.

  6. Sebastian = Truth alien (Gantz tech source…NOT german industrialist who built the balls to the specs received via retard daughter)

    …Kikuchi recognizes that in the Truth room, btw

    All the butthurt is what makes Gantz great – we’ve just had the time to come to grips with the deaths of Kishimoto (remember her?!), first-arc Kato (who then comes back anyway), Gramps, etc.

    Vampires = existed to kill Izumi and Kurono off outside Gantz. Not much hidden meaning, just a plot progression instrument…also helped introduce Kei’s family background and what made him who he was

    Akira “better brother” Kurono = head cut off by Host Samurai for leaking info to Kei. Dead now (though kinda strange how family never reacted to it…only 8 DAYS before invasion / 10 days before end though – might not have sunk in, maybe they thought he ran off to womanize?? Not sure they ever found his head). And he existed for creating Kei’s background and as a reason for his bitter disillusionment anyway

    TAE – drives entire second half by making Kurono what he became. Gentler, more decisive, willing to risk self for others. Even his whole “we, humans” trip was 100% from her counselling/support (in bed ~ch 299)

    TaE is THE central plot device in Gantz. Bigger even than comoetition with Katou or Izumi, bigger than the Izumi & Nishi = Katou & Kurono divergence as we watch one pair grow and the other fall into madbess

    ?…EVEN THE DEATH-DERAM – VICTORY ENDING WAS PURE GANTZ. Sooo many cues for any version you choose (hey keichan its the beach – remember – was the hallucination Kurono had during his suicide attempt after the Tae mission; also, the presence only odf people he knew or saw, and yes seems he saw Mary jump onto Kaze on TV – would surely be a vote for dream/dyiing halkucination). Gantz is just ambiguous that way.

    What TRAULY wasnt explaimed was: 100 pts reward structure, souls of doubles (the four simuktaneous Keis….Kishis and Kuros), even whether revives had the same souls returned at all

    And:-)what really WAS dumb at end was that there were about 100500 ways to kill one naked aliem hero that no one ever tried (zguns, mechs and flyer bikes in gallery, lock ons, hard suits, even just decompressing the freakin window and killing everyone there). And why the suicide drop turned to blowing themselves up (empty threatto lure Kurono?)

  7. great article so true get what your saying about the previous boss battles in the arc and making you feel something from them

  8. Hiroya Oku comes from the Lost school of dumping the biggest crap at the end of an epic and interesting story. He deserves to get naked, be hanged by the feet and whipped with a coaxial cable…

  9. Just read the last gantz chapter, and I needed to release my pain, thanks for your post, it helps with that!
    I started gantz 5 days ago, and as you said, could not put it down (I have not managed much work this week!), it was so great: anybody can die, especially all civilians can die, even this small baby trying to reach the alien with his little arms… I mean, even kurono dies at some point! Mysteries, gentle people turned into killing machines, and invisible beings….

    And then, things start to go weird. After reading the two firs arcs in two days, it took me 3 days for the last one: it gets boring. You know they will win and kurono will survive from the start. You wonder what the vampires are doing all this time. No points to win, no boss, no mysteries. Ok, I read it until the end anyway, waiting for the moment when they will end up not killing the alien ( hey do not have to anymore) and have the men finally winning over gantz. I am still waiting…

    No cooments about tae, the blow job scene probably explain much of kurono’s actions :-), and yes you can get reika killed offstage, but then make it have some meaning for the plot, please!!!

    Oh. I am still sad but I am feeling quite better now that I could write about it.
    What else to say? Maybe this:

    Please, I will give you my onions!

  10. Well, as a Gantz lover, now that I’ve read it, I’ve gotta say something in its defense.

    Let’s see, first off, regarding Tae, while agreed that she looks dull, I think she’s way better for Kei than Reika in the story. She is what makes Kei mature and become the MC we like. If Kei hadn’t been with her before the dinosaur arc, he’d still be the punk as he was in the fight against the budha statues, and Reika wouldn’t fall for him in the 1st place.

    Reika isn’t good for Kei’s growth anyway. As an idol, the ‘selfish’ version of Kei would be heads over heels for her and would only think about xxx her and then feel bad for himself as in their world, he’s inferrior to Reika.

    Also, the ending’s theme is “to save you, I end up saving the world”, which suits Kei’s character as, though more mature then, he’s quite realistic and not interested in being a world saving super hero, the defenseless Tae, not being part of the Gantz team is more in need of saving than Reiko, who could fight off aliens herself. Were it not for the copy of Kei needs to prove himself to get over his identity crisis, the two of them with weapons would just run and hide somewhere safe instead of risking their lives fighting aliens, as neither of them want to be heroes.

    The ending, though, is really kinda rushed. But just read Bakuman, it’s how the manga industy work in Japan. When you start a long saga, there’s gotta be high and low moments. But when the rating drops, the mangaka may get axed and then rush to finish it. So I don’t blame the author though some bits got wasted, at least he wraps it all up nicely, and for such a long manga, I’m kinda glad it got a proper ending at least, instead of keep on waiting year after year for Miura’s hiatus on Berserk to be over.

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