Highs: Character development; thought-provoking at times; a handful of fantastic episodes
Lows: Massive amounts of filler; horrendous pacing; cop-out ending
Where Gantz: The First Stage concludes, The Second Stage picks up and gradually builds steam until it hits a superb climax. It is a shame that one must endure so much filler on the way there and that the final episode leaves so many questions yet unanswered. Just when I thought I was in line for the conclusion, I had been waiting so long for.... sigh... more filler.
That is not to say that we are left without any form of finale, but what is provided is far from what I had anticipated. Don't bother getting too attached to the characters or trying to solve any mysteries on your own; everything is a symbol, part of one broad social commentary. While that
may sound right up your alley, it really ends up being rather frustrating to sit through countless filler episodes, only to get a message that
could have been just as effectively summed up in a fraction of the time. I enjoy thought-provoking anime, but in such a cool and innovative show that could have been an action-packed rollercoaster ride of sci-fi suspense, the ending feels like a real cop-out. This may have been
inevitable, as the original manga source was cut short and revamped to fit a television season, but that is never a good excuse. Couple that with terrible pacing and far too many characters to keep track of, and it's not difficult to be a bit disappointed.
Visually, this show is identical to the first season, which, for the most part, is not a great thing. The animation is not half bad, and the CGI effects actually blend in very well. But the art style is quite dull, and many of the character designs look so similar that it can be difficult to tell them apart with such a large cast.
In the end, you must give credit where credit is due. It is great to see such a bold and creative story hit television. Gantz may not have realized its full potential as creativity in anime seems to be, unfortunately, all too uncommon nowadays.