Sound of GANTZ
International Title
Music By: Kenji Kawai
Record Label: VAP
Running Time: 60:43 Discs: 1
Release: January 2011 CD Number: VPCD-81693
Anthony Romero
First, thanks goes to Jessica Stan for sending this in for review!

Composer Kenji Kawai has a number of followers and admirers. His work in Anime productions, such as Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004), has given him a decent amount of recognition. That said, I will forever recognize Kawai for his horror scores, such as Ring (1998) and Dark Water (2002). His style tends to work best for that genre, where it can build the mood and create tension when it needs to. It's a lost art, but also one that doesn't lend itself to a great stand alone experience when removed from the movie. That leads us to his 2011 score for GANTZ, which features some of that foreboding type of music mixed with some of the more action oriented pieces from his anime scores. The result, sadly, is simply okay, never really breaking out to be a memorable experience.

Surprisingly, given the action oriented nature of the movie itself, the soundtrack is very low key through many of the themes. "Emission Enlightenment" is a great example of this, as the cue feels foreboding but never draws much attention to itself during the four minute runtime. Those cues that do stand out are sometimes on the strange side, such as the "Transmission" theme that starts with a rather unearthly cry before moving into more traditional choral work. Even themes that seem like they should be action pieces, such as "The Beginning of Senju's Crusade" when the multi-armed alien begins its attack, feels more like slasher music than a motif for a sci-fi battle.

The disc does have a diamond in the rough cue which is also the last: "Resurrection in the GANTZ Field: Revival", the theme that plays during the end credits. It features some rather odd male vocal work, but has a good tempo otherwise and feels like an interesting composition. It's a shame this style wasn't matched more in the score. The only other themes that kind of make a name from themselves is "Wax On", although it features a rather cheesy guitar riff, and "Boot Up Kurono: Start" which are basically the same theme.

Bottom line, if you are a Kenji Kawai fan, you will probably enjoy this score and to be blunt: it's decent. As someone who only finds Kawai to be okay, I was under whelmed by this CD outside of the "Resurrection in the GANTZ Field: Revival" track.
Rating: Star Rating
  1. The Black Sphere Start
  2. Radio Exercise Tune
  3. Emission Enlightenment
  4. Transmission
  5. Canon Chase
  6. Dream of Not Awakening
  7. Friend
  8. Dream of Awakening
  9. Second Life
  10. Tanaka Alien
  11. Raid
  12. Message
  13. Wax On
  14. Encounter
  15. Rally Bell
  16. The Two Ancient Deva Kings Awaken
  17. The Beginning of Senju's Crusade
  18. Revenge
  19. Reviving Pulse
  20. Hero
  21. Light Lost
  22. Resurrection
  23. Boot Up Kurono: Start
  24. Resurrection in the GANTZ Field: Revival