On the evening of Thursday, January 21, 2011, we arrived at Mann Chineses in Hollywood, and stood in line to get our passes, a poster and tickets, then moved to another area to wait to enter the theater. We were located next to the main entrance. There were many fan girls there, with magazines, fans, and home made t-shirts, every time there was some hint that something might be happening somewhere, a loud squeal/ screaming would arise.
Excitement rose as 4:30 neared. There was Nino (Kazunari Ninomiya) surrounded by security. Nino wore black leather pants, black leather vest with vertical zipper trim, and a light grey suit jacket, and the most amazing black patent leather shiny, shiny and shiny pointy toed boots. Kenichi Matsuyama wore a charcoal suit and matching shirt, no tie. As they entered the building there was a deafening scream/squeal. And then, they were gone as quickly as they appeared. Apparently there is some cosmic force generated by N&K which causes ear splitting noise everywhere they go.
Shortly afterwards, we were given official Gantz T-shirts and entered the theater. The Editor of Otaku magazine, Macias, gave a short speel about "NO PICTUERS NO PICTURES NO PICTURES, and Nino will stand here and Kenichi will stand there etc, and again NO PICTURES" Then he said "Lets welcome the stars of the movie, Nino and----", another deafening scream arose and we had no idea what was said after. Nino and Kenichi came down the stairs.
The building was full of joy and scream by fan girls. The Stars went up to stage with their interpreters, and each greeted us in English. Scream, screams, and more screams. Then Nino and Kenichi were escorted out of the theater.
The movie began. The plot closely followed the manga/anime. It was good, but the dubbing/voice-over detracted from the movie. Perhaps it was just a poor translation, but I would have preferred subtitles.
This movie is every boys dream come true. They are in a game. The special effects were effective, the costumes good, and the music was great. One would think that this movie was made for the stereotypical college male, but there were very few in attendance. I wondered what the demographics at the other venues were like.
After the movie, Nino and Kenichi fielded questions for 15 minutes with telecast to 333 theatres across the US, and for another fifteen minutes exclusively for Hollywood audience.
Nino was, at first, surprised to see so many fans at Los Angeles International Airport waiting for his arrival. He didn't think that there were so many fans already in the US.
Nina also shared the behind-the-scene story. When he was filming giant buddha sequence, Kenichi was having the birthday. Nino personally baked a cake for Kenichi. Kenichi didn't say about the taste of Nino's handmade cake. But Nino told the audience that he would never bake a cake again.
In this movie, Nino is all of the stunts by himself (without any stunt double!). Everyday after the filming, they checked the footage (The daily). During the daily screening, Nino was shocked by his own stunt. He couldn't believe that he was able to do such a "cool" stunt" by himself.
One audience asked if Nino himself were in the world of Gantz and he would survive, Nino answered that he would be too scared and kept hiding around behind people. He actually hid behind Kenichi. Then, he concluded that he would not survive in Gantz world.
Nino was very surprised that the increasing popularity of a Japanese movie. He was very happy to see that 333 theaters across the US was enjoying the movie at the same time, and watch the telecast of 15 minutes Q&A. He hopes that more people all over the world like Japanese films, and hope to come back for Gantz 2 premiere in the US.
At last, Nino answered he would try to dub it in English by himself (?).
I would, at least, hope for subtitle version.
Gantz is currently playing throughout theatres in Japan and the US. Gantz 2 comes out in April throughout the theaters in Japan & the US.