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Old 2006-10-21, 16:12   Link #1
stelok
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GONZO: Studio discussion, speculation, and whatnot.

I've watched most of those GONZO titles such as Black Cat, Vandread, Gankutsuou, Samurai 7, Gatekeepers, Speed Grapher, Gravion, Kiddy Grade, Last Exile, Blue Submarine no. 6, Magikano, and most of Solty Rei and Full Metal Panic. I own the complete DVD collection of Chrono Crusade and saw the first 3 episodes of Chrono Crusade months ago but stopped after the third one due to my prioritizing of other anime to watch, although I'm still considering finishing the Chrono.

Here is my opinion on the storytelling, animation, genre and characters of the GONZO anime.

Most of them are action-oriented or shounen and either way they have mild romance and a lot of drama. I can't imagine any GONZO title as shoujo.

Vandread was the first anime I've seen after eight years since DBZ and I liked it. The animation was superb and the battle scenes were cool as well. The development for most of the characters is decent but only Hibiki Tokai becomes a very well-developed and three-dimensional character. However the ending is rather done in an extremely frivolous and rushed manner. As if the final battle was not a big deal. However, what happened after the final fight was pleasant. I'm rather happy to know the two characters have become a couple in the last moment.

Gatekeepers' plotline was quite interesting and I found only one character in the anime to my liking. Her name is Kaoru Konoe. She was so lively, so cool, so cute, I really worship her. I am not interested in the rest, because they are rather bland. I'm far less satisfied with the Gatekeepers' ending. In fact, after the final clash with the main villain ended, I did not like who Shun Ukiya has chosen at the ending. Shun should be with Kaoru Konoe-chan instead. But too bad any anime doesn't end the way we fans want it.

In the case of Last Exile, Blue Submarine no. 6 and Samurai 7, the computer-generated animation is impressive and innovative. However someone says "Last Exile is just eye candy, due to its wonderful animation but poor storyline. All style but no substance." I was also going to say the same about Blue Submarine no.6. Only a few characters in Last Exile are well-developed and nearly quite three-dimensional: Mullin Shetland, Lucciola and Tatiana Wisla. The rest have one-or two-dimensional character personalities.

Blue Submarine no. 6's animation is spectacularly gorgeous as well and the character design of the female main character is sexy but the characterization is so poor, it fails to explain the sudden chemistry between two protagonists. Not to mention it doesn't also show us any look inside any of those characters' minds nor allow us to see their thoughts and reflections.
At best, all of the characters are all one-dimensional.

The reason why I can barely stand Gankutsuou was because of its overly flashy animation and bizarre clothing design. However, the storyline is well-done and has good drama. The characters development was also properly done.

Samurai 7 is loosely based on the classic movie Seven Samurai. So in other words, the plot is quite predictable and not exactly well-played. Even the animation couldn't save this anime.


For me, Kiddy Grade is the worst GONZO anime. We were given a very muddy insight about the two female main characters' histories. The explanation regarding the main characters' pasts was so poor and unclear, that I didn't understand how they originated from, lived, and become the persons they were now. In the end of Kiddy Grade, there was a ridiculous planet-sized mecha menacing over Earth and the good guys come to the rescue in a very frivolous way. All the minor characters had no purpose other than being an audience at the final battle, which was already done in Vandread and Gatekeepers. Plus, the way the fight ended was done too extravagant and too rushed. Which also exactly has haapened that way before in Vandread and Gatekeepers. Not very original idea for a final battle.

As for Black Cat, I liked not only the characters but also the character interaction. I find the chemistry between Sven, Train, and Eve (the 3 characters of the show) very wonderful and appealing. I always am partial to Sven and Eve's relationship. Also, the ending is a bit rushed but okay for me. I am fairly satisfied with the ending.


Many of the GONZO anime were decent and at least have a solid, if not good, conclusion at the end.

Those GONZO with a conclusive ending:
Black Cat
Speed Grapher
Vandread
Samurai 7
Gankutsuou
Chrono Crusade
Gatekeepers
Solty Rei

But the reason why I felt they were all concluded was because
1. The major villains of each anime were either defeated or dead.
2. In each anime, almost everything such as many questions was resolved

In Chrono Crusade's case, the ending, I believe, has a conclusion. I have not seen the end but I did read spoilers regarding what happened in the ending.
Chrono Crusade's ending:
Spoiler:
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Old 2006-10-21, 16:29   Link #2
2H-Dragon
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A solid ending doesnt mean a good ending. Gonzo basicly sucks at making endings and most of the time stray way to much from the manga in bad way.

Gonzo got good animation though can't argue that.

With FMP compare that to FMP:fumo/TSR which was dont by another studio which was way better than what gonzo did with the serie.
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Old 2006-10-21, 16:39   Link #3
Sonhex
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One thing you could argue is that they make memorable anime which sparks a lot of discussion, usually because their shows are strong on themes and concepts, if not plot and character.

Unfortunately Gonzo are all about hit and miss. When they do everything right they come up trumps with class anime like Last Exile, GANTZ and the recent Witchblade. Unfortunately they can also go wildly wrong with output like with Glass Fleet and Solty Rei. Personally I meet their misses with dissapointment rather than derision, simply because even their worst offerings have some redeemable features, usually the quality of the production.

As for their new stuff, it's too soon to tell about Pumpkin Scissors, but its entertaining and enjoyable so far. They've also scored this season with Red Garden, which by all accounts is rather good.
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Old 2006-10-21, 16:47   Link #4
Dragnfly@Gamefaqs
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Many RPG-gamers call Gonzo the "Squeenix of anime" because it seems to have befallen the same problem. Namely: They got too big and lost focus. For the times they aired, shows like Nadesico were the cat's meow. But now it seems they neglected to "upgrade" their writing styles properly and are constantly churning out these manga/novel-based titles that completely flake out at the end.

Still tho, their shows have more bling than Mr. T in a diamond field and are just passably good enough to watch when there's nothing else to watch.

Of course this is all my opinion.
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Old 2006-10-21, 17:01   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonhex View Post
One thing you could argue is that they make memorable anime which sparks a lot of discussion, usually because their shows are strong on themes and concepts, if not plot and character.
Well, I must agree with that.
One of these 'uniqe' anime is Kaleido Star (which is one of my favourite ). Do you now any other anime dealing with circus-like theatre (or something like that)? Because I don't ^^

But well, Gonzo really like to make anime endings not 'open', like for example Chrono Crusade
And even if there's an open ending (ie. Kaleido Star) They don't have really good ideas for sequels (in KS case only Legend of Phoenix ~Layla Hamilton Story~ OVA is good, but the rest 2 are like - Good dayo! Goood!! OVA enyone? )
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Old 2006-10-22, 02:39   Link #6
andromeda0201
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Yes I really agree that Gonzo is very innovative in their ideas and concepts, in fact most of their productions are unique in their own way (eg Gankutsuou, Last Exile, Gantz, NHK, Samurai 7...) they always seem to stand out among the new season of animes. They were the first to animate Full Metal Panic although many argue that KyoAni did a better job, that does give them some credit
Problem is they tend to be able to take a story that has extremely good potential and ruin it....not that i'm complaining, its just that its a great pity
Animation-wise they are excellent, however unlike studios like Bones and Production I.G. they cannot keep it consistant, a good example would be Speed Grapher where the animation went extremely horrible in the middle
They are good at providing interesting characters though, even though the storyline gets boring, their character interaction is always done well
Their series are always a must watch for me even though I don't hold high expectations for them now since watching Trinity Blood. Its really their 'unique concepts' that keep me interested
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Old 2006-10-22, 03:24   Link #7
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I have not watched a Gonzo production that I havn't liked. I would recommend any of their anime to everyone.
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Old 2006-10-22, 09:56   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonhex View Post
One thing you could argue is that they make memorable anime which sparks a lot of discussion, usually because their shows are strong on themes and concepts, if not plot and character.

Unfortunately Gonzo are all about hit and miss. When they do everything right they come up trumps with class anime like Last Exile, GANTZ and the recent Witchblade. Unfortunately they can also go wildly wrong with output like with Glass Fleet and Solty Rei. Personally I meet their misses with dissapointment rather than derision, simply because even their worst offerings have some redeemable features, usually the quality of the production.

As for their new stuff, it's too soon to tell about Pumpkin Scissors, but its entertaining and enjoyable so far. They've also scored this season with Red Garden, which by all accounts is rather good.
In opinion of my wife and I, Solty Rei was one of the better animes of this year. We especailly liked its emphasis on story telling and exploration of concept of family.
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Old 2008-05-30, 21:59   Link #9
tejvenim
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Anime fans that love Gonzo come save Gonzo from their loss

Gonzo suffered a loss of 2.5 billion yen last year.

This year the loss increase to 3.7 billion yen.

If you hate Gonzo, then this is your good time to curse them into the lowest pit of hell.

If you like Gonzo and want to save Gonzo, then pay for Tower of Druaga and Blassreiter. (http://www.crunchyroll.com http://www.bosttv.com)

FYI, Gonzo is the creator of these animes:
Tower of Druaga
Blassreiter
Rosario and Vampire
Romeo and Juliet
Bokurano
Dragonaut
Last Exile
Kaleido Star
Welcome to the N.H.K.

Gonzo also jointly created Seto no Hanayome
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Old 2008-05-30, 22:55   Link #10
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Of those, only Kaleido Star is really worth buying media for, imho :P
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Old 2008-05-30, 23:38   Link #11
Chiibi
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How dare you forget Chrno Crusade, Black Cat and Full Metal Panic!? D:<
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Old 2008-05-30, 23:38   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandarb916 View Post
Of those, only Kaleido Star is really worth buying media for, imho :P
Last Exile and Welcome to the NHK from that list alone are probably more worthy.
Then we also have Gankutsuou, Saikano, Full Metal Panic! and other stuff I'm forgetting.

I don't really... hate Gonzo either. While 90% of the stuff they produce is crap, I find that the 10% is often very good.

They could probably save themselves if they made something great again, but those don't come often.
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Old 2008-05-30, 23:41   Link #13
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Agree on the 90-10 view. They really should be more consistent with their quality.
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Old 2008-06-02, 22:34   Link #14
HurricaneHige
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They have an excellent First-animation team, but as the series goes on you can tell which eps they use their B or C team as the quality goes straight down.

They also tend to be very good at picking up quality series, but their own story-writing (when deviating from manga, is less than ideal).

To see some of my beloved manga animated, GONZO is a necessary evil i must say
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Old 2008-06-27, 09:53   Link #15
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making of [gonzo] anime/Druaga no Tou

I wasn't sure i should put it here/in a new topic but seeing that this is not based on druaga and is more general i thought it should be posted here.

anyway gonzo have a weekly online series they release via youtube about many things called GonChubu(ごんちゅーぶ) starring inoue nana(井ノ上奈々) and Sakai Kanako(酒井香奈子) .
in that show (that by the way already had 17, ten minute long, episodes) they have started a set of episodes about making anime and as an example they are using "The Tower of Druaga"(Druaga no Tou).
there have been two episodes thus far, in which they already interviewed a number of people from the druaga staff.
as well as explaining a bit about the process of making anime.

so, for anyone interested here are links to the first two episodes:
ep one(16)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iqRa2h4Yog

ep two(17)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rav5hKeDUgQ
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Old 2008-06-27, 11:01   Link #16
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While I'm intrigue by the presentation of the show my lack of japanese isn't helping, but it would be helpful if someone can post who's the names of people interviewed and their position.

I should pray for an offical Dvd release instead and hope its gets included in extra like sunabouzu
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Old 2008-07-02, 08:31   Link #17
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Gonzo, financial issues

gonzo in trouble?

Quote:
GDH has until March 31 of next year to raise assets over liabilities

The Tokyo Stock Exchange notified investors on Monday that GDH, the parent holding company of the Gonzo anime studio and the GONZO Rosso Online game studio, has been put on a one-year grace period to improve its finances or face delisting. The grace period was retroactively dated back to April 1 (the beginning of the Japanese fiscal year) of this year and will end on March 31 of next year. According to the exchange, these steps are being taken since GDH has been determined to be insolvent, or having total financial liabilities that exceed its total financial assets, during the accounting period that ended in March of 2008. The steps went into effect in accordance with article 603, section 3 of the exchange's listing regulations (page 38).

Depending on the circumstances, a company and its subsidiaries can continue to operate even if its stocks have been delisted. Between now and 2009, Gonzo will be working on S.A, Strike Witches, Rosario + Vampire Capu2, Linebarrels of Iron, and The Tower of Druaga: the sword of Uruk. On May 30, GDH announced a net loss of 3.752 billion yen (about US$35.44 million) on 6.853 billion yen (US$64.45 million) of revenue for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2008. GDH's stock price stands at 21,000 yen (US$198) on Wednesday, after briefly rising above 50,000 yen (US$470) in May.
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news...ible-delisting


so this means Gonzos going down?
what will happen to the staff if that happens?
what exactly are the requirements for them to stay listed?
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Old 2008-07-02, 08:35   Link #18
Westlo
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Here's a pretty good write up of the events leading up to this, link was posted on aroduc's blog

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sho...readid=2890615
http://blog.seiha.org/?p=923

I was amazed to find out the R+V was the first Gonzo title to shift over 5000 units in over 4 years...
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Old 2008-07-02, 08:44   Link #19
Deathkillz
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Ye, ouch...

I think the string of poor releases has taken their toll...so not even good series are enough to save them form this slump eh...
Actually I enjoyed Druaga a lot and according to other people, Blassreiter wasn't that bad either.

They can produce good series but it's just that they are hit harder than other companies when they flop (which is quite often still feeling the scar of dragonauts ).

Time will...
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Last edited by Deathkillz; 2008-07-02 at 09:27.
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Old 2008-07-02, 09:05   Link #20
qtipbrit
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Yeah, it's been a while since Gonzo has made something really good, maybe Welcome to the NHK about a year and a half ago, and last year's involvement with Seto no Hanayome might have given them a boost.

I heard Blassreiter was pretty bad, though. Druaga no Tou shines when compared to a lot of Gonzo's recent stuff.

But it's been a while since 2003-2005 and Full Metal Panic!, Last Exile, Kaleido Star, Chrno Crusade, Gankutsuou, etc.
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