Posted by psgels on 22 February 2012 with categories: OVA Impressions

So, I just watched Gyo, the OVA. By far the weirdest out of the Ufo Table trilogy that appeared about a week ago. It’s an OVA of more than an hour long, and it’s pretty much like a zombie flick, only much more bizarre. Go for this series if you like the disgusting type of horror stories. Because that what this was: not scary and atmospheric, but completely disgusting.

It’s hard to really review a thing like this. I mean, on one hand it’s the standard zombie flick, but on the other hand the bizarre content manages to save it and makes it worth watching. The creativity, direction and the music were what made this the most entertaining. This is the first thing I’ve read of Junji Ito, and I can immediately tell that he is one messed up sunovabitch. The legged fish were one thing, but as soon as people started transforming into these green giant gas factories I was glad that I didn’t eat right before watching this.

The characters were a mixed bag: the lead female is typical, but good (her relationship with her fiance really saved her, because that was actually very interesting to watch). The crackpot researcher also was fun, taking this series really to the surreal at times. The main character’s female friends were pretty bad, though. They were the usual misguided attempt to make things feel more realistic by having them act like complete and stereotypical assholes. The problem with that in a horror flick like this is that you can just as easily put a sign on them saying “I am going to die next”.

For the creativity in the whole premise andexecution, I’m surprised at how much cliches this OVA also has.

20 Responses

  1. Chiarissimo says:

    That’s Junji Ito for you.
    I wouldn’t say disgusting, more like… chillingly, melancholically disturbing, distraughting. I don’t think it’s messed up at all, more often than not, it’s not with much style and subtlety ; wanna read some seriously fucked up shit, delve into some Shintaro Kago. His Suck It is a masterpiece.

    • AidanAK47 says:

      “I wouldn’t say disgusting, more like… chillingly, melancholically disturbing, distraughting.”

      In other words…disgusting. Seriously its his thing. His art style is horribly detailed and focused on showing the outright revolting. All the stories I read of his involve humans turning into some sicking creature.

      Sounds like there was some great improvement over the manga. In the manga the characters were as thin as cardboard. In the manga all the lead female did was bitch to her boyfriend and complain about the smell. Not one likeable strait in her.

      • Mira says:

        Not one likeable strait in her.

        I disagree. I’d prefer a flawed ‘bitch’ over this pristine and pure Kaori. The Kaori in the manga was misunderstood. She genuinely couldn’t stand horrible smells and no one believed her when she said the walkers were coming. She slowly lost her mind and turned into a monster. She was pretty tragic if you ask me. But to each his own.

        • AidanAK47 says:

          Don’t paste a personality over her. She wasn’t misunderstood. She was a pure bitch to the core. Even before the disaster she was complaining non-stop to her boyfriend and even admitted that the every time she kissed him she was putting up with his bad breath. Requesting you boyfriend to brush his teeth every time he wants to kiss her is just ludicrous. Besides if her sense of smell was that strong I doubt her boyfriends breath would be the worst she has to deal with. God knows how many fumes there are in the city. And lets not forget, crouching in the corner screaming at your boyfriend to get rid of a SHARK?! That has feck all to do with smell mate. That’s just a pure bitch.

          You really are putting his works on a pedestal. A lot of people are. I suggest you take a second look at them.

          • Mira says:

            That’s just a pure bitch.

            That’s a pure crazy bitch. And that to me, is so much more interesting than a flawless girl. But like I said, to each their own. I personally found it astounding that Tadashi went to great lengths to save her. And the scene with her seeing Tadashi and the lab assistant together was heartbreaking to me. Because despite the way she treated Tadashi, she did love him. I can see why people prefer the OVA’s rendition and I respect that. But she just didn’t appeal to me.

            You really are putting his works on a pedestal. A lot of people are. I suggest you take a second look at them.

            I’ve read and re-read his books lots of times and while he’s certainly not consistent (I doubt any horror manga artist is) I find that his ability that create something menacing out of seemingly ordinary things to be enjoyable. Not all his manga are meant to be disgusting. I find that stories like Den of the Sleep Demon, Love as Scripted, The Bully, and Heart of a Father focus more on relationships and how frightening other people can be.

            But yeah, you’re free to disagree. There’s plenty of ways to interpret someone’s work.

      • F says:

        “Sounds like there was some great improvement over the manga”.

        The manga was a lot better, in my opinion. It’s hard to compare the two, though, as they didn’t really follow it at all. It was almost like I was watching an OVA set in the Gyo universe, but not Gyo itself.

        • AidanAK47 says:

          F, I was talking about characters. Say whatever you want but the fact is that the characters in the manga didn’t have any personality at all. They were cardboard cut outs reading a script. So I appreciate that this OVA attempted to give them character even if they turned a bit stereotypical.

  2. Chiarissimo says:

    *it’s done with much style and subtlety.

  3. Messier says:

    The main characters are changed from the manga! but the story is about the same, that is soo stupid, im disappointed.

  4. Mira says:

    My sister and I are huge Junji Ito fans and we’ve collected most of of his manga. I’ve watched most of the live action adaptations of his work too. Tomie (and certain sequels), Uzumaki, Long Dream and Lovesick Dead were somewhat flawed and were noticeably low budget but they still did their best to capture Ito’s quirky, creepy and atmospheric style.

    The Gyo OVA looks like what a major Hollywood studio would do with the source material. I’m extremely disappointed with this and I hope Junji Ito finds a more competent group of people who don’t simply excel in technical execution but at the same time, actually respect and understand his work.

  5. Armpit says:

    Wow, it isn’t faithful to the manga? I have been looking forward to this for a couple months.

    How much has been changed?

  6. iggy says:

    Ufo Table trilogy
    what are the other ones?

  7. Snowolf says:

    Junji Ito is actually quite a master of the horror genre; he is able to really mesh your wildest nightmares with really well executed horror, suspense and as you see in Gyo (and other stories), gore. I do agree that his….transformations of people and animals are gruesome, but I think it’s an interesting take on perverting what we see in daily life and take for granted- such as Uzumaki, where he focuses on the idea of “spirals”- and turning it against us. It’s a common rule that you shouldn’t go into an Ito manga/story having eaten anything. Your stomach will dispose of those contents right back out, trust me.

    Which brings me to fear that Ufo Table probably didn’t do a good job of adapting Gyo, because personally it’s the least gory out of the famous works of Ito. Either they decides to massacre the atmosphere, which is what you seem to be saying, and just focus on the gore, or they just didn’t execute the way Ito really builds up his stories and characters the way they should have. I agree that the characters in Ito’s works are the least commendable and hardly memorable, but in a way they do represent the daily human figure so.

    I guess I’ll have to take a look for myself, but your review worries me that Ufo didn’t respectably adapt Ito’s tale, and that is quite a big deal for me, as someone who’s a huge fan of his works. :(

  8. Will says:

    It was impossible from the start to recreate the same atmosphere. His manga works on the basis of black and white ink and very sketchy artwork than you can fully appreciate the details of his madness before turning the page. You can’t do that in the anime. Which is the reason why I think Gyo was the only choice for an anime adaptation. Compared to his other works, it feels much, much more cinematic.

  9. Vivi says:

    Someone copied your review @_@

    http://animehangar.com/312/ova-impressions-gyo/

    Anyway, I was a little miffed that it followed the standard horror film format, but I agree that the farts and such make it worth watching haha.

  10. Sei says:

    Yes, it is Junji Ito for you. But unfortunately his particular artstyle, his use of black and white does not translate well… Ufotable is good, but when you read Junji Ito’s manga, you would now that the guy could draw ANYTHING, even a piece of normal pancake into something truly disgusting.

  11. andrea says:

    Black&white and character changes have nothing to do with how this turned out, it’s just the bad writing and low production values that killed it.

    • Sei says:

      Well, I just merely comment on the art style of the manga. I like Junji Ito’s art, and I think it’s very dynamic, which could not be translated into anime or movies.

  12. Will says:

    No, it has everything to do with it. And between you and me, the adaptation writing isn’t that bad knowing that it comes from a very silly manga.

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  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 06:27 AM)
    Where’s Berserk 04 review btw?
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:33 AM)
    Also in regards to the bat scene. I just thought of Evangelion. I suppose that’s what the director was going on. Since you’re reviewing that, I’ll leave at that.
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:22 AM)
    I agree to a certain level the padding at the beginning. I suppose I didn’t mind since it at least was like a standard Batman episode (of the latter seasons). I think what bugs me is that the portrayal of Batman wasn’t very good, I think he’s emotionless for the most part. And like I’ve said, on the technical side it isn’t as striking as the novel. It’s like when Gyo was adapted (to be fair that’s also because like Berserk it had a lot of CGI).
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:20 AM)
    Basically just seeing the story put on screen I was grateful for.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:18 AM)
    I noticed something off about the animation and the dialogue was pretty piss poor at times but the latters kind of a given in these things and the prior was never distracting enough to take me out of the movie. I’m indifferent really to the Batgirl drama, don’t mind that its there, don’t care if it wasn’t.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 03:39 AM)
    This story required a level of care that frankly the creators didn’t want to give.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 03:38 AM)
    I think instead of trying to combat the whole women in refrigerator aspect of the story they instead should have focused on what inspired the characters to do this. What made batman rethink his relationship with the joker and attempt to find a common ground? What made the Joker suddenly want to prove a point? And sure you could add something to give batgirl a moment but not some crap villain no one cares about. Instead have her go up against a real batman villain.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 03:33 AM)
    @Vonter, Animation was one part of it. The other was the first thirty minutes being a tacked on Batgirl story and it really shows. I didn’t really have that much of a problem with it up until that scene which everyone likely knows. That annoyed me. I get what they were trying to do but it just made things worse.
    As for the actual killing Joke itself, I thought it was ok. Hamell brought his A game. Really for that it was just small details that made it lesser.
  • KaZuHiRo
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 01:46 AM)
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY PSGELS!! If you’re still lurking around that is…
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 12:48 AM)
    I’m kinda bummed that the Killing Joke adaptation is likely gonna be another feminist driven criticism. As for my opinion its just not as good as it could be because it seems 2D animation in general is having less commitment adapting complex artstyles. Not as distracting as Berserk, but the Bruce Timm artstyle doesn’t strike the tone of this particular Batman story.

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