Written and illustrated by Hiroya Oku
Published in English by Dark Horse Comics
Kei Kurono and his friend Masaru Kato die in a train accident trying to save a life. They awake in a roomful of deceased people and are forced to become part of a semi-posthumous “game” in which they are supposed to hunt down and kill aliens armed with a handful of futuristic items of equipment and weaponry supplied by a black sphere called ‘Gantz’ from the aforementioned room.
Wow.. This book is addictive. This is not your simple run of the mill shonen where you have a “hero” on a quest fighting villanious characters. The lines are blurred here.
Consider this, our Protoganist – Kei Kurono is a self absorbed kid who is aroused easily and is apathetic to the plight of others.
You will be shocked by the irreprehensible acts commited by some people and equally shocked to see other people take them in their stride. But you would find yourself agreeing with the author assessment of the situation . This is exactly how it will play out in the real world. Just brings to light the moral depravity and sense of apathy pervading in the general population today.
And Holy crap , there is more gore here than I have seen in a long long time and gratituious nudity from a female character who has almost no character development. And I still don’t understand why individual chapter covers are drawings of semi/fully naked women? Whats the deal with that?
A special mention about the art. This is without doubt some of the best art I have seen in any Manga. The character designs are distinctive and unique. You would not be confusing two characters here ( as in some manga). Just beautiful work all around. What is lacking is the sense of motion in character drawings which mangas like Naruto and Bleach do so brilliantly. But I am hoping this improves as the manga progresses and the author finds his artistic feet.
This book is extremely shocking , violent , full of gratituous nudity, lots of gore and definitely not for kids.
What brings me back to this is the uncertainity of it all. You never know whats gonna happen next. It is choke full of surprising twists and turns. It moves from scathing social critique to ridiculous situations for laughs. This manga does succeed in raising some questions about how little value a life has in modern society. And it does so while blowing people / aliens to bits . Worth a look for sure.
Rating : B+