Title: Gantz Omnibus.
Writer(s): Hiroya Oku.
Artist(s): Hiroya Oku.
Translator(s): Matthew Johnson.
Letterer(s): Studio Cutie.
Publisher: Dark Horse Manga.
Release Date: September 4th, 2018.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction, Horror.
My Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆.
The afterlife remains a mystery for many as the opportunities to get a sneak peek of it remains impossible to this day. But what if the world beyond is one that looks very much like our own, but with a twist? There are many ways for us to conceive such a life and religion often establishes many possible foundations to the idea but what if it was much more surreal and cruel than we would’ve ever imagined? What if it was a sick and perverted game bringing into play abominable monsters and aliens while in the company of other unreliable individuals who have succumbed to death? Mangaka Hiroya Oku presents adult fans with an erotic horror epic bound to shock and awe those looking to be stimulated in unimaginable ways.
What is Gantz Omnibus Volume 1 about? Collecting the first three tankōbon of this manga series, the story follows Kei Kurono and Masaru Kato in their death experiences that lead them into an unknown reality parallel to their own where a bizarre sphere called “Gantz” forces them into playing games of death by hunting down the oddest alien creatures possible obliviously roaming their streets. With other citizens who have known life-ending tragedies by their side, they are off into the world trying to figure out the rules that envelop their new lives. It is only by playing these games that they will be able to find a way out, a way to either to live again or to die forever.
Those who look to be impressed by the gore in this franchise will find it rewarding to see how mangaka Hiroya Oku pours in mountains of detail into those horror sequences, polishing them digitally for fans to rejoice. Without giving fans too much of it too often, he doses them and accentuates the slaughter at key moments that allow the reader to indulge all the blood and limbs that come with it. The mystery around the universe in which revolves this story is also a key attraction as mangaka Hiroya Oku withholds a lot of plot elements to himself and sneaks in very little clues as to what is actually going on. To some, this will be insufficient to hold their attention, while for others, this will have them flipping through this dialogue-light manga at lightning speed.
Here’s where the manga loses its hold on me: the eroticism. While it is announced beforehand that it contains such content, it remains ridiculously obnoxious. There’s only one female character in this story and she’s as feebleminded as she could possibly be, while also having the most outrageous physical features that a teenager could dream of. It’s not even about how she’s presented either, it’s also what happens with her and how she’s used throughout the story to attain a certain level of fanservice that does a disservice to the story—it doesn’t help when each chapter begins with a sexual poster feature of her with as little clothing as possible. Mixed in with the teenage angst that comes with one of the most dislikable protagonists ever conceived, it’s safe to say that the gratuitous sexual content blatantly spoils anything worthwhile in the end.
Gantz Omnibus Volume 1 is a mysterious, unnecessarily erotic, and wildly gory story exploring a surreal afterlife game of alien hunting.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!
Directed by Shinsuke Sato, the first live-action adaptation of the manga was released in 2011 and served as the first movie of a two-part saga,