A friend – someone who actually introduced me to GANTZ – forwarded a link to me from the Singapore online magazine, The Big O. Something about “sheeple”…..
Meanwhile, back at the Mangablog, Brigid‘s got all sorts of comments for her entry on GANTZ and adult manga.
I have to say, not just in defense of GANTZ, but in defense of….well, GANTZ, I’m not sure that excessive or pointless sex and violence is enough grounds for a negative review. I’ve seen books out there that are filled with pointless sex and violence and usually, I focus on that stuff simply because there isn’t usually anything else worthwhile in the book to either balance it out, or make it substantial.
And to me, it just looks like Hiroya Oku works really hard at crafting this story in a precise manner. He’s created a scenario that feels like it’s going to spiral out of control, but keeps a tight reign on it. One of the reasons why people will stick with a series is not just because the story is good, or the illustration, but because a certain trust is established between creator and reader. i.e., I trust that Hiro Mashima is going to keep me laughing with slapstick antics and unpredictable story twists. I trust that Masashi Kishimoto will always find a way to save the Leaf. With Oku, I have no idea what’s going to happen next, but I know that I can rely on him to serve up something chilling and depraved – because that’s the kind of series that GANTZ is. That’s the story he’s committed himself to creating for his readers. His aim is to get a reaction out of you. And whether you love it or hate it or want to throw-up after reading it, or collect subsequent volumes in Japanese because you adore it, he’s achieved his objective.
I won’t argue that GANTZ is for everyone – clearly it’s not. It’s for a very specific demographic (male, hormonal, detail oriented). But the challenge as a reviewer, is to look beyond the target audience and really look at the book in front of you and see it for what it is. Oku tells this story in a 15-year-old mind-frame, and stays true to that POV. He is uncompromising. Anyone who remembers being 15 and isolated or angry or powerless or even all of the above, will probably find something they like in this series. Or maybe just burn in hell.