Early Impression of Gantz:G
Date Published: October 13, 2016
NOTE: This write-up does contain some spoilers regarding the first 12 chapters of the manga series Gantz:G.
Beautiful art coupled with brutal depictions. That was my initial impression of Gantz:G and through the early going, that hasn’t changed. This mature-themed, dark, multilayered manga is definitely not for the lighthearted.
I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up Gantz:G, I have heard of the title Gantz before, but never really looked into the series for whatever the reason was. Stumbling upon the series’ spinoff in Gantz:G turned out to be an easy entry into the series, although I did find that some prior knowledge over the Gantz universe as a whole is helpful in making the transition a bit smoother.
The tone is set immediately with this mature manga; a bus full of high school students on a field trip crashes, consequently killing all of its passengers. Quite the introduction to the series’ main characters. Fortunately for the passengers, they get a second chance at life, the not so fortunate part is that the second chance is only possible by playing a deadly game, with rules made up by a sadistic black sphere called Gantz.
The game is made up of both people who recently died and the game’s prior survivors, certain players are given black suits to wear that once equipped, provide the wearer’s superhuman abilities such as extreme vertical jumping and abnormal physical strength. However, even with the power suits, casualties and death seem to be unavoidable in Gantz’s game, as powerful creatures wreak havoc, leaving few unharmed or alive.
The main goal for the players is to gain points after the end of each game, points are rewarded by Gantz depending on how well the players played, if a player achieves 100 points, they get the choice of either their freedom, never having to play Gantz’s game again or the revival of another player that died during the games. In the event of a player choosing to revive another, both players’ points reset back to 0, restarting the climb back to 100.
Consequently, with death looming in every corner, character development is a bit scarce, but it’s still too early to judge if this pattern remains the norm. The early death of Naiki; who seemed to be the male supporting lead, certainly threw a wrench in the plot, but also furthered Kei Kurona’s character development as already she has shown to be independent, kind and strong-willed. The subplot of jealousy and contempt shown by Ikegami and Morishita toward Kei Kurona is a factor that could also grow into something more than just tension further down the road.
Kaji is a character who isn’t much for words, but there is a sense that she has her own sense of justice and is overall a decent person, even after using the power suit to kill her mother’s abuser in a vengeful act. Morishita on the other hand is the classic example being the foreground sweetheart yet, the background bully as she spreads rumors and lies regarding Kei Kurona.
The guidance of Fujimoto and Abiko; the lone survivors whom have managed to clear Gantz’s game multiple times, seems helpful at first as they are experienced players, however, the brutality of Gantz:G’s world was shown again as Fujimoto was easily killed via decapitation by the mermaid alien at the beginning of the second game.
Gantz:G is a mature, dark, and brutal depiction of how fragile humans really are, and how easily they can meet their end. The implementation of school-life which usually fits in most manga, doesn’t really makes sense in this case, as most of the characters seem beyond their years in maturity. Gantz:G also has an odd suggestive tone that isn’t so much for the sake of fan service, but rather uncomfortable sexual placement at times.
It’s still early, but Gantz:G is looking the part of a beautifully drawn and detailed world that features a mature narrative and isn’t afraid to shock or surprise you at any given moment. Whether the shock value dissipates with exhaustion is yet to be seen, however if the series maintains its current plot pacing, it should be able to avoid the factor of predictability many tragedies succumb to.