Nicole's Reviews > Gantz/01

Gantz/01 by Hiroya Oku
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Mar 27, 11

bookshelves: manga, sci-fi, mature, seinen
Read in January, 2011 — I own a copy

I picked this up on a whim at the Borders near me (going out of business sale), and I'll definitely grab more volumes. I must have a thing for sci-fi manga recently. This story begins at a subway station, where we meet two high school boys - Kei and Masaru. When a homeless man falls onto the tracks, only Kei leaps onto the tracks to try and save him...and calls to Masaru (an estranged, former childhood friend) to help. Masaru feels pressured to put up a good front and leaps down to help. Sadly, both boys get the man off the tracks but are unable to save themselves from an oncoming train...but are they really dead? They suddenly find themselves in a sealed room with a group of a strangers (including a business man, a politician, and some yakuza) and a giant black ball. All present say they thought they had died, but at the last instant found themselves transported to this room. The black ball suddenly comes to life, provides them all with kits containing outfits and weaponry, and tells them they need to hunt down and kill some onion alien...and then transports them all out of the room back into the world. Half thinking they are part of some sort of reality program, they all start to look for the alien, thinking they will win a prize. What follows is violence, confusion, and a cliffhanger involving a very angry papa alien.

For me, a sci-fi series like this lives or dies based on its characters. The crazy premise just won't be enough to make me a fan - I need to connect with the normal men and women who suddenly find themselves in the surreal situation. And that's why I'll keep reading this series. The stars of volume 1 are Kei and Masaru - Kei, because of his kind-hearted humanity and his desire to do right by others and protect those who can't protect themselves; and Masaru, because he is such a typical teen male, full of angst and attitude and sexual frustration at the most awkward moments imaginable.
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