Author: Hiroya Oku
Publication: Weekly Young Jump
Start Date: Oct. 2000
End Date: ongoing
Number of chapters at review: 268
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 268
General Overview: Kei Kurano was an average teenager until he and his friend Masaru Kato accidently end up dead after being hit by a subway train. The next thing both boys know they are in room with a big black ball, which forces them to hit the streets of Tokyo and kill alien targets, or be killed themselves.
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
Oku is a mad genius when it comes to art. He's unique in that he blends in photography with his own drawings. The faces are realistic, and the art is so detailed you can read the chapter 10x over and find a new detail that was missed each time. That and Oku's natural ability for creating characters with beautiful bodies makes the art for Gantz worth checking out alone.
The main plot is to kill aliens while fighting for their own survival. For each alien killed points are given, until a reward is earned. Unfortunately, even as far as current readers know, Gantz and the purpose of it is still shrouded in mystery, and once the big reason is revealed this number would probably go up. :)
Gantz is known for its exploitation of women, guns and violence. But it makes up for it in character development. The violence and sex is what hooks people, it's the development that keeps one reading. Character development is easily on par with the art.
I believe the MAIN theme is how anyone can rise to a challenge and change for the better. Gantz is known for it's outstanding character development, and we see this change take place in not only the main character, but several side ones as well. There is also the idea of doing everything possible in order to survive.
I can see where someone may argue the originality of the story, but no one can say the aliens lack originality. Everything from onion heads to birdmen to hentai women (don't ask, just read). When they are in a mission every chapter brings a new surprise.
When I did the math my scores added up to an 8.4 but I'm going to bump it up to a 9. Gantz is my current favorite manga, and even with the missions sometimes dragging I'm almost never disappointed. Art, character, originality, as well as emotion all adds up. The only thing keeping this from being a perfect manga is the plot. Either way, highly recommended!!
Spoiler: Mature Content. Manga's images taken from earlier chapters to avoid spoiler, generally the art improves show