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Why is it that Oku Hiroya can't dial down on how normal functioning people act?
In Gantz it's always with the extremes:
Most normal citizens are filthy, rude, ungrateful, and stupid. The populace of Japan seems content to flock to an active battle zone to take pictures of aliens on their cell phones. Liberated people berate their saviors. Fathers kill their children for eating their pudding. Even some Gantzers are shown as "pure negative" such as the rapist, the sadists, etc.
Then there are people who are overly "good"
Anzu tosses out her creed to survive for her son in order to sacrifice herself for Katou, a man she knew for half an hour. Kishimoto made the same sacrifice earlier in the series.
Then there are the plain irrational
Mary falling for Kaze? Can someone give me a good reason? Sure, they can both throw sweet ass punches, but come on. I want to know what exactly about Kaze's being a brawler, being obsessed with Takeshi, and being a socially awkward virgin got the hottest girl in the series (imo :3) all moist.
Kei ignores Reika for the whole series. Kei 2 even verbally berates her and tells her, before intending to sacrifice himself, that he wishes he was with Tae. But after Reika sacrifices herself for Kei, what happens? Yup... Kei was in love with her the whole time. Let's just ignore the fact that he is the clone of Kei 1, who is madly in love with Tae.
And, god... don't get me started on Tae. I hope I wasn't the only one who cheered when Nishi "killed" her. Some of the pages with text bubbles of nothing other than "KEI-CHAN!" made me literally (not a figure of speech) cringe. I don't want to get started on such an annoying topic but the whole "KEI-CHAN!!", "TAE-CHAN!!" relationship of Tae and Kei 1 is insultingly shallow. The fact that Oku has been trying to validate what should have been a short lived relationship between Kei, the protagonist, and Tae, by all means a toss away character, by making Tae more attractive in the Katastrophe arc bothers me intensely. But I digress. This is simply another example of irrational behavior in the realm of Hiroya Oku's bizarre interpretations of human relationships that he expects us to take for granted.
- Oku tends to criticise modern society with his characters, that's why some of them and also some situations are too over the top.
- I don't think Oku had in mind Anzu's son when he decided to kill her...the pojnt of her sacrifice was to show her heroic. Well, Kishimoto liked Katô a lot...people do stupid things sometimes.
- Well, i guess he thought she "deserved" Kei's love...after all Oku loves big boobs.
- Kurono and Tae had a long history and the rescue arc is validated by that unlike Reika's stuff...
Agree with Anzu/Mary. Oku has some shit female characters, no question.
Everything else, no way!
Tae is a bit hit or miss though. Excluding your reunion with Kei during the Katastrophe arc I'd say her character has been done pretty well so far.
I agree with most of what you say, especially the female characters! I hate how all the female characters in Gantz seem to be just there to please a male character and for fan service. And almost every female character falls in love within 2 hours for no real reason. That is the thing I hate the most in Gantz! As for the negative behavior of the citizens and other Gantzer it is most likely because Oku wants to highlight the negative part of our society and this is a dark Manga and not a slapstick happy funny Manga. And if you follow the the news things that happened to little Takeshi unfortunately does happen a lot.
I kind of feel like the kind of chaos we see in Gantz is something that would bring out the worst in people in real life.
Luckily the protagonists are mostly good people, I guess.
Well, its a horror manga after all. And as in all horror stories, people have to be extremely stupid, greedy and antisocial so the walking dead have somewhat of a chance.
Not really... The monsters tend to have to be stupid to give the heroes somewhat of a chance.
In a nutshell, Oku can't write, or lost his writing mojo. Gantz's luster has dulled after the Oni mission and left questions unanswered. Oku himself didn't know how to write the vampire's role Katastrophe and simply didn't write them in. I'm surprised the human interaction bothered you, but not the crummy "god is not real" bit during Katastrophe. I understand that's one of the themes in gantz, but in the beginning he didn't hamfist it.
The way he depicts school bullies was somewhat outlandish to me. I mean I know that those types of bullies do exist but I always believed them to be isolated cases. There where guys in Katou's school who threatened to insert a broom into his anal cavity, hell they even persuaded a dude to attempt to rape him in a bathroom cubicle. Then you had the ones at Cherry's school who routinely forced him perform oral sex on them along with his football coach. Is this kind of thing really all that common in Japan?
At times I have gotten the same impressions as noted in the OP. I guess the author either actually believes humans to be such gigantic asses or he simply made humanity that way in his manga to be able to tell the story.
I mean, the manga has shown a huge number of random people wanting people to die and even easily pulling the triggers at times as if killing was so easy (even though in real life it is not that uncommon for rookie trained soldiers to have trouble pulling the trigger). Perhaps the intention of the author is not for us to take this literally but rather it is simply a way to point out the general apathy which people usually respond to issues with.
Anyway weirder shit than that has happened in Australia. I've heard stories of people convincing other kids to damage the insides of their penis with a stick off the ground as something of a rite of passage.. No fucking idea how or why, but stuff like that just happens.
Nothing new on Hiroya not having a grasp on human social interactions. Starting by the way he treats his manga: using it to express mere sexual fantasies and creating fap fuel to himself, which is a shame since Gantz had a such a good premise.
But to some of you citations, there are explanations:
Kaze isn't exactly unattractive, on the contrary. The guy is very tall and strong. And he has an epic beard. Very masculine, any woman would have his attention. Both of them being brawlers approached them and she could think he's care for Takeshi was cute. He doesn't really show socially awkwardness, most of the time he's just the quiet type.
Kei2 could love Reika, even still being in love with Tae. Or, maybe, he was still moving on from Tae but was and still mad with Reika for what she had done, but started appreciating her even though he didn't want to admit.
Finally, about Tae, a better critic would be to her behavior of suddenly pitting the aliens, the same guys who killed her parents (her mother in front of her) hours ago.
Japan has many extremes from what I hear, especially as far as more people being pervy due to a society where fetishes are abundant and more in the open, that said stranger things happen in nearly every country and even though things like rape, exploitation or molestation are kept quiet they are very real, especially when you consider human trafficking and all sorts of Religious leaders who abuse their younger followers.
In fact I've been told by people living in the japan that the Nice guys you see in Shonen manga are pretty much fantasy in the competitive hard working Japanese society where people would often do anything to get ahead and niceties are often an act they use to manipulate others and get their way including bullying and extortion + some famous Mangaka especially are said to be pervs, lolicons or pedos.
So really you see stranger stuff IRL
Characters throwing their lives to save loved ones is something done in the heat of the moment and Katou did save Kishimoto from rape + She was suicidal to begin with which implies that she didn't value her own life much. Life and Death situations often put different perspective on things and its as common and real as survivor's guilt.
Also I wouldn't be too surprised if some these abuse things happened to Oku-sensei or someone close to him and this is his way of criticizing and bringing attention to these things.
Last edited by Professor Oak; September 10, 2013 at 10:10 AM.