Comic Review: Gantz Omnibus 1 (Dark Horse)

From Dark Horse comes a huge Manga Omnibus: Gantz Omnibus #1. Here’s the basics about this title: Two Tokyo teens are killed in a subway train incident. But when they […]

From Dark Horse comes a huge Manga Omnibus: Gantz Omnibus #1.

Here’s the basics about this title: Two Tokyo teens are killed in a subway train incident. But when they awaken in a room where a big black orb starts to communicate with them, things really get weird.

Kei and Masaru are not alone; there are others in the same room. They are given weapons, suits, and orders.

But people keep arriving into this room, some without clothes, and some are gangsters! What is up? And what is real?

It’s a long ‘shaggy dog’ story, seemingly single-handedly produced by Hiroya Oku. Hiroya is a 50-year-old manga artist who has also created Zero One and HEN, serialized in the Weekly Young Jump.

Hiroya’s Gantz is a long, serialized adventure. Kei, the main character, manages to survive some early challenges, which allows him ‘face time’ with key characters in this tale, notably a young woman who kind of likes him, in a schoolgirl sort of way. But who can he trust, and who will doublecross him?

For those unfamiliar with Gantz (as I am), perhaps the best description would be that of the effects of a schoolyard bullying episode mixed with a TV game show, extended over almost 700 pages. The central story of the characters being in limbo rolls heavily into extreme violence, with graphic depictions of decapitation and maiming. Intermixed are subplots where Kei tries to redeem himself and be brave in the face of tremendous danger. And get the girl, Kei; always try to get the girl!

The artwork is easy to follow, characters and situations are well drawn and well proportioned. Just get ready for a long read, with some scenes having the feel of being over-extended. The fluidity of time.

The tale doesn’t finish at the end of this Omnibus; stay tuned for more Gantz!

Dark Horse, Gantz Omnibus 1, $24.99 for 676 pages of content. Mature: violence and nudity

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!