Not even god knows why this abysmal piece of crap needed 20 chapters.
Swallowing The Earth had a neat premise, but essentially falls flat. It showcases Tezuka's inalienability to make a satisfying manga/story. Never in my life have I've seen such aimless writing. This was apparently Tezuka's first adult oriented manga, but that's not a proper excuse for this incompetent work. I can not fathom how anyone can call this a "masterpiece". Sure, it was Tezuka's first adult work, but its aged horribly.
The first problem I'll start with is the art.
Tezuka will randomly use a wacky style during serious moments. Not only does this ruin the
mood, it shows that he had no idea what he was doing. The next problem would be the lazy recycled designs. I will admit that "Zephyrus" was indeed gorgeous, but that's ruined too halfway in. So props for the greek goddess like designed inspired by old sword and sandal films. The only thing the designs lack is greasy men drenched in oil.
Characters are up next...
I can't really write much about characters who lack personality. So I'll write about our drunkard protagonist. He seems invincible, and he has no interest in women. He's the only one not drawn in by Zephyrus. Instead he prefers cheap booze. And that's about it... He's kind of interesting, I guess.
Now to the worst part...
The story. It's horribly paced. Swallowing The Earth probably should have been about 200 or so pages, but nope. The story is fine for the most part for the first half(or less) of the manga. He starts to quickly go down hill after we arrive on Moo island. After arriving on Moo island he get a few irrelevant stories which ultimately serve no purpose. Maybe Tezuka was getting payed for by the page? After those irrelevant stories it pick up again near the end, but then decides to jump off a cliff. So we have a bunch of loose strings and a pointless ending, complete with ugly sagging women.
Swallowing The Earth was fun, but certainly not worth 26 dollars. Try finding a used copy if you're interested.