Here we have a manga that I cannot help but loathe and love all the same. Gantz being a thrilling Seinen, Sci-fi, Action manga that would take the reader on a gory rollercoaster ride, featuring amazing battles for survival. Yet it also happens to be riddled with poor dialogue and spontaneous plot developments that may stem one's enjoyment.
It all begins as two young Japanese high school boys, meet their end by a homicidal underground locomotive. And that would have been the end for them, if this wasn't a manga. So having been semi-posthumously transported to an apartment, along with others in the same situation; they are now forced by some giant black ball, to partake in missions and kill random aliens, in what seems to be some kind of sick game.
And that is Gantz in a nutshell... a manga that can be both straight-forward and random. The plot, revolving around people forced into these high mortality mission, is simple at its core and honestly it is a bit too simple that those who yearn for more substance in their reading material, may initially be turned off by Gantz. I know I was and it wasn't until a particular mission that I got completely hooked; onto the graphic, gory, intense, vulgar manga that is Gantz. And since Gantz is so good at grabbing the readers by the balls and never letting go, it can easily get away with having some glaring issues with its story. Like how so often it seems there's little to no direction in the storyline and how readers had to journey through over 30 Volumes, to understand and get some sort of explanation regarding the overall plot of Gantz. Unfortunately the basic reasoning given, simply could not fill up all the plot-holes that were left unattended.
Yet even when littered with the kind of issues that could greatly lower the score of some lesser manga, Gantz still remains as one of my all-time favourites. Kei Kurono is a large factor in all this, which is somewhat remarkable given how much of an annoying prick he is at the start. As the story progresses, so does Kei Kurono, along with a lot of the other characters that aren't basically cannon-fodder. And that is where the mangaka does a good job. In creating perilous situations for these characters to develop and also knowing how important it is to utilize the downtime for some more character development. However even though the mangaka tries to provides us readers with an interesting collection of characters, I can only give him an A-. Simply because a lot of the dialogue he had these characters spew could be mind-numbingly stupid at times.
At least it doesn’t completely affect the overall enjoyment of the manga and it is the artwork that contributes a lot to this. The artwork can be described as a technical masterpiece, since Hiroya Oku does a fantastic job of utilizing 3D renders to create a uniform look to the world. So that both the real life & sci-fi elements look like it's all part of the same manga. Not to forget the attention detail, where even the odd blemish or decapitation looks as though at lot has been put into it. However artwork is largely a subjective matter, so what I like may not be the same as what you like.
In the end Gantz is a violent, gory, lewd but overall an enjoyable manga. However in order to enjoy it, the reader must do one simple thing, turn off their brain and accept Gantz for what it truly is... some lengthy piece of mindless entertainment. Kind of like a Michael Bay movie. If you cannot do that then you simply won't be able to ignore the numerous plot holes and the various plot elements that were shoved in, because Hiroya Oku must have watched some Western Movie/Show, which inspired him at the time (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer & 2012 comes to mind).