In the world of pop culture we see a lot of coverage on the subject of aliens and the supernatural. Everything from Men In Black to Supernatural and so on. Everything from slow atmospheric stories in the likes of The X-Files to the more sensationalized horror tinged aspects of the Alien franchise. Hiroya Oku’s Gantz takes the whole of these tropes and puts his own spin on it.
Gantz takes place in Tokyo in 2004. Two schoolmates rush to save a man who’s fallen onto the train tracks and are presumed to be run over by the incoming train. However as it were, they were both teleported to an apartment room with a large orb inside it. The orb implies to them without words that in exchange for their not dying, they are now charged to roam the city collecting bounties for the orb.
The bounties however are not regular people, but rather demonic alien beings hiding within human looking disguises a la Men In Black. The story follows the pair and a slew of new recruits in a sort of revolving door policy as the story progresses. Many supporting characters do not stick around very long. Dying while in the service of Gantz or defying a bounty means instant death for those going against the wishes of the orb.
This is not hyperbole either. The first few chapters of Gantz may as well be something out of Game of Thrones. No character, no matter how beloved is safe. This creates excellent tension and overall a great atmosphere for the reader.
Gantz is a great ongoing series for anyone who enjoys supernatural/sci-fi adventures, intricate character arcs, and well executed delves into mature theming. It is definitely a must read.