A Manga by Hiroya Oku
Hiroya Oku delivers again! While I believe he draws plot ideas out of a hat (Pornstar that gets the ability to grow huge by a man from the future and becomes a superhero), this somehow works despite the absurdity. For examples of other plots by the author: Gantz was about people that die and end up in a videogame ran by aliens, and Inuyashiki was about an old dude that becomes a robot vigilante by aliens (which saves his life since he was dying of cancer). You definitely can’t say anything he does is in any way derivative, and generally his stories are always awesome! As you can imagine from the outline that this book is not for the kiddos, and while not too explicit, it’s definitely for a mature audience.
“Rei Yokoyamada, a high schooler whose father works for a film production company, is inspired to create his own short film with his friends. One day, while out to find actors, he spots tabloid-like notices that the adult film star Papico lives in his area. When he takes them down to protect her, he runs into the woman herself. Little does he know that Papico is about to get dragged into a strange, supernatural happening…where she grows to the size of a giant!”
At face value, Gigant appears to be a manga full of absurdity and gratuitous nudity. That however, is not really the case as there are many nigh-pornographic comics out there that don’t really have much to say. Gigant, at it’s core is a commentary on social media and the evils that online anonymity can cause on society. The overall hook of the story is that a social media platform called Enjoy The End has been created that seems eerily capable of making things happen via a simple vote. At one point a winning vote causes a man to run stark naked through the streets, another causes it to rain human excrement. This escalates until people start losing their lives. Pretty soon, it’s no longer a joke app used by kids, but something far more devious.
With the recent issues with foreign interference in elections, astroturfing campaigns, radicalization through Facebook, and other MAJOR problems with society, I can see where Hiroya Oku is coming from, whether he intended this comic to be about that or not.
Overall, this is just the beginning, but the comic is already off to a solid start with a crazy plot that makes you want to come back for more simply to see where the author goes with it. The artwork is nice, and it’s more tonally similar to Gantz for fans of that franchise than some of his other works. Gigant is not for everyone, seeing that there is plenty of nudity and other things that will likely turn a large number of manga readers off from the get-go, but if you are a fan of Seinen Manga it’s very promising. I can’t wait to see this basically become a modern version of something like Ultraman (with Papico fighting kaiju), which will be amazing!