The mecha fights in this volume of Gantz are meticulous and kickass, but the story is a complete mess. Gantz is a mess. It always has been. Either they're hunting aliens or having sex or being insecure about their sexualities or being made fun of by some weird guy inside of a bubble. People are dead. People are not dead. People are sort of dead? People are clones of dead people who died twice. Even when you begin to manage to follow along with what's going on, the plot preys on your expectations of both normalcy and abnormalities.
Often, the jarring nature of Gantz's plots serve as a narrative mechanism which reminds you just how messed up this wacky afterlife setting is. But sometimes it would be nice to have a little more substance to the plot so that the reader had something to lean on other than violence and boobs.
This particular volume of Gantz just feels hollow. Kei, after being finally reunited with Tae, gets suddenly transported away. The only thing that makes this sudden twist worth it is Oku's intensely detailed and lively rendering of the giant mechas on the scene.
On the other front, another main character dies another death that will no doubt be undone in a handful of chapters, and it's sort of hard to swallow the impact of the moment. Other than the death being used as an excuse to whip out some boobage, it's just sort of hard to understand why I'm supposed to buy people's emotional response to losing a teammate at this point in the series. I understand that not every single person gets resurrected, but if you graphed how important a character is against how likely they are to be resurrected, you would have a very direct correlation.
Obviously this is a must buy if you've been following the series in English and don't want to settle for crappy illegal scans on the internet, but as far as Gantz volumes go, this one is low on the totem pole for me. Nearly all of the charm that the series had in earlier installments is quickly evaporating, even when Oku is on top of his game rendering some of these fights.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Hiroya Oku Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $13.99 Release Date: 1/28/15 Format: Trade Paperback; Print/Digital