Good morning everyone, and welcome to my blog!
This blog post continues my look at Hiroya Oku’s GIGANT. My previous review covered the first nine episodes. (I use the term “episode” because that’s the English term used in this manga.)
When last we left the series it ended with the revelation of a mysterious web site, called “enjoy the end,” which solicits votes and somehow makes the events with the highest number of votes occur. Those so far consisted of a literal shit storm over the Kanto Plain, an actor running naked through Shinjuku, and a magnitude five earthquake.
Looking back, perhaps I should have mentioned in my first review that Papiko has a small dog, a Welsh Corgi, called “Mochi.” (For those who aren’t familiar, mochi (もち) is a Japanese rice cake made by pounding glutinous rice into paste and molding that paste into a particular shape. One of my favorite variations is matcha mochi, which has green tea powder filling.)
Additionally, I should have mentioned that Papiko lost her father years ago. She provides financial support to three brothers, who may be unemployed, and Papiko pays her mother’s medical bills. Her siblings and mother shame their benefactor for her pornographic work, even though she provides them significant amounts of money! The apparent ingratitude is rather off-putting.
The relationship between Papiko and Rei becomes more problematic as we watch the under-aged boy break down into tears until the adult film star relents and agrees to date him. Afterward, their relationship rapidly develops into a physical one. He also proposes marriage (!) to which she demurs. (Whoa! Slow your roll buddy!)
I appreciate the sex scenes between a normal-size male and a giant-sized female. However, would it have been too much to ask to have it take place between two people of proper age?
The manga shows that fantastical events are also taking part in New York City.
The arrival of the God of Destruction into Roppongi, a district of Tokyo famous for having many embassies and a vibrant night life, was suitably dramatic. The arrival starts with lightning and then the monster’s feet descend through the clouds. Slowly, the behemoth lowers to the ground. Its mission is to reduce the population of Tokyo to one million people, which would require murdering many millions.
Rei and his family are in the area and witness this event. Rei and his mother struggle to pull Rei’s father to safety. The father is intent on filming with his cell phone. They eventually find shelter underground. Rei answers a call from Papiko and tells her that he might not survive. There’s a realistic sequence in which Papiko is initially paralyzed with indecision as she recalls that her father died falling from a great height. I appreciated that depiction as a nod to realistic behavior. Most people would pause before confronting an inexplicable threat such as the God of Destruction. (After all, can such a creature *be* stopped, or does its seemingly supernatural nature mean that it’s rampage is inevitable?) Furthermore, the circumstances behind her father’s death contribute to her hesitation.
However, she steels her courage and runs outside. Once out in the open she grows and bursts out of her clothes in a single panel while running to rescue her boyfriend. Papiko reaches a skyscraper height, 800 feet or so, and that fact begs the question if there are any limits to how big she can become. (Could she simply grow to a mile-high stature and stomp on the threat? Although, thinking about it, that would likely cause significant collateral damage.)
I enjoyed this manga. That said, I would prefer it if the romantic relationship was between two adults. However, it was good to see the creator acknowledge that their age disparity causes problems. Additionally, the explanation for ETE, Rei’s supposition that an A.I. singularity is responsible, feels underdeveloped. I hope that we get a more robust rationale for its sudden appearance and ultimate aims. However, I anticipate that any further explanation will take awhile.
Lastly, I’d love it if the art was colored, but that’s not the norm for manga. Hopefully, we’ll get an anime adaptation. I intend to review the third volume, including episodes nineteen through twenty-eight, in November.
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