Katoh Hironobu’s Manga “Giant Warrior Nagi,” Volume 1

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Katoh Hironobu’s (加遠 宏伸) manga Giant Warrior Nagi (大攻者ナギ) takes place in a world where countries fight battles using giant girls instead of conventional or nuclear weapons. Those female competitors employ special attacks with names like “Guillotine,” “Hawk’s Claw,” and “Zamba de Trovão” (Samba of Thunder), resembling something out of Capcom’s video game franchise Street Fighter.

The artwork is high-quality with clear lines and very detailed backgrounds. Giant Warrior Nagi was published inside monthly manga magazine Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine (別冊少年マガジン). (NOTE: I’m reading a tankōbon, a compilation of previously published material, for this review.) One of the more famous works from that magazine is Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人).

Cover
Nagi can be seen here, in a small inset toward the top right, on the cover of the September 2015 issue of Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine.

This manga was published from September 2015 until May 2016. After this series concluded, Katoh Hironobu created Ijin Game!! (偉人ゲーム!!) which concerns characters competing in a card game called Greatful Magic. To the best of my knowledge, he has only created the two manga.

In this story, “Super-Baryons” are the catalyst which allow women to reach enormous size. These Super-Baryons are derived from a particular crystal. The battles that the women fight are called “Magna Carta.” (NOTE: I do not know why the battles are named after the charter that limited the English King’s power in the year 1215. If anyone else knows, please comment below or send me a note!) The winners earn for their respective nations the right to mine the crystals at a particular location or various other trade concessions.

(NOTE: The set-up reminds me of the 1990 American science-fiction film “Robot Jox.” In that film, two competing nations fight matches using giant Mech and receive territorial awards or losses as a result.)

Robot_jox

Growth takes place in a silly-looking structure which resembles, to my eye, an immensely tall school locker. Inside the chamber, a girl is exposed to heavy doses of Super-Baryons.

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Beware, the locker of DOOOMM!!! Admittedly, not as threatening as a fire-breathing lizard 😉

Nagi Yuuya is reluctant to serve as a warrior. Yet, she finds motivation in her desire to win the affection of her “second,” a young man named Shouta Kirishima. He serves as her coach and is rather oblivious to her romantic desires. Nagi defies expectations by winning her first match, as a D-Rank Giant Warrior, against an experienced A-Rank Giant Warrior from the United States.

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In the image above, Nagi defeats her opponent, United States Marine Corps (USMC) Corporal Abigail Edwards. (The insignia on her sleeve indicates the rank of corporal, but the manga itself just identified her as a Marine and as “American representative A-Rank Giant Warrior Abigail Edwards.”)
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The insignia on Corporal Edwards’ service cap looks like that worn by Japanese Self-Defense Forces. It doesn’t resemble the actual headgear worn by American Marines.
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^ Actual USMC enlisted service cap
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Abigail should have worn this U.S. Marine Corps Eagle, Globe & Anchor Pin on her cap. But, I’m going down a rabbit hole now and don’t want to belabor this point. Also, her skirt and leggings are obviously not within standards either 😛

Presumably, the main draw is the opportunity to see giant girls perform martial arts while wearing cute outfits. The attire is impractical for combat, but provides for many panty shots. That’s as risque as this manga gets. The two love interests do not even kiss. This isn’t GIGANT. You won’t get nudity or sex.

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Nagi, on the right, facing off against Brazilian competitor Yasumin Pasuchine Saitou.
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Nagi, on the left, engaging in melee combat at Normandy with the 14-year-old Marie Therese Charlott Sable of France.

Perhaps the most significant flaw is the lack of proper drama or tension. For example, to date, none of the battles have resulted in deaths or even lasting injury to any of the combatants. After a giantess is defeated, she shrinks to normal size.

(NOTE: To be clear, in the first battle Abigail’s second did state that she was very unstable due to a recent break-up with her Japanese boyfriend. Therefore, Abigail’s second worries that Abigail might kill her opponent! However, at no point did I feel that Nagi’s life was actually at risk. To be fair, Nagi does bleed a little and receive a few bruises, but she never appeared to be in mortal danger.)

Further, the fights occur in isolated areas, such as neighborhoods scheduled for demolition, in order to protect bystanders from harm. So, the giant combatants do not incur serious damage (except perhaps to their pride), and normal-sized non-combatants are never at risk.

Lastly, the stakes of the battles are not emphasized. For instance, the first battle was for mining rights to a Tokyo crystal mine for a period of two years. However, at least for me, the ramifications were unclear. Would the economy collapse without those mining rights? Or would Japan be unable to compete in further Magna Carta matches because they would not have a mine, and thus crystals, of their own? Conversely, would the economy boom with those mining rights? I do not know.

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Set-up was made for the battle against Saeko Kiryuu, a fellow Japanese warrior, but their combat won’t take place until Volume 2!

Nagi is fighting to earn recognition for her dōjō, specializing in Shaolin kung fu, and to further her romance. Accordingly, fans of martial arts and young adult romance may enjoy this.

I intend to review the second, and final, volume in November. The next one will include even more fighters as combat will be allowed between the seconds. Thus, normal-sized combatants shall enter the fray!

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P. S. Did anyone else suddenly feel the hairs on the back of their neck stand up? Almost as if a nemesis from long ago was trying to return. Hmm… probably nothing. Take care folks, and I’ll catch you later.

This review is protected under Fair Use copyright law.

All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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