Good morning everyone,
There She Grows last reviewed Hiroya Oku’s manga GIGANT in September 2020 with a look at Volume 6 which included episodes Forty-Eight through Fifty-Six. (NOTE: This series has been out since December 2017; thus, this post won’t provide much background. Instead, it’s written under the assumption that readers are already familiar with the series. If that’s not the case, please check out my first GIGANT review.)
Volume 7 was just released on Christmas Day 2020. In the last review, I mentioned that Volume 6 was a dud which portrayed Papiko as a disinterested character who was aware of a monster, dubbed Satan, rampaging across Mexico and the United States, but did not so much as pause for a moment to consider taking action. (NOTE: For context, Papiko is the only person on the entire planet who has demonstrated the ability to successfully defeat such a threat.)
Thus, let’s crack open this latest book and see if Papiko has become a more active heroine. The first episode details how Rei is filming a low-budget (“guerilla“) production and how Papiko wants to improve her acting skills. Readers aren’t told what kind of film that Rei is working on or anything about the particular sequence he was filming. For instance, maybe that was the most important bit of the entire film, like the final conflict or dialogue in which the a young man confesses his love for his girlfriend. Alternatively, maybe it was just B-roll footage to play during the end credits. Either way, I was uninterested in Rei’s filmmaking as it doesn’t appear like Hiroya Oku himself (this manga’s creator) was interested in Rei’s filmmaking.
The action finally gets rolling when the four future soldiers meet Papiko.
Their leader, Major Momonogi, provides the history of the Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) behind the “enjoy the end” (ETE) web site. (SPOILER ALERT: It’s all the fault of “Gogle”! 😉 ) I won’t disclose anymore details, it’s up to fans to buy this book themselves, but it was nice to get background on the main antagonist.
There’s also a very brief training montage, in which Papiko learns how to fire a kinetic energy beam, in the manner of her childhood hero Ultraman, and how to fly! Papiko is a quick learner and masters both tasks on her first attempt.
The personal drama also gets more complex when Papiko learns that she is pregnant:
Satan was already en route Tokyo; so, Papiko’s unplanned pregnancy did not feel overly important. Sure, pregnancy is a life-changing event, but there’s a titan coming who already killed millions of people and was impervious to everything the U.S. military could throw at it. So, who cares? Satan may murder everyone; therefore, the pregnancy does not seem like the most important issue at the moment. Ergo, worry about stopping the baddie before picking out colors for the nursery.
On that topic, it felt like the heroes should have fought Satan while it was walking from the U.S. to Japan. A news broadcast states at one point that Satan was crossing the Pacific Ocean and that it would take Satan three days to reach Tokyo. Why not battle Satan when it’s far from people to reduce collateral damage? Alas, apparently they would rather sit and wait for Satan to arrive in the world’s most populated city. (NOTE: Some inhabitants evacuated before Satan’s arrival, but not everyone.)
There’s also a side plot in which 22nd century Sergeant Kitou and Corporal Hefner watch one of Papiko’s adult films. Apparently, physical intercourse is no longer practiced in their era. Thus, the man and woman are rather curious about sex.
Some may enjoy the humor of full-grown adult characters who are nonetheless unfamiliar with sex. But that has been done before in movies like 1956’s “Forbidden Planet” (in which scientist daughter Altaira is an adult, but has never met men besides her father), 1971’s “THX 1138,” and 1993’s “Demolition Man.”
There’s also a bit in which Papiko’s agent states that she could ignore the Japanese Government’s request for assistance against Satan. That sounds selfish. Certainly, it would be frightening to confront Satan, but to do nothing seems quite problematic.
I must also warn readers that this features instances of attempted self-harm and suicide. Satan projects “wavelengths” that kill birds and cause people to commit suicide. Later episodes show people jumping in front of electric trains. Eventually, this influences Rei and he puts himself in imminent peril. This causes Papiko to race to his defense.
There are no growth sequences featuring Papiko and there are no sex scenes, beyond the one watched by the two soldiers. In general, there was little action, but this book did provide background on ETE and more complications between Papiko and Rei. (SIDE NOTE: Papiko’s dog Mochi also accidentally activated a device and became lost in time. That sucks, but a gigantic demon is already coming to kill everyone and presumably will crush their pets too.)
Overall, this volume was better than the last. So, I give it a tepid recommendation. The next volume should be more exciting because it will begin with an epic battle between our size-changing heroes and Satan! I intend to review Volume 8, but it won’t be out for a few more months.
As a reminder, GIGANT Volumes 4 and 5 will be released in the U.S. in January and May of 2021, respectively. Seven Seas Entertainment publishes the English editions and their release schedule is here: https://sevenseasentertainment.com/series/gigant/ Volume 6 is not listed yet so it’ll likely be awhile before they publish Volume 7. Alternatively, you could order the original language editions from a seller in Japan and have them shipped to your locale.
That’s it for today folks. Thursday’s post will be the “Top 10 Titles Which Ended Too Soon at Giantess Fan.” Until then, keep growing!
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