So Bizarre It's Good
This is a slow burner, making the Character Development and arduous battle scenes all the more effective. Despite, and at times in spite of the author's blatant fetishes for Most Common Super Power and Ludicrous Gibs, Gantz has all the right elements of action, horror, and suspense, as well as a pristine art style that captures the story vividly. Many cliches are introduced, but are mostly handled well. At times, the cliches and tropes are even effectively deconstructed. The Anyone Can Die / Back from the Dead quality of the storyline will definitely keep you on your toes. Looking like Light Yagami and acting like Desert Punk, Kei Kurono is the main character who is initially meant to embody a standard selfish, horny, disaffected teen for the first volume or so. Don't worry, he gets better. Given the Loads and Loads of Characters, you are liable to have a couple of favorites. I personally enjoyed Kato, Kaze, Host Samurai and Anzu, to name a few. Besides the overarching mystery, the series' juice lies in the astonishing fights. Ordinary people, fleshy and terrified, duke it out with creatures that have heavily overdosed on Bizarre Alien Biology. Body Horror ensues, naturally. The humans are so unprepared for the aliens that it seems almost like a procedural, but then the survivors slowly start to figure things out and levels in badass are taken. Even with the science fiction elements and the fact that just about every female character of relative importance is endowed with pornstar proportions, the mood of Gantz is eerily realistic, and thus very nerveracking. I only have two big complaints: 1) The ending is ridiculously anti-climatic. Felt like the author just wanted it to be done, even if there were several dangling plot-points that never got resolved. 2) Everybody is an Ungrateful Bastard. The author clearly has a low opinion of humanity, which shines through thematically. From the first issue to the last, everybody who isn't an important character is a Jerkass to some degree. Also very ridiculous. You never know what to expect, though. I found Gantz very exciting, if not slightly annoying. Of course, that it basically runs on Nightmare Fuel and Male Gaze means it might not be for everyone. I would highly suggest reading the manga over the anime.