Great original, so-so follow-up.
Set in an After The End
gritty Cyber Punk
future, I rather enjoyed the original series, due to having a decently complex plot, many interacting characters, a heroine that was not invincible and got beaten pretty badly several times, requiring the help of other characters to overcome her problems (not always as she expected). The drawings were deliciously detailed and many of the characters were crazy over-the-top, both in actual character and character-design. Deaths were meaningful and contributed to the plot. The darkness of the world was present everywhere, with disturbing details everywhere (Kaos and the brains, anyone?). The shards of backstory littered through the series made it a shame that the author had to end the series early.
Contrast that to Gunnm Last Order, which keeps the over-the-topness but removes about everything else, leaving a boring Shonen
fighting series that has combats that take forever, no true events (gosh, Gally dies? Guess what? she's back next volume, stronger than evar!
), supportive characters that only serve to cheer on the main characters and make 'witty' comments about their over-the-top fighting moves that will surely beat the enemy to a pulp (except that they often don't), and almost none of the grittyness of the original. Most of the supportive characters that are carried over from the first series are flat, stereotyped parodies of themselves. The new supportive characters are either nobodies or essentially characterized by teenage humor - there's two characters that use their (uncensored) penis to punch holes in things
! The Big Bad
is all talk and could probably get killed by Gally in five seconds, yet the author lets him live because he is required for the plot. Main culprit: the ZOTT, which could better stand for "Zenith of Total Turd".
The author seems to abuse the gritty Cyber Punk
original's popularity to come up with mindless drivel that is just boring like hell. Even the additional information on science and history that he used as inspiration sound...uninterested. I frankly cannot understand that this pile of crap has been allowed to continue for longer than the original series. The only positive notes are the existence of Sechs (who is over-the-top like a character of the old series would be) and the barely present bits of backstory.