Hiroya Oku‘s manga, including the enormously popular Gantz and the fascinatingly bizarre Inuyashiki, are page-turners that begin grounded in reality before moving into increasingly fantastical territory. Gigant is no different, but whereas those series were obsessed with violence and gore, Gigant adds sex to the mix.
Rei Yokoyamada is a young filmmaker looking for a leading lady for his indie project. He happens upon a slew of fliers in his neighborhood outing a local woman, Chiho Johansson, as adult film star PaPiPo. Feeling sorry for her, he starts ripping the fliers down when Chiho herself shows up. She’s grateful to Rei for his act of kindness and takes him out for a drink.
With an abusive boyfriend at home and a family who doesn’t approve of her work, Chiho finds solace in her friendship with Rei. One day she stumbles upon an injured old man and her life takes a turn for the weird. As she tries to call for an ambulance, he grabs her wrist and implants a high-tech device in it. Chiho soon discovers that the device allows her to change her size at will. She quickly puts her new power to use in her films. As if all that weren’t weird enough, bizarre events start happening all over town, like feces raining down in the middle of day. Is the end of the world at hand? The first volume of Gigant poses a slew of questions and gets the reader invested in learning the answers.
Gigant is a bundle of mysteries wrapped in a shell of reality. One moment, it’s a typical men’s romance manga about an average guy getting close to his favorite porn star—improbable, maybe, but not impossible—and the next, the actress is doubling in size, there’s a website where people vote on the next catastrophe to befall the city, and time travel and alien visitors may be in the mix.
This could all be jumbled and confusing, but somehow Gigant manages to keep everything chugging along through the first volume. It genuinely doesn’t feel long enough. The momentum builds up quickly and never relents, and it’s clear there are more strange happenings to come. It’s sexy, gruesome, unpredictable and never willing to coddle its readers. You’ll want to make sure you strap in for this one.
publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
story and art: Hiroya Oku
rating: Older Teen