‘Giganto Maxia:’ Advance TPB Review

The creator of Beserk, Kentaro Miura, weaves a new tale whose engine is run by just enough exposition so that something can fight something else. For me, this falls into the Dragon Ball Z-style anime/manga, the subgenre of Shounen – created for boys eight to eighteen years of age. This would also include episodics like Bleach and Naruto. Some of these series are certainly better than others. I’m not a huge fan of DBZ but find Naruto to be enjoyable.

Giganto Maxia is a story that takes place 100 million years in the future. I don’t know why that number was picked, but I suppose it’s long enough for evolution to have taken some species in extreme directions – and here we’re dealing with bug people and other strange creatures.  And, there are these giant, robot-monster-creature-bug hybrid things that are supposedly some devolved form of the old gods. And, I don’t know what they want other than to fight. I’m reminded of Ken Watanabe’s line from the new Godzilla film that made me clap with glee.

The positive end of the spectrum in this book is that the art is sumptuous, eye popping, and epic in the best kind of way manga can be. The black-and-white shading is really pleasant to the eyes. The scale of these battles is captured marvelously. So, if you’re a fan, you’ll dig it for this aspect alone.

Otherwise, this comic lacks story structure that motivates us into the fights and from one fight to the next. The characters themselves are pretty thinly constructed. I guess our hero warrior just wants to kill the Gigantos, and after 236 pages, I’m no closer to understanding why. His companion, a weird psychic young female that stands on his shoulders as they go through the desert, can heal injuries with juices from her…from her…well, it looks like it’s coming from between her legs? Maybe? It’s so odd and curious that it could work.

They come across a big clan of bug-like creatures. I have no idea why they are looking for them, and our hero warrior fights their hero warrior. There’s so much exposition in this book and I still have no idea what exactly is going on. For me, this is where it becomes like Dragon Ball Z. They fight for about a hundred pages, while talking about how they are fighting and exclaiming that they are fighting. Then, they each have moves – one more powerful than the next that the other person can undo, and each move is more epic than the last. Our hero warrior was apparently a slave warrior, and he has an extremely convoluted reason for his fighting strategy – it made me chuckle. They finish fighting only to realize that something epically big is coming their way. Could it be a Giganto? And, they have to fight again, this time on the same team. So, the resolution to a 100-page fight is that there has to be another 100-page fight.

I would have loved this book at the age of fifteen, though, admittedly, the Shounen from my teenage years had a lot more violence and nudity. This book is far more tame, but just as delightful and silly. My time for enjoying straight-up Shounen to its fullest has passed, but this is definitely a book made for a certain audience and I have no doubt they will enjoy it as I used to.

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