I’m really starting to rack up these manga first impressions. They are much easier to put together since reading a volume of the manga is way quicker than watching an entire season of anime. I might start doubling up on them on Mondays. They almost feel like episode reviews and I love reading new manga.
I’ve finally started delving into digital manga and the first title I gravitated towards was Gigant. This is a manga I had been curious about for a while but never quite decided to buy because it could go either way. The rating on AniList is sort of in the middle as well. But when I realized I could easily grab a digital volume for much cheaper than a paper copy, I figured, why not! Did I regret it?
Why I Picked up Gigant
I actually love the summary of this manga. I think the premise is amazing. A small-time porn star gets superpowers and has to save the world from a cataclysm with the help of her friend and teenage fan. It’s a great premise!
Two small concerns held me back. One, I was a bit afraid that the story would turn into a contrived romance (still might) and two, I was afraid that the balance between the ecchi aspects of the story and everything else would push the interesting Sci-Fi storyline to the backseat.
Rei dreams of becoming a big-ticket film director, but when he stumbles into a chance meeting with a busty adult film star, his high school life takes a turn for the strange. Not only does his favorite porn star like him, she gains the power to grow to an enormous, towering size! Is alien technology to blame? Time travel? The end of the world? All manner of bizarre trouble lies ahead, and a gigantic, gorgeous woman is just the tip of the iceberg!
My First Impression
Oh wow, there’s a lot going on here. In a good way.
What I liked
I have to say, after reading the first volume, the manga Gigant reminds me of the most is 20th Century Boys or Dededededestruction. And I wasn’t expecting that. I mean the title of the manga itself is a play on how Chiho can grow to gigantic proportions and how her breasts are huge. But that’s actually as crass as it gets. I am talking about volume 1, when finding pictures for this post I realized that it gats a lot more explicit later on.
There are a lot of classic science fiction storylines explored. Chiho is the 50-foot woman, she mysteriously gains her power after a seemingly crazy old man puts a gadget on/in her wrist and then dies and turns into a doll. He also leaves behind a disc containing close to 200 hours of footage and it really seems like he might be from the future.
In the meantime, a mysterious internet cult appears to be performing miracles. Or rather running polls and them making whatever wins the popular vote happen and no one knows how.
Of course, Gigant might bungle up the evolution of all those elements, but as far as a first volume is concerned, it was a fascinating setup. And it manages to get a lot across without feeling like I was being lectured.
Chiho and Rei are both very well-established characters right from the start. No one else gets much development at all though but I think that’s o.k.
You can feel some looseness in the writing. The characters don’t seem quite as complete in the author’s mind as the other titles I mentioned. But that’s a high bar. It’s a very solid first volume.
Gigant might create some genre confusion for certain readers. Chiho is an adult star, we do occasionally see her at work and she is often just naked. Turning into a giant destroys her clothes and it’s not like she has any huge ones lying around. And the manga isn’t shy about showing it all.
But it’s also not very sexual. Chiho’s job is treated like a job. Something she does for money and to help out her family who both malign her for her line of work and have no problems taking the money. It’s not presented in a salacious light. Rei is a high school boy with a high sex drive and a girl he really likes in front of him, but he’s also got a lot of other things going on. So it’s not like we are treated to that side of his thoughts very much.
I have a feeling that anyone who was hoping for some sexy sci-fi ecchi will find the first volume of Gigant much too sci-fi and lacking in sexy. On the other hand, readers that simply want to avoid sexual elements for whatever reason, won’t be able t do so with Gigant either.
It’s sort of an in-between which I quite enjoyed but I’m not sure would appeal to a lot of readers.
Gigant has a very good first volume in my opinion. There’s tons of room for it to go al downhill from here but that’s always a risk. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a risk I’m willing to take. I want to know what happens next!