Well this another favorite of WEast Gamers (or at least me... for now), so if you don't mind and have gotten to this point of the manga, then you don't need reviews for the past fase (Stage I) and the beginning chapters of this second fase. Although their might be something related in the future. Never say never. For now, lets stay in the present.
And now, on with the review.
I finally got to see what this Oka Hachirou is able to do in that last chapter (ch. 269), this guy or girl is no joke. Although its not as he/she doesn't have a sense of humor... as it will be seen a little later on in ch. 270.
Going back to ch. 269 again for a bit, the more I see this guy fight (although I've only seen him/her fight the Minotaur-Spider Nurarihyon) he/she reminds me so much of Kurono Kei. They both have that straight foward style of fighting and both go on from being calm to a "fighting frenzy" state of mind as soon as the adrenaline hits their bodies. Just watching him/her on top of the Minotaur-Spider Nurarihyon and beating the crap out of it... took me back to the Buddhist Temple Mission.
(I wanna say the 3rd mission? - 1st Stage of the manga. More or less.)
You know what, I´ll start refering to Oka Hachirou refer to Oka Hachirou as a "SHE" since I suspect its the same person from the cover of ch. 268 and how that lady is nobody seen yet in the manga. (Then again I might be wrong... now that I look close, she could be Reika.)
OK. So its come down to the final showoff, what's left of the Osaka and the Tokio team watch from a distance as Oka is ready to make his move against... "Nurari"?
Note 1: Wow?!, Oku Hiroya finally gave that thing a name. Although it really came out of nowhere... unless it's more of a general term or title given to the alien by the Gantzers. Oh, speaking about names... isn't weird that this badass Oka character has a very similar name to Oku, which is the author's name. Hmmm... maybe the author is trying to specify something there or wants to/compensate some how by becoming that character. Who knows?)
At this point all I can wonder is: "What is Reika feeling?" Specially since her stand of not interfering has gone just as bad as if they had done something, like Katou, and tried to have saved some lives instead of just watching all that carnage go by. Maybe this could affect Reika's condition as leader. Truth be told, Reika should have known by now that when Gantz wants you to fight... you fight.
Oka is now the only hope, if he fails then everything and everyone gets wiped out. Just before the fight gets to start off it was intresting to note some features regarding Oka and his suit or armor in this case. I'm pretty sure she's not that big. This new suit just might be more of a Gundam suit type of armor; something really huge but is piloted by a regular human being. I mean, if even a Gantz suit is able to expand itself, it's not possible to make someone using it super huge, have their arms reach almost to the ground while standing up and basically make the Gantzer look gorilla-ish. Also if you look at her knees... its not joint together like that of a person's knees in a regular Gantz suit. Its something more bolted or artificial/robot-esque in appearance and structure.
Note 2: This "Nurari" dude, pretty much somekinda mutant giant Diclonius type of creature, huh? (Read or Watch Elfen Lied)
Oka's suit quickly shows that it is strong, very strong and can withstand Nurari's PsyBlast with minimun or no damage at all; but from that it shows that its not just all muscle and enhances Oka's speed to an incredible level, letting Oka land a good blow at Nurari without letting Nurari even react to her presence.
What is most amuzing during this chapter is how funny and light hearted Oka Hachirou turned out to be beneath that huge armor, even when being in a life and death situation. So at one moment she goes on and says: "Bring it on, anytime... ANYWHERE!!" I just smiled because it's these little moments where the Gantz manga goes from a straight up from Seinen (Mature) genre to a lighter Action/Shounen one and I get this feeling as if I were reading Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, Yu Yu Hakusho, etc.. Oka keeps talking about how he used to play ping pong when he used to be in grade school... as she's uppercutting "Nurari"'s; at this point I was thinking to myself: "This guys is most probably an Otaku" . I wasn't quite sure at the time and was hoping for some confirmation of sorts over the next few chapters (I hope more will be seen of those who are left of the Osaka Team). I'm glad to write I didn't have to wait weeks for reassessment, because Oka later confirms how she is taking "online Karate classes". Of course I went: "Yup, denfinetly Otaku..." XD.
All of the sudden we have "Nurari" dead and taken out by one single friggin human being, a powerful Gantzer but none the less one single person... I mean the most badass, ruthless S.O.B. Gantz Team (shown to date) wasn't able to lay a scratch on it; not even those who had compleated the game over 2 times each. Can you imagine what kind of mess this "Nurari" character must be for those 3 guys, who brought the Nurarihyon aliens into submission basically by themselves, who must have seen all sorts of other mess and survided it. Add to that the caliber of expertise and the advanced weapons they obtained for clearing the game so many time... It still amazes me how tough these Nurarihyons were.
With this thing dead all thats left to say is: "Is the mission really over?" I don't think so specially since I'm seeing Katou looking at this as his opportunity to revive Kurono Kei.
Note 3: Maybe this is a way the author might be telling us this is Kurono's chance to come back intro the fold. Kinda like foreshadowing. Maybe not.
Plus hasn't this thing done 3 transformations already and had it's head blown off and was able to keep on going? I might be wrong but I think thier are maybe a few chapters left on this whole Osaka-Tokyo crossover.
Note 4: Thinking back on Oka fighting "Nurari", somethings came to mind:
- The way she speaks lightheartedly while kicking ass, reminds me alot of Dante from the Devil May Cry series of videogames; more specifically DMC3 Dante.
(It worthy to note that Gantz manga is filled with all kinds of pop-culture reference from in and outside Japan.)
- When Oka speaks of learning Karate online, it could be considered somthing of a reference to The Karate Kid (1980's movie) and how the main character was trying to learn Karate from a textbook. So both are similar in aproach and circumstances but a bit more updated.
- Those tubes coming out of Oka's suit work to give this menacing look, just at it worked in the form of dreadlocks for aka The Predator and the those of its same race in the movie series AVP (Alien Vs Predator).