Monday, August 24, 2015


Man, I haven't made a post here in ages. But I have the urge to write my thoughts on something I read, and this is still a thing that exists, so here we go.
After seeing a post that piqued my interest, I decided to check out a manga called Gamma. It's only 20 chapters, so here's my thoughts:
I like the concept: it's a world where superheroes of all types - typical "tights and capes" heroes, sentai teams, magical girls, and so on - exist and fight their respective enemies. The main focus is on the Earth Defense Force and two sisters who act as counselors and support to heroes and ex-heroes, due to the stress of the heroing life and the loss of purpose they feel after being depowered. One of them also happens to be a former magical girl, who lost most of her powers not long ago.
The way it plays on various hero tropes is neat, and it has homages to several different types of superhero and monster movies. There's one scene that's pretty much that universe's equivalent of the Battle of New York from The Avengers, complete with its own version of Iron Man, Cap, Hulk, and... Spider-Man.
Actually, the Spider-Man expy, named Hornetman, is one of my favorites.
Another scene I particularly like is where they provide counseling for the Sixth Ranger of that universe's sentai team. It lampshades a lot of the usual sixth ranger themes and sentai tropes ("Why do they always fight in a rock quarry?" "I dunno." "Oh look, the monster grew large. Now it's rampaging downtown. Why do they always go to the middle of the city once they grow giant?"), and when we see the team unmasked, they're pretty clearly designed to look like the Gokaigers.
Later, during a monster attack, their giant robot is dropped into the ocean to fight a kaiju, like a scene right out of Pacific Rim. There, it teamed up with an Ultraman-expy. 
As the story goes on, we get to learn more about the various heroes in that world, but it's not a series where the good guys always win; quite a few characters I liked bit the dust by the end.
Though I do have to criticize the art just a bit. I don't mind fanservice when it's tastefully done, but it's a little ham-fisted in this one. I'm pretty sure there's no defense organization that would ever make their uniforms have shorts and skirts quite as short as the characters wear, and apparently a superheroine wearing a skintight outfit means there's nothing left to the imagination, and I mean nothing.
No, seriously, there's this dramatic moment where she's weeping about encountering the villain who killed her best friend - a powerful, emotional moment, slightly diminished by the amount of detail the artist put into showing the outline of her nipple under the suit.
Then in the last volume, he just goes "Screw it, let's just toss in some nudity, the manga's ending soon anyways." That's also the volume where the yuri overtones go from subtext to text, with pretty much every female character hooking up with another one, though I consider that a point in its favor.
So come for the superheroes, the story, the fanservice, or the yuri, and you'll have plenty of it to go around. It was a relatively short read, but pretty entertaining, if it's your style.
Until next time (whenever that may be), this has been whatever I read.