January 20, 2008
Sadly, the second volume of the series doesn’t keep up the insane, making-shit-up-as-it-goes-along pace as the first volume did. There’s still plenty to like about it though, since most of the insane things from the first volume still carry over.
I think I’ve been dulled to normal storylines by series like this. It did not occur to me that a swordfight on top of a giant blimp with a sunshine and a man riding a bull painted/sculpted on it was something that doesn’t normally happen in an action series until I was explaining it to a coworker and he burst out laughing. This is made even better by the fact that one of the sons of Gilgamesh is made a cyclops by a rusty (?) needle that shoots out of the handle of the sword.
In case you were wondering, there is still a lot of sex and nudity in this one. The nudist camp from the end of the last volume is split up when they find out that it is located next to some sort of black widow nest. So the treasure hunt continues, eyes get shoved up cooters, we get to see Gilgamesh face-to-face and he does some fighting of his own, there’s a cult of some sort, and rooms hewn from diamonds.
Also, space aliens.
At two volumes, this series is totally worth everything I put into it. Thank you both, Kazuo Koike and Ryoichi Ikegami.
January 4, 2008
HOLY CRAP! I’ve never read a series by either of these guys before, is this what they’re all like? If so, I’ve found what I’ve been looking for all this time. Actually, I take that back. I can probably only read two volumes of this, but if the second is anything like the first, they will be two of the most thoroughly entertaining volumes of manga I own.
I bought Offered after my roommate begged for it, but I didn’t read a plot summary before starting. I knew that the Koike/Ikegami pairing was going to produce some radical sex and violence, so I was all about reading a two volume series by them (Crying Freeman doesn’t really sound like my thing, and while I want to read Wounded Man, I don’t know if I can take 9 volumes of it, I’m not manly enough).
In case you’ve never heard of Kazuo Koike or Ryoichi Ikegami, they are two of the most famous names in men’s manga. And in case you want an opinion of them based solely on the first volume of one of their shorter series, THEY ARE INSANE.
Remember, I went into this not knowing the plot. It starts off normal enough, with a college boy competing in an international track and field event in Brazil. He breaks the world record. Fair enough, it’s a manga. Then, he is kidnapped, and the next 130 or so pages is dedicated to people not wearing clothes, having sex, and discussing things like impregnating women with the sperm of Gilgamesh, who has been frozen for 4,000 years or something in an iceburg. His sperm was frozen separately, though. It was sealed in tusks and was still good because he ejaculated into a gelatin-like substance. Or something. There was a plausible explanation for it. Hitler is in there somewhere, too. The baby that was to be birthed was to be the spawn of Gilgamesh and Hitler.
Eventually, everyone puts their clothes back on, and the action moves to the campus of MIT while everyone is under heavy hypnosis. So heavy, in fact, that the main character can only escape the spell by keeping the 4,000 year old corpse of an ancient race in formaldehyde nearby. It looks like a charred fetus, but nobody comments on this. Someone else offers to have his baby, and then everyone goes on a treasure hunt for ancient diamonds, but not before blowing up a house. Also, they decide to start a nudist colony at the end of the book in order to remain as inconspicuous as possible, so now they’re running around naked on the shores of Massachusetts somewhere.
I PROMISE I DID NOT MAKE ANY OF THAT UP.
I tried to go over the events of the volume with my roommate, who had already read both volumes. When I tried to bring up things like the Gilgamesh Hitler baby or the nudist colony, he says he forgot about that stuff, because things that happen in volume two make you forget all that. The mind boggles.