Hiroya Oku on Gantz

Because I recently did a marathon reread of Gantz and I’m still riding the high from it, here are some highlights from an interview with Hiroya Oku back in 2010, when he was getting started with the final arc.

gantzOn his relationship with American cinema: “I came up with the idea for the final arc about three years into the series. I wanted to end with a global-scale armageddon, my own attempt at Independence Day [the 1996 film]. The sheer scale of the giant UFO in that movie, the way Earth was just helpless to the aliens’ attack — no Hollywood movie has managed to surpass that image yet. I wanted to take that and try to make it something more aggressive, though. Scarier. More like they’ve really invaded the place. Like, here are these giant bizarre objects in the sky that just show up and shoot down onto Earth, and then they turn out to be war machines that come to life. I felt pretty sure that it was an image that nobody’d seen before, so that’s what I did. Manga doesn’t pack the same punch that movies can, but I’d like to think that if I manage to draw something that people haven’t seen before, the impact on the reader at least comes somewhere close to that of film. Hit them with a striking image, then suck them into the story. Another thing is how in manga you can do these pages of small panels and then really surprise the reader with a giant two-page picture, almost like when the music in movies suddenly strikes a note really loudly. The panel thing is something film can’t do, so I try to make the most of that technique. Continue reading