Dark Horse has acquired the enormously popular seinen manga series, GANTZ. Hiroya Oku, creator of GANTZ, has put together a cast of characters that are both sympathetic and strong in a hardboiled universe of ultra-stylish violence, pathos and sexiness. The wildly renowned anime, also entitled GANTZ from ADV, primarily follows the same story and has been translated in several different languages.
Gantz tells the story of a team of dead people who are forced to take part in a "game" in which they hunt aliens and other creatures who live among the populace of Japan. The story focuses on Kei Kurono, a teenage boy who died saving a homeless man from a train. He, along with a band of others who are recently deceased, must complete a series of dangerous and complicated missions by a strange device called Gantz. On these missions characters can even die again, only to be quickly replaced by others like them. As the plot progresses, so does the intricacy of relationships between characters.
"Throughout the years, there has been one title that fans approach us about again and again, and that is GANTZ," said Michael Gombos, director of Asian licensing at Dark Horse Comics. "Dark Horse president/publisher/founder Mike Richardson has been pursuing the book since it was released, and we're finally happy to bring GANTZ to English readers. Considered along the same lines as GHOST IN THE SHELL and AKIRA, it is one of the greatest seinen manga ever created. GANTZ has found itself a very fitting home at the world's greatest English-language seinen publisher."
GANTZ has obtained a cult-like following from print to DVD and back again. Gombos said the devotion of the fans and excitement of the critics push this manga into a category all its own, surpassing any other in its genre.
GANTZ is tentatively scheduled for a summer 2008 release.
Since 1986, Milwaukie, Oregon-based Dark Horse Comics (www.darkhose.com) has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. In addition to publishing comics from top talent like Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman and comics legend Will Eisner, its highly successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Aliens, Conan, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Emily the Strange, Tim Burton, Trigun and Hellsing. Today Dark Horse Comics is the third largest comicbook publisher in the U.S. and is a world-leading publisher of licensed comics material.