A fight manga for the ages.
The extreme Golosseum is back this week with Volume 2. It’s probably the most outrageous and unabashed manga series I’ve ever read as it doesn’t hold back with the t&a, the violence, or the shameless likenesses to real world figures. Basically, if you like your entertainment raw and unafraid with a lot of offensive sort of content you’ll love this.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Scientists discover a new material that renders people immune to all existing weapons. But these “peacemakers” instead transform world war into a martial-arts free-for-all! Russian President Putinov plots to control the global supply and defeat the dissident Rasputin. Opposing them are the unstoppable Axe Bogan, a certain master in a jumpsuit from China, and a slew of other muscular heroes!
Why does this matter?
This book is political which makes it feel fresh and pertinent. The main villain is basically Vladimir Putin who will stop at nothing to take over the world. It’s not too far-fetched. Meanwhile a Hulk Hogan stand-in attempts to save America. Yep, we’re screwed.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This second volume is much more about fighting than delivering on exposition or big twists, though it does have a few of those. Characters from all nations end up sparring in one-on-one battles which come with listed-off names for their moves as they land them. It’s quite clear Yasushi Baba is attempting to go to the max (maybe with three more x’s on it too) with characters pile-driving off buildings, smashing each other with buildings, and even fighting super-bears. It’s way over the top which is why I don’t take it too seriously. This series is very good at topping itself and it always seems to have a new move or a new outlandish thing occurs to make your eyes pop. If you aren’t easily offended you’ll dig this.
Speaking of offended there are quite a lot of boob shots in this one. It’s gratuitous to say the least, but that’s the point. It’s hard to be mad or annoyed with it since it’s so in your face and purposeful. I’d liken this series to a movie like Crank that is on a mission to do everything it can to catch your eye and go beyond your expectations. There’s no full-frontal nudity (though we get full body nude shots with the male genitals covered up) so it never goes too far.
The art in the book continues to be highly detailed and well-drawn. The shading on the muscles gives them a roundness that fills them out and makes them look more realistic. The violence can be gory as hell like in one scene where an eyeball bursts from a guy’s head. The action and movement is enhanced with sketchy line-work on the edges of characters to give a sense of vibration, and it works well.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The driving force of this series is a McGuffin that’s further outlined in this volume. As far as the character work there isn’t much at all. The main character is a conventional female manga character who talks very little but has secrets she doesn’t want to reveal. Putin ends up being the more fleshed out character since he gets so many scenes, but really all there is to him is the thirst for more power. That makes general interest in the plot hard to come by; it’s the action, t&a, and gore that’ll drive your interest.
Is it good?
This second volume is heavy on the one-on-one fight scenes delivering in a monumental way over and over. It’s hard to resist a manga like this because there isn’t anything else like it on store shelves. It’s unabashed and makes an offensive effort to deliver sometimes tasteless content.