January 7, 2010

Eat Up EAT-MAN or I’ll Eat Your Face!

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Written by: Drew
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Some nights, like many of you, I like to watch TV to unwind. Frequently it will involve me watching something animated from Japan like Ranma ½ or Gatchaman. So I go to unwind and my fiancee rolls over in bed and looks dead at me, “His name is Eat-Man?”.

Yeah…his name is Eat-Man.



I realize the name “Eat-Man” is incredibly strange, not to mention the array of sex jokes one could make based on it (which she did). However I began to think how Eat-Man is an underdog of the Japanese Manga/Anime scene here stateside, and then began thinking how I just want this title to finally get a little respect over here. So I’ve decided to start a personal crusade I’m calling: Eat Up Eat-Man or I’ll Eat Your Face! (and I will…well not me exactly…I’ll find a creepy guy eating squirrels in your local park and have him attempt to eat your face.)

Eat-Man was originally a manga written and drawn by Akihito Yoshitomi, which ran in Japan from 1996 to 2002 in the comic-mag Dengeki Comic Gao!. Viz Communications ran the manga here in the late 90s in two mini-series (that were both collected later on into graphic novels). By the time Eat-Man finished in Japan, it ran for 19 volumes, so we here stateside are far from getting the complete story.

It was also adapted into two anime series. The first which ran in 1997 was a great anime series, however many fans of the comic complained it was a huge mis-adaptation of the original comic. So the following year they did a second TV series titled Eat-Man ’98 (the one I was watching for those of you curious about the opening paragraph), which was praised for the direct adaptation of stories from the comic.

Eat-Man tells the story of Bolt Crank, a wandering explorer of sorts, who is known by many as the greatest mercenary in the world. BUT HERE IS WHERE IT KICKS ASS: So Bolt has the coolest power on the planet which is that he has the ability to eat ANYTHING and then regenerate it later on from his hand! So Bolt can eat an axe then later make it appear: BAM! Bolt can eat a gigantic 2-story atomic battle cannon and then later make it appear to save the day: BAM! (and he does eat that atomic cannon).

The stories of Eat-Man’s world all take place in the future in a very cyber-punkish world, where technology and a fairy tale-like quality combine frequently. Eat-Man had a long following in the land of the Rising Sun, but here seems to be very cult among the anime/manga cult. As mentioned Viz released 2 graphic novel collections; however maybe it didn’t do well since they were pushing other series that were easier to market like Ranma ½, Dragon Ball, etc. Bandai Entertainment of America released the anime Eat-Man to video and Eat-Man ’98 to both video and DVD.

I really wish Viz would try to pick it up again or even have Dark Horse release the comic (it honestly would feel more at home with many of Dark Horse’s other titles). The novels and DVDs can be found out there on the ‘net at fairly cheap prices, which means there is no better time to check out this lost gem.

Drew McCabe



  1. Eli

    For some strange reason I’m drawn to Eat-Man. Disturbing… sure. But you paint a nice picture of it. And that power, eating ANYTHING, that’s just too cool.

    Imagine the possibilities…

  2. Drew

    It just kicks ass and has been over-looked here. The stories are great, many with a very Philip K. Dick sci-fi/fantasty-vibe to them, and as mentioned the endless coolness-factor of his powers and how/when he usues them. It’s just a plain good manga and anime series.

  3. Great read here Drew! Sounds like Eat Man could be spotlighted in a future “Unsung Characters of Comic-Dom” Column!!

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by, Drew McCabe. Drew McCabe said: […]

  5. Eli

    Say, anyone out there bidding on Eat-Man DVD on a popular online auction site??? I noticed that since this article was published, there’s an Eat-Man DVD that got 3 bids pretty quick like.

    Drew, maybe you should contact the seller and request a 10% commission.

  6. billy

    Good review!

  7. Drew

    @Eli: See the Eat-Man revolution is coming! ( trendsetting?)

  8. Eli

    Wow! That Eat-Man DVD auction is now over $12. Drew, we really are trendsetters.

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