Different people have different tastes and so do I harbor a special affection towards zombie mangas … and zombies in general. Aren’t they simply fascinating? The undead; totally different from vampires, not equipped with any superpowers besides their immortality (Note: Disregarding other alternations in movies or books concerning other superpowers.) and most important strange. What do we know about them? They’re dead and yet still alive. They’re negating the signs of life, nature itself and also the system of logic. Why is it that they eat meat? That they’re craving after it? They don’t need it to survive, right? Where do they store the meat anyway? It’s not like they use it to regenerate their bodies. (Though that’s a good idea.) What happens to the meat as soon as it’s eaten? There’s no logical reason and thus, zombies defy the rules we’ve established. Yet we were the ones that created them – inside our heads, I believe. Or not?
1. Apocalypse no Toride
You’re mistaken when you believe that I’ve placed this manga first because there are no other good ones. In fact the manga has some great potential. We’re gradually getting to the main point, behind the questions of who, how, why and what and gosh, it’s so interesting. But let me first tell those of you who do not know the manga yet the plot: Our protagonist Maeda Yoshiaki got arrested for murder which – according to him – he just happened to “witness”. Now you may think that he’s extremely unlucky but it’s best to have some tough, strong and reliable “friends” during a zombie outbreak, wouldn’t you agree? Luckily, his cell mates just fit these characteristics perfectly!
Anyway, back to the review: the plot’s pretty interesting and if you’re slowly getting tired of easily predictable and everyday-shojos and -shonen mangas, this is just the perfect one for you. Even though values such as friendship are also included, the manga focuses on the zombies, the survival and the protagonists slowly getting behind the origin of these zombies. And that’s what every zombie maniac wants, right? It’s not complete yet and I’m dying to know the background story!
2. I Am a Hero
I Am a Hero is an exceptional manga. The story follows the mangaka Hideo Suzuki who’s trying to maintain both a day job as another artist’s assistant and a strained relationship with his girlfriend. Even though you could say that he’s clearly a social failure, he sees himself as the “hero” of his own life. As he’s often hallucinating as well as talking to his imaginary figures, he first questions whether the man who just broke his neck in a car crash really stood up and walked away. However, as soon as he finds his girlfriend Tetsuko as a zombie, he admits that the zombie apocalypse is actually happening and decides to survive and fight for his girlfriend.
You might now think: Sure, the plot’s different from all the other mangos so far (because there’s clearly a strict plot line and a paradigm in the manga industry but let’s save that for another time) but it doesn’t sound convincing though. Well, let me tell you: the plot’s not only amazing but the characters are as well. Hideo Suzuki is not the typical hero that just came out of the blue, saving everyone and the world. He’s just as you and me – a normal man in his twenties whose life just got disrupted and the first thing we all do when something’s not quite right, is panicking and being scared. This manga is not good because it’s cool and we’d all love to be there, it’s good because we can actually sympathize with him. (Yeah, he’s kinda schizophrenic but still cool.) Regarding the zombies and the origin behind the outbreak: no clue. The manga isn’t complete yet, so stay tuned! It’s just gotta be something gooood.
3. Mahō Shōjo of the End
This manga is completely psycho. It really is. But before I elaborate on that, here’s the plot: the story deals with the protagonist Kogami Kii who’s the normal, extremely bored student wishing for something to happen while not listening to the teacher in his classroom and staring outside the window. There he happens to witness a little girl hitting a teacher’s head which in turn explodes. Shocked he goes to the bathroom trying to calm himself but after returning to the classroom, all he finds are the corpses of his classmates and in the middle of the room: the same little girl as before.
Now that doesn’t tell you much, does it? However, I assure you that there’s more to it. So even though yes, there’s a harem and yeah, it’s about some stupid love stories and there are also drama features and oh, of course, not to mention the boobs everywhere, it’s actually a pretty decent manga compared to what is to come. What I especially like about this manga is that even though these characteristics are contained, the manga is still pretty interesting. And as said before, the manga’s psycho. Besides the aforementioned, there are scenes of smashed people, of little girls killing other people and having fun and basically of people degrading and doing … stuff. However, the main point of this manga is the fact that it’s actually not about zombies at all. Still you are reminded of them in some way and I couldn’t bring myself not to include it. Give it a shot as it is just as addicting as other good mangas! Furthermore, this one’s also not complete.
4. Tokyo Zombie
Yeah, I know. The drawings don’t look super fancy, human and detailed as in normal mangas. However, give it a try and you’re sure not to be able to stop reading it! Mitsuo and Fuji are both working at a factory at the food of Dark Fuji, a mountain toxic garbage dump where everyone buries everything – trash, secrets and people. The two friends spend their leisure time practicing the art of Jiu-jitsu. One day, they accidentally kill their supervisor and decide to dispose of him at Dark Fuji when suddenly corpses rise up from the earth and attack people. The duo now has to survive hordes of zombies in order to fulfill their dream of going to Russia to become underground fighters.
You’ll have a ripping good time reading this manga as it is quite hilarious. Seriously, read it! This is not your normal manga or even normal zombie manga (is there even such a thing yet?).
5. High School of The Dead
This work is your typical shojo, drama and ecchi manga. The only deviation is that the setting is during a zombie apocalypse, so it’s all about survival. Guess what? There’s only one manly guy (and some weapon nerd) surrounded by young female students (and a nurse, it had to be one) with huge breasts, so you can pretty much predict what’s going to happen. However, what’s so interesting about this manga is that 1) you don’t know which girl is going to get him and 2) you don’t know what’s the origin behind the zombie outbreak. And dude, we all want to know the reason behind it ’cause that’s the most important and most interesting issue. The manga isn’t complete yet but there also seems to be an awfully long break.
Honorable mentions: Sankarea. In my next post I’ll tell you some reasons why you definitely should watch the latest FX series “The Strain”. Until then