March 23, 2009

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Zombie-Loan Volume 1 by Peach-Pit

Written by Peach-Pit
Illustrated by Peach-Pit
Yen Press

I had a chance to spend an inordinate amount of time at the main branch of the local library and grabbed quite a few random things, so some of the reviews over the next few weeks should be quite varied.

This was one of the random grabs, and while the idea is pretty cool, the execution is a bit lacking in my more refined manga tastes nowadays.

Let's start with the premise--apparently, there are zombies on the loose and if you have the right vision, you can spot them. Michiru Kita can do it, but she tries hard not to, even wearing the typical manga glasses to avoid her extra sight. But not all zombies are flesh-eaters. If you want to life hard enough, fate can be altered--for the right price.

When two folks with a large debt find out there's someone who can help them with their zombie-loan, really awkwardly drawn action ensues. And that's where the problem is with this one--the art is so busy and crowded so often, it's hard to tell what's going on. During several of the fight scenes, I had no idea how the action was playing out. It's not helped that the artist (artists?) involved also opted to leave out backgrounds and that the translators felt the need to translate every sound effect--but with the original characters in place--leaving almost no room for the eye to breathe.

On top of that, there's really not a cohesive plot, as the three main characters seem to jump from activity to activity because there's a rush to get every part of the introduction in by the end of page 200. While some manga plods a bit, this one could have stood a bit longer setup to work better, at least for me. It might have lessened the art problems as well.

I really do like the idea of zombie bounty hunters, though, so I'm liable to try at least one more volume to see if it gets a bit better. However, you may find it best to wait it out.