Monday, January 31, 2011

Manga Monday: High School of the Dead

High School of the Dead (Volume 1)
Daisuke Sato & Shouji Sato

I'm always up for a good horror story, and while zombies have been done to death, I still have quite a fondness for the shambling dead, which is why I picked up this new manga from Yen Press.  High School of the Dead features a small group of high school students who see a zombie invasion take place while in class.  Very quickly, the school is overrun with zombies, and mayhem ensues, but a few lucky students keep their heads through the bedlam and escape to see what has become of their families and the world at large.  This is a very typical zombie story.  No new ground is being tread here, but this book offers up plenty of fan service with big-breasted women, pantie shots galore and even one ridiculous scene where one girl tears another girl's skirt half off so she can run faster.  Yeah, it's that kind of book.  Along with the prominently featured female assets, there's gore galore.  A lot of scenes are included for the sake of seeing people ripped in half and torn apart.  Many people who aren't part of the main cast are randomly seen being killed, the creators feeling obligated to check back in on various victims getting chewed up and maimed pretty frequently.  Speaking of the cast, we are talking very broad character types here.  A girl who can kick butt, a guy obsessed with becoming leader of the group who has ill intentions, a hot nurse who doesn't have a lot going on upstairs, a popular girl who treats a nerd with exaggerated cruelty, etc.  Even if you're coming to see horror and action, those aspects of the books aren't done very well either.  Many action sequences are sloppy and hard to follow, and there's little to no suspense, making this a disappointment all around.  If you want mindless gore, pantie shots and shallow characters, you've come to the right place, otherwise you'd be wise to steer clear of this zombie tragedy and pick up something with at least a few redeeming qualities.

2 comments:

Oliver said...

It's too bad about this one. Can you recommend me a good zombie comic please, manga or other?

Dave Ferraro said...

I personally recommend The Walking Dead above all others. Brian Ralph's Daybreak is good too, but not very typical of that kind of narrative. Marvel Zombies is pretty decent too if you just want something fun. In the world of manga, Junji Ito's Tomie is kind of a classic. I actually did a post a couple years ago, highlighting some zombie comics, if you want more suggestions: http://comics-and-more.blogspot.com/2008/10/halloween-spotlight-zombie-comics.html