Zombie Loan Volume 1
By Peach Pit
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Supernatural/Action
Rating: Older Teen
Price: $10.99

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Michiru Kita’s a weak-spirited girl who has a hard time saying what’s on her mind. One day, she notices mysterious, ring-like markings around the necks of two of her classmates, Chika Akatsuki and Shito Tachibana-two boys who miraculously survived a horrible accident six months ago. Michiru, possessing the rare ability to see these rings, knows that they warn of impending death. Thinking that, perhaps, she can do something to save her classmates’ lives, she approaches them…but it seems the boys have already make a different kind of deal and garnered themselves a heavy debt.

Shinigami eyes, black rings that appear around necks that foretell of impending death, zombies that eat human flesh, two hot guys, one with a sword and the other with a gun, that hunt the zombies and release their souls. Sounds like an exciting story, right? Too bad this volume didn’t play out that way.

Michiru is the girl with the shinigami eyes. She can see the ring that starts out a light gray, but gradually gets black as the time of the person’s death approaches. She feels she’s been cursed with this ability, and the glasses she wears, as well as correcting her sight, also keeps her from seeing the rings. Enter Chika and Shito, the two hot boys that survived a train accident, and who have the rings around their necks. When they learn of Michiru’s ability, they get her to work for them, finding zombies, so they can pay off their debt.

Michiru is an unlikely heroine at the beginning. She mousy, easily bossed around, and just goes through the motions of life without really living. She lets her friends push her around, and she lives with an aunt and uncle that don’t want her, but do want a chuck of her inheritance (which implies that there’s quite a bit). She’s dragged into helping Chika and Shito, not because she really wants to, but mostly because they tell her she has too. She is wussy, whinny and annoying for most of the volume. I think we are supposed to be sympathetic toward her, but she just comes off as pathetic. It isn’t until the end with the confrontation with the zombie that’s been killing girls from her school that Michiru shows some initiative.

Zombie Loan has all the makings of a great action manga; cute girl, hot guys and zombie hunting action. The characters are fun and relatively likable. Chika and Shito make some great team, and give the volume some much needed comedy when they bicker (which they do constantly). Even Michiru, once she grows a backbone doesn’t seem so bad. There is just too much time dwelt on Michiru’s pointless life. Two-thirds of the book is spent just following Michiru though her dull, listless life. It’s not exciting when she finally stands up for herself; it’s more of a relief that you won’t be subjected to any more of “zombie Michiru”. The only other complain I have about this volume is the sloppy notes at the end. There are references to pages at the end, with no reference made at the panel. And one panel has a reference with no note at the end. This is a simple editing error that should have been easily corrected and doesn’t reflect well on Yen Press.

All in all though, complaints aside, I did enjoy the volume. It took its own sweet time getting there, but by the end, I was interested in seeing more of these characters and this story. I’m going to give it one more volume to redeem itself. If the action ramps up from here on out, this could shape up to be an entertaining action series.

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3 Comments for this entry

  • Chaos R. says:

    First of all, it’s hard to trust a review that has so many grammatical and spelling errors. I understand a few of the things you don’t like about the story; actually, I hated it myself when I first saw the anime. However, when you stop for a moment and take a closer look at the story itself and the themes it presents, how the characters interact and develop, it’s actually one of the better manga I’ve ever read. Michiru doesn’t stay the same cutesy little weak girl she was in the beginning; there is a dramatic difference between volumes one and two, and even more so between two and eight, and so on. This is a beautifully intricate story that is not so much about the zombies and bishounen as it is about identity and change, and certainly deserves another chance.

  • I’m going to ignore your inappropriate opening insult. I read the first volume and this is how I felt about it. It was average, and the characters didn’t endear themselves to me. If I don’t like the characters I’m not going to continue with the series. I did read the second volume, and it didn’t get any better. Sorry. I see no reason to make any changes, grammatical or otherwise.

  • WMHM says:

    Wow, you guys, this is a review site, not a place to trade insults!
    Moving on; I guess you both have a point- the story has a mid-range kind of potential- I liked it because it’s the kind of thing that you can read after you’ve had too much of ‘cleverer’ and ‘more appealing’ works such Naruto, Death Note and FMA.
    But, all in all, there are a couple of things in this book worth reading, and Michiru does assail herself later on. It’s kind of inspiring to read about different people’s attitudes towards life and death. I have no intention of changing anyone’s attitude towards the story, but I guess that if you feel like reading something simple and fairly likeable as a side to your normal, more ‘fan-favourite’ kind of series, then Zombie Loan may appeal to you. Try a scanlation, ’cause agree with Miss Henderson- it’s not worth spending $11.00 on the book.

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