Zombies, once creatures of voodoo, have evolved into something more sinister and scary ever since George Romero got a hold of them and created Night of the Living Dead. Ever since the introduction of the slow-moving, decaying, brain-eating monsters, they have grown in popularity, until the turn of the 21st century when they started popping up in hordes everywhere; movies, books, comics, and manga!
Tokyo Zombie – Full time slackers Fuji0 and Mitsuo are workers in a fire extinguisher factory, but who dream of becoming jujitsu masters, but instead cause the catalyst for the rise of the undead from “Dark Fuji”, a toxic waste dump. They then have to use their limited jujitsu to survive. This one volume title was originally published in AX, an alternative manga magazine. The art might not be what you expect from a manga, but the story is filled with dark humor and social commentary. It was also made into a live-action movie in 2005
Zombie Loan – Michiru Kita possesses a special power, Shinigami Eyes, so she can see when someone is going to die, or is already dead. She becomes useful to two classmates, Chika and Shito, who work for Zombie Loan, a place where people can get back time on their lives in exchange for killing the living dead. There is a lot of action, balanced by drama and comedy, but the characters can be slow to grow on you. This series is done by the creator team Peach-Pitt, and was one of Yen Press’ debut titles. It went for 13 volumes, ending earlier this year and had a 13 episode anime.
Raiders – Irel Clark is the assistant to Professor Langhem, helping him search for the “Holy Grail” they find a chrism, a bottle supposed to hold Jesus Christ’s blood and give the drinker immortality. They are attacked by Lamia, an undead who also wants the chrism. Irel drinks the blood and becomes immortal, as well as becoming involved in a huge and ancient conspiracy built around Christianity. The Zombies in this series aren’t the typical kind. They are more the dead brought back to life, with their personalities and memories intact, almost no brain-eating. This series is manhwa and complete at 9 volumes. It’s released by Yen Press.
Highschool of the Dead – This manga series is a Romero zombie flick made into a manga. It follows a group of high school students as they struggle to survive the zombie apocalypse and find their families. This title has everything you expect from a zombie titles, fast walking dead, living-eating, and head bashing to kill them all. It also has a lot of fan service to go with the blood and guts. It’s 7 volumes so far and is still ongoing in Japan, and has had a 12 episode anime. It’s released by Yen Press.
Grand Guignol Orchestra – The world has been infected by a virus that turns the infected into puppet-like zombies, that seek only to infest the living. Lucille is the leader of the Grand Guignol Orchestra, and for a price, he and his performers will come to a village and rid it of their guignol problem. This series is by Kaori Yuki and is a short title at only 5 volumes. Like so many of Yuki’s titles, Lucille is a bishonen with a tragic past and a quest to complete. While he always has the best of intentions, the outcomes for either him or his clients aren’t aways what was intended. This title is released by Viz Media.