Zombie-Loan: v. 2 (Zombie-Loan) by Peach-Pit
|Zombie-Loan: v. 2 (Zombie-Loan) by Peach-Pit|
|Category: Graphic Novels|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: The school-children tasked to locate and dispose of zombies encounter new partners, and new baddies, in part two of the patchy manga series, which marries some great stylistic features with some ropey old clichés.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 192||Date: February 2008|
|Publisher: Yen Press|
I deliberately did not re-read the first volume in this series, or even my review of it, before planning this review – wishing instead to see how obvious, how immediate, and how penetrable the second part could be as a stand-alone read. You can thank me for being so brave later.
It did come back to me, however – the teenage gang of semi-dead, forced to work as zombie-removers courtesy of an awkward obligation. I was also reminded how quirky and punky the style changes can be – reverting to completely basic stick illustrations, using FX (and their translations) as side detail, and so on. However I didn't recall the awkward way the series introduced the near-obligatory lesbian scene, as it does here, the new characters that will evidently be of note to people who read on across the several future volumes planned, and the strong sense that this volume is completely disposable.
There will be manga fans, and those much keener on the first volume than I was, that will revel in the host of oddities herein – the army of zombie rats despatched by the most bizarre coincidence, the said homosexual elements, and more. Central to the plot, such as it is, is a cyber-domain of death, which must be investigated, along with further zombie-creators, and the use of special girl-on-girl kisses that really are integral to the whole book, honest guv.
There are elements I didn't recognise from before that I liked for feeling fresh – the typographical quirks, and the way white noise is portrayed – and those I knew as bog stale – the heroines just having to confront people while garbed in ridiculous French-maid style uniforms for one.
And for all that, the book leaves everything up in the air – with absolutely none of the episode resolution the first book had. Some readers may well love the impatient wait for part three to conclude things (if not everything), but while my thoughts are still important it's a little disappointing to say I had no thoughts about the lack of ending whatsoever – no sense of upset, loss or anything making me wish for a full stop.
Nor did I particularly think the short time reading part 2 was a waste – it might be low in story, but with so much manga being available in Japan it really is down to subtly different details to allow anyone to distinguish any one story from another, and there are enough here in the murk to be noticeable.
However what I found most noticeable is the fact that this volume has taken almost four years to be published in translation. If we were regarding the best manga has to offer, would it not have been produced for the West with greater urgency, I ask myself?
Yen Press should still be thanked for sending a copy to the Bookbag to read. With this empty volume we're left with no possibility of recommending this book, and would need to see more resolution in the future parts to know whether the whole series was still worthy of our esteemed and sought-after appreciation.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Zombie-Loan: v. 2 (Zombie-Loan) by Peach-Pit at Amazon.com.
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