Zombie-Loan by Peach-Pit

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Zombie-Loan by Peach-Pit

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Category: Graphic Novels
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: A girl with the power to detect dying people is charged by two people further gone to help them.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 208 Date: October 2007
Publisher: Yen Press
ISBN: 978-0759523531

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Whatever started the manga style's fascination with schoolgirls is surely lost in the mists of Japanese cultural history, but here's another one. She is not particularly in peril from anything more serious than the bitchy girls at school making her buy their lunches, but she has a unique talent, in that whenever someone is dying, a grey ring will be visible to her around their necks.

Unfortunately that ring can turn black, like those of two classmates involved in a near-fatal accident. Or everyone thought it had been near-fatal... It turns out the two are now, for want of a better term, good zombies (just don't say that to their face), who are still in the land of the living as they have the debt of the title to pay back, by putting paid to bad zombies. Hence their need of our heroine's skill.

This opening adventure (only another seven to go, then, it seems) also covers the plot of the first two episodes from the animated TV version, and introduces the concept alongside the mystery of missing schoolgirls. Thus there is a lot of exposition, both snappy and clunky, a suddenly introduced baddie, and a bit of action.

It is the style however that goes beyond what I've seen in other mangas though. Frames suddenly lose all definition and revert to stick-man images, or distort those in the middle distance to much more basic drawings. It all adds to the almost punky style of portrayal, with asides allotted to their speakers in a spiderish fashion, FX sprayed about almost randomly, and the drive of the pictorial narration enhanced by such a style of showing a character's importance in a shot.

Such bright and breezy stylistic quirks only make the very dark ending even more unexpected, and manga fans will, I'm sure, appreciate them all. I found a few plot elements not to my satisfaction, and the cheap and cheerful way fabric prints were drawn on by computer too tacky. Still, like many a Bookbag site user I would never dream of giving a manga book a five star review, but I'm grateful to the publishers for sending this to us to sample, and would recommend this book for the fan of the genre as a series opener of note.

We also have a review of Zombie-Loan: v. 2 (Zombie-Loan) by Peach-Pit.

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Buy Zombie-Loan by Peach-Pit at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Zombie-Loan by Peach-Pit at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Zombie-Loan by Peach-Pit at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Zombie-Loan by Peach-Pit at Amazon.com.


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