Saturday, 30 April 2011

Tokyo Zombie

We’re told never to judge a book by its cover, but it’s probably fair to say if you don’t like the artwork on show here there’s little reason to dig deeper. Promoting a style described as ‘Heta Uma’ (bad, but good), Tokyo Zombie’s artwork is deliberately simplistic and causes much turning up of noses of readers browsing the manga aisles. Diversity in your manga reading is one thing, but for many this is a step too far.

Originally serialized in the underground AX magazine, Tokyo Zombie is about two amateur wrestling fans who find themselves in the middle of a zombie outbreak. The plot ambles on in its own peculiar way as our heroes munch their snacks while driving through crowds of zombies. Some stuff happens in between including zombie blowjobs and pig surfing, and culminates in a human/zombie showdown at an underground fighting arena amidst a social revolution. It’s as bizarre as it is stupid, and will have more people wondering what the point is rather than accumulating fans.

The manga was popular (or should that be ‘obscure’?) enough to warrant the making of a live-action film which came out on DVD in English a couple of years ago. To be honest I found its understated humour to be a little on the dull side, and it works a lot better in comic form. It’s undeniably stupid, and yes the artwork is quite, quite bad, but then who said that zombies were neat and tidy? As a final note the main character has an afro - some things I just can’t say no to…

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