Luna’s Manga Reviews #12

Thank you to VIZ Media LLC and Vertical Comics for providing these ARCs for review.

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead, Vol. 2 by Haro Aso, Kōtarō Takata (Illustrations)

Surviving a zombie apocalypse beats being a wage slave any day!

After spending years slaving away for a soul-crushing company, Akira’s life has lost its luster. But when a zombie apocalypse ravages his town, it gives him the push he needs to live for himself. Now Akira’s on a mission to complete all 100 items on his bucket list before he…well, kicks the bucket.

When Akira and Kencho make an impromptu trip to Ikebukuro to snag a widescreen TV, they find themselves trapped by zombies along with a handful of beautiful strangers. As Akira tries to cozy up to the girls to strike another item off of his bucket list, he engages in a conversation about childhood dreams, but he can’t recall his own.

Review: Having established the premise and characters in the first book this instalment can dive right back in. Akira’s bucket list of goals before he becomes a zombie varies from what should be easy to unrealistic dreams. Yet the very first outing leads to him crossing 3 items of that list.

Zom 100 manages to strike a balance between being fun, fast paced (downright ridiculous at times) and still retaining the horror of a zombie apocalypse. There is gore and sex and Akira, who’s ride or die attitude is what makes this story work.

Expected publication: 18th May 2021 by VIZ Media LLC

Haru’s Curse (Haru no Noroi #1-2) by Asuka Konishi and Hannah Airriess (Translator)

After Natsumi’s younger sister and best friend Haru dies at the age of 19, she begins dating Haru’s fiancee Togo – on the condition that he take her only to places he had taken her sister. Their relationship deepens as the seasons pass, but Haru’s curse lies between them…

Will there be happiness after Haru’s curse is broken?

Review: I actually think the blurb undersells this story. Yes Natsumi’s goes out with her dead sister’s fiancé after Haru dies but it’s so much more complicated than that. Togo and Haru’s engagement was an arranged marriage, a business transaction for Togo’s family.

At Haru’s funeral they agree to start dating. Natsumi stipulates that she will only do this if he takes her to all the places Haru and Togo went.

The story deals with grief, betrayal, family expectations and obligations. Natsumi and Togo each had their reasons for the dating agreement, but this doesn’t read like a cheating story. Both struggle with guilt, especially Natsumi, but once you read the full story and know the characters you do want this to work out for them.

Haru’s Curse is well executed and doesn’t sell the characters or story short by having that happy love story, instead this is messy. There are still some recognisable tropes, but I was pleased I gave this is go, it was so much more than the blurb leads you to believe.

Published 2nd February 2021 by Vertical Comics

Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 3 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi, Hikaru Miyoshi (Illustrations), Arthur Conan Doyle (Idea)

The untold story of Sherlock Holmes’ greatest rival, Moriarty!

Before he was Sherlock’s rival, Moriarty fought against the unfair class caste system in London by making sure corrupt nobility got their comeuppance. But even the best-intentioned plans can spin out of control—will Moriarty’s dream of a more just and equal world turn him into a hero…or a monster?

Just as everything appears to be going Sherlock Holmes’s way, he finds himself arrested for a murder he did not commit! He soon escapes police custody and sets out to clear his name. The victim, Lord Drebber, wrote Sherlock’s name in blood before he died, but why? Will Sherlock be able to solve this puzzle and save himself?

Review: I think Moriarty the Patriot is becoming my favourite new Manga series. From all the new stories I’ve been reading this last year this series is at the top. By this point if you haven’t read the first two books, I think you’ll be lost so I would recommend starting back at Vol.1.

This book starts with the test case for Sherlock, the strings in the background pulled by Moriarty but for the actual story the whole chapter is Sherlock and Watson. A lot in this book is showing how Moriarty’s network is working and how his mission is on track. The retelling of The Hounds of Baskerville (not an easy read, very dark and haunting) is where the why is pulled back into the spotlight again.

I am looking forward to the next instalment.

Published 6th April 2021 by VIZ Media LLC

RWBY: The Official Manga: The Beacon Arc, Vol. 2 by Bunta Kinami and Monty Oum (Creator)

Monsters known as the Grimm are wreaking havoc on the world of Remnant. Ruby Rose seeks to become a Huntress, someone who eliminates the Grimm and protects the land. She enrolls at Beacon Academy, eager for the tests and combat challenges to come.

Ruby’s first year at Beacon Academy continues! Team RWBY has officially formed, and Ruby Rose is their leader. While Roman Torchwick still lurks in the shadows, new forces begin to move against Beacon Academy. Who are the White Fang, and what does Blake know about them?

Review: The things that I enjoyed in the first volume seem to be falling by the wayside in book two. While the art for the most remains good there are some panels (pages even) which reminded me of bad photocopies because of the blank spaces, half lines, etc.

In this instalment we learn about White Fang. It is the central story of the book and the fairytale aspects I liked so much in the first book make way for this. I did however like the side story of the robot friend.

I’m not sure how much having no background knowledge of RWBY is impacting my enjoyment of this series. I would have hoped the manga could have been enjoyed separate from the tv series but I feel like readers are expected to have the context to follow the manga better.

Published 19th January 2021 by VIZ Media LLC

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