As the curtain rises on Zombie Loan, Volume 2, Michiru has had to face the worst crisis of her life – a life already filled with far too many crises. Left alone by the death of her parents, she is being raised by her Aunt and Uncle who, she is sure, love her more for her enormous inheritance than herself. At school she is a doormat and is walked over by even those she considers friends. Life is bleak enough that she considers dying….until she actually does.
Michiru encounters two strange, unpleasant, but somehow admirable young men and slowly, she is introduced to a world in which zombies walk. Unfortunately, it is our world. Her ability to see the markings that indicate that a person is a zombie makes her – for the first time in her life – an important person. And in that small thing, she finds meaning. When she is killed, Michiru signs a “zombie loan” contract and is ressurected, to work off her debt by identifying zombies.
On the good side, Michiru gains some strength and purpose to a previously mopey life. On the bad side, chapter after chapter is filled with OMG, WACKY, CRAZY THINGS AND VIOLENCE! to the point where I was like, enough already.
Case in point. In the last chapter, Michiru and Koyomi are sent to go buy furniture. First, Koyomi spends the money on clothes for them, then OMG, WACKY, CRAZY THINGS AND VIOLENCE breaks out and in the end, the furniture is not bought.
This kind of thing is basically every chapter. Eat lunch? No, because OMG, WACKY, CRAZY THINGS AND VIOLENCE will make sure that Michiru does not get to eat lunch. Or clean her room, or…anything. Nothing normal will ever happen because of the wall of crazy-wacky-violent that springs up like an invisible fence everytime Michiru turns around.
There is Yuri. As in the anime, Michiru’s dormmate Koyomi has within her another personality, Yomi. Yomi’s ability to call forth the sounds of supernatural beings is also unique and valuable, so despite the disinterest in Koyomi, she’s kept around as a container. Yomi is also sexually attracted to Michiru – or so she says as an excuse for some light sexual harrassment. But, you know, by the end of the volume I kinda think she actually does like Michiru.
Nothing will come of it, of course. It’s service and no more. But with OMG, WACKY, CRAZY THINGS AND VIOLENCE happening every 30 seconds the occasional warm embrace isn’t a bad thing for Michiru or for us.
Art – 6
Story – 7 (I’m hoping this goes up as an actual story develops)
Characters – 7 (which is up one from the first volume)
Yuri – 6
Service – 4
Overall – 7, with potential.
I didn’t hate Zombie Loan by any stretch but if you, like me, need a respite and a balm at the end of this volume, let me recommend Walking Man by Taniguchi Jiro. An adult manga for adults, about a man who takes walks. That’s it. Nothing else. It was wonderful. My deepest appreciation and thanks to Deb Aoki who sent me a copy so that I could also become a convert and proselytize this book.