Monday, October 14, 2013

MISC. MANGA, *Reiko The Zombie Shop

Unlike some manga series with the word "zombie" in it, this one had for real zombies in it! The manga was released in Japan as an 11-volume series, but was released in English through Dark Horse stopping at the sixth(for now). The author, Rei Mikamoto, is more well known for creating the manga, Big Tits Dragon, which was later adapted into the live-action Japanese movie out here known as Big Tits Zombie. So, he's kept up a pretty decent history with horror/action stories, but it all stemmed from this original series.

Reiko seems like your average snarky busty redheaded Japanese schoolgirl, however she is really a "zombie shop". This means that she's able to summon someone back to life as a zombie if most of their body is still in tact, which gets her hired by all kinds of customers for her special talents. She does business with child murderers, mad scientists, plane hijackers, fatal rock stars, and even her friends at school who don't seem to have a problem with her being a part-time necromancer. All through the first volume there is a side-story of a teenage girl named Yurikawa that is also a homicidal maniac. She eventually crosses paths with Reiko, and the two have a climactic fight to the death, literally! One would think that having the title character die from decapitation in the first volume would be the end of the series, but Reiko was lucky enough to get some help from some fellow necromancers that manage to reattach her head and bring her back to the land of the living, while not being a zombie. Reiko then sets out to stop her evil sister Riruka who uses her own zombie-raising powers to create a walking dead army to take over the world, which becomes the focus for most of the rest of the series.

Reiko The Zombie Shop is one of the goriest manga to be released in print out in the States, which is possibly why Dark Horse discontinued the series about halfway through its run because of its limited market for adult titles. It's not hentai really, but the violence is and splatter scenes really make it the manga equivalent of a Rated-R movie. Weirdly enough, this does have a slight shojo factor working for it with Reiko and her interaction with her schoolmates. This makes for a very creepy manga, and works through like an actually good grindhouse flick with moments that will give you jump scares!

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