MANGA REVIEW | "Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead" - Vol. 7
After dealing with a zombie invasion that almost killed his family, Akira desperately needs a break. In fact, the entire crew of Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead deserve to take it easy for a bit. Perhaps this is why they get a taste of the luxury in the seventh volume; but as horror stories go, everything in life has a price. Said price, it turns out, may be a lot more than these guys can handle.
Before they can experience relaxation, they must first reach its destination. When their ride runs out of gas in Hokkaido, Akira takes the opportunity to cross another thing off of his list: run a 246 kilometer race known as the Spartathalon. Hesitant to join at first, Kenichiro, Shizuka, and Bea decide to tag along for the epic trek to the northernmost point of Japan. What happens then is what we in the business like to call “OD’ing on a runner’s high”.
A plethora of visual gags are scattered throughout the run, as Akira and the rest slowly lose their minds to the speed. What begins as excitement devolves into exhaustion, as even the faces of the gorgeous Shizuka and Bea contort into deformed Jell-O. Thankfully, when it appears that they’ll fail, a new kind of motivation arrives in time to push everyone to the finish line. Unfortunately, that motivation just so happens to be hundreds of hungry zombies wanting to make a meal out of everyone!
This leads to the main story in Zom 100’s seventh volume, “Suite of the Dead”. It begins with everyone being on guard, as they’re surrounded by robots in a swanky hotel. As soon as they see that the robots aim to serve, the guard goes down and the celebratory feelings go piping hot! The finest foods, the best massages, the warmest of baths, and the comfiest of beds await the four friends, as they experience the best that life has to offer them. However, a mad scientist lurks in the shadows, and he wants Shizuka and Bea for his most ultimate of experiments.
“Suite of the Dead” does a great job with balancing the humor and horror of this series. Writer Haro Aso knows that the readers’ guard should never be down when it comes to anything horror-related, which is why there are little hints scattered in Part 1 that show that things may not be all that they seem. Everything seems far too perfect, from the food to the comfort, and horror aficionados know that any perfect moment leads to something terrifying almost immediately. Once you see mad scientist Doctor Edogawa, you know that these guys and gals are in deep trouble.
Without spoiling anything, it should be said that Doctor Edogawa’s plan isn’t anything unique to the horror genre. However, it’s how Akira, Kenichiro, and even their robot mutton butler go off to save Shizuka & Bea where the fun is truly on display. From zombie-fighting drones and a zom-bear to Akira using a giant robot like it’s a JoJo Stand, the rescue mission on display is both hilarious and thrilling at the same time! (Add on the bonus chapter where Akira invades Aso’s Alice in Borderland, and you’ve got yourself a full-fledged good time!)
It’s clear that Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead doesn’t aim to give these guys a break from danger. Thankfully, Akira and the gang are filled with enough gusto to overcome every obstacle, as they fight to cross everything off the list of things to do before becoming zombified. With a little A.I. help, maybe it’ll be easier for these guys to accomplish their goals. But until Volume Eight comes around, we won’t know if their newfound robot friends will be standing by to lend a helping hand/claw/any sort of thing that grabs other things.
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media