MANGA REVIEW | "Undead Unluck" - Volume Ten
Well I have to hand it to Undead Unluck. Ten volumes in, and it still manages to deliver quite a bountiful of surprises. On top of its narrative becoming a lot stronger, its action has become truly S-tier both in presentation and in creativity. Erm, even if said creativity reaches a truly gross level!
Said grossness arrives in the fight between Billy and Andy. After being rescued, Fuuko sets her sights on Spring on top of the tower. Her climb gives Andy the chance to duke it out with Billy, who has a range of techniques that’d make even All For One jealous! However, Andy finds new ways to use his body to aid in his fight, and those techniques are more disgusting than one can even imagine!
Let me ask you readers something: when’s the last time you’ve seen a hero rip his own skin off to save his tail? How about their own scabs to create clones of themself? Well the answer to that is probably “fucking never!”, which makes Undead Unluck the first time you’ll ever see someone do this. Yoshifumi Tozuka holds nothing back in its presentation, with every sickening detail brought to these pages without a care in the world. To quote the webcomic FlorkOfCows: “I am disgusted, but impressed!”
It takes away nothing from the impressive fight between Andy and Billy, as the Union man does all he can to wallop the Under leader. Blood, weapons, street rubble, and back talk are thrown with a grace that shouldn’t even be allowed in such situations! And yet, this manga finds a way to bring all of it together in a feat of badassery not seen since the eighties! Yes, the fight is an acquired taste (or lack of), but it’s pulled off with such terrific tenacity and fortitude.
Shockingly, even with all of that, Fuuko manages to steal the spotlight in this volume of Undead Unluck. She faces Spring head-on, and while she aims to defeat him, she still wants to pick his brain for awhile. It leads towards a realization that both Spring and Fuuko are not so different from one another. Both have been ostracized by society, have brought misery to those they loved, and have caused chaos wherever they go. At first, Spring laughs off such comparisons, only to slowly come to terms with him as his challenges are brought to the table.
We witness the first two fights between Fuuko and Spring, with the first being a Bakugan-styled top fight. This battle is impress to watch, with Spring using Andy for his top and Fuuko using Isshin. However, it’s the bout involving poetry cards where the real heart of the battle lies. Without spoiling much, what occurs here is not just visually breathtaking, but spiritually as well! For Undead Unluck to go seamlessly from gross to beautiful, that takes talent!
In one single volume, Undead Unluck presents a true muscle, heart, and spirit of shonen manga. It’s action-packed, funny, dramatic, heartfelt, and — lest we forget — a tad gruesome. But that’s Andy and Fuuko’s adventure for ya, and I honestly wouldn’t want it any way. Can Undead Unluck continue on this pathway towards shonen manga greatness? I’m not exactly sure, but for now, let this series bask in the sunlight, as it lays under an impressive cherry blossom tree!
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt and Mandy Earles of VIZ Media.