Zombie Loan, Vol. 1
written by Peach-Pit
Death is not something new to Michiru. It surrounds her bleak life. This mousy schoolgirl is harassed by bullies and spends her days without friends. Her parents died, so she lives with an aunt and uncle who resent her presence. She wears large glasses and is terrified of taking them off, because when she does…she can see when people will die.
She has what’s called the Shinigami Eyes. Shinigami are Japanese gods of death (you can find out more about them in Ballad of a Shinigami). People who are dying get collars around their throats that become increasingly dark as a person nears death. When the collar turns black, the person has died. It seems no one can see these collars except Michiru, and that’s only when she doesn’t have her glasses to protect her.
Michiru meets up with two boys who have black collars but still manage to walk around. Some aspects about them—like the fact they can take their hands off and then put them back on—show they’re not normal. People think they survived an awful accident they were in, though Michiru soon knows better. They didn’t survive. They call themselves Undeads, and they hunt zombies. Zombies are different from Undeads since zombies can’t think and eat humans. Because of Michiru’s visual skills, the boys enlist her to help them. It’s her job to find the zombies, who then must be killed so that their spirits may move on. The Undeads take care of the killing.
At first she’s totally opposed to this work. But it might not be that simple. Students are disappearing from the school, and it’s possibly the work of zombies. And when Michiru takes off her glasses, she notices the collar around her own throat is getting darker.
Zombie Loan is a horror series with a horrifying but fascinating premise. It’s aimed for upper teens, mainly because of the few gory images it has, including the one on the opening page. However, please don’t get the impression that it’s that gory. It may be a horror story, but it doesn’t overdo it. Peach-Pit also does some very nice work on her panels, so that she can pack a wallop even when she doesn’t show much.
Besides having an intense and clever idea for a plot, Zombie Loan has a few great twists in it that only make it all the more fun to read. It likewise has moments of emotion, such as when Michiru tries to warn her parents of danger. They scoff at her over-imagination, while Michiru and readers can see the very dark collars around their throats.
Zombie Loan ought to be up the alley of fans of horror stories, primal human nature, and plot twists. It’s creepy, fun, and somehow very powerful.