Apocolypse Zero (aka: Kakugo No Susume) Vol. #01 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Released By: AW Productions
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 216
  • ISBN: 1-58655-575-8
  • Size: Shinsho
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Apocolypse Zero (aka: Kakugo No Susume) Vol. #01

By Megan Lavey     June 25, 2005
Release Date: January 01, 2005

Apocolypse Zero (aka: Kakugo No Susume) Vol.#01
© AW Productions

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Takayuki Yamaguchi
Translated by:Yamamoto-Davey
Adapted by:

What They Say
The world stands in ruin as humanity scrapes by with a meager existence. Mutants and radiation plague the land and few survive their teenage years. Emerging from the depths of the waste comes a savior. Trained in the ancient martial art of Zero Form and armed with an unstoppable living body armor, Kakugo Hagakure's only goal is to save the innocent. He will purge the earth of all its filth or die trying.

The Review
In a post-Apocalyptical world that is somewhat reminiscent of Evangelion, a hyper-powered teenager does his best to purge the Earth of the filth that walks it.

The cover of this book gives a good indication to what the interior contents are like. If you don't like blood, you know this series isn't for you. The cover features the two halves of Kakugo, blood dripping from his face. The logo is the same used on Anime Works' DVD version, linking the two different mediums together quite nicely. The back has an image of Kakugo wielding his katana in black and white against a red background of skulls. The entire book is covered with shrinkwrap, which is very hard to get off. I accidentally damaged the front cover trying to get it open.

Wow...this is some realistic stuff. It's also very creepy. One of the images you get within the first few pages of this series is of a creature grabbing a teenage girl and literally squeezing out her internal organs - and you're treated to a very lovely and graphic image of said organs, not to mention some very sexually-disturbing scenes throughout the book. A lot of attention is paid to detail and most of the people look like you would pass them on the street - even though Zenigata does remind me a lot of Mr. Spock from Star Trek. A lot of attention is paid to detail and the battle scenes are easy to navigate through.

AW Productions uses a different type of font for its text panels that is different from _other series that I've read. It's not particularly a bad font, but it does take some getting used to.

Content (may contain spoilers):
While wandering through the streets, two high school students are assaulted and eaten by a monster. However, unfortunately, this isn't a new thing in Neo-Tokyo, a city that has developed four years since a great earthquake that devastated the Earth.

We're then introduced to Kakugo Hagakure, the descendant of a World War II war criminal who seems to be programmed like a robot. That programming comes in handy when the monster, who looks like a female sumo wrestler on steroids, comes back to kill off more of the students - including targeting a girl in Kakugo's class named Horie. We start to learn what Kakugo's goals are - and that's to eliminate the threats to the students without violence.

Kakugo's elimination of the fiend earns the respect of his classmates and reveals the power that Horie has as well. Where Kakugo is like a programmed robot carrying on his father's legacy, Horie is his opposite and is filled with warmth and genuine human emotions that help get everyone through the attack by the fiend.

The one behind the fiend is closer to Kakugo than he thinks and decides to send out another fiend to get rid of him, leading to another fight full of grotesques maneuvers, blood, lots of skin, rinse and repeat.

Apocalypse Zero normally isn't the type of series that I read and this is a prime example of why I don't. The sole purpose of the series seems to be trying to top itself in disgusting ways to kill humans and the shock factor is there to hide what is considered an average plot - a teen out trying to purge the world of its filth, his nemesis who turns out to be related to him and the girl so full of sweetly innocent goodness that she moves everyone. This title is interesting for the sci-fi aspects and if you're a fan of lots of gratuitous violence. Otherwise, I'd pass this series up.


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