Reiko the Zombie Shop Vol. #02 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: All
  • Released By: Dark Horse
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 1-59307-459-X
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Reiko the Zombie Shop

Reiko the Zombie Shop Vol. #02

By Jarred Pine     April 07, 2006
Release Date: March 01, 2006

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Rei Mikamoto
Translated by:Michael Gombos
Adapted by:

What They Say
The last time we saw Reiko, the beautiful, young necromancer, she had her head sliced off! But you can't keep a bad girl down. Our Miss Reiko has got a few friends in dark places who'll make sure she hasn't shuffled off this motal coil just yet, even if she has to borrow a body or two.

The Review
A marked improvement over the previous volume, Reiko is the perfect title for mindless, gore-filled fun with sexy necromancers going at it with their soldiers of undead! Eat your heart out Ash!

Dark Horse uses the original Japanese tankoubon cover art again; the colors looking quite excellent on the matter cover, clean from excess text so you can enjoy most of the art. The back cover features a gruesome illustration that should definitely let everyone know about the contents of this title. There is no age rating on this title, which I found kind of interesting as this is most definitely a mature title that I would think would be shrink-wrapped.

The print reproduction is very solid, so everyone can get their violence in all its sharp visceral glory. Chapter headers are included with character artwork, but unfortunately no color plates. Extras include one page of reader artwork and an illustration from Mikamoto. If you wanted to witness the differences between the US and Japanese cultures, look no further than the reader artwork extras featuring submissions from teen and pre-teen girls. And this runs in a josei magazine!!

There is a lot of funny contrasting art here by Rei Mikamoto. The girl summoners usually have shoujo-styled hair or eyes, but curvy bodies and revealing outfits that are found in seinen manga. And this is a title that ran in a josei magazine!! To complement the beautiful necromancers are zombies or dead bodies that have been viciously mutilated and/or impaled, or other characters with exaggerated expressions of despair or horror. The range of styles makes for a unique experience, and Mikamoto makes sure to give her audience what they want with graphic gore and "splurtting�? intestines.

The creativity in the summoned zombies is much appreciated as well, sometimes a complete riot that had me laughing to no end. (See the conjoined doctor and nurse below).

SFX are about 25% translated, with no obvious rhyme or reason as to how they were picked for translation. Kind of a disappointment given Dark Horse's recent changes to translating the SFX, and the job here feels like either they gave up or ran out of time.

The translation reads quite well and seems to match the overall campy humor of the title. There are quite a few crass jokes that fit quite nicely and a good amount of foul language that feels appropriate most of the time, but can also feel a bit overdone. But I guess everything is overdone with this title.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
For those who read the first volume, Reiko the Zombie Shop ended on quite a bizarre note with our main heroine, Reiko, decapitated and dead. I must say, I have to give props to creator Rei Mikamoto for giving me a good reason to pick up the next volume, which turns out to be a nice improvement over the debut effort. And yes, Reiko does come back to life in perfect zombie fashion.

All the campy dialogue and copious amounts of intestinal splatter are still present, but Mikamoto takes the story in a new direction by introducing some new summoners who don't exactly play nice with each other. This is no longer a story featuring a butt-kicking, sexy school girl with necromantic powers involved in evil spirit of the week stories. Instead, this second volume introduces even more butt-kicking, sexy necromancers who are battling against each other in a war of the undead. The story advances to this point rather quickly, so do expect a few plot holes and issues to come up that just don't quite make a lot of sense. However, I definitely cut this title some slack in the story writing department, as the audience for this book is here to watch the blood and guts fly in all its sexy glory!

With Reiko and some new found partners on one side, they must go up against one summoner after another sent by "The Master�?--a mysterious figure that has some close ties with Reiko. The Master's plan is to create a Zombie Empire, where everyone becomes a member of the undead and she can finally enjoy TV, movies, J-Pop, and manga all for herself!

The summoner battles are a lot of fun, featuring very creative zombies that are raised straight out of hell with flashy scenes that remind me of a magical girl manga gone just horribly, horribly wrong (or maybe in this case, perfectly right!). Instead of stars, cute outfits, cuter animal sidekicks, and twinkles, you get a psychotic, trigger happy Nazi soldier, an executioner from the Salem Witch Trials (who loves otaku dolls), a giant anaconda, and a conjoined doctor and nurse torture duo. Oh, and our favorite serial killer, Saki Yurikawa, who was killed by Reiko in the previous volume, ends up being her summoned zombie of choice as Saki's quest for blood continues in the afterlife! The battles are violent as all get out, but to me it's less shock value and more of a comedic effect. Nothing like having your legs amputated by a chainsaw wielding doctor, only to have his conjoined nurse put you back together for more torture!

This second installment of Reiko the Zombie Shop is a marked improvement over the debut volume. Having Reiko surrounded by other summoners with their own powers and pitting them against each other provided quite the contrasting experience that I couldn't help but enjoy. It's like magical girl meets Buffy meets zombie survival horror aimed at the Evil Dead crowd, ones who snicker at the creative and absurd portrayal of violence and gore.

This is no doubt a niche title, and I'm actually shocked that Dark Horse didn't shrink wrap this one, but for those who enjoy this type of material, it's sexy, gory, tongue-in-cheek, and a whole bag of bloody fun. Just remember to have a tarp handy to protect yourself from the splattering remains!!


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jnager 3/13/2012 10:16:03 PM

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