Welcome to yet another episode of Lyfeblerd. I’m your host Cryptte, and today, we’re jumping headfirst into the zombie-filled world of Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead. Hold onto your brains because it’s going to be a wild ride! But before we begin, let me tell you a bit more about the manga.
Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is written by Haro Aso and illustrated by Kotaro Takata. Both of them have accolades to their names, and together their talents shine just as brightly. Haro-san is good at blending genres, and in Zom 100 he’s managed to balance comedy with horror and action.
There’s currently a lot of excitement surrounding the manga right now as an anime adaptation recently started airing less than two weeks ago. There’s also a live-action movie slated to appear on Netflix on August 3.
Ever worked a soul-devouring 9-5 that stripped you of not just your social life but also your health and any meaningful relationships outside of the office? Then you and our protagonist, Akira Tendo, have a lot in common.
Zom 100 begins with the 24-year-old office worker recounting how he wound up a modern-day zombie working for an exploitative corporation. He’s three years into the job when a zombie apocalypse hits Japan and possibly the entire world.
For Akira, this means no more work and he’s suddenly transformed into a new man. In a bid to make the most of his newfound freedom, he creates a bucket list of things to do before he’s turned into a zombie. Akira’s depression is replaced with a curious adventurous spirit and a fearlessness that defies common sense.
Volume one sees Akira create his bucket list and check off a few items, like confessing his feelings to the woman he loves, riding a motorcycle and drinking beer at home all day. It’s a hilarious tale that gets more and more absurd, as we see our hero braving the undead for a series of beer runs.
The collapse of society has always afforded the survivors of apocalypses the luxuries they were denied in the past. It’s everywhere in pop culture and literature, but few have done it as Akira does.
Akira is an ordinary guy that faces the undead armed with a sense of humour and a never-give-up attitude.
Plus & Minus
The first thing I love about Zom 100 is the humour, and I think everyone that has read it would agree. The mangaka’s ability to infuse horror with comedy is a marvel. Volume one has witty dialogue and hilarious reactions from all the characters we encounter, which kept me entertained all through.
Additionally, Kotaro Takata’s art is excellent. The drawings are able to capture both the comedic moments and the gruesome zombie scenes to perfection, making the manga a visual masterpiece.
Akira’s transformation from an enthusiastic new hire to overworked staff and then a fearless adventurer might appear to be too huge a difference. However, I think it’s very reminiscent of real people after they successfully escape the shackles of horrible jobs. The supporting characters are also well-written, bringing them to life with their own unique quirks, which add more depth to the story.
Yet, these are just scratching the surface of what Zom 100 has to offer. My favourite scene is where Akira creates his bucket list, but I also love another scene that pays homage to old zombie movies. The chapter names are playful and it is a joy to see him gushing over new things.
The only downside I can see with Zom 100 is the slow pacing, which is why those accustomed to fast-paced action manga might be turned off. The same applies to those not interested in its brand of humour. It bears a lot of similarities to Zombieland, down to lists and the main protagonists, but Akira steers things in his own direction very early. It is also clear that several other classic zombie flicks inspired the mangaka.
In summary, Zom 100 is not a deep, complex or gory zombie apocalypse story, so temper your expectations. Instead, it’s quirky, hilarious and all about living life to the fullest. It’s for those that want to lose themselves in wild adventure, and we honestly need more of that.
Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is just like it sounds – a crazy manga that’s perfect for anyone who wants something different from the typical zombie story. The charming characters, creative plot and witty humour make it a must-read and I will certainly be getting my hands on more. I also intend to watch the anime on Crunchyroll and the live-action film on Netflix when it comes out.
If wild comedy during an action-packed adventure on a backdrop of horror is your cup of tea, then this manga is for you.
If Zom 100: Bucketlist of the Dead has tickled your fancy and you’re in the mood for even more zombie action, pick up I Am a Hero, written and illustrated by Kengo Hanazawa. It’s a psychological horror seinen manga that’s much darker and grittier than Zom 100. Another great work from Haro Aso has a group of friends who find themselves in a mysterious and almost empty Tokyo. Ryōhei Arisu and the others must fight, kill and outsmart other players to survive. Yes, I’m talking about Alice in Borderland.
- Zom 100: Bucketlist of the Dead, written by Haro Aso and illustrated by Kotaro Takata – https://amzn.to/3Y02wsB
- I am a Hero, written and illustrated by Kengo Hanazawa – https://amzn.to/3Q5BFcJ
- Alice in Borderland, written and illustrated by Haro Aso – https://amzn.to/3pV9O4j
If you want something lighter that’s also funny and tries to do something different from the usual genre tropes, then One Punch Man by One is another great pick. It’s a hilarious superhero gag manga that will leave you in stitches. It follows the life of the overpowered superhero Saitama as he tries to find a worthy opponent while dealing with everyday life.
Another must-read by One is Mob Psycho 100, which is a mix of the supernatural and comedy genres. In this manga, we follow Shigeo Kageyama aka Mob, an awkward but incredibly powerful psychic who must navigate through life’s ordeals while trying to control his overwhelming psychic abilities. It’s a great mix of action and comedy.
- One Punch Man (Jump Remake), written by One and illustrated by Yusuke Murata – https://amzn.to/3Y0inre
- Mob Psycho 100, written and illustrated by One – https://amzn.to/3pUPVdG
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Life is Worth Living Well
And there you have it, Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead – the manga that tries to prove life is worth living, even amid a zombie apocalypse. I hope you enjoyed listening to me rave about it and are maybe even interested in reading it yourself.
You can follow the links in the description to pick up a copy of Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead or any of the other titles recommended in the reading list. Lyfeblerd earns a small commission for doing so at no extra charge, so give it a try if you can and thanks in advance.
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The theme song is Dreams by Rewayde, provided by Argofox.
See you on the flip side.