Manga Review: Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire Volume Four

Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire is a manga that serves as a prequel series to the Resident Evil 6 videogame.

Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire Volume 4
Written by: Naoki Serizawa
Publisher: Akita Publishing Co., Ltd.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 19, 2015

The series is set in Singapore and Tropical Forest of Asia. BSAA advisor Doug Wright is investigating a viral outbreak at the prestigious Marhawa School that’s causing people to turn into zombies. A student named Nanan is the source of the infection, which she obtained after her friend Bindi brought her back to life with an injection that a hooded woman gave her. Bindi decided to use Nanan’s new ability to turn people on campus into zombies to get revenge because Nanan was being bullied at school. Bindi later uses the syringe on herself,

Volume 4 sees a boy named Ricky Tozawa being rescued by Chris Redfield from the BSAA. Two other agents have come with Chris, and an agent named Merah ends up trying to take on Bindi in her bio-organic weapon state.  During this battle, the reader is provided some backstory on Merah. Near the end of the volume, Ricky and Chris find themselves having to face off against Nanan in her bio-organic weapon state.

Volume 4 is an action-packed volume, and it’s also rather violent. I believe that Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire has received an “M” rating due to the sheer amount of violence that appears in the story.

I have to admit that I’ve been having a hard time writing this review, and this is due to two reasons. The first is, while I’ve heard of the Resident Evil game franchise, I’ve never played it and don’t know much about it. Second, this is the first volume of the series that I have read; from doing some research, it appears that Volume 4 is the penultimate volume for Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire. Between these two reasons, it made it harder for me to connect with the characters and series than usual. There’s a very emotional scene involving Ricky in this volume with something that happens to his Uncle Doug, but it didn’t have the emotional power that it should have for me since I don’t really know these characters. I expect that readers who have been following this series from the beginning will have a stronger reaction to this scene than I did.

When it comes to the art, I have to say that Serizawa did a fantastic job on the character designs. There were a few panels in Volume 4 where the characters almost looked real and looked as if they were about the jump right off of the page. Some of the backgrounds also looked as if Serizawa took some time to make sure they looked intricate. Even though I wasn’t able to totally get into the story, the quality of the art helped to make up for it. At least the volume was interesting to look at, even with all of the violence and blood that’s included.

I think that Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire series will have the strongest appeal with readers who are already familiar with the Resident Evil videogame franchise. It might also appeal to readers who don’t mind reading manga series with a lot of violence included.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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