Undead Unluck Volume One tells the story of an unlikely duo: an undead man and an unlucky young woman.
Undead Unluck Volume One
Written by: Yoshifumi Tozuka
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 4, 2021
The volume opens with an 18-year-old girl named Fuuko Izumo finishing a manga series that she’s been following, and then deciding it’s time to end her own life. People gather to try to stop her, and she claims that anyone who touches her will contract an incurable disease. A man suddenly walks right up to her and into the knife she’s holding out, and then grabs her by her face. The man falls to the train tracks below and is decapitated… but he’s still alive. He regenerates, and Fuuko tries to get away. The man catches her and explains that he’s undead.
After Fuuko explains that she has “unluck,” and whenever anyone touches her, something bad happens to them. The undead man is interested in this “unluck,” in the hopes that he can finally die. He experiments with various levels of touch to determine how much this might change the level of the bad luck. He determines that in order to get his wish, he would have to touch her entire body… and well, it’s not too hard to figure out what he has in mind. Fuuko, of course, isn’t interested. But the undead man makes it his goal to make Fuuko fall for him so he can see what kind of bad luck he can get by touching her whole body.
The undead man doesn’t seem to have a name, so Fuuko comes up with “Andy,” as a play on words for “undead.” It turns out that both Andy and Fuuko are “negators,” and they are being hunted by an organization. The rest of the volume focuses on three different characters coming after the two of them. A lot of the volume focuses on a team of hunters, Shen and his partner, and through interacting with them, we learn about a group called Union, which consists of 10 negators, and being part of this group keeps you from being hunted. However, all the seats are currently filled. But after this battle, there’s one seat open. Andy won’t allow either himself or Fuuko claim that open spot until there are two spots available. Shen gives them a clue as to when another negator on the council will appear.
Well, it turns out the negator is named Gina, and Fuuko makes friends with her before Andy arrives on the scene and reveals Gina’s true identity. It turns out Gina and Andy have a history together. Gina may look like a 16-year-old, but she’s actually 66. She has eternal youth, while Andy is undead. And Gina is in love with Andy and becomes jealous of Fuuko.
There’s an… interesting story being told here. The first volume does a good job of setting up the two main characters, as well as their overarching story. There’s also a conflict established for them with the organization that’s hunting down negators. The twist of one of the members of the organization being in love with Andy was an interesting touch, and it wasn’t something I was expecting.
The art in Undead Unluck has a distinctive style, and it stands out compared with manga in its genre. It should be noted that Andy has a tendency to run around naked, so there are a number of panels with a black square covering up a certain part of his anatomy.
One thing that I saw in this volume, which I’m afraid will continue throughout additional volumes of this series, is the fact that Andy will cop a feel of Fuuko’s breasts, and that it’s being treated in a bit of a humorous manner. I know that Undead Unluck is being aimed at male readers, but as a female reader, I wasn’t entirely comfortable with what was happening with this and how it was being treated. If it had only shown up once, I might have taken it a little better. However, I can recall at least two times this happens in the volume, and there might have been a third.
In the end, I like the concept behind Undead Unluck, and I think this premise has a lot of potential. However, I am a little put off by Andy’s groping of Fuuko without her consent, especially with how this action is depicted by the author.
Undead Unluck Volume One should have a strong appeal to the young male audience that it’s being aimed at. However, readers outside of this demographic may not have as much of an appreciation for the series.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media