Manga Review: Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Volume Five

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Volume Five is set entirely in Akira’s hometown.

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Volume Five
Written by: Haro Aso
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: February 15, 2022

The “slacker NEETs” who found Akira’s bucket list at the end of Volume Four end up playing an important role in the volume, although their major role comes later in the volume. At the beginning, we are shown Akira and his companions, along with other people who have fled to the country to get away from the zombies, living their lives. Some of the city folks who came to the village start talking about how much the hard work and the country life saves electricity and how a conservation-friendly style of living keeps them self-sufficient. In some respects, this dialogue kind of bogs the story down a little, but at the same time, it’s needed to the reader can understand the mindset of the city folks who have fled to this village.

Akira achieves one of the goals on his bucket list, which is to try out dreadlocks. It turns out one of the city women in Akira’s hometown ran a dreadlocks salon in Tokyo. I have to say that I agree with Akira’s father when he says that the dreadlocks don’t look good on him. I thought the dreadlocks made Akira look rather goofy.

Meanwhile, Kenichiro sees a young orphaned girl and her dog, and he works at becoming friends with her so she won’t be lonely. Beatrix also learns about the hydroelectric water wheel that’s in the town, and how it powers the electric barrier fencing that keeps out the zombie boars. Both of these events are important for what happens later in the volume. There’s also a great scene between Akira and his father where his father encourages Akira to find his dream and chase it. This time that he spends in his hometown with his parent helps Akira to knock another item off of his bucket list.

It’s also revealed that Kanta Higurashi, the leader of the “slacker NEETs,” knows both Akira and Kenichiro from university… and that he hates them. We see that Kanta and his group come up with their own bucket list, with their main focus being on two goals: “Fuck up society” and “Turn everyone into zombies.” About 60 pages in, Kanta and his group launch their plan and disrupt the idyllic life that the previous pages of the volume were depicting. Kanta and his group remove the vehicle that was blocking the tunnel that serves as the main entryway to the village, and now everyone has to try to protect themselves as the zombies bear down on the village.

The remaining 100 or so pages of the volume focus on the zombies attacking Akira’s hometown. During these pages, our four main characters get their own storylines. Kenichiro has to save the orphaned young girl and her dog, and he finds himself up against a man who is bitter about life and blames his wife for all of his issues, although it becomes clear from the man’s dialogue that he was basically ignoring his wife and child and being a jerk. The conflict between Kenichiro and this man is basically resolved by the end of this volume.

Beatrix, who is trying to flee the village with the villagers, discovers that the electric fence has been tampered with and heads to the water wheel to turn off the electric fence. Unfortunately, her way is blocked by one of the “slacker NEETs,” and the two of them face off against each other, although the “slacker NEET” seems to be at an advantage with a chainsaw.

Shizuka lures some of the zombies away from the village, and they seem to have problems finding her when she hides in a corn field. Unfortunately, one of the “slacker NEETs” finds her in there, and it turns out his goal is to force his tongue down a woman’s throat. Of course, Shizuka doesn’t want this, so continues fleeing through the corn field.

Near the end of the volume, Akira’s father tells Akira to watch over his mother and the others who are hunkered down inside their house. Akira’s father goes out to take on the zombies, but his health issue acts up. Right at the end of the volume, Kanta appears and holds Akira’s father hostage. If Akira comes out and allows himself to be zombiefied, Kanta will release Akira’s father.

I thought this ending made for a great cliffhanger. How is Akira going to be able to save his father without becoming zombified? That’s the main thread that’s making me interested in reading Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Volume Six in order how to find out how Akira will get out of this predicament.

Just like with Volume Four, Volume Five ends with a bonus chapter that would have to take place in the series before Shizuka joins up with Akira and Kenichiro on their journey. In this bonus chapter, Kenichiro wants to join a dating app to in order to have a hook up with a hot girl. After finding a way to access the internet, Kenichiro joins an app, and the humor derives from the various responses he gets from people who like his profile. The punch line happens at the end of the chapter, when he thinks he’s finally going to get what he wants. While this chapter shows another item being scratched off the bucket list, that’s really all this chapter is worth it for. I didn’t care for this bonus chapter, and it kind of broke the mood after the cliffhanger ending of Volume Five.

Even though I may not have been overly impressed with the bonus chapter, I think that Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead will still appeal to readers who have been reading and following the series up to this point. The change of pace with the arrival of the zombies really ratchets up the tension, and the action that takes place during the zombie attack helps to make the later portion of the manga a little quicker of a read.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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