By Daisuke Sato, Art by Shouji Sato
Yen Press, $13.99, 160 pages
Teenagers face life and death situations in high schools and malls all the time, but usually nothing like this. Japan faces a monster problem, but it’s not the usual kaiju; zombies have come from somewhere, and someone decided to hit the island with an EMP. This means that the teenagers in High School of the Dead are on their own. They have found a mall with survivors, but there is some question of whether or not they will survive outside. They do know that they won’t survive in the mall.
It may sound like a goof ball premise, but it works. It hits just that right balance between humor and horror, making for an excellent read. For what amounts to a lightweight read, this is actually a fairly tight piece of writing. The artwork is also pretty good; there is a surprising amount of detail and the cultural information has been translated as well, making for a fun yet satisfying read. Better yet, although the series has been going on (this is the fifth book), it also acts rather well as a stand-alone book. This is an outstanding manga, and a really great read.