With Volume 8, Zom 100 goes back to having almost completely stand alone stories where the characters get up to zany adventures while slowly weaving their way through Japan to try and find a cure for the zombie apocalypse. The stories in this volume are a lot shorter than the ones in the last few story arcs. That’s not to say they’re not good, because they’re just as funny and silly as anything that has come before.
Joining the main group is the A.I. butler from the last volume, Lambda Chop. While he appears throughout the volume, he’s not a main character just yet, although he does have some impact on how the chapters play out. Instead, mostly Lambda appears just to spout facts and to help guide the characters on their search for a cure.
The first chapter, titled Sake of the Dead, finds the group in Niigata, where there’s a ton of sake breweries. It doesn’t take long for them to let loose and get drunk. But as always there’s a zombie hoard just waiting around the corner. The chapter is a little weird, as it seems to be in favour of drinking so much you become a bit of a nuisance. They meet someone who worked at the brewery, who doesn’t drink anymore after drinking too much earlier in life, and they end up encouraging them to drink more. It doesn’t really take alcoholism very seriously, which is more than a little strange to read.
After that the gang end up digging for dinosaur fossils at a tourist attraction next to a museum. Again, zombies interrupt their plans, and they end up fighting for their lives. This is one of the funniest parts of the manga so far, filled with incredibly goofy moments and laugh out loud action. It also contains one of the darkest moments as well, although it keeps the light-hearted tone throughout.
One of the best things about Zom 100 is how it manages to walk the line between completely bananas silly and a more serious tone, without ever coming across as heavy handed. It’s very funny and still feels like there’s a little more than just what’s on the surface. The final chapter of the book really emphasises that, as Akira is finding the freedom he’s found in the apocalypse a little boring. He gets to reflect on what he’s learnt during the series so far, but in the goofiest way possible.
Zom 100 continues to be one of the funniest mangas available at the moment. The art is fantastic, the characters are great, and it’s all still very funny. Very easy reading that’s always a good time.
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