ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘ZOM 100: Bucket List of the Dead,’ Volume 2

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ZOM 100 Volume 2

ZOM 100: Bucket List of the Dead (ZOM 100) is a new series published and localized in English by VIZ Media that blends zombie horror aesthetics and storytelling with raunchy comedy. While volume 1 delivered big laughs and big gore, it landed a balance that just works. Now with ZOM 100 Volume 2, the series is hitting as many tropes as it can with a tongue-in-cheek style that pays homage to zombie classics.

ZOM 100 Volume 2 is written by Haro Aso and features art from Kotaro Takata. The volume is published under VIZ Media’s VIZ Signature imprint and is translated by Nova Skipper, and features touch-up art and lettering by Vanessa Satone. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, it follows Akira’s life as he transitions from wage-slave to zombie survivalist when he wakes up to an apocalyptic situation.

But, while the zombie apocalypse is terrible for pretty much everyone, Akira finally finds the meaning to his life that he didn’t have while working at his dead-end job. Now unemployed and getting to test his strength, Akira decides to live life to its fullest by going on a mission to complete all 100 items on his bucket list before he dies. Picking up his friend Kencho along the way, ZOM 100 Volume 2 puts the duo on a quest for a widescreen TV.

After they head to Ikebukuro to pick up the needed item to complete one of the things on the bucket list, they wind up getting trapped in a department store along with a couple of beautiful girls. As Akira tries to cozy up to one of them, the conversation shifts to childhood dreams. While he wanted to wine and dine a flight attendant, the conversation’s shift pushes Akira to embrace his real dream of being a superhero in the back-end of the volume.

Indeed, a lot of the humor in ZOM 100 Volume 2 and the series as a whole may not land for everyone. There is a lot of fanservice, with nudity and close-ups galore, but none of it feels too over-the-top. On the contrary, it all feels like the campy elements of zombie b-movies that horror fans know and love. In fact, because of its humor, I think that this series will be the perfect addition to any zombie fan’s library, regardless if they’ve read manga before.

Plus, ZOM 100 Volume 2 puts Akira and Kencho in an aquarium that introduces a crazy amount of zombie absurdity involving marine animals and a shark-proof suit. This is where Takata’s art really showcases their adept handle on the genre, on gore, and on the creepy and hilarious elements that zombies can bring to a visual story.

Overall, ZOM 100: Bucket List of the Dead Volume 2 is a great continuation of a new series that is quickly becoming one of my favorite VIZ titles this year. It’s absurd, it’s loud, and man, are there a lot of boobs, but it all comes across as an homage to b-horror in the best ways.

ZOM 100: Bucket List of the Dead Volume 2 is available from booksellers on May 18, 2021.

ZOM 100: Bucket List of the Dead Volume 2
4.5

TL;DR

ZOM 100: Bucket List of the Dead Volume 2 is a great continuation of a new series that is quickly becoming one of my favorite VIZ titles this year. It’s absurd, it’s loud, and man, are there a lot of boobs, but it all comes across as an homage to b-horror in the best ways.