ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Undead Unluck,’ Volume 2

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Undead Unluck Volume 2

Last month, VIZ Media unveiled a new series via its Shonen Jump imprint: Undead Unluck. And, I’m gonna be honest, the first volume was a roller-coaster romp that I like but still felt weird even if I couldn’t pin down why. Last volume, we met Fuuko Izumo, whose power is Unluck. To put it simply, if she touches someone, they die by a burst of unluck. The perfect partner for her? Andy, a guy who is, well, Undead. Having been running for their lives from a government agency, in Undead Unluck Volume 2, we get the chance to see them develop their friendship a little more and face new challenges.

Undead Unluck Volume 2 is created, written, and illustrated by Yoshifumi Tozuka, published and localized in English by VIZ Media via the manga publisher’s Shonen Jump imprint – which means that individual chapters also run via the app of the same name. Additionally, this volume is translated by David Evelyn and features touch-up art and lettering by Michelle Pang. This volume also features chapters eight through 16, making each chapter speed by, like other shonen titles.

In this volume, Fuuko and Andy are sick of being targeted and decide that they would rather be the hunters than the hunted. So, the unlucky pair set their sights on joining the ten-member Union. Eliminating those already in the seats to take the spots for themselves. But to snag the second seat they need, they continue their fight to defeat their would-be assailant, Unchange – who, you guessed it, has the power to keep things from well, changing. Having just used a skin-to-skin touch to launch Andy’s head towards Gina, bursting through her unchange barrier and bring his unluck with him too.

Once the pair have made it into the organization, it only gets harder as a new cast of characters with unique powers makes their way into the story. And while each of them brings an interesting dynamic in comparison to Andy and Fuuko, they don’t hold attention in any way.

The most exciting thing about Undead Unluck is the exposition provided around different powers. You see, each power operates by a set of rules. For starters, Fuuko’s Unluck works to push the plot along with its restrictions. While any touch will set off a burst of unluck and harm the person touching Fuuko, it’s the emotion behind the touch, the duration of it, and the person doing it that sets the strength of the unluck. While this is used to put Andy and Fuuko in action situations, it’s also used to push their kinda romantic relationship as well and add an echi-lite component to the humor as well.

This is where Undead Unluck is going to be hit or miss for readers. I was hoping that this volume would build on the echi-esque humor of the first by leaning all the way in (alá Food Wars), but instead, the volume hovers between embracing what it is and telling an action-packed story with more than a handful of darker elements. And that’s where the series teeters and stands the chance to lose readers, especially with how young the characters look.

Overall, Undead Unluck Volume 2 has a lot to offer, but I’m finding it hard to stick with it. While strong leads are important, every person outside of Andy and Fuuko have little to no presence, and I’m still not at ease with the situations Fuuko finds herself in – even though we were told she is 18 in the first volume. That said, the art in this volume is extremely fun to watch in the back half, thanks to the kaiju sized-battle that happens. So, while I find myself wavering on keeping up with the series, I’m sure it’ll find a solid base.

Undead Unluck Volume 2 is available wherever books are sold on July 6, 2021.

Undead Unluck Volume 2
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TL;DR

Overall, Undead Unluck Volume 2 has a lot to offer, but I’m finding it hard to stick with it. While strong leads are important, every person outside of Andy and Fuuko have little to no presence, and I’m still not at ease with the situations Fuuko finds herself in – even though we were told she is 18 in the first volume. That said, the art in this volume is extremely fun to watch in the back half, thanks to the kaiju sized-battle that happens. So, while I find myself wavering on keeping up with the series, I’m sure it’ll find a solid base.