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Manga Review

Book Cover

Zombie Powder
Volume 1


Author: Tite Kubo
Artist: Tite Kubo
Viz Media
RRP: £5.99, US $7.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 4215 0152 9
ISBN-10: 1 4215 0152 X
Ages: T+ (For older teens)
Available 04 August 2008

In 716 A.E. the most precious element is zombie powder, which is reputed to bring the dead back from death as well as granting the living immortality. The powder is created by collecting the twelve Rings of the Dead. At twenty-two, Gamma Akutabi is a master of Karin Zanjutsu, a martial art which only fifteen people have mastered in its two thousand year history. With a large price on his head, a metal arm and a twelve foot chainsaw, Gamma searches for the Rings of the Dead to gain immortality...

Zombie Powder Volume One: The Man with the Black Hand is the first volume of an unfinished manga by Tite Kubo, who would go on to create a phenomenal success with Bleach. The story originally ran between 1999 and 2000 in Weekly Shonen Jump, before being cancelled. The surviving story has been collected into four volumes and are published here for the first time. This volume contains the first seven chapters.

I can kind of see why this first foray into manga was less than successful for Kubo. When you read the story phrases like "Trigun-esque" pop up. The story, characters and environment have much in common with more successful titles without having the necessary percentage of originality to make it stand out from the crowd. I believe even Kubo understood this as his introduction admits that the manga is a series of battles which can be enjoyed without worrying about the plot.

The plot, such as it is, sees Gamma on his quest gradually gathering around him a number of characters who will aid him, or at least that’s the presumption given that the story was never finished. The artwork is okay but also nothing to get overly excited about.

It’s not that this is a bad book, and for fans of Kubo it will be a welcome addition to their collection, but neither is it a stand out title.


Charles Packer

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